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Concepts, Rewards and Principles

Concept 1: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for SA service should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

Concept 2: The leadership of SA, as represented by the General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees, has become for nearly every practical purpose the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole society in its service matters.

Concept 3: To ensure effective leadership, we should endow each element of SA’s service structure, the General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees and its staffs and Committees with a traditional “Right of Decision.”

Concept 4: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain the traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge at that level.

Concept 5: Throughout our structure a traditional ―Right of Appeal‖ ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

Concept 6: The General Delegate Assembly recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility for most service matters should be exercised by the Board of Trustees.

Concept 7: The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees are a legal instrument empowering the Board to manage and conduct service matters. The SA service structure documents are not legal documents. They rely on tradition and the SA purse for final effectiveness.

Concept 8: The Trustees are the principal administrators of overall policy and finance.

Concept 9: Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety.

Concept 10: Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with scope of such authority well defined.

Concept 11: The Trustees should always have the assistance of the best possible committees, staffs and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

Concept 12: The General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees shall observe the spirit of SA tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power, that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle, that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote and whenever possible by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government; and that like the Fellowship it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action.

SA, as such, would never have an organization in the sense of a “government” that could issue directives by committee or Board to individuals or groups within the fellowship. Our committees and Board could only provide services and we’ve tried to organize them to function effectively. But SA has no government in the political sense*.

*”The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (Biographical sketches their last major talks),” Pg 25. The Twelve Concepts for SA approved by the General Delegate Assembly, January 2004

Download entire SA Service Manual => Click Here


Twelve Rewards of the 12 Step Program

  1. We can all have Hope, instead of desperation
  2. Faith, instead of despair
  3. Courage, instead of fear
  4. Peace of Mind, instead of confusion
  5. Self-respect, instead of self-contempt
  6. Self-confidence, instead of helplessness
  7. The respect of others, instead of their pity and contempt
  8. A clean conscience, instead of a sense of guilt
  9. Real friendships, instead of loneliness
  10. A clean pattern of life, instead of a purposeless existence
  11. The love and understanding of our families, instead of their doubts and fears
  12. And the freedom of a happy life, instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

All this and more through AA, are we grateful enough? Gratitude will continue the miracle of your sobriety, I found that out.
as written by Ann C. of Niles, Ohio – sober April 1, 1948
Ann C. wrote this “a number of years before” the 1985 International Convention in Montreal, Canada where she set it to tape at the Oldtimers Meeting. She wrote it to show the contrast that can take place in any of our lives if we will try to follow the AA principles.

 

12 Spiritual Principles to Live By

Life is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a huge mansion or standing in line at a soup kitchen, the truth of the matter is not many of us are given the tools while growing up to cope with the many stressors in our lives. But there are people out there who seem to have an idea of how to stay optimistic in these changing times. I spent much of my adult life perplexed by their good natures, and even more confused by their good will, until I learned that there were principles — and, by principles, I mean universal truths — that I could apply to my own life and literally change how I felt, not only about myself, but about the world around me.

Some of them seem like common sense, but you need to understand going into the exercise that reading these principles and actually practicing them in your day-to-day lives are two entirely different things (and that the latter requires vigilance and willingness). The phrase “easier said than done” applies here. But, the truth is, if you’re reading this, then chances are you’re in the same place I was when I first discovered these practices, and that means you’re ready.

Here are the 12 spiritual principles I try to live by on a daily basis:

ACCEPTANCE

There’s this thing called The Serenity Prayer that goes something like this: “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” What painful, awful thing in your life are you accepting that, in all truth, you can actually change? Once you deeply accept that only you have the power to move forward in your life, then you can take the action to do it. But there are also things that you cannot change, and the work here is to accept that you can’t manage that situation or this person or that thing. There is power in powerlessness also, because it frees you from conflict and allows you to enjoy the rest of your life with real aplomb.

LIVE YOUR TRUTH

You’d be surprised how many lies I told myself and how many times I suffered because of them. Indeed, the lies I told myself fed into the lies I told other people and left me isolated when all I ever craved was connection. Can you believe that? My cure for loneliness was isolation. But I changed all of that when I started to speak my own truth and gave the people around me the opportunity to truly know who I was and what I stood for. We live in fear of what other people will think or say about us, but do you really want those kinds of people in your life today? Tell your truth; embrace who you are and let the naysayers know that, if it’s going to make a difference as to whether they love you or not, then it should start making a difference now.

REMAIN GRATEFUL

I have a friend who, for one morning every month, pretends to be blind. He wakes without opening his eyes, fumbles his way to his kitchen to make coffee then heads off to the bathroom to shower and brush his teeth. He eats a bowl of cold cereal and dresses himself and doesn’t allow himself to open his eyes until he gets behind the wheel of his car to go to work. And he does this so that he can live in gratitude of the many gifts in his life, least among which is the gift of sight. I try to practice gratitude also, although not with as much verve as my friend; but I recognize that, in today’s world, it is easy to become entitled and walk around with a sense of indignation and lose sense of the things that really matter, and fall away from gratitude. Everything in your life is worth exploring, whether it be the fact that you can walk and run or the knowledge that, if it ever gets to be too much, the world is designed to accommodate you and help you not feel so abandoned or alone.

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

We come into the world, each of us, with our own baggage (sometimes it’s an abandonment issue, sometimes it’s simple trust issues, etc.). We acquire these as children, but we discover that these lessons no longer serve us in adulthood, and we become forced to re-parent or reeducate ourselves. Part of this means learning how to trust our friends and partners and spouses. These relationships are important and you need to think of them as a carefully concocted stew of love and patience and understanding. When we distrust the people closest to us, what we are actually doing is adding negative ingredients to the pot — jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion… of course, they are going to react in a negative fashion. And we are often shocked when conflict arises, but it is conflict that could have been avoided if we’d made a conscious decision to come from a place of love than one of antagonism and unrest. People are sometimes going to let you down. This is a fact of life. But it is our responsibility to not create an arena for them to do so.

