Past Newsletters

IISAA on July 21st, 2016

aspiritual

Meeting Updates

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

Evansville
    Sunday, Serenity Seekers
Sunday, 6:00 PM x ♀ ♂ é
Unity Church of Evansville
4118 Pollack Avenue  47714
Activities Building
More Info:  Patrick G.   (812) 568-0165
Tom B.       (812) 480-0320
 

WEDNESDAY

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

FRIDAY
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
Indianapolis
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.

 

of Pride

   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

and Prejudice

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.brokenguy

   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.

Peace

Mike C.

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.  

mikec

From the Editor

ambulance

Emergency?

   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.

Peace

Mike C.

crank

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. 

Mike'sGod

  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”
Available

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

Bill J.

   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

ants

   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!

Picnic

   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.

disclaimer

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 inmale317@aol.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.

AIDS Walk
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.

2016cal

Continue reading about 2016 Summer Check-In

IISAA on April 17th, 2016

Meeting Changes

The Muncie Sunday Meeting has moved to a new location:

Sunday

Muncie

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.

Thursday

Indianapolis

Abstinence & Growth Meeting
Weekly Noon.
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

Indianapolis

Friday Night Chapel Hill Meeting
Weekly 6:30 p.m.
Chapel Hill United Methodist Church
963 North Girls School Road  46214
Room 110
More Info:  Doug H. (317) 509-3176

The Saturday Morning, Let It Out Check-in Meeting has moved to a new location:

Saturday

Indianapolis

Let It Out Check-in Meeting
Weekly 9:00 a.m.
HRH Resource Center
916 E. Michigan St.  46202
Conference Center
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.

Bylaw Amendment 

Advances

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.

moose

Picnic Returns to

Moose Lodge

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

Longtime Newcomers

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”.

Peace

Mike C.coffecup

 

 

 

 

contact info checkin

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?

Sponsorship Workshop

   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.

July                                  -1,308.36

August                                 442.35

September                         1,489.52

October                             2,714.64

November                        -1,813.83

December                         -2,904.28

January                                -313.63

February                              -599.85

   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.

Spring Workshop

   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. (matt.taylor64@gmail.com) or have your Intergroup Rep bring your proposal to Intergroup for discussion.

nerds

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.

esh

Tricks Learned 

at the 

Sponsorship Workshop

Mike C.

jugglingDog

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:

bone1

 

bone2

Daily Choices

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.

Intergroup Elections

   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.

Continue reading about 2016 Spring Check-In

IISAA on January 20th, 2016

Experience Some Healing

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sponsorship

   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:

Eventbrite.com/e/sponsorship-workshop-tickets-20303485271.

   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.

 

 

stick

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.

Meeting Updates

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

THURSDAY
Indianapolis
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:
FRIDAY
Hammond
Hammond SAA
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:

SATURDAY
Indianapolis
Peace & Serenity Meeting
Weekly 6:00 p.m. x ♀ ♂
Progress House
2456 Bolton Avenue  46218
More Info:  Mike P.    (317) 753-6578
Steve W.  (317) 441-4831

 

From the Editor

In 2016
Take the Leap
dancer

 

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.

mikeBox

 

 

 

 

 

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

Peace

Mike C.

 

 

ES
hope

Area Formation

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

PRISON

   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:
Mission Statement
The Prison Outreach mission is to help the incarcerated sex addict by providing resources and support for recovery.
Vision Statement
"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.

In Service,

James U.

CELEBRATE

Holiday Happiness

“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

Skye T.

Runner  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.

A.C.T.I.O.N.

Any Change To Improve Our Nature

D.E.N.I.A.L.

Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying

E.G.O.

Edging God Out

F.E.A.R.

Future Events Appearing Real

Face Everything And Recover

F.I.N.E.

Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional

G.O.D.

Good Orderly Design

Good Orderly Direction

H.A.L.T. (S.)

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (Stressed)

H.O.P.E.

Hang On Pain Ends

Happy Our Program Exists

Have Only Positive Expectations

Healthy Options Positively Exist

Helping Others by Providing Encouragement

H.O.W.

Honest, Open, Willing

K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Sponsee

Keep It Simple Sponsor

N.U.T.S.

Not Using The Steps

P.R.O.G.R.A.M.

People Relying On God Relaying A Message

S.A.A.

Some Anonymous Addiction

S.L.I.P.

Sobriety Lost Its Priority

S.P.O.N.S.O.R.

Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery

S.T.E.P.S.

Solutions To Every Problem Sober

T.I.M.E.

Trust I Must Earn

T.O.O.L.

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.

2016Calendar

Continue reading about 2016 Winter Check-In