The Muncie Sunday Meeting has moved to a new location:
Muncie Sunday Meeting
Weekly 6:00 p.m.
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital
2525 W. University Avenue 47303
Outpatient Medical Pavilion (OMP)
Conference Room 1
Use entrance between Main and E.R. entrances. Go through double doors to OMP. Take elevator to Lower Level. Follow signs to Conference Room 1.
More Info: Mike P. (765) 228-6865
The Thursday, Noon Abstinence & Growth Meeting in Indianapolis has moved.
Abstinence & Growth Meeting
Union Chapel UMC
2720 E. 86th Street 46240
In the “Upper Room”
More Info: Tom K. (317) 429-7557
A new Indianapolis west side meeting has formed:
Friday Night Chapel Hill Meeting
Weekly 6:30 p.m.
Chapel Hill United Methodist Church
963 North Girls School Road 46214
More Info: Doug H. (317) 509-3176
The Saturday Morning, Let It Out Check-in Meeting has moved to a new location:
Let It Out Check-in Meeting
Weekly 9:00 a.m.
HRH Resource Center
916 E. Michigan St. 46202
More Info: Kevin C. (317) 696-1370
Bill B. (317) 513-3075
Fort Wayne Groups to Host Workshop
From Shame to Grace is the theme of an SAA workshop that will be held in Fort Wayne on Saturday, April 30.
Registration begins at 9 a.m.; sessions run from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
There is a $10.00 fee which includes lunch. You can text Gary B. at 260 820-0219 to register; or, mail your name, address and contact information to Gary at 329 E. Dustman Rd., Bluffton, IN 46714. You may include a check (payable to Beth Moore) or pay at the door.
At the March IISAA meeting, the following motion was made, seconded and passed.
The ISO of SAA has changed the name of its annual business meeting from “Convention” to “Conference”. The IISAA Bylaws contain the former wording. To bring our Bylaws into conformance with the ISO terminology, I move that the word “Convention” in Article III, Section D., Number 1, Items e. and f. and in Article V, Section F., Number 4 be changed to the word “Conference”.
A second vote to ratify this amendment will be taken at the April Intergroup meeting. Each group is entitled to have its representative vote the group’s conscience at that time.
Picnic Returns to
on June 18
The granddaddy of our special events, our annual IISAA picnic, will be held on June 18 at Moose Lodge 17’s picnic shelter just east of Shadeland Avenue on East 16th Street in Indianapolis.
The site proved to be ideal last year. It offers a huge covered shelter which will allow us to hold the event come rain or shine. The shelter house provides modern restrooms and a small kitchenette. The picnic grounds are fenced and provide a lot of open space for Bocce Ball and other activities.
In addition to having plenty of paved parking, the Moose Lodge is also on several Indy Go bus lines.
All S-Group members and their adult guests (18 years of age or older) are welcome. We have exclusive use of the fenced picnic shelter for the day. No children will be present.
Admission to the picnic is free. Intergroup will provide hotdogs, hamburgers, brats, tableware, water and soda. You are asked to bring a covered dish that will feed at least six people.
The day will include fellowship, food, games and recovery conver-sations.
Watch for the official picnic flier at your meeting group(s).
From the Editor
At a Friday morning meeting that I visited, one of the regulars introduced himself by saying, “Hi I’m (Name), a longtime newcomer.”
The person did not elaborate on what he meant by the term “longtime newcomer,” but the phrase struck me as an honest admission that the person, like every recovering addict that I know, is working an imperfect program.
The consequences of our acting out often energize our early attempts at recovery. We have the zeal of the recent convert. Our intent is certain; our path is clear. We are ready to aggressively work the 12 Steps as we reclaim a life free from addiction. And, so we begin.
In reality, however, only a small number of us are able to complete the Twelve Step process in a direct, linear fashion starting with Step One and working straight through to Step Twelve.
In spite of our best intentions, most of us stall out when faced with the arduous task of seriously working the 12 Steps. Step Four is often a major sticking point. The nature of Step Four forces us to face head-on the pain that led us to become addicts and the exact acting out behaviors that marked our addiction. Many of us find ourselves doing the “Twelve Step Waltz”, repeating Steps 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3. The intensity of Step Four becomes a stumbling block to further progress.
The realization that working the 12 Steps is going to be much more difficult than we had first imagined can lead us to stop attending meetings.
But, addiction that is untreated continues to be a progressive, negative force that disrupts our lives.
Soon, we find ourselves back where we initially decided to seek recovery; or, at an even lower “bottom.”
With luck, we find the fortitude to return to a meeting, with its promise that success over sexual addiction is possible.
Starting again at Step One, we recommit to the process. Even though we have “been there and done that” before, in a sense, we are a newcomer to the program.
And, that is okay. In fact, it is commendable. Given the persistent, destructive nature of addiction, and the realization that our efforts are about “progress, not perfection,” starting over is a sign of growth.
If you, too, can describe your-self as “a longtime newcomer,” welcome back. Maybe this is the time that you will succeed in becoming an “old-timer”.
Chicago or Bust
Opportunities for recovery come in many forms and in varying locations. Most of us have been to local meetings, workshops and retreats. Many of us, however, have never had the chance to attend an ISO International convention, other than the one held in Indy in 2006.