BE OF SERVICE

My wife is an amazing woman. I am in awe of her, but still got a bit resentful one night when I did the dinner dishes and didn’t get so much as a thank you when all was said and done. It was then that I realized that I was looking for a payoff for simply being of service, and that was when my life changed. It isn’t an act of kindness if you expect something for it, and once you remove the payoff from the equation, you will find yourself catapulted to the next level of true selflessness, and that is the understanding that the reward for loving is loving; the reward for being of service is being of service. And the self-esteem that comes from reaching out and helping other people is invaluable. Because it gets you out of your own head and helps you not feel overwhelmed by problems or other concerns. It helps you feel connected.

LAUGH AT YOURSELF

It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive I am. People who care about me — who I know absolutely love me — will sometimes point out one of my idiosyncrasies or talk about something stupid I did in mixed company and, for a long time, it would hurt my feelings and I would over-react. Granted, we all need to monitor how we are perceived (you don’t get a second chance at first impressions), but learning how to laugh at yourself can help build stronger relationships. You family and friends should not be made to feel as though they need to walk on eggshells around you; it’s up to you to create a safe, non-judgmental space for those around you because it is only in this space that you can experience the joy of authentic laughter. And, the fact of the matter is, I can’t possibly be the only one to leave a public restroom with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

Your past is inescapable, your future is unavoidable, but your present is forever unrestrained. We sometimes spend more time obsessing over things that have happened and dreading some unforeseen future that we forget the simple truth that, right now, in this moment, we are okay. No matter what is happening, even now — reading this — you are okay. Take a breath. Enjoy this one, perfect moment, because it is yours. You have plans and obligations, sure, but we’re not there yet; right now, it’s just us, living in this wonderful moment, and reveling in the fact that, in and of ourselves, we are complete, we are worthy of connection, and we are enough. When things get hectic, remind yourself of this and get centered. Only in the moment are we ever our perfect selves.

PRACTICE RESTRAINT OF PEN AND TONGUE

This was a hard one for me to learn. But then I realized that a lot of the conflict in my life was of my own design. I had to adopt a new way of relating to other people. I had to ask myself, “Does this need to be said?” then, “Does this need to be said now?” and finally, “Does this need to be said by me?” The three simple questions, in one fell stroke, eliminated so much pain and drama in my life that it left a huge space in my life that could only be filled with a new influx of love and understanding. Not only did people suddenly want to be around me, but the problems that I thought could only be managed by me seemed to work themselves out on their own. I had, for lack of a better term, inadvertently learned how to get out of God’s way.

LEARN TO FORGIVE

This one’s a hard pill to swallow, because I’m not a huge advocate of “Turn The Other Cheek” — I believe that you have to talk about (and really process) some wrongs that have been done to you before you can get to the part where forgiveness is possible. But, I also believe that it gets easier every time you do it, and that the emotional work involved is worth the effort it takes to get there. Some transgressions are unforgivable, true. But most aren’t. Bear in mind, I am not telling you to run out and forgive everyone; I am telling you to LEARN to forgive, because that’s where the spiritual growth will come from: it will come from the journey toward forgiveness.

REMAIN TEACHABLE

I have a friend who is a huge naysayer when it comes to new concepts and ideas. The simple truth is, he’s so busy seeing THROUGH everything that he can’t see ANYTHING. And, sadly, as a result, he will always be right where I left him, because his capacity for growth is stunted by his inability to embrace new ideas. But this doesn’t have to be YOU. Allow yourself to have an open mind. Accept that even the worst-dressed person at the party may have something interesting to say to you and put your hand out to say hello. Rediscover your sense of wonder. No matter how old you are, the world still has a lot to show you. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having very Human experiences. Avail yourself to each and every one.

EVERYTHING YOU CAME HERE LOOKING FOR, YOU CAME HERE LOOKING WITH

I cannot tell you how much time and energy I wasted searching for some sort of outside “thing” to fix me. And everywhere I went, the answer was always the same: We’re Perfect. In and of ourselves, we are whole and complete. Inner Peace comes from accepting this as Your Truth. Granted, there are things about ourselves that we can change, and there are outside things that we can acquire that will enrich the quality of our lives, but none of those things are the destination of any spiritual journey; every spiritual journey is designed to help you find yourself. Because it is only when you’ve found, accepted, and learned to love yourself that you are capable of connecting with anything else, whether it’s other people, your family, or a God of your own understanding. Believe it.

BE COURAGEOUS IN LIFE

Maya Angelou is a celebrated American author and poet who once taught that Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without it, you cannot practice any of the others consistently. It takes courage to love. It takes courage to be honest and to speak your own truth. It takes courage to forgive. It takes courage to reach out and help other people. The list goes on and on. I had to learn very early on how not to let fear dictate my behavior; I had to learn how to not let fear inform my decisions. You can do this, too. I promise you. It’s in you. If you’re reading this, then you’re ready to take a few chances and truly grow. And, if worse comes to worst, keep this in mind: A turtle cannot walk — it cannot move forward — unless it sticks its neck out.
Reference

The (Only) Seven Spiritual Principles We Need to Succeed

Roy K. – Founder of SA

Roy Ronald Kuljian (aka Roy K., Friends of Roy) is the founder of Sexaholics Anonymous.  He was born on March 1, 1927 and passed away on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at age 82.  Roy was a resident of Simi Valley, Ventura County, California. Spouse: Iris Bray Salway (aka Friends of Iris).

