September 2014

carry-the-messageThe purpose of our Intergroup is to more effectively reach the sex addict in the Orange County area who still suffers.  We meet the second Thursday of each month from 7:00-8:15 p.m. in the Albright Room at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St., located at the end of the 55 Freeway across from Triangle Square.  All SAA members are welcome.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  We are still a young organization and need your ideas!

See You in Oceanside!

Many of us are looking forward to the SAA weekend retreat to be held in Oceanside on October 3-5, 2014.  Members who have attended previous Oceanside retreats say they came home feeling totally rejuvenated.  Social activities, lectures, meetings, communal meals, and lots of fellowship in a serene Outer Circle setting – these retreats have it all.  For more information, call Cliff at 858-442-0192 or email him at noslenffilc@hotmail.com.

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My Share

Each month, we publish a personal but anonymous story of recovery.  Stories should be written in the first person (“I”); speak from your experience, strength, and hope; and be limited to approximately one typewritten page.  Please submit your story to ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com.  We may edit submissions for reasons of space, clarity, and appropriate language.  Here is this month’s story:

Experience, Strength, and Hope

The title phrase is something we hear all the time in SAA.  When we hear things often, we sometimes let them flow through our consciousness without thinking about what they really mean.  The problem with that is, we hear these words frequently because they are important!  So let us take a few minutes to examine them and contemplate their meanings.

We gain experience as we progress through the SAA program, and we draw on our previous acting out experiences to help others.  We experience what life is like in the absence of acting out, and through experience we learn which tools of the program are most helpful to us.  Successfully recovering SAA members who experienced devastating consequences resulting from their addictions are great examples for newcomers, who can be demoralized to the point of hopelessness.  Seeing someone who suffered greatly in their addiction but is now living happily can inspire newcomers to follow their example.  That is not to wish anyone to suffer greatly just so they can help others, but it is interesting to know that the more serious consequences they experienced in their addiction, the more helpful they may be to others in the program, and it’s a way to feel better about themselves.

Working the SAA program gives us the strength to maintain a sober lifestyle – strength to resist acting out, and strength to live and accept life as it comes, warts and all.  Our strength increases as we maintain our abstinence, and it becomes much easier to resist acting out.  We can’t forget that we are addicts, however.  Overconfidence can easily result in a slip.  We know that we must continue to use the tools of recovery we received.  We can pass this knowledge on to others.

Recovery gives us back our hope, the hope we thought was gone forever.  “The Promises” lists a series of life areas that gradually improve as we progress through the program, from finances to relationships to increased awareness to being interested in helping others and most important of all, to serenity – feeling comfortable in our own skin, feeling good about ourselves.  We are no longer the hopeless shells of human beings that first entered the SAA meeting rooms.  Others see this and learn that they can regain their hope, too.

A common thread runs through these:  helping others.  When I first joined SAA, I was too distraught even to think of helping others.  I was the one who needed all the help I could get.  But over time, as I gained my own experience, strength, and hope, I realized I had been given a gift to pass on to others in their recovery.  This was a real turnaround.

Early on, I was told that I would experience a spiritual transformation as I worked the program.  I wondered how I would “do” a spiritual transformation or awakening, since Step 12 said I would have one, but I didn’t know how.   It was when I realized that I wanted to help others that I knew it had happened.  My spirit had changed, and the changes continue to mature as my recovery continues.  This happened as a result of the experience, strength, and hope that recovery has given me.  I am so grateful.

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Announcements & Newsnotes

Do You Know What “Keyword Optimization” Means?

If so, you may be able to help us.  We are looking for expertise in the area of keyword optimization and design, so our website will appear more prominently in online searches.  If you think you can help, please email Neal B. at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com or Ron R. at ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Intergroup Vacancies

Our Intergroup has four vacant positions:  These are great opportunities to be of service, and they generally require little or no special expertise.

The Vice Chair works with the Chair to coordinate the Intergroup’s overall activities.  It’s estimated that the Vice Chair duties take about four hours per month, plus the monthly Intergroup meeting.

The Inreach Coordinator handles Intergroup activities involving the existing SAA framework, as opposed to Outreach, which works to bring in newcomers.  The Inreach Coordinator’s duties require two (sometimes more) hours per month, plus the monthly Intergroup meeting.

The Digital Communications Assistant helps the Digital Communications Director maintain the website and provide other digicom services.  Depending on the workload, the amount of time needed can vary, but it is not excessive.  Attendance at the monthly Intergroup meeting is encouraged.

The Vice Treasurer works with the Treasurer to manage our Intergroup funds.  The duties generally occupy minimal time, but this can vary.  There may be an abstinence requirement for this position.  Attendance at the monthly Intergroup meeting is encouraged.

If you are interested in any of these positions and want to learn more, please contact Ron R. at ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.  Or, you may attend the next monthly Intergroup meeting on September 11.