This year, the International Convention, We Are Not Alone, is being hosted by the Chicago SAA Fellowship at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel, May 27-30.
Twelve-Step members are always encouraged to “go to any lengths” for their recovery. Given the short distance from anywhere in the Hoosier state to Chicago, attending this year’s convention will be more convenient than at any other time in the last decade.
The collective experience, strength and hope of our entire fellowship is represented at the convention and conference. This recovery experience will not be repeated in our area soon. Why not take advantage of it?
After years of discussion and 18 months of planning, the first IISAA Saturday Session was held on the theme of Sponsorship.
Co-chairs, Chris G. and Ted D., gathered together nearly three dozen members of the fellowship to hear presentations by Matt T., Steve S. and François M. relating to sponsorship and the roles of the sponsor and the sponsee.
The presentations brought forth the experience, strength and hope of the participants as it related to temporary sponsorship, permanent sponsorship and the use of Step Workshops as a form of group sponsorship.
The response to this new half-day format was very favorable. Chris and Ted intend to host a similar workshop next year.
If, like Chris and Ted, you have a “fire in your belly” to see another recovery topic discussed, why not host the next Saturday Session? IISAA is committed to supporting these types of activities.
Cash Flow Crisis
The Indiana Intergroup of SAA, like all 12-Step groups, relies on the contributions of our individual members and member groups for our financial support. Tradition Seven states, “Every SAA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.”
IISAA strives to be a good steward of the donations that we receive. In the quarter-century or so that IISAA has existed, the Indiana fellowship of SAA has always generously supported our work.
The financial goal of all 12 Step groups is to only have sufficient resources to meet its current and projected needs . . . lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose (Tradition Six).
While Intergroup has not faced a problem with adequate financial support, it has been experiencing a cash-flow problem. As can be seen from the chart below, in the first eight months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, we have run a cash flow deficit in five of the eight months.
At the March Intergroup meet-ing, it became necessary to move $1,000 from our savings account to our checking account in order to be able to pay our current bills.
Each calendar quarter we have one of our four major special events and we publish an issue of The Check-IN and the Indiana SAA Fellowship Directory. About once a year, we purchase supplies to create the Newcomer’s Packets that we distribute to any group that requests them. This is an approximate $1,200 expense. Each June and September we sponsor information tables at Indy Pride and The Indiana AIDS Walk.
While our expenses are fairly consistent, our income fluctuates based on the erratic nature of group and individual donations, leaving us with a cash flow issue.
The solution to this problem is to have a more consistent and steady flow of income. Please have your group review the financial support it extends to IISAA. If your group is satisfied with its level of support, please determine whether the group can find a way to make regular and consistent donations, rather than sporadic larger ones.
All of Intergroup, and especially Jim F., our Treasurer, will appreciate your efforts.
The 21st annual IISAA spring idea workshop was held on April 2.
Fifty members of the Indiana Fellowship of SAA and several out-of-state guests shared their experience, strength and hope with each other in order to help strengthen the recovery efforts of everyone present.
Breakout session topics ran the gamut from First Step Leads to meditation, sponsorship and yoga. Scott T even offered a free yoga mat to anyone who wanted one.
No one got everything he or she needed for a perfect recovery experience, but everyone got something to help improve his or her chances of beating our addiction.
The evaluations received were overwhelmingly positive.
Thanks to Bill B. and Mike C. for co-chairing this event.
The next IISAA special event is our annual summer picnic on June 18 (see page one for complete details). Hope to see you there.
2016 – 2017 Special Events Theme Selected
The IISAA fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. Our special events year follows the same schedule. During the 2015 - 2106 program year, we have focused on the theme Experience, Strength & Hope. Articles in The Check-IN, our 2015 retreat theme and our 2016 spring workshop have encouraged members of Indiana’s SAA fellowship, and our out-of-state recovery friends, to share with one another what life was like before recovery, what happened in the process of recovery and what life is like now.
In the coming year, we will turn our focus to Step 12 and specifically to the opening phrase of that Step, 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.
Ours is a spiritual program. It seeks to help us stop addictive sexual behaviors as we develop a new spiritually based lifestyle. How do we awaken spiritually? At what point in our recovery journey do we begin to awaken? How does spirituality differ from religion? Is there only one spiritual path? What is life like for those who have awakened to a new spirituality? Does successfully working the 12 Steps always to lead to a spiritual awakening? These and similar questions will be considered as we explore this theme during the upcoming year.
Can We Develop a Coordinated Schedule of Step Workshops?
One of the topics that generated a lot of discussion at the recent Sponsorship Workshop was the efficacy of Step Workshops in assisting their members, especially newcomers, to work the 12 Steps of SAA.
A drawback to some members attending a Step Workshop is that most of them are only open to new members until everyone in the group has completed his or her First Step. At that point, the workshop is closed to new attendees. Since most of these groups take six months to a year to complete the Steps, the opportunity for a new member to join a workshop is limited.
Another roadblock is the fact that the majority of these groups have met on the north side, making it inconvenient for those in other parts of Indy and those from out of town to participate.