Roy was often criticized for his strong Christian morals and righteous personality.  He wrote many articles including Sobriety Interpretation and about Spouse and Marriage.  I had the pleasure to meet him twice before he passed away at the International Convention Jan 10, 2003 in Newark, NJ and again in Jul 6, 2007 in Adelphi, MD.  What I remember most about Roy was how mysterious his attendance at the convention was.  In other words, rather then soak in the glory of so many followers, he quickly snuck out the back door and went down to the local church to give a very religious sermon.  Read more

Roy’s battle with cancer is sad, but his LEGACY lives on. Members of Sexaholics Anonymous will forever be grateful. History is very powerful and those who had the opportunity to meet him are the messengers for the future. Perhaps a biography will be written which will allow us all to get to know him better.

Tragedy 11/24/12: “a dog was running along the beach and was playing in the surf.  Next thing you know, the dog got stuck in a strong riptide and began getting pulled out to sea.  So his owner, Roy’s 17 year old grandson ran in after him.  Then he got stuck in the undertow so his father watching this from the beach ran in after him.  Then the father got stuck and the mother ran in after all of them.  Later, the dog managed to make his way back to shore but the rest of the family died.  Roy lost his son, his daughter in law and their child that day. Roy’s wife survived, witnessing the entire episode from the beach”.


The Kuljian Family – Obituary

The Freshwater community tragically lost three members of the Kuljian family Sat, Nov 24, 2012. Howard, his wife, Mary, and their son, Geddie, perished in the surf of Big Lagoon where they often took family walks with their surviving daughter/sister, Olivia. Mary Elena Scott was born in Peoria, Illinois on April 8, 1955. She was the daughter of James Scott (deceased) and Ruth Krenn Scott (deceased). She had two brothers, Michael Scott (deceased) and David Scott as well as one sister, Theresa Jenkins. Mary is survived by their spouses, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.  (Eureka Times, 2012 – Read more)

Membership Rules?

Around 1943 or 1944, the Central Office asked the groups to list
their membership rules and send them in. After they arrived we set
them all down. A littlereflection upon these many rules brought us to an astonishing conclusion.

If all of these edicts had been in force everywhere at once it would
have been practically impossible for any alcoholic to have ever
joined A.A. About nine-tenth of our oldest and best members could
never have got by!

At last experience taught us that to make away any alcoholic’s full
chance for sobriety in A.A. was sometimes to pronounce his death
sentence, and often to condemn him to endless misery. Who dared to be judge, jury, and executioner of his own sick brother?

1. GRAPEVINE, AUGUST 1946
2. TWELVE AND TWELVE, P. 141

Read more (pg. 41)

P.S.  Definition of “edict” – a decree issued by a sovereign or other authority. Any authoritative proclamation or command.


Tradition Three states that “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober.” Given this requirement, one might think that sexual sobriety would be a relative matter that we define for ourselves. On the surface, this might appear to be an attractive and democratic idea. We think not.

Our rationalizations are ingenious. We tried masturbation only, or having “meaningful relationships” only, or having affairs where we “truly cared” for the other person. Or, we resorted only to one-nighters, prostitutes, or anonymous sex “so nobody got hurt.” Over the long haul, these forms of experimentation did not work for us. There was no real recovery. Sobriety works for us.

How can we consider ourselves sober if we are still resorting to whatever or whomever we are using addictively? With most of us coming in, there was never any doubt what we had to stop doing. We knew. However, if we come into an SA group where we can define our own sobriety, watch those rationalizations come alive! And if we define our own level of sobriety, that’s all we’re likely to reach.

In defining sobriety, we do not speak for those outside Sexaholics Anonymous. We can only speak for ourselves. Thus, for the married sexaholic, sexual sobriety means having no form of sex with self or with persons other than the spouse.

For the unmarried sexaholic, sexual sobriety means freedom from sex of any kind. And for all of us, single and married alike, sexual sobriety also includes progressive victory over lust.*

*In SA’s sobriety definition, the term “spouse” refers to one’s partner in a marriage between a man and a woman.

Of course, we recognize that one can be sexually “dry” but not sober from lust or dependency. The “dry drunk” syndrome, discovered in AA, applies to us as well, single or married. But we try to avoid passing judgment on the quality of another’s inner sobriety. That must come from the individual. And if such persons keep coming back, the fact of whether or not they are living free from the power of sexual lust, fantasy, or dependency, not to mention switching addictions, usually becomes apparent. This aspect of recovery seems to be progressive. Thus, our SA expression: “True sobriety includes progressive victory over lust.” But progress we must or recovery eludes us! The real problem for all of us-single, married, man, woman, from whatever lifestyle-is one and the same: the spiritual misconnection.

We have found that more important than the mere length of our calendar sobriety is its quality and our own personal integrity. Physical sobriety is not an end in itself but a means toward an end-victory over the obsession and progress in recovery. We are often the only ones who know on the inside of our souls whether we are truly in sobriety and recovery. (It is also possible we can be fooling ourselves.) Better to acknowledge where we really are than hide behind the badge of our sobriety date, cheat ourselves, and threaten our union with one another.

The fact that marrieds can have sex with their spouse and call themselves “sober” is no advantage at all. It can even work against recovery. Some marrieds confess that even though they aren’t “acting out” any more, victory over lust still eludes them. As a matter of fact, it often seems harder for marrieds to get victory over lust and dependency unless they go through the experience of total sexual abstinence. And more often than we might suppose, marrieds can be heard complaining that singles have it easier! Let’s face it: sexaholics-recovering or not, single or married can expect to have problems with sex! Not to mention the host of other problems entailed in trying to live with and relate to others.

