August 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!

6th Bi-Annual Retreat

The 6th bi-annual retreat will be held at Mary & Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday August 30th, 2015 from 9am to 5pm.  Details are on under the Upcoming Retreat tab.

As most of you are aware, the meeting location at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa is no longer available due to a parking lot expansion project.  We know this location facilitated numerous meetings and your OCI Intergroup is working very hard to fill this gap.  If you know of a location close by that would host a weekly meeting, please let us know.

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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 Struggle to Stay

She said that I might be a sex addict; that what I was doing was compulsive. She asked if I knew about 12 step programs; then, said it was for my best interest. I was dumbfounded and immediately defended myself stating that just because I am a gay man that does not make me a sex addict. Then, she explained how going to meetings could benefit the difficult situation that my acting out had put me in; so I agreed to look into meetings. She handed me an attendance sheet titled “self-help meeting record”. The fear I felt was deep, so I did what many addicts do – I embraced denial. I denied she knew better, I denied I had lost control, I denied I had a problem. Furthermore, I rationalized that going to meetings were to appease her: not help me. Basically, I did not first enter the rooms of SAA for myself but for someone else.

After a limited Google search for Sex Anonymous meetings, I ended up at a meeting more than 30 miles away, upstairs with 3 men telling their stories and asking me 25 probing questions. Am I addicted to porn? Do I cheat on my partner? Do I have a secret email account? Strippers? Prostitutes? All that was missing was a overhead light and a two way mirror. I left the three guys vowing to return next week, while secretly vowing to myself never to return. I felt like hiding from shame. I felt like a predator. Then I googled different types of anonymous meeting for sexual addiction. Sex Addiction Anonymous (SAA) meetings met on a night as another meeting I go to. SAA seemed to approach sex addiction from a healthy sex perspective, so I went with the paper in hand. I lurked in the parking lot, then left. I did that for 3 weeks before I walked to the door.  A man walked up behind me and opened the door and said this is Sex Addicts Anonymous, would you like to come in? I did.

I didn’t have to identify. So, I didn’t. I didn’t have to pay money. I didn’t have to share. I didn’t have to talk to anyone afterward. I did need my attendance sheet signed. It was. I was handed a small packet of pamphlets. I took them. I left. I ran. I parked under a street lamp and read a pamphlet defining SAA’a approach to sex addiction. I related to the description of a possible sex addict. I read about SAA’s concept of the 3 circles. I learned that I did not have to give up sex altogether like other programs. Over the following week, I thought about the suggestion for someone to attend 6 meetings before making a decision if SAA was right for them. So I went back. Each week I walked in late. I didn’t say a word. I got the paper signed. I left. During this time. I was still chatting on line, hanging out in bookstores, and getting massages. Something felt off. These men were talking about acting out behaviors and emotions and taking positive actions to avoid exactly what I was doing. My denial started to crack. I could see myself in their stories; yet, they never told me that I was an addict. They treated me well. They never pushed me. They allowed me space to find out for myself that I was a sex addict lost in my addiction, hopelessly using people so I did not have to feel anything. And when I felt great, overwhelming shame because of my actions, I opened my mouth and told them what I was doing. I saw heads nodding. I heard them say “yup”. And when I finished the men on either side of me shook my hand, welcomed me, and told me that I had done a good job and that they looked forward to seeing me next week. No pressure. No judgment. No criticism. No interrogation. I was in a room of men who understood and accepted me – faults and all – and wanted to help me recover.

Two and half years later I have a sponsor, I am working steps and have been sober 5 months. Recovery takes time and a willingness to stay. When you stay, honesty develops, actions change, and your self-value increases. I had to stay to realize I was a sex addict. I stay because I am a sex addict. I stay because sobriety not only helps me be a better man, but a better partner, and better member of society.

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Intergroup Project Updates

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.

Spanish-Speaking Outreach

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

Our internet keyword search through Google is a big success so far.  In July 2015 we had 22,780 impressions, 500 click throughs and our landing page traffic was 581 up from from just 55 in May 2015 when we started this.  To date we have spent approximately $300 and there is discussion on a max monthly amount which will be determined soon.  This is a worthwhile venture and it brings the sex addict who still suffers to our page, hopefully meetings and most importantly to recovery.