Matt T., one of the Sponsorship Workshop presenters, floated the idea of trying to establish a pattern of Step Workshops where a new workshop would begin each quarter of the year in a different part of town. (Check out Matt’s website, indyrecovery.com , for tips and resources for starting a Step Workshop).
While Tradition Four states that, “Each group should be autono-mous except in matters affecting other groups or SAA as a whole”, there is no reason why various Step study groups could not coordinate their schedules in an effort to maximum the availability of this proven recovery tool.
If you are part of an existing Step study group or are interested in starting a new group and would like to help develop a coordinated schedule of workshop opportunities, you can contact Matt T. (email@example.com) or have your Intergroup Rep bring your proposal to Intergroup for discussion.
Website Development Help Sought
Richard V., the IISAA web-master has identified a number of changes that he believes would improve our website and enhance its effectiveness in reaching out to the addict who still suffers.
More newcomers report finding SAA and our meetings online than by any other means.
Richard has been working on updating our site; however, he recently changed jobs and can no longer devote as much time to this project as he would like. If you, or someone you know, have some mad web design skills, please let Richard know. You can call him at 317 445-8467.
It is not always easy to teach an old dog new tricks, either for the teacher, or the old dog.
Even with nearly 25 years in program, this old dog found that there are a number of sponsorship tricks that could help me be a better sponsor and/or a more appreciative sponsee.
Matt T. and Steve S. shared from their extensive experience of working the Steps, sponsoring newcomers and training others as sponsors. In the robust discussion that ensued, many of those present contributed one or more tips that have worked well for them.
Here are the ideas that I jotted down:
Adapted from Coach Bill Crowder.
“Each day you must choose: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” Discipline is tough, and something we may try to avoid it. But in recovery and in life, short-term pain is often the only path to long-term gain.In the heat of battle it is too late to prepare. Either you are ready for the challenges of life or you will be haunted by the “what ifs,” “if onlys,” and “I should’ves” that accompany the failure to be pre-pared. That’s the pain of regret.
It is time for meeting groups to begin seeking two volunteers to serve as their representatives to the Indiana Intergroup of SAA.
Intergroup needs committed members who can meet on the second Saturday of each month and who will devote time to SAA events and projects during their one-year term.
Group Reps should be elected by June 30 to take office in July.
Book Study Anyone?
A book study group will be dis-cussing the book Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. The group will meet on Mondays starting April 11 from 7:00 – 8.30 p.m. at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7575 Holliday Dr. East.
Call Scott T. 317 407-7647 for details.
Experience Some Healing
Saturday, March 5, 2016
This workshop will discuss the roles of sponsor and sponsee and how best to assure that this critical relationship leads to solid recovery for both.
Anyone in the fellowship who is, or wants to be, a sponsor or a sponsee would benefit from the experience, strength and hope that will be shared around this topic.
The workshop is slated for 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN.
This event is free and open to the members of all S-groups.
While registration is not required, it is extremely helpful to the organizers to have some idea of how many people to expect. If you intend to participate, please log-on to:
If you do not have access to the Internet, please RSVP by contacting either Chris G. (317) 775-8430 or Ted D. (317) 372-2294.
A flyer with complete details of the event will be available following the Intergroup meeting on January 9. If you have additional questions, contact the organizers at the phone numbers listed above.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Experience, Strength & Hope
The 21st Annual IISAA Spring Workshop, focusing on Experience, Strength & Hope, will be held on Saturday, April 2 at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN.
Open to Members of All S-Groups, the workshop will continue the program of work theme adopted by Intergroup for our 2015-2016 special events.
The format for the day will include a continental breakfast, two morning sessions, lunch, and an afternoon session. Each session will offer three or four breakouts, with each exploring the experience, strength and hope of its presenter(s).
Presenters are being sought to share their ES&H as it relates to their sexual addiction and/or recovery. Anyone willing to give a lead is especially welcome.
Registration, both online and printed, will begin following the February 13th Intergroup meeting.
The registration fee is $15 and includes registration, meals and materials. Limited financial aid will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Early registration is encouraged to help meet our caterer’s ordering deadline. On-site registrations will be accepted; however, those registering on the day of the event are not guaranteed meals.
Bill B. (317 513-3075) and Mike C. (317 784-2180) are co-chairing this event.
A meeting has organized in Valparaiso:
MONDAY - Valparaiso
Valparaiso Monday SAA
Weekly 5:30 p.m. x ♀ ♂
Trinity Lutheran Church, Room 106
201 N. Washington St. 46383
The Indianapolis, Wednesday, Noon, Three Circles in the Saints meeting has dissolved.
The Indianapolis, Wednesday night, Serenity Sisters, women-only meeting has dissolved.
The Fort Wayne, Thursday Noon Meeting is active and is currently meeting at Trinity English Lutheran Church, 405 W. Wayne St.
The Indianapolis, Thursday night, Shame to Grace meeting has dissolved.
The Indianapolis, Thursday night, Life In Recovery meeting has moved to a new location. The meeting will now be held at St. Luke Catholic Church. Note: this is NOT the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, where we hold a number of other SAA meetings.