What we strive toward is not only the negative sobriety of not acting out our sexaholism, but progressive victory over the obsession in the looking and thinking. We also strive toward the positive sobriety of acting out true union of persons. The great blessing (or curse, as the case may be) of our condition is that unless and until we can give unconditionally and relate with others, the vacuum left inside us from withdrawal will never be filled. All along, we had thought we could make the Connection by taking; we see now that we get it by giving. Our whole concept of sex begins to change. Sex finds a simple and natural place it could never have before and becomes merely one of the things that flows from true union in committed marriage. And even here, we’ve discovered that sex is optional.

Unity in fellowship and good spiritual quality in meetings are supported by this definition. Without defining sexual sobriety, we would make it possible for those who are still practicing lust in some fashion to lead meetings and hold policy-making positions affecting not only the group but SA as a whole. This could also compromise the spiritual atmosphere so that the power of God’s presence would not be active in the meetings and fellowship. While groups may stay together without a commitment to sobriety-just as individuals may temporarily feel better without it-we have found that there is no true spiritual unity in groups without a shared commitment to sobriety and progress in recovery. “Personal recovery depends on SA unity” (Tradition One). Sobriety and victory over lust are the bases for our unity and common welfare, which must come first. Our sobriety is the sine qua non, the necessary basis of our recovery and fellowship. Without experiencing it, we have nothing.

For us, sobriety works.

We “Live and Let Live,” but we do not call one another sober unless we are practicing sobriety.

(SA Sobriety Definition)

Anonymity

“By leading with our weakness. There is an attractive healing atmosphere in meetings when someone is transparent, naive, “innocent,” and self-revealing at depth. He or she may even be a newcomer, which is often the case and why we need them to help keep us honest. Vulnerable, and like a child, we take the supreme risk of exposing the truth about ourselves, dark as it may be. We lead with our weakness because that’s where we’re hurting, and this becomes the point of our identification with each other, the point of true union. Once this single ray of light shines in a meeting, it finds ready reception and response in the others present. Honesty is catching; we’re learning to walk in the light.” (SA WB pg. 187)

For the past 20 years I have heard many people discuss their fears about “what if someone found out?”

I believe the addict is the “last one to find out”.  In other words, generally speaking, everyone already knows the addict’s life is unmanageable, or they are out-of-control, or at the very least a bit crazy.  However, perhaps the addict is very good at hiding it.

Having been a master of disguise for over 40 years, I believe you cannot bullshit a bullshiter.  In other words, when I was a child, they used to say, “if you spot it, you got it” and “if you smelt it you dealt it”.  In AA they say, “a real tosspot calling a kettle black”.

“In some sections of A.A., anonymity is carried to the point of real absurdity. Members are on such a poor basis of communication that they don’t even know each other’s last names or where each lives.” – As Bill Sees it, page 241

“…[Dr. Bob] said there were two ways to break the Anonymity Tradition: (1) by giving your name at the public level of press or radio; (2) by being so anonymous that you can’t be reached by other drunks.” – Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers, page 264

Additional references:

Pandemic

 

There’s a long war ahead and our Covid-19 response must adapt.

Different times call for different measures.

Need a meeting?  Click here for a complete up-to-date schedule of SA Meetings from around the globe.

Few of us anticipated the catastrophic impact the new virus has had in Wuhan, in Italy and may soon have in many other places.  For most people, there is simply no frame of reference for this pandemic. Never in our lifetime has there been an infectious disease threat as devastating to society. Click here

We learn more about this virus by the day, often by the hour and most of the news is bad. Here are few things we’ve learned in the past week:

  • The virus that causes Covid-19, can live on contaminated surfaces as the SARS virus can, so it may spread, sometimes explosively, from doorknobs, elevator buttons and contaminated surfaces in hospitals and elsewhere.
  • It’s not just older people with underlying conditions who become very ill and can die. Although prior reports suggested that 80% of people got only mild disease, it now appears that about 50% of people, have moderately severe pneumonia, which can take weeks or longer to recover from.

It’s going to get a lot worse. Not only is the global economy in free-fall but supply chains for essentials, including medicines, are disrupted. Even China, which has successfully tamped down spread, is only now reopening its economy”  Read more

This is a war. And in war, strategy is important. 

BEST OPTION: Attend SA Phone Meeting!  In the comfort of your own home, you can address the common fear and quarantine yourself, while still protecting your health and treating the disease.

Are you rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titantic?

Are you too busy with pointless tasks instead of facing the real problems?  It’s no good rearranging the deck chairs if you have to fix the hole in the boat!

Zoom teleconference meetings are scheduled in four (4) time slots where a unique opportunity for NEW and improved meetings can develop.  We are going to experiment with the following additions to the DAILY schedule (7 days/week or 365 days/year):

8:15 AM (0815-0915) and 10:15 AM (1015-1115) in the morning, 1:15 PM (1315-1415) in the afternoon and 5:00 PM (1700-1800) in the evening. All times are based on US Eastern Time (ET) or UTC -4 / UTC-5.  If you need to convert to your local time, Click Here .

Meeting ID: 839-874-7514

Phone #: (646) 558-8656

If you already have the Zoom app installed on your device, just Click Here.  Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aco2hbyRvF

In addition, you have the option to share your screen (video conference) with others, similar to sitting at a “Face-to-Face” meeting in a church basement at your local home group.  This makes the Zoom technology extremely helpful and more transparent.  This is completely voluntary and your anonymity will be protected, including phone numbers.

“Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.  Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” Traditions 11 & 12.

Moreover, these meetings are very similar to the SAICO SIM and Geek Camp live streaming teleconference meetings over the past few years, with one exception — that they will continue at least weekly or even daily and become permanent meetings (depending on demand).

