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.
The other day, during the 0830 business meeting I shared the following observations:
- The Daily Sobriety Renewal (DSR) phone calls are problematic simply by the mere nature of the meeting format.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Today we use a 3rd party service by free conference and rarely is there a problem with the line being unavailable. Read more
- 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.