For Residents of Newport Beach (and Those Who Like to Visit)

The SAA meetings in Newport Beach are looking to grow.  If you are in the market for a new meeting, you may want to consider attending one of these gatherings of fellow SAA members.

A Few Intergroup Representatives Still Needed

If your meeting still lacks an Intergroup rep, please tell your secretary that you need one.  For more information, contact us at ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com.  We highly recommend you find someone to fill this service position.  We also suggest if possible, that your group allocate a percentage of its donations to the Intergroup for its activities, which benefit all SAA groups in the region.

A Note to Event Promoters and Organizers: For those requesting announcements to run in our newsletter, please use the following format – and order – as much as possible:
Who: Are you a committee (of the Intergroup, for example), or an individual SAA meeting group, or another type of organization or individual?
What: Is this a workshop, breakfast, retreat, or another type of event?
Title: What is the name of your event?
When: Give the date and starting and ending times of your event.
Cost: What is the suggested contribution, or is it a set fee, or is no one turned away for lack of funds?
Description: In a sentence, or several sentences, say what is unique or especially appealing about your event.
Where: Event address, along with any cross-street info or parking tips you think are important.
More Info: Who to call for more information?  List a telephone number, email address, and/or website.
Please give us as much lead time as possible, and note that submissions are subject to editing for clarity and space.

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SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

Thursday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Closed, men only
707 E. Chapman, Orange 92866
Building is close to Orange Traffic Circle, white with green trim, no suite number; parking lot adjacent to building
Contact Chris B. (949) 278-3642

Friday, noon-1:00 p.m.
Closed, men only
St. Matthew’s Church
1111 W. Town & Country Rd., Unit 14, Orange 92868
In the Town & Country Business Center North (look for “Gondola Subs”), around the back
Contact Casey (323) 375-7322

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Closed, mixed
Book study/Check-in
First Southern Baptist Church, Dining Room
6801 Western Ave., Buena Park, CA 90621 (just north of Orangethorpe Ave.)
Contact Maurice B. (714) 683-8663/motrago@hotmail.com or Eli R. (714) 650-0132

Sunday, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed, mixed
United Methodist Church, Room 2
13000 San Antonio Dr., Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact Eli R. (714) 650-0132 or Gary H. (562) 882-0729, email eliminatorfundeck24@gmail.com

Changes:

The Monday evening women’s book study meeting has relocated.  Please call 714-485-3655 or email womeninsaa@gmail.com for more details.

The Monday through Friday noon meetings at Mariners Church in Irvine have moved.  New location:
First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St., located at the end of the 55 Freeway across from Triangle Square; meet in the Albright Room past the restrooms.

All morning meetings at the First Methodist Church in Costa Mesa have been canceled.

The Friday morning meeting at the Alano Club has been canceled.

The Monday and Friday Long Beach meetings are no longer at Kaiser Permanente, 3900 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach.  The new meeting times and locations are:
—Monday, 7:30-8:30 pm, Mixed/Closed/Step/Tradition/Topic
Unitarian Church, 5450 Atherton St., Long Beach (just West of Bellflower Blvd.), in the Chalice Room
Contact Carole B., 562-841-4348, or e-mail CAROLEMARY@NETZERO.COM
Friday, 6:30-7:30 pm, Mixed/Closed/Step/Tradition/Topic
Unitarian Church, 5450 Atherton St., Long Beach (just West of Bellflower Blvd.) in the Chalice Room
Contact Carole B., 562-841-4348, or e-mail CAROLEMARY@NETZERO.COM

Two meetings have suspended operations until a new location is found:
Monday and Wednesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Men Only/Open/Book Study
Formerly held at 23151 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods
Call Scott, 949-547-3412 for updates

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Orange County Intergroup Officers and Committee Chairs

Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. — Tradition 2

Chair: Ron R., ocisaa.chair@gmail.com
Vice Chair: Vacant, ocisaa.vicechair@gmail.com
Digital Communications: Neal B., ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com (Assistant: Vacant, ocisaa.digicom2@gmail.com)
Inreach: Vacant, ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com
Outreach: Maurice B., ocisaa.outreach@gmail.com
Literature: Ron C., ocisaa.literature@gmail.com
Treasurer: Brian A. (Vice Treasurer: Vacant), ocisaa.treasurer@gmail.com
Secretary: Earl Q., ocisaa.secretary@gmail.com
Newsletter Editor:  Mike K., ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com
Parliamentarian: Mike K.

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Website

If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

August 2014

carry-the-messageThe purpose of our Intergroup is to more effectively reach the sex addict in the Orange County area who still suffers.  We meet the second Thursday of each month from 7:00-8:15 p.m. in the Albright Room at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St., located at the end of the 55 Freeway across from Triangle Square.  All SAA members are welcome.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  We are still a young organization and need your ideas!