We will also try to simultaneously stream the existing phone meetings already on the schedule.  For example, the 7:30 AM ET meeting will merge together with the Zoom meeting @ 8:15 AM, as well as the 9:15 AM and 12:00 PM Noon with the Zoom meeting.  Plus, we added a 5:00 PM “Happy Hour” meeting at the end of the work day.

Volunteers Needed

Would you like to help secretary?  Please send an email to webmaster@saphonemeeting.org if you are interested in being of service to lead and facilitate these meetings.  Also, when you get a chance, please complete the following form – Click Here and we will decide on the most popular choice.

Some other time slots we are considering are at 1:30 AM, 3:30 AM, 3:00 PM, 8:00 PM and 10:30 PM.  For your convenience, a converted “time zone grid style schedule will be posted online @ www.saphonemeeting.org (e.g. Central, Pacific, etc) in the coming days. Read more

WHAT NEXT? Carry the message by forwarding to a friend.

Pledge: “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of S.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

Service to Essay

In the past 10-15 years there has been a substantial increase in “Reality TV Shows”.  In particular, a show about folks struggling with weight loss and are trying to diet, exercise and get into better shape.  I was drawn to the “Title of the Show” more than anything when I first tuned in.  

I quickly realized why this is such a powerful metaphor!  Because just like people struggling with Lust or Sex Addiction, people who are overweight and/or have major obesity addiction attend Over Eaters Anonymous.


Mop the Kitchen Floor

When I first joined “12 Step” recovery, there was a guy I met, “Eddie S.” who always used to say at meetings, “Stop complaining — Go home and mop the kitchen floor”.

At the time, I had no idea what he meant.  In fact, I was quite irritated in quickly formed a resentment because I felt it took a lot to just attend meetings.  But what he really was trying to tell me was very simple.

Positive momentum is contagious. When you do something productive, you feel better. 

I even heard a female ‘Old-Timer’ share at an SA International Convention, “iron your socks” when you feel like acting out.  Do something, to take your mind off the compulsion.



Much of the work people do here on SA Phone Mtg website is similar to the newsletter “Essay”. We need your help!  If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to info@saphonemeeting.org

For example, the schedule of teleconference meetings is the #1 purpose of this site.  Next, is the individual scripts and mtg formats. There are many other various reasons why the SA Phone Mtg website acts like a “Virtual Intergroup” but for sake of brevity it is safe to say, people are getting sober and staying sober, so obviously it works. One of the reasons why I personally setup this online vehicle was to help people participate more efficiently on the teleconferences. For example, back in 2009 there was no EASY simple way to read excerpts from the SA literature if they didn’t already have a copy via email. Now, many people can find literature to read and participate! Read more

Getting Started: Step “Zero”

“There is an unwritten step underlying all twelve. Call it Step Zero: “We participated in the fellowship of the program.” No one seems able to stay sober and progress in recovery without it, though some try. For most of us, without associating in some way with other recovering individuals, there is no lasting sobriety and none of the fringe benefits of recovery, growth, freedom, and joy. This holds true even for “loners” (those without groups). We don’t try to explain this; it is simply a fact.

We begin by meeting regularly with other members. If there is no group where we live, we start one ourselves, even if it is meeting with only one other member. Fellowship is that crucial to our recovery. We can’t do it alone. We pray to be led to another sexaholic who will want to hear our story, then we follow all leads that come to our attention. We contact the SA Central Office for any contacts there may be in our area and ask for materials and know-how. (See part III and Appendix 3.) Many groups have started in just such a manner. Long distances may separate members at first; some travel more than a hundred miles to meet with others.

Commit yourself to your group, whether it is being formed or is operating but still small. Attend every meeting on time. This ensures maximum benefit to you and the group, which cannot have continuity without regular participants. The measure of such commitment will be the measure of your recovery.
We also use telephone meetings with two or more members, using the three-way calling feature available in many cities. Some members subscribe to discount long-distance phone service for considerable savings. Speaker phones enable a loner to sit in remotely. We augment this by letter writing and attending other types of Twelve Step meetings, many of which are open to the public. Much benefit can be gained there in learning how to apply the Steps in one’s life and in seeing how meetings are run.

We cannot put this strongly enough: Experience has shown us that we must be part of others or we cannot maintain effective surrender, see ourselves rightly, or work the Steps. Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery. (SA WB pg. 63-64)


Toxicity

Toxic reactions to alcohol and drug abuse are common knowledge. What we might call the toxicity of lust becomes especially apparent to us in recovery. We become increasingly aware of the poisonous effects of lust on our thinking and behavior. We have heard members say, “I’m allergic to lust,” and we know the person is trying to describe the toxic reaction that occurs whenever he or she takes a visual or fantasy “drink” without even acting out. In sobriety, once we have withdrawn from lust and then let it back in, the toxic effect is felt immediately and strongly. We can tolerate less of it than ever, and it produces a greater disturbance. Our sexaholism doesn’t stand still; it progressively worsens.

“I could see a girl in a bikini on a billboard five years ago and it wouldn’t bother me; now, I go to pieces and lose my mind over it.”

“Lust throws my whole system out of whack. I lose my equilibrium, my control, and have to recover as if from a poison.”

[Note: These and other italicized quotes are from Sexaholics Anonymous members, past and present.]” (SA WB pg. 32)


A VISION FOR YOU

We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us. Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you — until then. (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164)


 

Suscipe Prayer

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Learn about Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius’s Journey
Ignatius’s visit to Montserrat was part of an intense and difficult period for him: he was recovering from a battle injury to his leg, and he was struggling to leave behind his privileged and prestigious past as a noble man.