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 August retreat as mentioned above is Sunday August 30th, 2015 from 9am to 5pm at Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes.  See Upcoming Retreat tab on OCISAA.org for details.

Costa Mesa Meetings

We have found some new locations to replace those that were being held at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa.  The new locations are posted on the Meetings tab and are listed as replacements when you go through the list.  We still do not have a confirmed location for the noon meetings that had been held there.  Please keep checking the website for updates.

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 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 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 Treasurer manages the 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 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.

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

Treasurer and Secretary will be coming due in the next few months so if you are feeling the urge to fulfill the 12th tradition…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 September 10th, location TBD.

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

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: 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:  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.

July 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!

6th Bi-Annual Retreat

The 6th bi-annual retreat will be held at Mary & Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sunday August 30th, 2015 from 9am to 5pm.  Details are on under the Upcoming Retreat tab but for ease they will also be posted here.

As we approach the retreat we eagerly await the chance to meet and form new bonds as well as embrace the fellowships we have already established. We find comfort within our fellowships and know there are others whom have faced this disease and battled to find sobriety which brings hope to many of us. The retreats allow us to further our recovery and give us one more day of sobriety.  Please mark your calendars and join the hope and strength and fellowship on August 30th.
Where:       Mary & Joseph Retreat Center
                      5300 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
When:        SUNDAY, August 30th, 2015
Time:          9:00am to 5:00pm
Cost:           $20 (Lunch NOT Provided)
Capacity:  *** Limited to 50 People.  First 50 people to pay will get the spots ****

* You will be on your own for lunch, we are not allowed to bring catered food in (except for snacks).  You may also pack a brown bag lunch and eat on the premises. 

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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:

 

HOPE

What do we seek to find in recovery? What is it that brings us back?

Hope…hope is what we find bringing us back. Hope is what brings us out of the shadows. We find others in recovery with sobriety that give us hope that we too, can overcome this disease.  We find hope through others stories and gain a new understanding of ourselves in the process.  Let us find find hope through the steps and through fellowship. Share your hope to encourage others…thats what brought me back again and again. That hope I felt is why I am on the road to recovery and can say I am a recovering sex addict.

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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 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.  Since May 2015 there have been 36,000 impressions and 360 click throughs. In other words, it has been successful and we will be moving ahead with this and implementing a spending cap.

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 August retreat as mentioned above is Sunday August 30th, 2015 from 9am to 5pm at Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes.  See Upcoming Retreat tab on OCISAA.org for details.

Costa Mesa Meetings to End

As you may or may not be aware we will be losing our meeting space at the First Methodist Church of Costa Mesa where we hold our monthly intergroup meetings and several daily and weekly meetings. This is due to the church deciding to add more parking and most of the groups, not just ours, will have to find other locations.  Several locations are being finalized and a full list will available in the upcoming August newsletter as well as on the main site.

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.

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

Treasurer and Secretary will be coming due in the next few months so if you are feeling the urge to fulfill the 12th tradition…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 August 13th.

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:

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: 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:  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.

June 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 last month’s newsletter we discussed Service and this lead article ran…I feel it is important and will run it once more this month hoping to spark someone’s desire to serve. In addition we are ramping up for the August Retreat…more details will be available soon. As of right now, it appears the retreat will be held at Mariner’s Church however no firm confirmation was available as of this writing. Retreats are great opportunities to connect with others in recovery and pick up additional tools. They allow us to find new outer circle activities and avoid isolating ourselves. Check back for details or check-in at a meeting.  Thank you for letting me be of 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:

Forward Progress

Progress is defined, in part, by the Webster’s Dictionary as a forward or onward movement (as to an objective or to a goal). If we think of this forward or onward movement in terms of recovery we can begin to realize the fulfillment of The Promises of SAA.  SAA embraces progress when we say one day at a time.  Its this progress thing that becomes lost when we begin the recovery journey.  I’m a perfectionist, a true defect of character and dangerous in recovery as well as life in general since there is no such thing as “perfect” in real life.

