Friday, October 16
Zoom ID: TBA
6:30 pm: Welcome:
- Serenity Prayer
- S-Anon: How It Works
- SA: How It Works
6:45 pm: SA Speaker: Dave T
7:30 pm: Breakout Rooms
7:45pm: S-Anon Speaker
8:30 pm: Closing
Saturday, October 17
Zoom ID: TBA
8:00 am: Zoom opens
8:15 am: Opening
8:30 am: Dave T.
9:30 am: Breakout Rooms
9:45 am: Dave T.
10:30 am: Breakout Rooms
10:45 am: Small group discussions:
- Relationship Recovery
- Single in Sobriety
- Sponsorship (and How To Do It)
- Early Sobriety
11:20 am: Closing
How It Works
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas, and the result was nil until we let go absolutely. Remember that we deal with lust – – cunning, baffling, and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power–that one is God. May you find Him now. <Brief Silence>
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous:
- We admitted that we were powerless over lust–that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sexaholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. Our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas: <All together>
- That we were sexaholics and could not manage our own lives.
- That probably no human power could have relieved our sexaholism.
- That God could and would if He were sought.
We accept sexaholism as a disease very similar to alcoholism. This means that we see sexaholics as sick people, not bad people. They are powerless over lust. At first many of us could not accept this idea. We thought it meant that sexaholics were somehow not responsible for their behavior, or that we were not entitled to our feelings of anger and hurt. But it does not mean either of those things. For S-Anons, it means that the actions of the sexaholic are not a result of something we did or did not do. We did not cause the sexaholic behavior by being stupid, weak, or unattractive, and we do not have the power to control it. However, as we tried to control or ignore the sexaholism in our lives, we often unknowingly acted in ways that led to a further decline in our emotional health and enabled the sexaholic to continue to practice his or her disease. Over a period of time, many of us took on the shame, guilt, and fear that characterize the disease of sexaholism, even though we may not have acted out sexually. We, too, became spiritually and emotionally ill. Once we begin to see our problems in this light, we can also see that we do have choices concerning our own behavior. This is the beginning of our recovery. As we work toward full acceptance of these ideas, we begin to see our problems in a new light, and the awareness dawns that we do have choices concerning our own actions. This is the beginning of our recovery.
We remind ourselves that we are powerless over the behavior caused by sexaholism. We ask a Higher Power to help us to stop blaming and trying to control the sexaholic; the sobriety of the sexaholic is not our responsibility. We realize we cannot find serenity for ourselves if we continue to focus on someone else’s recovery, so we commit ourselves to our own recovery. With the loving help of other S-Anon members and the God of our understanding, we take positive action to make our lives more serene and fulfilling. We attend as many meetings as we can, get a sponsor, if possible, and begin to apply the principles of the Twelve Steps to our lives. We use the telephone, the S-Anon literature, and the S-Anon slogans. Eventually we reach out to help others and try to carry the message of our own recovery. We do these things in our own way, one day at a time — striving for progress, not perfection. This is what is meant by “working the program.”
Many of us felt inadequate, unworthy, alone, and afraid. Our insides never matched what we saw on the outsides of others. Early on, we came to feel disconnected from parents, from peers, from ourselves. We tuned out with fantasy and masturbation. We plugged in by drinking in the pictures, the images, and pursuing the objects of our fantasies. We lusted and wanted to be lusted after. We became true addicts: sex with self, promiscuity, adultery, dependency relationships, and more fantasy. We got it through the eyes; we bought it, we sold it, we traded it, we gave it away. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease, the forbidden. The only way we knew to be free of it was to do it. “Please connect with me and make me whole!” we cried with outstretched arms.
Lusting after the “Big Fix,” we gave away our power to others. This produced guilt, self-hatred, remorse, emptiness, and pain, and we were driven ever inward, away from reality, away from love, lost inside ourselves. Our habit made intimacy impossible. We could never know real union with another because we were addicted to the unreal. We went for the “chemistry,” the connection that had the magic, because it bypassed true intimacy and true union. Fantasy corrupted the real; lust killed love.
First addicts, then love cripples, we took from others to fill up what was lacking in ourselves. Conning ourselves time and again that the next one would save us, we were really losing our Lives.
S-Anon: The Gifts
When we approach the process of recovery with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to apply the principles of the Twelve Steps to our lives, we will soon begin to see the rewards.
We will become able to surrender our self-defeating behavior. We will find that we have the strength and insight to make good choices for ourselves. Our ability to act positively on behalf of our health, families, jobs, and bank accounts will amaze us. We will find that others are doing things for themselves which we thought we had to do for them. Our ability to give and receive love will expand tremendously, and we will become increasingly available for loving relationships with others.
We will recover the feeling of joy. We will become more honest with ourselves and experience a new comfort in our intimate relationships. We will feel the security that arises from true fellowship with others in the program, knowing that we are loved and accepted just as we are. Feelings of failure and inadequacy will be replaced by self-confidence and independence of spirit. We will no longer expect other people to provide us with an identity or a sense of self-worth.
We will find the courage to be true to ourselves. We will know peace of mind and feel a stronger connection with the Higher Power of our understanding, and our hope will turn to faith that God is really working in our lives, as we explore the wonders of serenity, dignity and emotional growth.
We saw that our problem was threefold: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Healing had to come about in all three. The crucial change in attitude began when we admitted we were powerless, that our habit had us whipped. We came to meetings and withdrew from our habit. For some, this meant no sex with themselves or others, including not getting into relationships. For others it also meant “drying out” and not having sex with their committed partner for a time to recover from lust.
We discovered that we could stop, that not feeding the hunger didn’t kill us, that sex was indeed optional. There was hope for freedom, and we began to feel alive. Encouraged to continue, we turned more and more away from our isolating obsession with sex and self and turned to God and others. All this was scary. We couldn’t see the path ahead, except that others had gone that way before.
Each new step of surrender felt it would be off the edge into oblivion, but we took it. And instead of killing us, surrender was killing the obsession! We had stepped into the light, into a whole new way of life. The fellowship gave us monitoring and support to keep us from being overwhelmed, a safe haven where we could finally face ourselves. Instead of covering our feelings with compulsive sex, we began exposing the roots of our spiritual emptiness and hunger. And the healing began.
As we faced our defects, we became willing to change; surrendering them broke the power they had over us. We began to be more comfortable with ourselves and others for the first time without our “drug!” Forgiving all who had injured us, and without injuring others, we tried to right our own wrongs. At each amends, more of the dreadful load of guilt dropped from our shoulders, until we could lift our heads, look the world in the eye, and stand free.
We began practicing a positive sobriety, taking the actions of love to improve our relations with others. We were learning how to give; and the measure we gave was the measure we got back. We were finding what none of the substitutes had ever supplied. We were making the real Connection. We were home.
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.
Acceptance is the Answer
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.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” He forgot to mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I was always glad to point it out, because I knew you wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. and acceptance have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all children of God and we each have a right to be here. When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining about God’s handiwork. I am saying that I know better than God.