The Evansville, Sunday, Serenity Seekers meeting has moved. New meetings have formed in Gas City and Kokomo. The Indianapolis, Friday Morning A&G Meeting at the Castleton Nazarene church has relocated from a house on the church property into the main church building.
Sunday, Serenity Seekers
Sunday, 6:00 PM x ♀ ♂ é
Unity Church of Evansville
4118 Pollack Avenue 47714
More Info: Patrick G. (812) 568-0165
Tom B. (812) 480-0320
Gas City SAA Meeting
Wednesday, 6:00 PM x ♀ ♂ é
First Christian Church
401 E. North D St. 46933
Back of Church. Lower Parking Lot. Glass Door.
More info: Phil B. (765) 618-0652
Kokomo SAA Meeting
Kokomo SAA Meeting
Friday, 1:00 PM x ♂ é
United Way of Howard County
210 W. Walnut 46901
Main Floor, back of Conference Room
More Info: Rob A. (765) 480-8695
Justin E. (765) 461-0010
Friday Morning A&G Meeting
7:00 AM x ♀ ♂ é
Castleton Nazarene Church
7848 N. Allisonville Road 46250
NEW LOCATION on Church Campus
Enter north door on the east (Allisonville Rd.) side of the church.
More Info: Ed P. (317) 654-3846
The 22nd annual IISAA fall retreat will be held October 21 - 23 at Camp Pyoca and will follow the theme, A Spiritual Awakening.
Ours is a spiritual program. The Twelve Steps call us to admit our powerlessness, to acknowledge a power greater than ourselves, and to turn our will and our lives over to the care of that Higher Power. The final Step in our journey of recovery 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.”
Please start planning now to attend the retreat and to be a presenter. Ours is a "we" program, it only works when someone who has found recovery by working a solid, Twelve-Step program is willing to share the experience, strength and hope that he or she has enjoyed with the addict who still suffers inside or outside our meeting rooms.
The official retreat registration form will be available in printed form and online following the August 13th Intergroup meeting.
They came – male and female, black and white, gay and straight, American born and foreign born, tall and short, locals and visitors. Your first thought may be that this list describes the some 110,000 people who participated in the 26th annual Circle City IN Pride festival. And, you would be correct. However, these descriptors also apply to the ten members of SAA who spent time at the IISAA booth on Saturday, June 11.
Our booth was located in an excellent spot on one of the main sidewalks at the American Legion Mall.
See, Pride, page 6
Prejudice - a pre-formed opinion, usually an unfavor-able one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings or inaccurate stereotypes.
On Sunday morning, June 12, starting at 2:02 a.m., prejudice killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.
There are those people who, for whatever reason, cannot allow others to live out their lives as they feel they must. We are not talking about people who are intent on hurting others or forcing them to conform to preconceived roles, we are talking about people who simply want to
See Prejudice, page 6
From the Editor
. . . and the people left in our wreckage.
At the Northeastern Indiana SAA Workshop, Beth, the second presenter, spoke about sexual sobriety. She indicated that our 12-Step recovery program is intended to help the addict who still suffers inside and outside our meeting rooms and the people left in our wreckage.
It is common to think of our program as being for sex addicts who have found SAA and for those who continue to suffer apart from us. All too often, however, I fear that we tend to forget or gloss over the fact that, when worked properly, our program should also help to bring healing and wholeness to those innocent victims of our addiction who got caught up in our craziness.
Our significant others, our family members, our friends, our fellow workers, and our acting-out partners were often unintended victims of our obsessive and compulsive actions.
Steps Four through Nine are intended to help us identify these victims and to atone to them by making amends.
These Steps call us to identify the exact nature of our wrongs against these individuals, to accept our part in the harm that was caused, and to make amends wherever possible, except when to do so would (further) injure them or others.
If someone riding in my car was seriously injured in an accident, I would feel responsible.
That feeling would be more intense, if I knew that I was the one who caused the accident.
In addiction, I know that I am responsible for the carnage that resulted from my actions.
I can try to minimize the guilt that I feel by telling myself that I did not mean to harm the people that I care about. Even though hurting them was not my intent, they ended up as collateral damage from my addiction. Unintended or not, these innocents bear the scars of my acting out behaviors.