When I came to SAA six years ago, I was ready to enter recovery however I had this idea that I needed to be perfect.  I strived to maintain some sobriety but i couldn’t manage more than a week of solid sobriety.  The addiction had taken hold and instead of focusing on restarting my time and giving myself some credit, I saw this as a failure. That drove me right back into acting out further since stress, feelings of failure, etc caused me to act out in the first place. As I put more time into recovery and the program, I began to realize my defects including the perfectionism. The light flicked on and allowed me a new perspective, one that allowed me to refocus the perfect vision to a vision of measuring success and failure. I accepted that failures were bound to occur, without being negative. I realized that success was knowing when I entered the inner circle and pulled myself out, success was when I had 60 days of sobriety and acted out only to reset the clock and not get down on myself as I gained more knowledge.  This wasn’t an excuse for acting out by any means.  To me success is progress, progress is success…Progress is learning from failure and moving forward, not dwelling on it.

Progress is accepting failure and striving to better your position through lessons learned. There are plenty of failures in the world, but those failures are what provided us with many great innovations…failures that gave the innovators more knowledge and the ability to  make progress toward successfully delivering us their creativity, ingenuity and inventions that dramatically changed our way of life. I’m reminded of a few quotes by Thomas Edison:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Edison’s view of failure is one of forward thinking and seeing failure as an opportunity to make progress toward success.  Like Edison, we find ways that won’t work for us, but if try just one more time we might find that way that works for us and carries us forward in recovery.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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 people with website experience 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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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:  Mark D., ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com
Parliamentarian: Vacant

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Website

If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

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.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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????

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Website

If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

April 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!

Wanted:  Topics for Our Next Retreat

We are currently preparing for our next retreat in August.  Retreats are a great way to find strength, hope, and courage while creating friendships and recovery.  Our last retreat in January 2015 had 50 attendees from Southern California.  The topic was “ISOLATION:  Causes and Cures” which highlighted a major component to our disease and ways to emerge from it.  Retreats are packed with great recovery opportunities and feature speakers, workshops, discussions, and panels, plus food!  The raffle prizes during the January retreat were two high definition LCD TVs…great prizes just in time for the Super Bowl.  We look forward to seeing everyone for fellowship, recovery, and hope.  The date and location are still being worked out with details coming soon.

We are soliciting suggestions for the main topic, or topics, to be featured at our next retreat.  What would you like to learn more about?  Or is there a subject you would like to present to others because you have learned a lot about it?  Here are some of the suggestions we have received so far:

►  How acting out affects my job/career
►  Sponsorship
►  The amends steps (8 and 9)
►  From inner to outer circle
►  Stepwork – why we have trouble moving forward (ed. note:  see the next article)
►  Shame and guilt
►  How and why to keep coming back
►  Honesty
►  Sharing with fellow sex addicts
►  Being of service/service positions
►  Fellowship
►  Support from/relationships with family and friends
►  Recognition of myself in others who are managing to stay sober
►  Not giving up
►  Openness
►  Acceptance
►  What happens before and after group meetings
►  How to organize and conduct a timely and educational SAA meeting
►  How to help others, e.g. hearing their story; taking the time; being friendly, helpful, and nonjudgmental

If you have further suggestions or if you would like to lead a discussion group, please attend the next Intergroup meeting on May 14, or email your suggestions to ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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:

Working the Steps:  Why Are They So Darned Steep? (and How I Climbed Them Anyway)

In the last Intergroup survey, working the steps was the second most prevalent problem for SAA members, right behind using the phone.  One-fourth of all respondents listed stepwork as one of the two toughest things in their recovery.  Some members cited stepwork in general; others, specific steps such as 1, 4, 9, or 12.

Me?  I bogged down on Step Four.  After joining a group and getting a sponsor, I conscientiously completed Steps 1, 2, and 3.  My life was better.  My relationship with my wife had improved.  I hadn’t acted out since my recovery began.  But man!  Step Four looked like a mountain.  Lots of lists, lots of columns, lots of work for someone who was doing so well in his recovery, I thought.  I began working on the step, but the incentive – the desperation – was gone; so I slowed down, then stopped.  When my wife asked why I wasn’t working on my steps, I said she needn’t worry.  Look at our relationship, I said.  I’m not acting out, I said.  Don’t worry, honey, I’ll complete the steps eventually.  But there’s no hurry.   I’m sure I’ll get something from the last nine steps, but I’m already enjoying most of the benefits from what I’ve already done.