At Montserrat, Ignatius began to live his faith, spending all night in prayer before the statue of the Virgin. He put on simple clothes and gave his expensive clothing to a beggar.

After Ignatius’s visit to Montserrat, he stopped at Manresa, a small town nearby. He planned to spend to spend a few nights writing down his thoughts, but he stayed for 11 months and left profoundly changed. The fruit of Ignatius’s reflections at Manresa became one of the greatest works of Christian spirituality, the Spiritual Exercises.

About Ignatius’s Life (1491–1556)
Saint Ignatius went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in Spain. He left his sword on the altar and exchanged his rich clothes for a beggar’s garment. He lived in the nearby town of Manresa, doing penance. In Manresa, Ignatius experienced the spiritual growth that led him to write the Spiritual Exercises. However, Ignatius decided he needed more schooling, so, in his 30s, he began attending school and studying Latin. Eventually, he went to study in Paris, where he became the leader of a group of seven (including Francis Xavier) who took vows in 1534, an event that marked the beginning of the Society of Jesus.

Spirit of Rotation

Tradition Two: The Principle of Rotation

(Short Form) “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority–a loving god as he may express himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

The purpose of this blog is to enhance unity by encouraging discussion of one element of Tradition Two: The Principle of Rotation.

 

The format poses inventory questions followed by material from published sources of CA, NA, and AA. This blog explores the question, as it relates to our fellowships’ rotation of leaders, “do we serve or do we govern?”

 

Do we practice rotating leadership, stepping out of office regardless if we believe others are not available, not willing and not qualified or do we remain frozen in office?

The AA Group Pamphlet, p. 34

“Traditionally, Rotation keeps AA members from becoming frozen in office. It also ensures that group tasks, like nearly everything else in AA, are passed around for all to share…to step out of an AA office you love can be hard. If you have been doing a good job, if you honestly don’t see anyone else around willing, qualified, or with the time to do it, and if your friends agree, it is especially tough. But it can be a real step forward in growth–a step into the humility that is, for some people, the spiritual essence of anonymity…rotation helps to bring us spiritual rewards far more enduring than any fame. With no AA “status” at stake, we needn’t compete for titles or praise–we have complete freedom to serve as we are needed”.

AA Grapevine, September 1992

“But then I began to see rotation in action, and i learned the difference between ruling and serving. Rotation is one of the ways we use to make sure we serve and don’t rule…AA’s tradition of rotation ( even if it permits some inexperience and even ignorance ) was a bit shocking. Could such a structure stay intact? Wouldn’t it finally fall apart? The answer, i discovered, was this: AA is unified and strong, because we are not organized…we’ve insisted that all those serving AA derive their authority from a loving god expressing himself within the informed group conscience.”

Do we practice rotating leadership assuring anonymity in service or do we have leadership exhibiting personal endeavors and individual personalities?

 

Do we practice transitory and rotating leadership allowing dependence on the god of our understanding to lead, via group conscience, or do we govern through fixed and official leadership?

Bill Wilson, AA Grapevine, October 1947

“AA may be able to function upon the power of its own fundamental principles rather than upon the prestige or inspiration of a highly personalized leadership. Thus the whole can become of transcending importance over any part; continued unity and success can then mostly depend upon god as we understand him working vitally in thousands of hearts rather than a few. Deep down, I think we in AA have begun to sense this magnificent possibility. The widening conviction that active leadership ought to be transitory and rotating; that each AA group with respect to its own affairs need be accountable only to its own conscience; that our committees and boards are really servants, not officials; that we, as a movement, ought to remain poor, so avoiding the risks of disrupting wealth…such concepts certainly leave little room for a prestige-clothed leadership.”

Do we experience through rotating leadership at all service levels, a kind of democracy rarely possible elsewhere or do we experience an authoritarian and fixed leadership interfering with our true ultimate authority?

Bill Wilson, AA Grapevine, January 1948

“We humbly hope and believe that our growing AA tradition will prove to be the will of god for us… and we need not depend overmuch on inspired leaders. Because our active leadership of service can be truly rotating, we enjoy a kind of democracy rarely possible elsewhere…therefore we of AA are certain that there is but one ultimate authority, “a loving god as he may express himself in our group conscience.”

Do we believe as individual members that our service committees govern and cannot get along without us and our directions, advice or orders and do we connive for re-election, unwilling to step aside quietly allowing god, through our group conscience to lead?

AA, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p.134/5

“…the Group now has a so-called rotating committee, very sharply limited in its authority. In no sense whatever can its members govern or direct the group. They are servants. Theirs is the sometimes thankless privilege of doing the group’s chores…the committee gives no spiritual advice, judges no one’s conduct, issues no orders…and so they make the belated discovery that they are really servants, not senators. These are universal experiences. Thus throughout AA does the group conscience decree the terms upon which its leaders shall serve…the bleeding deacon is one who is just as surely convinced that the group cannot get along without him, who constantly connives for reelection to office…”

Do we selflessly serve as leaders, guided by group conscience, or do we exert authority to seek power, property or prestige through governance?

 

 

AA Grapevine, September 1992

“In setting up services and make sure they worked well, it was tempting to forget the principle of rotation…how much more difficult it was to hold on to the principle of rotation and make sure humility (rather than power building) was at the center of our efforts. We learned that even though it was more difficult to rotate and have to constantly move through a period of learning, this was good for the individuals involved and for AA…no one person or small group of people, needed to stay in particular serving positions…many people got a chance to serve rather than just a few.”

Do we manipulate the traditions through uninformed, ill informed or manipulative opinions, exerting personal leadership or do we remain open minded, actively learning about tradition and willing to change our minds to achieve unity?

 

Listen & Silent

Did you know that both words have the same letters?