A large part of my recovery has to be about their recovery.
The injuries suffered in a horrendous automobile accident leave physical, emotional, and spiritual scarring. To expect that the people I have injured will ever be able to ride with me again without being nervous is to minimize the loss of trust that my previous behavior has caused.
The focus of my recovery needs to be on the recovering addicts I see in my meetings, the addicts who are still in active addiction, and the innocent victims who got caught up in the wreckage of my addiction.
If we can forgive what’s been done to us;
If we can forgive what we’ve done to others;
If we can leave all of our stories behind;
Our being villains or victims,
Only then can we maybe rescue the world.
The Antithesis of Serenity
It is often said that the predictable outcome of living in active addiction is incarceration, insanity, or death. Even if one knows about these possible outcomes, he or she probably thinks that death will result from dealing with the unsavory people addiction attracts; the reality is that, for too many addicts, death will come at their own hand.
In the many leads that I have heard over the years, one of the constants is the sense of despair that comes from repeated failed attempts to stop acting out. The fortunate addict, having reached complete despair, turns for help to a confidant, counselor, therapist, clergy person or a 12-Step group.
The sense of hopelessness that many addicts experience leads them to believe that there is no possibility of a better life. With no clear way out of addiction and into recovery, they make the decision to end their lives. I know of three SAA members who succumbed to this ultimate despair. I suspect that there are many, many more addicts who never received the gift of a 12-Step program. They took themselves out of the picture, before the miracle could happen.
As we mourn the recent passing of an SAA member from Lafayette, it is critical that we re-double our efforts to reach out to the addict who still suffers within our groups and apart from us.
From the Editor
On a recent Sunday, I had an issue with my left eye that resulted in my having only limited vision in that eye for about five minutes.
When I contacted my eye doctor on Monday, he said that I should come in for an evaluation, but that this was probably an “urgency” not an “emergency.”
That got me to thinking about how I approach my recovery. Certainly, when I hit rock bottom and made the decision to come to SAA, I knew that I was facing an emergency. If I did not take immediate action, I was facing incarceration, institutionalization or death.
Once I began the recovery process, I felt the urgency to make the changes in my life that working the 12-Steps called me to make.
Now, some 25 years later and having attained a lot of the serenity, courage and wisdom that the program promises, I have to guard against complacency.
Our friends in AA describe addic-tion as being “cunning, baffling and powerful.” I would add “persistent” to that list. I know that, if I am not diligent in my ongoing efforts to recover, the addiction will, once again, rear its ugly head and I may find myself back in its clutches.
I do not want to be facing emergen-cy, urgency or complacency. What I do want is to face the emerge-ncy of sanity and serenity in my life.
The God of My MIS-understanding
As IISAA embarks upon a new program of work for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, we will be looking at what it means to have a spiritual awakening and how that takes place.
In a recent discussion at my home meeting, Tom M. shared that many times, before he can focus on “the God of his understanding”, he must first overcome the influence of “the God of his mis-under-standing.”
I think I get what Tom is saying. Often times as I listen to my fellow addicts share in meetings, I am struck by the fact that many of us cling to the God we knew when we were eight years old.
In 1 Corinthians 13:11 of the King James version of the Bible, St. Paul is quoted as saying, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
The implication is that, as we grow in wisdom and knowledge, our understanding of and relationship to our higher power needs to reflect something other than the juvenile concept of a higher power that our parents rightfully used to help us understand the concept of ‘God’. Adults often used age-appropriate symbols to help us understand moral concepts. Myths like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy served as valuable tools to help us comprehend core concepts like love, generosity, change and growth. Just as we mature beyond the need for secular myths as our ability to understand these concepts grows, we may also benefit from “re-viewing” our concept of God.
Family beliefs, including religious beliefs, become engrained in us as we experience life within that construct. As we pass through adolescence into adulthood, it is appropriate that we revisit all of our beliefs, free from the constraints of family belief systems.
Without discounting the positive impact that we received from having an age-appropriate understanding of God, we can now look through adult eyes at the God of our understanding.
My journey has led me to leave behind the “angry desert God” of the Old Testament and to embrace the “God of my understanding” who is understanding. This God has proved to be very beneficial to my recovery and the enjoyment of my life.