New Step Workshop
Tuesday, January 12
Bridgeway Community Church
12999 Parkside Dr.
Fishers, IN 46038
Contact: Matt T. (317) 409-9233
Josh M. (317) 551-7189
Life In Recovery
Weekly 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. x ♀ ♂ é
St. Luke Catholic Church Library
7575 Holliday Drive, East 46260
More Info: Jim J. (509) 393-8347
Jerry W. (317) 748-6520
A meeting has organized in Hammond:
Weekly 7:00 p.m. x ♀ ♂
Woodmar United Methodist Church
7320 Northcote Avenue 46324
AA Meeting Room
More Info: Luis Z. (708) 646-7844
The Indianapolis, Saturday morning, Let It Out check-in meeting is moving. Contact Kevin C. (317) 696-1370 for the new location.
The Indianapolis, Saturday night, Peace & Serenity meeting has relocated. The new meeting details are:
Peace & Serenity Meeting
Weekly 6:00 p.m. x ♀ ♂
2456 Bolton Avenue 46218
More Info: Mike P. (317) 753-6578
Steve W. (317) 441-4831
From the Editor
Give a Lead
To “give a lead” is to tell all or part of your personal story. It is sharing what life was like, what happened, and what it is like now. The nature of addiction is that it is focused inward, it is secretive, and it is shaming. It is often said that, “We are only as sick as our secrets.” A lead is an opportunity to shed our secrets. It is an opportunity to be open, honest and willing to let others know our true selves. Giving a lead means taking a risk. The risk is that we will be judged by others, that they may find us too defective to love. Why would anyone willingly risk the condemnation of others?
Because the rewards far outweigh the risks!
The most meaningful meetings I have ever attended were those at which a brave addict disclosed the exact nature of his or her life in addiction and recovery.
Experiencing the leads given by others gave me the courage to do my first lead. It was liberating.
When I opened up and shared my darkest thoughts, feelings and emotions, I could have been rejected. Instead, I was affirmed and received the support of my fellow addicts. Even though my story is uniquely mine, others in the group were able to relate to my pain and my shame.
I felt encouraged and motivated to continue working the SAA Twelve Step program. The fear of being “found out” no longer held any dread for me. I was free.
There are different types of leads:
- First Step Leads
- Second Step Leads
- Fourth Step Leads
- Anniversary Leads.
If one works the Steps within a workshop group, every share is a minor or major lead.
Some old-timers find that giving a lead on their anniversary date helps them to stay focused and to recommit to the continual task of working a strong recovery program.
In this leap year, 2016, I challenge you to work with your sponsor to determine when the most appropriate time for you to give a lead might be.
Trust that taking this leap of faith will result in enhanced recovery for you and those who are privileged to hear your lead.
Why not commit to presenting a lead before “leap day” on February 29th
What’s All the Fuss?
The fellowship of Sex Addicts Anonymous is in the process of changing the power structure of our organization. As envisioned by the founders of AA, Twelve Step groups should operate independently, except in matters affecting other groups or the fellowship as a whole. To expedite efficiency and/or to settle conflicts among the groups, a higher level of organization may be required. This level of organization should reflect the conscience of the groups.
Sex Addicts Anonymous has established an International Service Organization, run by a Board of Trustees, to handle the business of the fellowship and to foster adherence to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
In the early days of our fellow-ship, the ISO’s Board often made decisions with or without the assent of the fellowship as expressed through the delegates to our annual conventions. This worked, because the fellowship was widespread and lacked good channels of communication. Decisions affecting the entire fellowship had to be made in the interim between conventions. This led to the development of an organization structure that formed geographic regions to better determine the will of the fellow-ship regarding how best to grow SAA so that it could continue to reach out to the addict who still suffers.
In most cases, the geographic regions that resulted were still too large to allow for efficient decision making and action taking. The ISO continued to determine what it felt was best for the SAA fellowship. Sometimes the will of groups, as expressed by the convention delegates, was realized. Sometimes it was not.
Many people in our fellowship have come to believe that the regional organizational model cannot provide the “bottom up” control of our organization that was envisioned by the 12-Step pioneers.
An effort is currently underway to replace our “regional” form of organization with an “area” form of organization. This approach concentrates on bringing together groups within a closer geographi-cal area so that they can convene at least annually to consider how best to grow our fellowship.
Currently, each meeting group is entitled to send a delegate to our annual conference/convention. As our fellowship expands with more and more new groups, the number of potential delegates to the convention becomes unwieldy. Under the current area proposal, each area would hold an annual assembly to determine the area’s conscience on issues to be considered at the international convention. Each area would then elect a delegate to vote its conscience at the convention. Since each area would be comprised of 20 or 30 meetings, the number of convention delegates would be reduced and conducting meaningful business at the convention would be enhanced.
Bringing together a number of groups in a close geographical area would also facilitate the holding of area conferences, seminars, workshops and retreats.
Morris B. and Richard S. can provide more information about the area organization discussion.
Retreat Rates Well
If the evaluation forms that were turned in following the 2015 IISAA Fall Retreat accurately reflected the weekend, it was a success.
Of the 108 people who attended, 59 chose to evaluate the event. In addition to overall high marks and positive comments, the 21 breakout sessions averaged a 9.30 ranking on a scale of 10.
Several suggestions for improv-ing the event were received and will be considered.