I believed that myself, sort of.  I wanted to believe it, anyway.  But, overconfident, I fell victim to a common tendency among us recovering sex addicts:  to do the least we think necessary in order to stay abstinent.  Unfortunately, that is never enough.  I stopped calling my sponsor.  I began to dabble in my middle circle.  One day there I was, back in my inner circle, where I stayed for a year and a half until my wife caught me acting out.  Again.  I felt so low, so ashamed, so afraid.  Why my wife stuck with me is a miracle, but that’s another story.

My desperation had returned.  I called my sponsor, who was surprised to hear from me.  He suggested, in his insistent way, that I resume my stepwork.  This time he structured it for me:  15 minutes a day, no more, no less, no days off.  I protested:  Why can’t I do more if I feel like it?  15 minutes a day, no more, no less, no days off.  But it’ll take most of that time to review my previous work!  15 minutes a day, no more, no less, no days off.  What if I’m on vacation?  Sick?  Visiting friends?  15 minutes a day, no more, no less, no days off.  I thought I was talking to a broken record, but eventually he continued, saying he expected me to call him every day with a status report.  This time, I knew better than to protest.  His broken-record answer would always be every day, every day, every day.

I took up Step Four again.  Funny thing was, the step didn’t seem such a mountain anymore.  All I had to do was make a bit of progress each day.  I completed it and began the next step.  It wasn’t overwhelming, either.  Johnny Cash did a song, “One Piece at a Time,” in which, one by one, he gradually stole enough parts from his auto manufacturer employer to build a whole car.  The Johnny Cash approach worked for me.  It took about eight months to complete the last nine steps, 15 minutes a day, no more, no less, no days off.  And man, I felt good!!!

I learned a lot from each one of the 12 Steps, more than I thought I would.  Now I can apply the steps to my daily life and help others do the same.  That is so important in maintaining my sobriety.  How could I ever have believed otherwise?  Actually, that’s easy.  My addict is a clever S.O.B. and will fool me if it can.  And it did.  Working the steps daily – all 12 of them – helps me recognize my devious devil’s antics and gives me tools to keep the devil at bay.

Doing what my sponsor asked, even when I questioned his wisdom at times, taught me a valuable lesson in humility.  Sticking to his instructions every day without fail taught me a valuable lesson in self-discipline.  These bonuses were unexpected, and I didn’t realize I’d received them until it was over.  And that’s another valuable lesson:  Working on my program gives me unanticipated benefits.  I like pleasant surprises!

So many sex addicts have problems working the 12 Steps, and I was one of them.  I learned that no step has to be an intimidating mountain, not even all 12 steps together.  For me, the answer was to build my car one piece at a time, 15 minutes a day, no more, no less, no days off.  Vrooooooooom!!!!!!!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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 are looking for a location for a Spanish-speaking meeting, most likely in Santa Ana.  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!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Announcements & Newsnotes

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 May 14.

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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: Vacant

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Website

If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

March 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!

Newcomers:  Bringing Them Back for More

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 is found below.  We suggest that you, either individually or as a group, consider the following measures to retain new members.

Actions you can take as an individual:
►  Welcome the newcomers during your shares.
►  Speak with newcomers before and/or after meetings, welcoming them and asking if they have any questions.
►  Invite the newcomer to join you for after-meeting fellowships such as coffee or lunch, if the group has them.
►  Offer to have coffee with them after the meeting, or to meet for coffee before the next meeting.
►  Volunteer your phone number, or give them a phone list with your number checked, or offer to exchange phone numbers.
►  Offer to call the newcomer in a few days to ask how they’re doing and answer any questions.
►  Volunteer to be a newcomer’s temporary sponsor if you think it’s appropriate.
►  If you serve as your group’s Literature Coordinator, put together packages of the most appropriate free brochures and a phone list, and give those to each newcomer – possibly during chip presentations so they don’t leave before you have a chance.