SAA “Calling Card”
Often times at events where IISAA has an information booth, passersby seem reluctant to be seen perusing information about sexual addiction.
For many years, we have provided plain, white envelopes for people to place our materials in, so that their privacy can be assured. Nonetheless, some people seem hesitant to spend time at our booth or to pick up our recovery literature. In an attempt to reach out to the addict (or curious non-addict) that would
like to know about the SAA 12-Step recovery program, Jeff W., the Intergroup Chair, has designed a business card sized handout that bears basic contact information and a QR code. The QR code allows people with smart phones to scan the code which will take them to the IISAA website.
The intent of this card is that anyone can pick one up and stick it in their pocket so that they can find out more about Sex Addicts Anonymous in private. The card is also a convenient way to share information about SAA with people you may come in contact with on a daily basis.
In addition to including data about the Indianapolis Open Meeting, there is room on the back of the card for the person distributing the card to jot down information about his or her home meeting or another meeting that may be more convenient for the person receiving the card.
Only 200 copies of the card have been printed. This will allow IISAA to see if the card can become an effective outreach tool.
If you would like to have some cards for your outreach activities, contact Jeff W. at 317 341-4012.
We Are Not Alone
The 2016 ISO International Convention, with its theme “We Are Not Alone”, was truly a spiritual adventure for this recovering addict. While parts of the experience fell just a bit short of perfect, the quality of my connections with others in recovery was spot on perfect.
I had the opportunity to hear from three different speakers sharing their own journeys in recovery, including one COSA speaker. I felt the courage of each of them as they shared their journey with a large room full of
recovering addicts and the partners of recovering addicts.
I found the breakout groups that were perfect for me at this point in my journey, and found the exact format of SAA meetings which I needed.
Three different off site adventures into Chicago aboard double-decker buses were offered to the attendees to experience on Sunday afternoon. The instructions to those who chose to take one of the journeys were that the bus would take us to a final destination where we could roam around as we chose, and then find our own transportation back to the convention.
Three of us from the Indianapolis community, plus a brand new friend of ours from the L.A. community, chose the bus which ultimately took us to the Lincoln Park section of Chicago, after touring through much of the city between the convention center and our drop-off point. We toured part of the zoo and nearby gardens, got transportation up to a point along State Street, got some real Chicago pizza, then ice cream, and then walked part way back to the convention along Michigan Avenue. When this addict’s legs wore out, we took a CTA bus the rest of the way back to our hotel.
See, Not Alone, page 6
Recovery, for me, is about trying to find positive alterna-tives to the negative thoughts that helped to define my sense of self- worth throughout my life and in my addiction.
During a presentation at a recent workshop the presenter used the acronym ANTS — Automatic, Negative, Thoughts as one way of describing this aspect of sexual addiction.
While experts in medicine, psychology, and addiction continue to debate the causes of and treatment for addiction and whether or not sexual addiction really exists, I experience obsessive, compulsive sexual issues on a daily basis that put me in danger of violence, sexually transmitted diseases, incarceration and the potential loss of relation-ships, employment, and my very sanity.
My experience of sexual addiction is that it is fueled by negative thoughts that poison my fragile self-esteem. The toxic impact of not fully loving and
accepting myself as a good, worthwhile and lovable person led me to seek affirmation in casual sexual hookups.
Some of the automatic negative thoughts that drove my addiction include:
- I am defective.
- My actions are despicable; I am worthless.
- I do not deserve happiness.
- If others truly knew me, they would not like me.
- No one else struggles with these thoughts and feelings.
- There is no one with whom I can share my struggles.
- God hates me.
- I will never be able to love and be loved as I am.
As an old-timer in SAA, I know that my self-inflicted negativity, reinforced by religious and social mores, has two tragic consequen-ces; it keeps the pressure on me to act out and it stands in the way of my healing and recovery.
How can I get rid of these ANTS? I have tried prayer, therapy, medications, self-help books and the 12-Steps.
Of these, the 12-Steps have worked best for me. I credit this to the program itself, the people I have known in the SAA Fellow-ship and the unconditional love and support I have experienced.