Mike C., who has directed the retreat for 20 of its 21 years, announced that he plans to work his way out of the job by our 25th retreat in 2019. An effort will be made to break the job down into its component parts and to begin training interested members of the fellowship in how to carry out each function. If you have an interest in taking an active role in producing the 2016 retreat, please contact Mike C. at (317) 784-2180.
Prison Outreach Committee
Friends in recovery, the Prison Outreach Committee has been hard at work trying to get help to incarcerated addicts. Within the last few months we have made our vision and mission statements
and also started gathering information from every prison located in our regions. The hope for that is to eventually contact every prison in every region to try to get SAA meetings inside the prisons. So now each region is looking for volunteers to call these prisons and verify their information and get some additional information we may not have.
We are always looking for volunteers for people to write to prisoners. If you are interested, we no longer look to our region coordinators for that opportunity, the best thing to do is to go to the ISO website and register through the ISO. ISO now sends letters to the letter writers instead of to the region coordinators. The website is password protected so you may contact me to get that.
Thank you for all the volunteers who have been letter writers or are letter writers now. Prison is not an easy time for these people and it is great to have SAA members who are willing to help them.
The Mission Statement and Vision Statement for the POC are as follows:
“The Prison Outreach mission is to help the incarcerated sex addict by providing resources and support for recovery.”
"Our vision is to be a premier global resource in support of the sex addict who is incarcerated, by providing information and resources to increase the legal, penal and probation systems’ knowledge of and focus on recovery."
If anyone would like more information about the Prison Outreach Committee or volunteer opportunities through the POC, please contact me. I am James U., the Great Lakes Region Prison Outreach Coordinator. My phone number is 812-322-3092. If I do not answer, you may leave a detailed message.
“Happy Holidays” is a common greeting at this time of the year. It earnestly expresses the hope that someone will experience all of the delights to be enjoyed from Thanksgiving Day throughout Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or whatever winter holidays one celebrates.
For about 50 members of the SAA and COSA fellowships and their guests, “Silver Bells”, the 25th annual IISAA Holiday Party, was a chance to share in the happiness that comes from being with friends from the fellowship to share in good company, good food, and a pleasant outer-circle recovery activity.
Intergroup provided the space, the meats, the decorations and the tableware. The participants contributed their favorite holiday dishes. The result was a happy time for all.
Thanks to Bill J. and Judy J. for serving as hosts of this event
A Run Around Lake Pyoca
I attended the Fall Retreat at Camp PYOCA, where the main lodge sits on a hill overlooking the lake. It was beautiful. The weekend was filled with enriching workshops, meals with my fellows, and personal time for reflection. Retreats like this can be challenging for me. I struggle with anxiety when I am surrounded by many people, living in a space that’s not my own for a few days. On Saturday I decided for the sake of self-care, I’d skip a workshop and instead take a run on the path around Lake Pyoca. I hadn’t traveled the path before, but I’d seen others walking there, and I had the impression it was an easy, possibly paved pathway. The weather wasn’t clear; there were a few rain drops here and there, but it looked like the rain would hold out for the mile or so journey. I left my water bottle in the grass at my starting point.
Starting out, the run was very easy. The first stretch was a clear, elevated pathway, although not paved like I’d thought. I took a good sprint then stopped to stretch, sitting on the damp grass, admiring the lake view. Continu-ing along, the path began to resemble a hiking trail: narrow-ing, hilly, and reaching into the forest. It wasn’t what I’d expected, but that was alright. The hills felt good on my legs; besides, I had an excuse to walk at times when the path was too steep to run safely. I carried on for some time and at a point, was
surprised to realize I’d already made it about halfway around the lake. The rain was still dripping gently, and the surrounding forest felt safe and serene.
I came to a fork. In one direction, the path split right and upwards, away from the lake. To my left was a narrower path, sloping down. I figured this forest must contain other hiking trails, and I wanted to stay close to the lake so I’d be sure to make it back to camp; I went down the path to my left. The trail became more and more narrow and increasingly steep. The thing about steep ground is that once on it, it doesn’t feel as steep as it looked. Even so, I lowered myself close to the ground for fear of falling. This path led me to a ravine. To continue, I’d have to make a small leap to the other side, but I could see a faint path leading up, and I was afraid to climb back up the way I’d come. I thought, “I hope this is the right path, because I certainly can’t go back the other way.” I jumped across--from steep ground to steep ground--and realized the path I thought I’d seen just wasn’t there. There was no path this way. If I continued on, I’d end up in the lake.
I would have to go back the way I came, but how? Could I make it back up that steep hill? Going down is much easier than climbing up. But from here, there was no forward. The rain was picking up, and I started to panic. I was stuck! I would fall, break a leg, and be stranded--why didn’t I tell someone I was going for a run? What if no one found my mangled body until Sunday night? “It’s okay,” I soothed myself, “go
back. It’s now the only possible way.”
To cross back over the ravine, I had to place my hands on the ground across from me and awkwardly climb over the chasm. I was frightened, and the leaves were very slippery. Carefully, slowly at times and quickly at others, I climbed out, finding things to hold on to, trying to avoid the gigantic and numerous spider webs, trying to make sure my footing would hold each time. I kept imagining myself slipping, grasping blindly, and falling. However, I made it out, a little panicky, but feeling brave (even in my fear) and accomplished.