Actions requiring a group conscience:
►  Establish a group service position of Greeter before the meetings, especially welcoming to newcomers.
►  Establish a Welcoming Committee for newcomers.
►  Establish a group service position of Sponsorship Coordinator to help newcomers find a sponsor and answer their questions.  The Sponsorship Coordinator could also give the newcomer an informal “business card” with the coordinator’s name, phone number, and email.
►  Hold a special meeting for newcomers.

If you have more ideas on how to retain newcomers, please attend our next Intergroup meeting, or you may submit them to ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com or to your group’s Intergroup representative.  Thank you!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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:

What We’ve Got Here Is a Failure to Communicate

The title of this piece is a line spoken by Strother Martin in the classic 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke” starring Paul Newman, and it describes one of our major issues in recovering from sex addiction.  As addicts we isolate, which obviously restricts communication.  We also keep secrets.  This, too, restricts communication.  And we lie, likewise bad for communication.  Gosh, we’re not very good communicators!  And why should we be?  As addicts, we don’t want to be found out.  The secrecy, lies and isolation are necessary.  Over time, these characteristics become so instilled that we practice them instinctively.  But in recovery we realize the harm these things have done to ourselves and those around us.  We learn the value – the necessity – of good, honest communication, and we gain the willingness to change.

Eliminating isolation, secrets and lies from our lives can be scary.  It requires sharing intimate information; it requires vulnerability.  For many of us, our vulnerability was violated in the past, which makes us afraid to be vulnerable now.  We may have been physically or verbally abused by our parents or others close to us.  Maybe we were molested or raped by an older person.  Perhaps our trust was betrayed.  We might have suffered from others’ harsh judgment.  Fortunately, the SAA program offers opportunities to improve our communication in a safe, non-threatening environment.  This has been extremely important for me, since I was one whose vulnerability was violated as a child.

One of the first things that struck me in SAA was how freely and honestly other addicts shared at meetings.  I was amazed the first time I heard someone talk about their compulsive masturbation and the accompanying rituals.  I quickly learned that I could share openly at meetings without fearing judgment from my fellows.  I also learned that exposing my secret life to others in a safe setting was helpful in maintaining my abstinence.

Some of my secrets, though, were so scary that I couldn’t even share them at meetings.  I found that I could talk about them with my sponsor, though.  I was able to tell him things that I never thought I would be able to share with anyone, ever.  He didn’t judge me.  He reassured me that in working the 12 Steps, I would be able to deal with all of my issues in a safe environment.  He was right.

I began to look at my life, finding that my addictive tendency toward isolation, lies and secrets was affecting my communication with others more than I thought.  For example, I would say to myself, “They don’t need to know that” when actually they did.  While not an overt lie, it amounted to the same thing; and it certainly was a secret.  I began sharing my feelings with my wife, who had miraculously stuck with me.  I found that making myself vulnerable brought us closer together.  And why wouldn’t it?  She was learning more about the real me, the person with fears and sensitivities and admitted imperfections.  It made me more human to her.

For me personally, therapy has also been an important way to improve communication.  My wife and I have different ways of dealing with conflicts, actually talking on different levels (neither one better or worse).  Through therapy I learned how to engage less destructively.  We still argue sometimes, but the arguments are fewer and shorter.  I’m still working on some of my character defects that cause arguments in the first place.  I gently remind myself that it’s progress, not perfection.

I’ve learned that isolation, secrets and lies not only facilitated my addiction but harmed my relationships as well.  I’ve learned that it’s good for me to bring things out that in the past I would have kept to myself.  I ask myself questions like, “Have I said that to my wife?  Wouldn’t that would be a good idea?  Don’t I think she’d appreciate hearing that?  Wouldn’t it open up a healthy dialogue?”  I also know now that telling my wife something unpleasant is better than her finding out.

Sometimes an SAA member asks for my feedback about, “Do you think it’s okay to _____?”  Often my response is about communication:  “Have you asked your wife (or girlfriend) her opinion, or is this something you wouldn’t want her to know, in which case you know it’s not okay?”

