March 2016

 

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 Wednesday of each month from 7pm-8:30 p.m. at Lighthouse Church, 1885 Anaheim Ave., Costa Mesa CA 92627, in the Sanctuary.  All SAA members are welcome to participate.  If you can’t make it, meeting minutes are published on our website.  We want your ideas!

Annual Conference

The SAA 29th Annual Conference is rapidly approaching…May 27th – 30th, 2016 in Chi-Town…Chicago, IL. This conference is for delegates from each of the meetings to attend and provide valuable voices for their groups. Many meetings collect a donation for a separate scholarship fund which helps offset the cost incurred by their delegate. Each group has their way of getting the funds to the delegate and ISO has some funds to reimburse a portion of costs as well. Please speak with your groups and ensure your voice is heard. Also the conference is a great place to network and meet others in recovery and share stories of strength and hope in recovery.

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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:

HAPPINESS 

This month a brother in the program wanted to express his thoughts in words…he has a blog, “Farajsmusings”. This is an excerpt from his post on Happiness:

Everybody has a different definition of this word; some define it by their wealth or material possessions, some by their fun activities or spending time with friends and family, some by their spirituality and connection with a higher power. Yet there are many that claim to be unhappy, despite all that they have. So, why exactly is it hard to be happy?

I experience this kind of unhappiness from time to time. I haven’t dabbled much in drugs (and I don’t intend to do so), but the only recreational drugs that I have experimented with are tobacco and caffeine, and not at the same time. Some drugs are classified as recreational primarily because of their euphoric effects. I have experience temporary euphoria from tobacco, although it didn’t seem worth it to continue smoking because of the side effects, and also because the money I spend on cigarettes or hookah could be used elsewhere. But my intent to smoke was to mainly relieve stress I was experiencing. I’ll admit, I’m a bit stressed right now (which is why I’m writing this) and I’m really craving a cigarette, but I know I shouldn’t smoke. It may relieve the stress temporarily making me forget my problems for a little bit, but these problems surface again after the euphoria fades away. I feel unhappy afterwards. So relieving stress and the absence of stress alone don’t characterize happiness.

This could possibly be because such methods of treating stress or unhappiness only attempt to treat the symptoms, and not the cause of this unhappiness. What could the cause of unhappiness be? Could it be from circumstantial stress like work, school or family? Possibly, yes. So maybe trying to resolve those issues might help. Yet people who have little to no such problems still claim unhappiness. So there could be another component.

My theory has to do with spirituality. I don’t claim to be an expert on spirituality. As a Muslim, I don’t want to call myself devout or consistently practicing because I have certain challenges with it. But I have experienced a feeling of happiness that goes beyond euphoria when I work on my spiritual growth. An act as simple as reading from the Qur’an or prayer makes me feel a sense of peace. Some may claim that this could merely be the result of classical conditioning having been raised this way, or because of a self fulfilling prophecy, but if you think that way I ask that you keep an open mind for just a little bit till you reach the end of this essay. Many others have claimed that they feel a sense of peace with happiness, some of them having had no spirituality or religion before. You may see this as anecdotal evidence, but there has been research that suggests the positive effects of spirituality and/or spiritual practices. I would cite some research here, but I encourage you to do that research yourself and let you reach a conclusion on this matter yourself…

This writing was very uplifting…if you would like to continue reading this on Faraj’s blog, I have included the link here: http://farajsmusings.blogspot.com/2015/03/happiness.html?m=1

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Intergroup Project Updates

Survey 

We are tallying the results of the 2015 Fellowship Survey…

Retaining Newcomers

As always, we want to reach out and retain newcomers since most of us know that abstinence and sobriety is better maintained out of isolation and in the fellowship of others.  Please consider ways to retain newcomers and ensure they feel welcome as I know we all do.

Website Traffic

We continue to receive visitors to our website, http://www.ocisaa.org, with 1,196 visitors. Our website is a valuable for those in recovery as well as those seeking recovery.

Internet Keyword Search Optimization

Our internet keyword search through Google is a big success so far.  In February 2016, we had 320 clicks and 10,228 impressions which is 3,930 more than January  If you recall, the budget was $50/month and it was voted to increase this budget to $100/month to achieve even more notice.  As a result of this endeavor we are reaching a new audience which is great.  This is continuing to be a worthwhile venture and it brings the sex addict who still suffers to our page, hopefully meetings and most importantly to recovery.

The Dallas and Los Angeles Intergroups contacted us for information on this project and we happily shared our experience and success with them.

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

The OC Intergroup meeting day has changed. OC Intergroup now meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7pm at the same location, Lighthouse Church Costa Mesa in the Sanctuary.

Costa Mesa Noon Meetings

We have found a new location for the Costa Mesa Noon Meetings…
Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church located at:
2845 Mesa Verde Dr. East – Suite 4
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

  • They are also looking for speakers for Monday meetings to speak for 15 minutes on how they found recovery. Requires 6 months or more of sobriety to speak. Contact Lee at (714)318-8932 if interested.

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 one vacant position and a need for website contributors.  These are great opportunities to be of service, and they generally require little or no special expertise.

►  The Chair person is opening in February 2016. The duties generally occupy a few hours each month. The chair is also responsible for leading the monthly Intergroup meetings and providing direction for the group to ensure we are reaching everyone in recovery.

► 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 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.

► Digi Com Chair is responsible for maintaining the website and generally requires 2-4 hours each month. Attendance at the monthly Intergroup meeting is encouraged.

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


Needed:  Intergroup Representatives

Only 25% of our meetings have an intergroup rep. The commitment is approximately an hour a month for the intergroup meeting and then a report at least once a month to the group being represented. 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:

Costa Mesa (NEW LOCATION Effective Aug. 3th 2015 – formerly at First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa):  

Monday, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Men Only/Closed/Book Study
Costa Mesa Church of Christ, 287 W. Wilson Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Directions:  Between Harbor Blvd. & Fairview Ave.
For more information call 949-478-5617

Corona Del Mar (NEW LOCATION Effective Aug. 5th 2015 – formerly at First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa):
Wednesday, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Mixed/Closed/Book Study/Share
St. Michael & All Angels’ Episcopal  Church, 3233 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 (South Wing Room attached to Church – Enter thru Patio on the Right)
Directions: to be added to website soon! For more information call (949) 636-1917

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

Changes:

***Not NUTS Meeting Update!!
Moving to Church of Christ on Wed. nights from 7pm-8:30pm in the Family Room. Bill P is the contact.

***The Monday evening women’s book study meeting has relocated. The meeting time is 6:30pm-7:30pm. Please call 657-215-1252 or email saawomensgroup@gmail.com for more details.

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: Vacant, ocisaa.vicechair@gmail.com
Digital Communications: Neal B., ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com (Assistant: Reza B., ocisaa.digicom2@gmail.com)
Inreach: Frank, ocisaa.inreach@gmail.com
Outreach: Maurice B., ocisaa.outreach@gmail.com
Literature: Ron C., ocisaa.literature@gmail.com
Treasurer: Frank. (Vice Treasurer: Vacant), ocisaa.treasurer@gmail.com
Secretary: Steve W., 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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