There is a famous saying, “take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.  Listen to learn, and learn to listen”.

If you are new to Sexaholics Anonymous, it is suggested that you listen to others in the beginning before you start sharing.  This way you can learn about the various suggested guidelines and personality of the 12 Step meeting.

Generally, every 12 Step program is different and you will find that just about every group / meeting is slightly different.  This is true for obvious reasons.  SLAA & SAA will describe different forms of sexual sobriety than SA.  Whereas, AA and NA will often be too embarrassed to talk about about the ‘elephant in the room’.

When I started SA, around 1995 (give or take a year, it’s a little foggy, being it was so long ago) I remember folks suggesting going to Alanon as a supplement to the “S” fellowship because there were more meetings to choose from.  The nice thing about Alanon is that they accept just about everyone and are not as strict about specific addictions and have some of the best phone meetings.  In fact, most Alcoholics say they first stopped drinking and then started going to Alanon to learn more about relationships.

Interestingly enough, a friend of mine gave me a copy of the AA Grapevine over 10 years ago and guess what was on the cover?  “Now about Sex”.  The stories that followed were all about relationships.


cross_talkUnfortunately, when you join a SA Phone Meeting, there is a good chance that you may witness some strange behavior.  The attendance ranges from 5-50 callers with an average around 20 people.

The other day, during the 0830 business meeting I shared the following observations:

  1. The Daily Sobriety Renewal (DSR) phone calls are problematic simply by the mere nature of the meeting format.
  2. When Roy K. (founder of SA) first introduced the DSR questions, I suspect he meant it to be something that a small number of guys (4-5 people) in his accountability circle would discuss on a daily basis.  Or perhaps a one-on-one discussion with your sponsor, as I did with Bill W. Read more.
  3. I found out later, hindsight is 20/20, that the real purpose of the renewal call was for me.  Not for anyone else.  My sponsor was simply trying to get me to admit and accept that I was a sex addict and the only way I could stay sober for any length of time was focus on the next 24 hours.
  4. When we started the 12:00 p.m. Noon SA teleconference, we had an caller get into a car accident and it was very disruptive to everyone at the meeting.  This was before we had the ability to mute the entire line.  However, for 45 minutes everyone sat there trying to tell the guilty caller to “mute your line”.  Eventually, he got back on the line after we listened to sirens and people yelling, exactly what had happened.  As you can imagine, everyone on the call, immediately changed their perspective and felt empathetic.  “Oh, are you alright? are you hurt?”  The lesson here is, pray for patience & tolerance.  But be careful, you might just get what you ask for.
  5. I have also noticed that moderators some times behave worse than the caller who is “un-muted”.  It is really a testimony of recovery for the person sharing and the secretary how they handle the aggravating noise and annoying sounds.  It’s as though people take it too personal, when much of the time it is completely innocent.
  6. The best solution ALL of the SA Phone meetings should do is enable the mute feature by default so that when callers first join, they are automatically muted.
  7. We can learn a lot by other 12 Step programs such as Alanon, OA and Greysheets who have mastered the phone bridge and navigating difficult situations.
  8. When I started coming to the SA phone meetings shortly after they started in 2004 there was a lot of KAOS to say the least.  Not only was there background noise, most of the callers were NOT sober and talked about very toxic, graphical images.  It was not a sober environment.  The same challenges with control, power and people talking over one another (shouting to be precise) still exist today, but it has gotten exponentially better.
  9. Shortly after this website was formed, the phone lines changed over and over.  I believe this website has always played a integral role in sparking the changes with the phone meetings.  Read more  The PBX system that originally hosted the meetings would frequently freeze up and shut down due to capacity limits and thus in order to resolve someone needed to manually restart the server.
  10. In 2009, the phone line was down for 7 straight days and there was NO Sexaholics Anonymous phone meeting (PERIOD).  Imagine how you would react if you were accustomed to attending a SA meeting daily and then all of a sudden there was no way to get through.  That’s why this website began!
  11. Today we use a 3rd party service by free conference and rarely is there a problem with the line being unavailable. Read more
  12. Lastly, if you do the math, when there are 20 callers on the line, that means if there are 3 questions or requests by moderator to say something, you have to mute yourself afterwards.  Thus, 3 times each caller needs to mute themselves also means 3 more times they need to un-mute themselves.  Multiply that by the number of callers and you get well over 100 times that you are rely on others to do the right thing.  It really boils down to patience and tolerance.  More importantly, TRUST.  Just like when you are driving over a bridge, you trust the bridge will not collapse.  Or when you are driving down a 2 lane road and you trust the oncoming traffic will stay in their lane.  Trust that others are rooting for you.  Even if you notice rude behavior, trust the process, trust Sexaholics Anonymous and trust God that he wants the best for his children.

Mantra

Hinduism. a word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer. an often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism: If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I’ll scream.”

“GOD has a plan for me.  It is hidden within me, just as the oak is hidden within the acorn, or the rose within the bud.  As I yield myself more fully to God, His Plan expresses itself more perfectly through me.  I can tell when I am in tune with it, for then my mind and my heart are filled with a deep inner peace.  This peace fills me with a sense of security, with joy, and a desire to take the steps that are a part of the Plan.

God’s Plan for me is a perfect part of a larger Plan.  It is designed for the good of all and not for me alone.  It is a many-sided Plan and reaches out through all the people I meet.  All the events and people who come into my life are instruments of the unfolding of this Plan.

God has chosen those people He wants me to know, to love and to serve.  We are continually being drawn to one another in ways that are not coincidental.  I pray that I may become a better instrument to love and to serve and that I may become more worthy to receive the love and service of others.