Good, honest, open communication is vital both in recovery from sex addiction and in interpersonal relationships, which are in any case intertwined.  Isolation, secrets and lies work against both.  They are poison, and if I am to continue my progress in recovery, I need to avoid them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Intergroup Project Updates

Our Next Retreat:  August 2015

We are currently preparing for our next retreat in August.  Retreats are a great way to find strength, hope and courage while creating friendships and recovery.  Our last retreat in January 2015 had 50 attendees from Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.  The topic was “ISOLATION:  Causes and Cures” which highlighted a major component to our disease and ways to emerge from it.  Retreats are packed with great recovery opportunities and feature speakers, workshops, discussions and panels plus food!  The raffle prizes during the January retreat were two high definition LCD TVs…great prizes just in time for the Super Bowl.  We look forward to seeing everyone for fellowship, recovery and hope.  The date and location are still being worked out with details coming soon.

We are soliciting suggestions for the main topic, or topics, to be featured at our next retreat.  What would you like to learn more about?  Or is there a subject you would like to present to others because you have learned a lot about it?  Please attend the next Intergroup meeting on April 9, or email your suggestions to ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.

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 are looking for a location for a Spanish-speaking meeting, most likely in Santa Ana.  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 key words.  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!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Announcements & Newsnotes

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 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 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 April 9th.

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SAA Meeting News

New Meetings:

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Website

If you have ideas or suggestions for the website, please contact our Webmaster, Neal B., at ocisaa.digicom1@gmail.com.

February 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 7:00-8:15 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!

How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Coming Back?

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 gain success in recovering from their sex addiction.  At our recent Intergroup meetings, we discussed ways to help and encourage newcomers to keep returning.  To date, we have received the following suggestions:

►  Personally invite the newcomer to join you for after-meeting fellowships such as coffee or lunch, if the group has them.
►  Offer to have coffee with them after the meeting, or to meet for coffee before the next meeting.
►  Establish a group service position of Sponsorship Coordinator.
►  Speak with newcomers before and/or 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, or offer to exchange phone numbers.
►  Hold a special meeting for newcomers.
►  Offer to call the newcomer in a few days to ask how they’re doing and answer any questions.

We are asking for more ideas before we send a list of suggestions to our Intergroup member groups.  If you would like to contribute your ideas or experience, please attend our next Intergroup meeting on March 12, or you may submit them to ocisaa.newsletter@gmail.com or to your group’s Intergroup representative.  Thank you!

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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 Liar

My addiction, you were planted in fear.  Selfishness and self-centeredness watered your roots.  The illusion of need was your sun…but, you’re a lie.

I allowed you to grow and flourish, hoping you would provide relief from my feeling of emptiness, relief that never came.  Instead, I became consumed by you and, like overgrown weeds, you took over the landscape of my life…but, you’re a lie.

You occupied my waking moments and filled my dreams.  Fantasy became possibility, but never relief.  Whatever thrill or rush provided by the hunt was always a disappointment in the end…because you’re a lie.

My insatiable need, fed by you, caused me harm to the people I supposedly cared about most, including myself…but, you’re a lie.

In me, I possessed a loneliness, so intense I embraced you.  I see now that I can never be made whole by you because the causes and conditions that created you aren’t real…because you’re a lie.

I’m taking a new path, creating a new life, rebuilding my marriage.  There’s no room for you in it – you gotta go. The loneliness will be erased without you, and without you I will be the husband my wife deserves…without the lie.

I don’t need you in my life.  I don’t want you in my life.  I have no room for you in my life.  You gotta go.  RIP, you motherfucker….now, you’re a dead lie.

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Intergroup Project Updates

Topics for Our Next Retreat

We are soliciting suggestions for the main topic, or topics, to be featured at our next retreat to be held in late summer or early fall.  The January topic was isolation.  What would you like to learn more about?  Or is there a subject you would like to present to others because you have learned a lot about it?  Please attend the next Intergroup meeting on March 12, or email your suggestions to ocisaa.chair@gmail.com.

Spanish-Speaking Outreach

We are unaware of any Spanish-language SAA meetings in the Orange County area.  We are adding a Spanish translation of the “12 & 12” to our website and are looking for a location for a Spanish-speaking meeting, most likely in Santa Ana.  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 key words.  At our January 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

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 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 March 12.

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 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

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: 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.