My Serenity Prayer

SAA members quickly become familiar with the Serenity Prayer, which they hear at every meeting.  Recently one member found an expanded version of the prayer which adds phrases after every few words.  We decided to publish it in the newsletter because it could be meaningful for some members.  Despite the prayer’s references to God, it applies to all members’ Higher Powers, whether that be God or anything else.  Unfortunately, we don’t know the source of the revised prayer, so we cannot publish an attribution.  The prayer, with the additions italicized in parentheses, is titled “My Serenity Prayer.”

God grant me (not my spouse, my kids, or my friends)
The serenity (remaining unruffled in spite of it all)
To accept (not just endure, suffer and bear)
The things (as well as people in my life)
I cannot change (even though I’ve tried and tried),
The courage (which can only come from you, Lord)
To change the things I can (particularly about myself),
And the wisdom (this is your area too, Lord)
To know (not just guess or hope)
The difference (between your will and mine).

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Intergroup Activities

From time to time we provide updates on projects your Intergroup is working on.  Here they are:

Survey:  We are rounding up the last of our survey forms from groups and expect to publish the results in the next couple of months.  The goals of this survey are to determine how many persons are participating in SAA in the Orange County area, how they found out about SAA, how many members need sponsors, and areas that members have found problematic.

Website:  We are working on ways to increase the probability that various online searches will bring viewers to our website.  This will be done by adding keywords that result, if named in a search, to display ocisaa.org at or near the top of the first search page.  Some search terms are free, some cost money.

Therapists:  We are in the process of sending emails to therapists informing them about SAA and inviting them to receive, by email, copies of the newsletter.  We purchased a list of therapists and initially sent out 1500 emails, many of which to our surprise and disappointment were no longer valid.  We still have hundreds of valid addresses, however, and we are compiling a list of therapists who want to continue receiving the newsletter.

Retreat:  As you probably know, the retreat scheduled for August 23 had to be canceled because we lost our proposed meeting space.  We are looking for a venue to hold our next retreat, possibly in January.  The location will have to accommodate approximately 70 attendees.

We will keep you advised of our progress on these and other issues.  Thank you for your participation and contributions to the Intergroup.

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My Share

Each month, we publish a personal but anonymous story of recovery.  Stories should be written in the first person (“I”); speak from your experience, strength, and hope; and be limited to approximately one typewritten page.  Please submit your story to ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com.  We may edit submissions for reasons of space, clarity, and appropriate language.  Here is this month’s story:

Reflections After Five Years

Five years ago I was kicked out of my house.  On a short visit home I remember lying on my kid’s floor just full of sadness.  My life was so unmanageable.  Sex addiction was about ready to take everything I love away.

The acting out that led me to SAA includes compulsive masturbation, pornography, and strip clubs.  For many years I carried shame from childhood sexual events that I thought no one would ever understand.  After a few SAA meetings I quickly found out that I was not alone.  It has only been in the rooms of SAA that I’ve been able to share secrets I thought I would take to the grave.  There is such freedom in SAA, and it’s changed my life for the better.

Recovery is a continuous process for me.  It really is one day at a time, but I feel fortunate to have many tools of recovery.  Yesterday I was in an acting out city that I did not do well with on my last visit.  I was planning on going to this city alone.  I asked myself, “Do I want to go alone because I need a normal respite, or is my addict trying to isolate me?”  I had no clarity on this situation, and I resented it when I couldn’t go alone.  It was only later that I realized my Higher Power was doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Still, upon arrival in this city I felt triggers.  But instead of yielding to them, I was able to call my sponsor and another friend from the program.  That removed the remainder of the power from my addict.  What was baffling yesterday is now clear.  My addict was trying to isolate me.

Today I am home alone feeling tired and hungry, but I don’t have to surf the web for triggers.  I have tools to keep myself in my program, do service, and work on writing this short share.

This program means everything to me.  During recovery I’ve experienced many sad moments, but also many joyful moments.  Feelings are part of reality.  It’s so nice to be able to stay present with my feelings, good or bad, instead of fleeing to my addiction.  I am grateful for recovery.  Keep coming back.  This program works.

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Announcements & Newsnotes

Do You Know What “Keyword Optimization” Means?

If so, you may be able to help us.  We are looking for expertise in the area of keyword optimization and design, so our website will appear more prominently in online searches.  If you think you can help, please email Neal B. at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com or Ron R. at ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.  Thank you!

Intergroup Vacancies

Our Intergroup has two vacant positions:  Vice Chair and Inreach Coordinator.  These are great opportunities to be of service, and they require no special expertise.  The Vice Chair works with the Chair to coordinate the Intergroup’s overall activities.  It’s estimated that the Vice Chair duties take about four hours per month, plus the monthly Intergroup meeting.  The Inreach Coordinator handles Intergroup activities involving the existing SAA framework, as opposed to Outreach, which works to bring in newcomers.  The Inreach Coordinator’s duties require two (sometimes more) hours per month, plus the monthly Intergroup meeting.  If you are interested in either position and want to learn more, please contact Ron R. at ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.  Or, you may attend the next monthly Intergroup meeting on September 11.