I took a moment to gather myself. I considered turning back. I knew the way behind me was safe, because I’d already traveled it. What was ahead was uncertain. What if I came across more forks? I judged where I was relative to the lake: already three-quarters of the way around. I had come so far. I decided to continue forward. I had already almost died and survived! Forward can’t be much worse, right? The rain really picked up. I stopped occasionally to wipe off my glasses but soon, it was no use. It was raining too hard to make any difference, and my clothes were dripping. I had lost sight of the lake. I couldn’t tell where I was. I felt like I was getting farther into the forest, away from camp. I thought again of turning back, but I didn’t want to. Slipping on leaves, I traveled more slowly. Nature connects me to my Higher Power, but I felt scared. Still, I continued. I’ve run miles before, yet I couldn’t judge the distance in my legs of
See Lake Pyoca, page 6
Initial Thoughts for 2016
The older I get, the more trouble I have remembering important ideas. Fortunately, many good ideas, both in life and in program, can be reduced to acronyms to make them easier to remember. The following is a list that I have compiled over time, with the help of friends, readings and on-line sources.
Any Change To Improve Our Nature
Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying
Edging God Out
Future Events Appearing Real
Face Everything And Recover
Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional
Good Orderly Design
Good Orderly Direction
Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (Stressed)
Hang On Pain Ends
Happy Our Program Exists
Have Only Positive Expectations
Healthy Options Positively Exist
Helping Others by Providing Encouragement
Honest, Open, Willing
Keep It Simple Sponsee
Keep It Simple Sponsor
Not Using The Steps
People Relying On God Relaying A Message
Some Anonymous Addiction
Sobriety Lost Its Priority
Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery
Solutions To Every Problem Sober
Trust I Must Earn
The Only Option Left
Lake Pyoca from page 5
how far I’d come. I’d heard the path was a mile, but I didn’t really know for sure. I recalled what the program has taught me about perseverance and faith, and I felt calmer. I began to see signposts, giving me hope. I believed I was going the right way after all and felt a sense of safety. I took a moment to enjoy the rain which had increased my anxiety earlier. Finally, I saw docks, and after a few more twists and turns, arrived at the pavilion. I saw a familiar face and felt relief to be back.
My run around the lake felt a lot like my recovery journey.
Beginning, I didn’t know what I was in for. It’s been scary, and at times I felt like I might die of despair, especially when I wrote my First Step. Sometimes I have trouble trusting the program: where is it taking me? Do I really want to go there? I can’t always see ‘the forest for the trees.’ But some of The Promises have come true for me already, in my Higher Power’s time. I trust I’m on the right path when I’m working my program and engaging the fellowship. I am grateful for this program, the retreat, and all my fellows who’ve helped (and continue to help) me along the way from whom I borrow strength and hope.
The Wednesday, Noon, Three Circles in the Saints meeting has been resurrected at the same time and same location. Contact Ken S. (765) 571-0974 for details.
Three Circles in the Saints
Weekly Noon -1:00 p.m. x ♀ ♂
SS. Peter & Paul Cathedral Rectory
1347 N. Meridian St. 46260
First room on the left.
More Info: Ken S. (765) 571-0974
The monthly, Wednesday night, Serenity Sisters meeting in Indianapolis has been suspended, until further notice.
The Thursday noon Castleton meeting has moved to the Castleton Nazarene Church, 7848 Allisonville Road. The group meets in the house at the south end of the property behind the church. This is the same site as one of the existing Friday morning meetings.
Abstinence & Growth Meeting
Weekly Noon x ♀ ♂ é
Castleton Nazarene Church
7848 Allisonville Road 46250
More Info: Scott I. (317) 490-9024
See Meetings, page 4
At the September Intergroup Meeting, the chairman, Jeff W., announced that our treasurer had a debit card issued on the IISAA account without authorization. He then used the card to make about $600 in personal purchases and/or withdrawals.
See Treasurer, page 4
The 21st edition of the IISAA Fall Retreat is just days away.
On-line registration remains open through October 16. After that time, it is best to register by phone (Mike C. 317 784-2180).
One truth about addiction is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, for an addict to recover alone.
Meetings allow the group’s members to share their experience, strength and hope. A retreat allows for that same dynamic on a larger scale and with a broader range of personal stories. As we gather, we gain unity through diversity and are reassured of the strength in numbers. The common theme of both local meetings and retreats is that, “you are not alone”.
So, join a varied group of members from the Indiana fellowship, along with members from many other parts of the country, as we gather at Camp Pyoca to explore how recovery can be enhanced when we share our experience, strength and hope.
Do you hear the sound of bells ringing in the distance? Perhaps it is the call of silver bells announcing IISAA’s 25th annual Holiday Party.
This pitch-in event will be held at Lawrence United Methodist Church (5200 N. Shadeland Avenue) on Saturday, December 19 and is open to all SAA members and their adult guests (18 and older). The social hour will begin at 6 p.m.; dinner will be served at 7 p.m.
Intergroup will provide the meat, drinks, tableware and decorations for the party. Each person/couple is asked to bring a salad, covered dish or dessert to share.
To avoid an overabundance of one dish and none of another, it is suggested that guests bring items based on their last initial:
A flyer with complete details will be available following the November Intergroup meeting.
