May 2015

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 7:15-8:30 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 to participate.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  We want your ideas!

The 12th Step and Service

In recovery we come to a point of clarity and find ourselves ready to serve others in many ways.  We share our story with others, we listen to each other and many of us find that choosing a service position whether within our own meeting group or in the larger Intergroup satisfies our desire to continually practice the 12th step which states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in our lives.” (SAA Green Book).  While service comes in many forms for everyone, serving the Intergroup provides service to our entire community.  Without the Intergroup service positions this website would not exist and neither would the network and ease of finding a meeting.  Service to others allows us to come out of isolation and break the cycle.  It allows us to remember that others are depending on us to help in their recovery.

The Orange County Intergroup has several service positions available, which are highlighted in the Intergroup Announcements/Newsnotes later in this newsletter.  As you read and digest this month’s newsletter, take a moment and consider serving in any capacity, no matter how small or how large, knowing that your service is helping make recovery possible for many.

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My Share

Each month, we publish a personal but anonymous story of recovery.  It can be either an autobiography or about a subject important to your recovery.  Stories should be written in the first person (“I”) and speak from your experience, strength, and hope.  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 Pink Cloud

I didn’t join SAA because I was tired of acting out, I came with my tail between my legs after my wife caught me acting out.  I was distraught and desperate.  I didn’t want to lose my marriage.  In such a mental state, I had no desire to act out.  That was the last thing on my mind.

Actually, I didn’t come to SAA directly.  I went to counseling.  The counselor said he would only continue seeing me if I joined a 12-step sex addiction recovery group.  At my first meeting, I knew I belonged there, although it took three meetings with three different 12-step groups to decide that SAA would be the best group for me.

I began attending SAA meetings regularly, still scared out of my mind.  I got a sponsor and started working the steps.  Two months into the program, my mind was still somewhat reeling, but I was making good progress in my recovery.  My wife began to defrost, and I still didn’t want to act out.  That was great!

Things continued that way for awhile.  My relationship with my wife improved even more, and I completed Step 3 and began work on Step 4.  Life was great.  Then it happened, and it happened because life was great.

I began thinking that I had mostly recovered from my disease.  Perhaps more important, my wife and I were friends again.  I was no longer desperate, no longer afraid.  I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but the Pink Cloud was gone.  In fact, I didn’t even hear that term until I’d been in the program for a couple of years.  So what’s the Pink Cloud?

The Pink Cloud is that period in early recovery when we don’t want to act out because we’re so desperate and afraid.  The length of time can vary, but most of us are on this cloud for a spell.  It’s important to know this is temporary.  It’s just a cloud, and clouds evaporate.  Mine did, and I landed with a resounding thud.  Had I stuck with the program, I could have floated down like a feather.

I grew overconfident; and like many of us who fall off the wagon, I only wanted to do what I thought was the minimum necessary for my recovery.  (I have since discovered, the hard way, that my minimum is not enough.  I forgot that my “best thinking” got me into SAA.)  I stopped calling my sponsor as often, then stopped calling him altogether.  I stopped working on my 4th Step.  I began dabbling in my middle circle, which led inevitably back to my inner circle.  Which eventually got me caught again by my wife.  Which put me back on the Pink Cloud.

It took more than once on this merry-go-round, but I eventually learned to take the program seriously enough to land on my feet once my Pink Cloud evaporated.  And as the Promises promise, I see things more clearly now that used to baffle me.  One is the Pink Cloud.

The Pink Cloud is valuable.  It allows us time to get a good start on recovery before we’re tempted to act out again.  But we need to know that it’s temporary.  When we share at meetings, or if we sponsor others, we can tell them to expect the cloud to go away and the desire to act out to return.  In my experience, if I learn something in advance, I can cope with it better when it happens.

That’s what I know about the Pink Cloud.  Now if someone can just tell me why it’s pink????

 

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Intergroup Project Updates

Retaining Newcomers

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.  It makes sense that if someone keeps attending meetings, he or she is more likely to make progress in recovering from their sex addiction.  The Orange County Intergroup solicited suggestions from the SAA fellowship to encourage newcomers to keep returning.  The resulting list was published in the March 2015 SAA Newsletter, available elsewhere on this website.  Intergroup representatives were also given copies to distribute at their home meetings.  If you think of more ways to “keep ’em coming back,” please let us know.

Spanish-Speaking Outreach

We are unaware of any Spanish-language SAA meetings in the Orange County area.  We added a Spanish translation of the “12 & 12” to our website and we now have a location for a Spanish-speaking meeting, details to follow.   We welcome your suggestions.

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 keywords.  At a recent meeting, we approved a 30-day test run.  We will inform you of the results.

Craigslist

The responses continue to ads we placed for SAA on the Orange County Craigslist website.  Sex addicts going there to act out are being presented with an opportunity for recovery, and for some of them, it’s working!

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Announcements & Newsnotes

August Retreat

The retreat location is being finalized, check back for location details.  If you have topic suggestions or if you would like to lead a discussion group, please attend the next Intergroup meeting on June 11, or email your suggestions to ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.

A Message for Sponsors

We suggest you consider stressing to your sponsees the importance of service work such as volunteering for positions at their meetings.  Early in recovery, service work gives recovering sex addicts something to feel good about when they need it most.  Later on, it becomes Step 12 work, a very healthy activity and again a builder of self-esteem.  Some sponsors we know feel so strongly about it that they advise their sponsees either to fill a service position or find another sponsor!

Intergroup Vacancies

Our Intergroup has four 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 such as preparing the monthly agenda and helping with surveys.  It’s estimated that Vice Chair duties take about 2-4 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 Intergroup funds.  The duties generally occupy minimal time – just an hour most months.  Attendance at the monthly Intergroup meeting is encouraged.  This position requires one year of abstinence.

►  The Parliamentarian keeps order in the monthly Intergroup meetings (according to Robert’s Rules of Order, but detailed knowledge is unnecessary) and also leads a short discussion about one of the 12 Traditions each month.

►  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 June 11.

Needed:  Intergroup Representatives

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 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:

Wednesday, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Men only/Closed
Pines Park, 34941 Camino Capistrano, CA 92624
Directions: From the 5 Freeway head south on Camino De Estrella towards Coast Highway, turn right on to Camino Capistrano. Parking will be on the street on Camino Capistrano…….the meeting is held at the upper Park at the south end.
For more information call (949) 547-4498.

Wednesday, 5:00-6:00pm
Closed, men only
1900 E. 4th St., Conference Room 2A, Santa Ana 92705
Free parking in structure
Contact Frank P. (949) 842-3454

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

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 Tuesday morning 6:30 a.m. meeting at the First Methodist Church in Costa Mesa has 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

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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: Vacantocisaa.vicechair@gmail.com
Digital Communications: Neal B., ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com (Assistant: Reza B., ocisaa.digicom2@gmail.com)
Inreach: Vacantocisaa.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:  Mark D., ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com
Parliamentarian: Vacant

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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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