December 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!

Coming Up in January:  Our Fifth Retreat!

The Orange County Intergroup is sponsoring its next one-day retreat on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, 420 W. 19th St.  A member is donating a 40″ large screen high definition TV to be raffled off, as well as a mystery second prize!  The program will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Typically, about three main topics are covered, two of which begin with a presentation by one member followed by breakout groups to discuss attendees’ responses to the information provided.  Often a panel discusses an issue of interest such as sponsorship, and then answers audience questions.  Other activities involve participation by everyone in attendance.  The strong fellowship in these retreats is palpable, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  They are equally beneficial for newcomers and old-timers.

These popular gatherings have attracted around 70 attendees and include breakfast and lunch.  Admission costs $25, payable via PayPal or by check.  You may also pay through your meeting’s Intergroup representative.  No-cost scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the admission fee.  Since we are catering lunch, we would appreciate your enrolling by January 18 if possible.  Please see the announcement on our website, www.ocisaa.org.

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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:

The 1000-Pound Phone

We are told from Day One that it’s important to use the telephone in our recovery.  It helps us stay in touch with our sponsor and friends we’ve made in the program.  We use it to check in with members about issues we’re facing, drawing on their experience.  We bookend certain activities to make ourselves accountable.  It can serve as a lifeline when we’re tempted to act out.  Every SAA group we know of has a phone list, and at every meeting it’s announced that the members on the list have agreed to receive calls from other members.  Yet we know that too many members don’t make these calls.

The Intergroup’s recent survey revealed that the single hardest thing for SAA members to do is use the phone.  31% of the survey respondents cited using the telephone as one of the toughest things in their recovery.  What is in the minds of members that makes it so hard to make calls?  Here are several examples:

How do I begin?
I’m pretty new in the program.  I have an issue or a question, and it’s sensitive.  But do I really want to call someone I barely know – or maybe not know at all – to discuss such a personal issue?  I’m not used to doing anything like this.  It’s scary.  How do I even start such a conversation?

I don’t want to impose
Anyone I call is likely to be occupied, and I don’t want to bother them.  I don’t want to take time out of their busy day.  They’ll probably resent it, even if they don’t say so.  Besides, it’s too early to call anyone.  Or it’s too late to call anyone.  Or it’s Sunday.  Or Tuesday.  Or whatever.

I should be able to figure this out
I’m going to appear weak or stupid if I ask anyone about this.  They’ll probably think I’m an idiot.  I should be able to answer this on my own.

I want to do this right
I’m all confused over this.  I’m not sure how to put it.  Before I call anyone, I want to make sure I’ve got it all organized in my head so I’m easily understood.  I’d better think about it.  Maybe by tomorrow I’ll know what to say.

Macho man
I’m a guy, and guys don’t share their feelings.  I don’t want to be a wimp.

It’s not important
This will probably pass very quickly.  It’s too small to call someone about.

I’ll do it at the meeting
I don’t need to call anybody now.  I’ll just wait and share it at my next meeting.

Our reluctance to make phone calls probably stems from one or more of the above.  These preconceived notions must be discarded if we are to use this valuable tool effectively.  Here are some positive ideas about using the phone to replace the old negative ones:

I’m helping by calling
When I call someone on the list, I’m helping them in their recovery.  They want to be on the list!  It gives them a chance to feel needed and to share the experience, strength, and hope they’ve received.  They will welcome my call.  If it comes at a bad time, they’ll say so and call me back.  I can even leave a message if they don’t answer.  How great is that?

It’s OK just to jump in
I don’t have to be perfect at this.  Something’s bothering me, or I have a question.  It will never get answered if I don’t ask it.

I’ll improve with experience
I’m not sure what to say or how to say it, but that’s OK.  It happens with everyone.  As I use the phone more, I’ll get better and more comfortable with it.  These guys have been through it; they know where I’m coming from.

I don’t know everything, and that’s OK
I’m being unfairly hard on myself when I think that I shouldn’t need any help.  That’s part of my addiction.  Everyone on the planet needs help sometimes.

Real men share their feelings
It’s healthy for me to express my emotions and problems.  Maybe I wasn’t allowed to do this when I was young, but now I can.  It’s part of taking care of myself.

Everything is important
The problem I have may be trivial by some standards, but it bothers me, and that makes it important enough to call someone about it.  It’s the feelings I’m having.  Feelings are important, even if they involve a trivial situation.

I don’t have to wait
This is really bothering me.  It doesn’t have to languish until my next meeting.  Why torture myself unnecessarily?  I’ll call now.

It’s often said that our best thinking got us into SAA.  For many of us, negativity about using the telephone may fall into this category.  If you don’t use this tool now, we suggest you set aside your reasons for not doing so and look for reasons why it would be good for you.  Take the advice of many others who have sustained success in their recovery:  Use the phone!  It’s important!

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Intergroup Project Updates

Internet Keyword Search Optimization

We are working toward directing certain Internet searches to our website, using key words and phrases to do so.  Examples are “massage parlor reviews” and “can’t stop watching porn.”  In addition, we are working on inserting key words into recovery stories to help addicts find our program.  Google has approved our search terms and key words, and we are making payment arrangements.

Craigslist

As of December 11, we have received seven responses to ads we placed for SAA on the Orange County Craigslist website.  This is a promising area to keep a (healthy) eye on.

Retention of SAA Members

Anyone who has attended SAA groups for very long knows that some members are in for the long term, but too many others attend a few meetings and leave.  At the December 11 Intergroup meeting we discussed ways to help and encourage new members to keep coming back, and came up with the following suggestions:

►  After-meeting fellowships such as coffee or lunch.
►  Establish a group service position of Sponsorship Coordinator.
►  Encourage members to speak with newcomers before and after meetings, welcoming them and asking if they have any questions.
►  Volunteer your phone number or give them a phone list with your number checked.
►  Hold a special meeting for newcomers.
►  Offer to call the newcomer in a few days to ask how they’re doing.

We expect more to come in this area.  If you would like to contribute your ideas or experience, please attend our next Intergroup meeting on January 8, or you may submit them to ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com or to your group’s Intergroup representative.

 

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Announcements & Newsnotes

Intergroup Vacancies

Our Intergroup has three vacant positions and a need for website contributors.  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 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 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.

►  We are looking for website contributors of any kind, including those who are willing to learn.

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 January 8.

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.

Thanks for Your Donations!

We are grateful for the support we receive from the Orange County area SAA meetings.  As you can see from all our activities listed in this newsletter, we are putting your donations to good use.  We encourage you to attend our monthly meetings and voice your ideas.

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 – if anything – 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: Whom 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 early 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: Reza B., 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.

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