From the Editor
“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.”
Robert Green Ingersoll
Karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where the intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.
Life involves pain. Our basic instinct for self-preservation leads us, as sex addicts, to attempt to medicate the pain we feel by using sex as a drug.
Even though our intent and our actions are meant to be self-protective and therapeutic, our obsessive/compulsive behaviors always result in consequences.
That reality may be frightening, until one realizes that karma comes into play in both negative and positive situations.
As addicts spiral downward into the depths of addiction, the negative effects of our actions lead us to ever deeper “bottoms”. Some would declare that it is unfair that we, as weak human beings responding to pain in our lives (often pain that is inflicted by others), should suffer the consequences of our addictive behaviors.
But, as one member of the local fellowship has said, “God bless the consequences!” It is those consequences that lead us to our bottoming out experiences and it is those bottoming out experiences that motivate us to seek recovery.
It is only when the pain of our addictive behaviors becomes more intense than the pain we are trying to avoid that we seek recovery.
Recovery, of course, calls us to change our response to the difficulties we face in life and to find new, positive means to heal our pain. For addicts of all stripes, one approach is to work a Twelve Step program.
When we can accept our imperfections, trust a Higher Power to help us deal with them and make amends to those that our actions have harmed, positive karma comes into play.
Because our intent and actions in recovery become positive, we reap positive results.
Our painstaking efforts will produce: a new freedom and new happiness; acceptance that our past decisions were the best we could make at the time; serenity and peace of mind; the realization that our experiences can help others; a sense of personal usefulness; concern for others; an appropriate sense of self; freedom from the fear of people and economic insecurity; the ability to handle situations which used to baffle us; and, a realization that God (however we understand God) is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Having been to rock bottom, our new, positive intent and actions will lead us to good karma, a positive upward spiral and future happiness.
All meetings of the Indiana Intergroup of SAA are open to any member who would like to attend? Voting is limited to duly-elected representatives, but reps and guests alike are free to join in any discussion.
Both the current issue and some past issues of The Check-IN are available on-line at our website, indiana-saa.org.
Contributions made to IISAA, unless otherwise stipulated, also support the work of the Great Lakes Region, help send IISAA’s delegate to the International SAA conference and help fund the International Service Organization of SAA.
The Seventh Tradition
Every SAA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
The Indiana Intergroup of SAA is a group, just like any other. IISAA abides by the same Traditions that guide all groups.
In order to be “fully self-supporting” IISAA relies on the donations of our member groups. Aside from occasional individual donations and possible, small profits from our retreat and/or workshop, we have no other sources of funding.
Based on historic donation figures, the 2014-2015 budget forecast group donations of $8,000. The 2015-2016 budget shown at the left reports that the actual amount of group donations during the last fiscal year totaled $5,968, or only 75% of the anticipated amount.
Of the 50 or so active SAA groups in Indiana, some are very generous in their support of IISAA; some make minimal donations, while others contribute nothing to support our Intergroup.
The Indiana Intergroup of SAA is one of the strongest and most active in our entire fellowship. If our outreach to the addict who still suffers, both inside and outside our meeting rooms, is to continue at its current level, the amount contributed by our member groups needs to increase.
The term “support” as used in Tradition Seven includes more than monetary contributions. It also refers to the need for Twelfth Step service work on behalf of the fellowship.
Even as the dedicated members of Intergroup donate untold hours and often choose not to be reimbursed for their expenses, it is often difficult to find volunteers to support our many outreach efforts.
Please consider how you and/or the group(s) you attend might offer a greater level of service or financial support to the Indiana fellowship of SAA.
Special Events Planning Meeting
Our annual Special Events planning meeting will be held at Lawrence UMC at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, immediately preceding the Holiday Party.
During the meeting, a review will be held of this year’s events; a theme will be chosen for the 2015-2016 program of work; and, new events will be considered for addition to our current Holiday Party, Spring Workshop, Summer Picnic and Fall Retreat.
This meeting is open to any member of the fellowship who would like to attend and offer his/her input.
Meetings, from page One
The Indianapolis, Shame to Grace meeting, which has been held at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, has dissolved.
Treasurer, from page One
The treasurer has admitted to misusing IISAA funds. He has committed to repaying the money. He has resigned as treasurer.
The debit card has been cancel-led and the ex-treasurer’s name has been removed from the account.
Any group that has made a donation to IISAA since July 1 should check with its Intergroup Representative or Jeff W. (317 341-4012) to be sure that the donation was received and has been deposited to the IISAA account.
The Amends Process As I See It
I can remember, early on in my recovery, hearing people talk about making amends for those things from the past that still haunt them today--people and establishments who they felt they had wronged by their addiction. Now in the amends process, they would need to face them and present their version of the harm. Wow, what a task to ask of someone, anyone, but especially an addict.
For the most part, everyone agreed on making a list, dis-cussing it with their sponsor, eliminating those amends that would cause harm to others, determining who needed direct amends and who did not. What wasn’t in agreement was ‘did the amends process include those that the addict felt harm from or just the ones the addict had harmed?’
I pondered this question as I compiled my own list. My decision was to include both those I felt I had harmed and those I knew had harmed me. When I sat down with my sponsor to go over the list, we only discussed my harm toward others. He then
stated that, once I made amends to those listed, I would not need to address those I felt had harmed me.