I ask the Father within me for only those things which He wants me to have.  I know that these benefits will come to me at the right time and in the right way.  This inner knowing frees my mind and heart from all fear, greed, jealousy, anger and resentment.  It gives me courage and faith to do those things which I feel are mine to do.  I no longer look with envy at what others are receiving.  Therefore, I do not cut myself off from God, the giver of all good things.

God’s gifts to me can be many times greater than I am now receiving.  I pray that I may increase my capacity to give, for I can give only as I receive, and receive only as I give.

I believe that when I cannot do those things I desire to do, it is because God has closed one door only to leave ajar a better and larger door.  If I do not see the door just ahead, it is because I have not seen, heard, or obeyed God’s guidance.  It is then that God uses the trouble of seeming failure which may result to help me face myself, and see the new opportunity before me.

The real purpose of my life is to find God within my own mind and heart, and to help my fellowmen.  I thank my Father for each experience which helps me to surrender my will to His Will.  For only as I lose myself in the consciousness of His Great Presence can His Plan for my life be fulfilled.” Matt Talbot


If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free.  If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free.  Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free.  Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway.  Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love. Big Book pg. 552


Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.  Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.  Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.  They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so.  Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness.  We must, or it kills us!  God makes that possible. Big Book pg. 62


And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. Big Book pg. 417

Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.  I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance and off my expectations, for my serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.  Big Book pg. 420

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.  If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.  But are there no exceptions to this rule?  What about “justifiable” anger?  If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad?  Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk?  For us of the human race these are dangerous exceptions.  We have found that justifiable anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it. Twelve & Twelve pg. 90 When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot.  One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year.  Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.  We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument.  The same goes for sulking or silent scorn.  These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Twelve & Twelve pg. 91


Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see. John Newton

I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. Thank God, I am not what I used to be.


MAN IN THE GLASS
When you get what you want in your struggle for self And the world makes you king for a day, Just go to a mirror and look at yourself And see what THAT man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife Who judgment upon you must pass; The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people may think you a straight-shootin’ chum And call you a wonderful guy, But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, For he’s with you clear up to the end. And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life And get pats on your back as you pass. But your final reward will be heartaches and tears If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


 

JUST FOR TODAY
1. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life’s problem at once. I can do things for 12 hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

2. Just for today I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within; it is not a matter  of externals.

3. Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my licks as they come and fit myself to them.

4. Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse or neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.

5. Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

6. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.

7. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, nor find fault with anything — and not try to regulate or improve anyone.

8. Just for today I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it all exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests: hurry and indecision.

9. Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax. In this half-hour sometimes I will thank God, so as to get a better perspective of my life.

10. Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.


YESTERDAY–TODAY–TOMORROW
There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is YESTERDAY with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. YESTERDAY has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back YESTERDAY. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said…YESTERDAY is gone.   The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW with its possible adversaries, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. TOMORROW is also beyond our immediate control. TOMORROW’S sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds- but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in TOMORROW for it is yet unborn.   This leaves only one day…. TODAY. Any man can fight the battle of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities…. YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW that we break down. It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men mad– it is remorse and bitterness for something which happened YESTERDAY and the dread of what TOMORROW may bring.

LET US, THEREFORE, LIVE BUT ONE DAY AT A TIME!

Meeting Guidelines

We can benefit from the unwritten guidelines that have contributed so profoundly to the success of other Twelve Step program meetings and have proven as valuable in our own.

  1. Leaders of meetings are servants of that meeting. They don’t “carry” the meeting; they merely facilitate it. A common mistake of those who have no prior Twelve Step meeting experience is to feel they must comment on everything that is said or “help out” in some way by giving “the answer.” The effective leader surrenders this impulse and lets the meeting work itself.
  2. The leader of the meeting does not have to acknowledge a raised hand; he or she can call on someone else. They can interrupt the one talking, if it is called for. This is in line with our common tradition. At the same time, a good meeting is one where the leader’s presence is inconspicuous and non-controlling.
  3. Most groups stick with a certain basic set of readings that are read at every meeting, adding to this to suit the particular meeting. A list of suggested readings from which to draw is included in the Suggested Meeting Format. We use authorized SA and AA literature only, both for use during meetings and for distribution on the literature table.
  4. Participation guidelines:
  • There is no cross talk. We don’t interrupt others. However, the leader has the right to remind the person sharing of guidelines, time consumed, etc.
  • We don’t give advice. We talk in the “I,” not the “we” or the “you,” speaking from our own experience. If we want to respond to what someone has said, we do so only in terms of our own experience. “I can only speak for myself, but whenever I did such and such, this is what happened in my life …”
  • We don’t get carried away analyzing what caused our behavior or attitudes. If we were victimized in early life, we slowly learn to face and work through it in acknowledgment, acceptance, and forgiveness. We talk as those who are now responsible for our attitudes and actions and are willing to take responsibility for our lives and recovery.
  • In sharing, rather than displaying our knowledge or insights, we lead with our weakness and give of ourselves.
  • We avoid politics, religious dogma, and other divisive issues. We also avoid explicit sexual descriptions and sexually abusive language.
  • We avoid dumping, self-pity, and blaming others.
  • We don’t take the “inventories” of others; that is, we uncover and work on our own defects, not those of others. We refer to our own experiences.
  • We do speak honestly of where we really are today. We try to develop transparent honesty of complete self-disclosure, letting the other members know where we are currently, regardless of length of sobriety.
  • We do lead with our weakness and take the risk of total self-disclosure.
  • By attending on time and sharing regularly, we give of ourselves to others in the group. We get back recovery.

(See the material under the heading “I Am a Sexaholic” under Step One, in this book, and read the article “Meeting Quality and Use of Non-SA Literature,” in Discovering the Principles. SA WB pg. 188-89)