September 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!

COSA/SAA Meeting

 

There will be a COSA/SAA meeting on Sunday October 16th, 2016 from 8:30am to 1pm at the Duck Club in Irvine. The topic is “Finding Power in Powerlessness.” We are looking for volunteers from our fellowship to speak on the topic. Speakers should have one year or more of time in the program.

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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:

 Outer Circle

I came to SAA a mess of a person. My life was falling apart…personally and professionally. I was confronted by my then, wife about pornography and what I later determined to be my inner circle activities. My marriage was hanging by a thread and I still didn’t stop acting out. I started going to SAA but it wasn’t on my own will, initially, which makes a huge difference in recovery. Meeting after meeting I sat there wanting to stop but not wanting to stop. My addiction was a pain reliever, stress reducer and numbed the pressure of my life. Why would I give that up? How would I move forward without it? Reality set in, I would have to face life and its challenges without the crutch of my addiction. I wound up divorced and still working toward this seemingly unattainable sobriety.

I had created my circles and thought long and hard about them. The inner circle was all about toxic behavior and things that I needed to grasp an understanding of in order to overcome. The Outer Circle was easy…all the things that brought joy, elation, new methods of stress relief. The middle circle was the tough part.  This was the place that led to the dangerous inner circle. Identifying behaviors, patterns, actions, emotions, people and stressors took a painstaking toll. This part required me to deal with the things I used my addiction to escape from.

After some time, I finally was ready to confront my addiction. I started attending meetings with a new determination and purpose. I researched and scheduled an assessment with an sex addiction specialist. Even if circumstances and other parties seem to have been a part of that, I know for myself that I did it because I was ready to confront my addiction. I was ready for freedom!

Having some sobriety in recovery, I have learned to fully enjoy life. I am not isolating, I am enjoying the things I love to do. I am present for my kids and loving the feeling of being present. When I’m stressed I take a drive with my camera and roll the windows down to feel the breeze on my face. I pluck (not well) at the guitar, swing the golf clubs a little better, spend less money and live more responsibly. Through my Outer Circle I have learned a great deal about myself and gained sobriety which has led to a much joy. I am fully present in life including a new relationship which is truly a beautiful thing. Watching my kiddos play, enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck, playing a game of hide and seek or watching the waves crash on the sand…My Outer Circle has allowed me to refine myself as a person and recovering sex addict.

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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 1,400 views and 830 people visited and 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 August 2016, we had 494 clicks and 14,735 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.

To date (since June 2015) we have had 276,861 impressions and 6,390 clicks. The impressions are what pops up when someone types in keywords that we have added to Google Adwords. The clicks are visits to our page. This endeavor has had a large impact on reaching the sex addict who still suffers.

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 elections are coming up in November. All positions except the Chair positions are up for election. 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

We still need Intergroup reps.  Currently 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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