Here is how working the SAA program has helped me to “Step” on these automatic negative thoughts:
- I have learned that I am indeed defective—just like every other flawed human being.
- My addictive behaviors were despicable; but, I am not my behaviors.
- My Higher Power created me in His image; He determines my worth.
- I deserve happiness and joy in my life as much as any other person.
- I have allowed my brothers and sisters in SAA to know me fully and they have not rejected me.
- Many people struggle with the exactly the same thoughts and feelings as I do, or with even deeper, darker issues.
- I can freely share my struggles within the group, knowing that those who matter don’t judge and those who judge don’t matter.
- The “God of My Understanding” is understanding. He knows that, “I am not a human being on a spiritual journey; I am a spiritual being on a human journey” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). My human struggles do not negate my intrinsic worth as a child of God.
- The highest expression of love between two people may be found in sex; however, there are an infinite number of ways to express love. I demonstrate my love for my SAA fellows by being as accepting of their flaws as they are of mine. I recognize love in the caring and concern that my SAA fellows show me.
When I like myself and feel secure in myself, I will have plenty of love to give others. Or, as Aristotle put it, "All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man's feelings for himself."
To truly experience love, healing and recovery I must first “Step” on all of those pesky ANTS.
Pride, from page One
Most, if not all, of those present for the event passed by our booth several times during the day. Many stopped to take a piece of candy from our candy dish, talk to one of our volunteers or pick up some of our SAA literature.
We distributed 108 copies of the SAA, A Pathway to Recovery pamphlet which contains the 12-Question quiz, 28 of the Spanish version of that brochure, 16 of the Women’s pamphlets, 3 of our Sex Offender’s pamphlets, and 17 copies of our meeting directory.
It takes people who are secure in themselves and their level of recovery to be able to attend a gay pride event and staff a booth for Sex Addicts Anonymous. Thanks to the following volunteers for being a presence for SAA: Ben H., Bill B., Jim C., Kurt O., Larry A., Mike C., Phil B., Ranga N., Reena W., and Ted D. These ten volunteers were more than we have had in the previous five years combined!
The 2016 SAA Picnic was held on Saturday, June 18 at the Moose Lodge on the east side of Indy.
Twenty-three members, include-ing two from Ohio, enjoyed perfect weather, delicious food and great fellowship. Thanks to Jim F. who chaired the event and to Mike P. our food purchaser and master of the grill.
Camp Pyoca Expanding
Camp Pyoca, the site of our annual fall retreat, has announced that it plans to replace the two remaining rustic cabins with yurts, similar to the existing Spruce Cabin, by the 2017 camp and retreat season.
Prejudice from page One
live and let live, to love and be loved.
Sexuality is an integral part of who we are as human beings. For most people, accepting their sexuality is a non-issue. They accept who they are and are accepted by others. For those who fall outside the majority, those in the GLBTQ population, sexuality becomes one of their defining characteristics.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for some in the majority to respect and accept those who are naturally not part of the majority.
Even when GLBTQ people gather in their own space with their own kind, those who choose to emphasize differences rather than similarities and stereotypes rather than unique personalities and who cannot or will not tolerate diversity find it necessary to hurt, to hate, and to kill. Prejudice wins.
Fortunately, most people are decent, loving, and respectful of everyone. They are the true pulse of our society. Thanks to them, prejudice may win the battle; but, love wins the war.
SLAA in Indy
SAA member, Ted D., has announced that an SLAA meeting is being formed in Indianapolis. For information, you can contact Ted at (317) 296-5038 or by email at email@example.com.
Not Alone, from page 4
For those few hours, this addict was able to set aside all of the other facets of my life including, but not limited to, being a husband, a father, a grandfather, and an addict; and just live in that moment. Just living in the moment, that moment, is what I found to be the most inspiring part of my entire convention experience. It was a true blessing; and, I am so grateful to my fellow travelers for choosing to on be this journey with me. Thank you for your choices. Thank you for your loving friendship.
Wellness Fair Cancelled
IISAA has had an information table at the AIDS Walk Wellness Fair for many years.
Due to the recent sale of the Talbott Street night club, on whose parking lot fair has been held for the last several years, the 2016 Wellness Fair has been cancelled.