This was in direct opposition to my way of thinking. I was not looking for forgiveness, just an opportunity to have a frank, open and honest conversation. I found in most cases that others did not consider my transgressions had been harmful; therefore, they saw no need to forgive me. I was not looking for forgiveness, only a chance to present my side of how I believed I had harmed them.
After all, the potential cost of forgiveness is that it does not hold the addict accountable for their behavior. Quite the contrary, it allows the addict an escape. It is therefore akin to asking for forgiveness, receiving it, and then doing the same harmful behavior again; then seeking forgiveness all over again.
Making amends is not looking to be granted forgiveness; it is gaining an understanding whereby both parties can feel a degree of closure about the outcome. Therefore, harm must be confronted wherever and whenever it occurred. A tinge of guilt may remain but the shame will dissipate. As addicts, are we not attempting to transition from shame to grace?
The IISAA officers for the coming year, as of the September Intergroup meeting are:
What We Do In Recovery
We do “Welcome”
We do Real
We do Honest
We do “I’m Sorry”
We do Praise
We do Laughter
We do Sharing
We do Tears
We do Slips
We do Respect
We do Happiness
We do Progress
We do Dreams
We do Listening
We do Peace
We do Amends
We do Prayer
We do Service
We do Growth
We do Hard Work
We do “Thank You”
We do Sobriety
We do Friendships
We do Daily Inventories
We do Learning
We do Family
We do Meditation
We do Serenity
We do Whatever It Takes
We do It Again
Important ISO News
An anonymous member of SAA has pledged to match new or increased Life Line Partnerships up to $30,000.
The donor provided three criteria for his gift:
- to use his gift to encourage new or increased LifeLine gifts
- to avoid detracting from current contributions and fundraisers
- the matching gift is to go into the ISO general fund.
Details about the match:
- Starts September 1, 2015
- Ends December 25, 2016
- Only new or increased Monthly LifeLine Partner enrollments will be matched.
(It is easy to track new LifeLines and historically they have not detracted from other donations or fundraisers.)
- New LifeLines: the first monthly contribution will qualify for a match equal to the amount of the first year’s total donation. Example: A new LifeLine of $20 per month will immediately qualify for a match of $240 ($20 X 12).
- Increased LifeLines: Only the increased amount will be matched. Example: A $20 LifeLine is increased to $30 per month. The increased amount of $10 will immediate-ly qualify for a match of $120 ($10 X 12).
- Donations will be used to support outreach and all of the activities and services provided by the ISO.
Contact ISO at 1-800-477-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate or increase a LifeLine partnership.
If you feel like you need a meeting, go to one. If you don’t feel like you need a meeting, go to two.
This year, both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Fridays. The Friday night Keep It Simple group has announced that it will meet both nights. The holidays can be an especially difficult and triggering time for many addicts. If you need extra support at this time, please consider attending the KIS meeting.
Go Forth and Serve
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message
to the sex addict who still suffers, and to practice these principles in our lives.” ~ Step 12
“Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the addict who still suffers.”
~ Tradition 5
Being an addict in recovery comes with a lot of baggage, including plenty of guilt and shame. Most of us spend a lot of time working through these emotions while working the Steps. During our time in active addiction, we were selfish and self-absorbed. Now is the time to give back, help others, and be a little selfless. Volunteer work can be a great way to mitigate those negative feelings of shame and guilt.
You may be thinking—I haven’t done the 12th step, so I can’t do anything. That is far from the truth. Simply by stepping up to do something small, you can help change lives.
There are many ways you can help out your group, the Intergroup, and the ISO.
As an addict, I know the normal reaction is to isolate, to keep a low profile. But volunteering can be a way to break out of your shell, while helping spread our message. When a trusted servant for a group leaves his or her position, somebody needs to step up and take it over. All too often, that “somebody” is grudgingly forced into the position. In my home group, our secretary recently left that position, but no one stepped up until the very last second.
What can you do to help? Volunteer to be a temporary sponsor when a new person comes to your group. Be the person for your group who becomes the Secretary, Intergroup Rep (each group can have two), or GSR. Help out at the retreat in a myriad of ways. Present at either the retreat or spring workshop. Sit at the IISAA booth for a couple of hours at the Indy Pride Festival or the AIDS Walk. Return messages left on the Information Line telephone number. Become a LifeLine Partner with the ISO.
By volunteering you not only give back, you also help yourself to start to feel self-worth again. You will matter to people who need you, and that can be a powerful agent for making more positive changes in your life. When you feel better about your purpose, you will also be less tempted to relapse.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali
After doing an 11th Step program reading from Luke 17: 11-19, I was inspired to write this article.
When was the last time you thanked other members in recovery for helping you?
This would be a good time to think about those who have helped you . . . and then to call them, email them, go see them – THANK them.
I would like to personally thank everyone who has helped to setup, run or cleanup after a meeting; who has become a sponsor; who has served others in the program by leading a retreat, participating in a workshop, or being involved with ISO activities.
My greatest gratitude, though, simply goes to those who have attended meetings and supported my recovery, even those who attend COSA.
Thank you for your support.