For Residents of Newport Beach (and Those Who Like to Visit)

The SAA meetings in Newport Beach are looking to grow.  If you are in the market for a new meeting, you may want to consider attending one of these gatherings of fellow SAA members.

A Few Intergroup Representatives Still Needed

If your meeting still lacks an Intergroup rep, please tell your secretary that you need one.  For more information, contact us at ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com.  We highly recommend you find someone to fill this service position.  We also suggest if possible, that your group allocate a percentage of its donations to the Intergroup for its activities, which benefit all SAA groups in the region.

A Note to Event Promoters and Organizers: For those requesting announcements to run in our newsletter, please use the following format – and order – as much as possible:
Who: Are you a committee (of the Intergroup, for example), or an individual SAA meeting group, or another type of organization or individual?
What: Is this a workshop, breakfast, retreat, or another type of event?
Title: What is the name of your event?
When: Give the date and starting and ending times of your event.
Cost: What is the suggested contribution, or is it a set fee, or is no one turned away for lack of funds?
Description: In a sentence, or several sentences, say what is unique or especially appealing about your event.
Where: Event address, along with any cross-street info or parking tips you think are important.
More Info: Who to call for more information?  List a telephone number, email address, and/or website.
Please give us as much lead time as possible, and note that submissions are subject to editing for clarity and space.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

Thursday, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Closed, men only
707 E. Chapman, Orange 92866
Building is close to Orange Traffic Circle, white with green trim, no suite number; parking lot adjacent to building
Contact Chris B. (949) 278-3642

Friday, noon-1:00 p.m.
Closed, men only
St. Matthew’s Church
1111 W. Town & Country Rd., Unit 14, Orange 92868
In the Town & Country Business Center North (look for “Gondola Subs”), around the back
Contact Casey (323) 375-7322

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Closed, mixed
Book study/Check-in
First Southern Baptist Church, Dining Room
6801 Western Ave., Buena Park, CA 90621 (just north of Orangethorpe Ave.)
Contact Maurice B. (714) 683-8663/motrago@hotmail.com or Eli R. (714) 650-0132

Sunday, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Closed, mixed
United Methodist Church, Room 2
13000 San Antonio Dr., Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact Eli R. (714) 650-0132 or Gary H. (562) 882-0729, email eliminatorfundeck24@gmail.com

Changes:

The Monday evening women’s book study meeting has relocated.  Please call 714-485-3655 or email womeninsaa@gmail.com for more details.

The Monday through Friday noon meetings at Mariners Church in Irvine have moved.  New location:
First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St., located at the end of the 55 Freeway across from Triangle Square; meet in the Albright Room past the restrooms.

All morning meetings at the First Methodist Church in Costa Mesa have been canceled.

The Friday morning meeting at the Alano Club has been canceled.

The Monday and Friday Long Beach meetings are no longer at Kaiser Permanente, 3900 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach.  The new meeting times and locations are:
—Monday, 7:30-8:30 pm, Mixed/Closed/Step/Tradition/Topic
Unitarian Church, 5450 Atherton St., Long Beach (just West of Bellflower Blvd.), in the Chalice Room
Contact Carole B., 562-841-4348, or e-mail CAROLEMARY@NETZERO.COM
Friday, 6:30-7:30 pm, Mixed/Closed/Step/Tradition/Topic
Unitarian Church, 5450 Atherton St., Long Beach (just West of Bellflower Blvd.) in the Chalice Room
Contact Carole B., 562-841-4348, or e-mail CAROLEMARY@NETZERO.COM

Two meetings have suspended operations until a new location is found:
Monday and Wednesday, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Men Only/Open/Book Study
Formerly held at 23151 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods
Call Scott, 949-547-3412 for updates

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Orange County Intergroup Officers and Committee Chairs

Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. — Tradition 2

Chair: Ron R., ocisaa.chair@gmail.com
Vice Chair: Vacant, ocisaa.vicechair@gmail.com
Digital Communications: Neal B., ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com (Assistant: John R., ocisaa.digicom2@gmail.com)
Inreach: Vacant, ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com
Outreach: Maurice B., ocisaa.outreach@gmail.com
Literature: Ron C., ocisaa.literature@gmail.com
Treasurer: Brian A. (Vice Treasurer: Carol M.), ocisaa.treasurer@gmail.com
Secretary: Earl Q., ocisaa.secretary@gmail.com
Newsletter Editor:  Mike K., ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com
Parliamentarian: Mike K.

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Website

If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.