August 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!

REMINDER: Bi-Annual Retreat

DON’T forget to mark your calendars for our next OCISAA retreat which is planned for Saturday, September 24 at the Lighthouse Church located at 1885 Anaheim Ave., Costa Mesa CA 92627 from 9am-5pm. The cost is $25 which includes Continental Breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks. Scholarships are available. Payments may be made through PayPal on our website or you can mail checks to our P.O. Box – OCISAA P.O. Box 12424 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (please indicate “retreat” on the check).

Retreats are great for fellowship and a strong outer circle activity. Come connect with others and hear their successes and struggles and how we can help each other. Als0, unbelievably, we are heading toward the holidays which can be trying times for many of us. Gain valuable tools for the holidays and maybe even establish a fellowship to keep you out of isolation.

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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:

 OK, I APOLOGIZED, NOW WHAT ABOUT YOUR PART?

Me:  “Honey, I scraped the car door driving into the garage.  I’m sorry.”

Her:  “Oh my darling, I’m sorry.  I had stuff spread all over the garage floor.  You wouldn’t have scraped the door if I had given you more room.  It’s partly my fault.”

It doesn’t often work like that, does it?  More likely we’ll hear, “Well, that was pretty stupid.  Now you’ve got to get the door fixed.”

This article is about a frustration many of us share during recovery.  We apologize to someone about our part in a situation, but the person we’re apologizing to doesn’t acknowledge their part.  We want so badly to hear their apology, but it just doesn’t happen very often.

As a reminder, here are the steps that apply to this discussion:

Step 9:  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10:  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

During my early recovery, my therapist and I were discussing relationships.  I told him how my wife was angry, and how she found fault with many things I said and did.  He explained that her anger was expected, but if she stayed with me it would likely diminish.  However, it would take some time.  He gave me tips on how to deal with her anger in a constructive way, but he added that sometimes I would just have to take it.  He said the best thing I could do at times was simply to tell my wife that I was sorry I had hurt her so deeply, and I was working hard never to hurt her again.

Over time, my therapist gave me more pointers on improving my relationship skills with my wife.  I went home and used them, but often my wife didn’t respond the way she “should,” according to what the therapist told me was the ideal way for things to work.   When I complained to my therapist about this, he replied that our spouses don’t know the rules, nor do they necessarily feel obligated to follow them even if we plead, “But my therapist said…”  Interestingly, as time passed, my wife did begin using some of the relationship skills suggested by my therapist.  But not right away.  I remember her using the word “psychobabble” critically several times.  Now I know it was probably because she was still angry.

At this stage, my relationship with my wife has greatly improved.  I am so grateful.  Still, she sometimes has difficulty seeing, much less acknowledging, that her actions played a part in something for which I am apologizing to her.  I have had to accept it as a part of her that probably won’t change.  It’s either that or hold grudges against her.

I must remember that spouses and partners are human.  Like us, they’re not perfect.  And they have every right to be angry at us – which, hopefully, diminishes over time as we continue our recovery.  I believe that anger, though greatly reduced, may still play a role in their reluctance or inability to see their part.  Or, it’s also possible that it’s just the way they are.  In either case, I believe it’s something we need to accept.

I prefer to believe that my wife’s not seeing her role in some things is just part of her make-up.  My wife, as someone in SAA told me, is a package deal.  I love her, and I can accept her character flaws because they are dwarfed by her good qualities.  Hopefully she can do the same with me.

When I’m upset with my wife, it helps if I write a gratitude list about her.  Looking at all those good things makes me more willing to accept her imperfections.  It’s good for my recovery.

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Intergroup Project Updates

Survey 

AND now for the long awaited survey results…

– 152 people took the survey with 146 males and 5 females responding
–   16 people found SAA through acting out, while 94 found us while looking
for help which is up 17% from last year.
–   49 came to us from therapists up 5% from 2014.
–   Referrals were down 6% with 33 being referred.

What kept most coming back was a connection to a share, hearing someone else’s story with 80 responses. We know the power of hearing others going through the same thing we are. Hearing the similar despair and longing for a better path. 27 came back because they were greeted…very important because we all understand that it is a huge step to just walk in to a meeting of strangers and utter those three words for the first time.

The most most popular meeting formats (in order of most popular to least popular) were shares-106, speaker-52, book study-48, step study-47, mixed-23, meditation-17 and other-14.

Thank you to everyone who participated and provided data for the survey and a big thank you to everyone involved in getting this survey out to everyone and compiling the results. If you have questions please let us know.

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 1,350 visitors and 743 people actively looking through the site and primarily using the meeting location tab.   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 June 2016, we had 410 clicks and 14,553 impressions (missing July results at time of writing). 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.

We will also be adding word search terms for women who are suffering from this addiction. We have received several contacts from women through the adword project.

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 & News Notes

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 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 in Huntington Beach.  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: Frank S., 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: Phil G. (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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