“REACH OUT CALLS...” - Sex Addicts Anonymous

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					             Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

                  News from the Web...
                                                “REACH OUT CALLS...”
                         By: Bob D.                Bruce B. lends some wisdom in “reaching out” to others in the
                                                Fellowship. He outlines actions which will be supportive of the
                                                individual, yet protective of his own boundaries, sobriety and
                                                well-being. Affirming, yet honest.
    My name is Bob D. and I’m in charge         Here is something that you might put        hope - how I have done similar things
of the SAA Web site, http:www.saa-              in the PBR next time submissions run        in the past, and how I avoid them
recovery.org, if you haven’t had a chance       low. I wrote it in September when           today.
to check it out. The ISO of SAA Board           someone asked me for help in dealing
started the web site almost 3 years ago.        with reach-out calls.                       6. I am as affirming as I can be, and
The first month 75 people came to visit;        In peace,             Bruce B.              remain HONEST. I find something
in December we had 14,372 visitors. Not                                                     about them or their program that I
bad at all!                                     Reach-out Calls: What to say?               admire or love and tell them about it. It
    When we started the Web site we                                                         can be as simple as, "I admire your
viewed it primarily as an outreach              1. Begin by working the first 3 steps       courage to pick up the phone and
method to attract new members. It               myself                                      make a call when you are in so much
seems to work pretty well for that. I’ve        Step 1- I am powerless over this per-       pain - courage like that makes me
stopped counting the number of newcom-          son's future behavior                       proud to be in the same program with
ers that say, “Heard about you on the            - I am powerless over this person's        you." Or, "I've seen you reach out to
web.” Yet I think people are beginning          feelings about me                           newcomers with such gentleness - I
to realize the possibilities of the Web site     - I am powerless over this person's        really love that about you."
as a resource for the membership. The           feelings about himself/herself
on-line version of the Plain Brown Rap-         Step 2 - Only God can bring peace to        7. I remind them that today's problems
per is a great example.                         either of us                                will not last forever. I ask them if there
    The Plain Brown Rapper used to only         Step 3 - Pray for God's guidance and        is any reason to make a long term
be printed and distributed by regular mail.     peace about the outcome of the call         decision at this instant; that my experi-
We sent out a few hundred copies. A few                                                     ence is that healthy long term deci-
months ago we started additional distri-        2. I really listen to the person, even if   sions are best made after carful
bution electronically via the Web page.         he/she rambles for long periods             thought and prayer.
Here are the statistics on people who           - I stay focused and present. (Unless I
have read [ i.e. downloaded ] the entire        am harming myself                           8. I ask them to focus on what choice
paper since we started last August:             - I need to be honest about how much        they can make right now that would
                                                time I have to give.)                       move them closer to peace and seren-
      Aug   Sep      Oct    Nov Dec                                                         ity; eat something healthy? Take a
      273   578      668    4443 795            3. I point to the steps, but use exam-      bath? Take a walk? Come over for a
                                                ples from my own life. "When I ran          hug? Take a nap/go to sleep? Pray?
    I’m still not sure what happened back       into a situation like that it helped to
in November, over four thousand people          realize that no matter what I did I         9. I offer to pray with them (for knowl-
got a copy of the PBR!                          couldn't change how that person felt        edge of God's will and the power to
    However you look at the stats, we’re        about me - I was powerless over their       carry it out, for peace, for willingness
reaching a lot more people electronically       feelings."                                  to do the next right thing, etc.)
than we have in print. If you are on-line
you can get a copy at our web site. Print       4. I point to program tools, but again, I   10. I remind them that no matter what
it out and bring copies to a meeting            stick to "I" statements such as, “When      they have done, thought, or felt, I still
—-It’s FREE !!                                  I come head to head with my addiction       love and accept them exactly as they
                                                I lose every time. That is why I have       are; that I don't think less of them just
     “When you give a lesson in meanness to     boundaries. I have a boundary about         because they made a poor choice.
a critter, or a person, don’t be surprised if   going onto the web unless I have a          (Provided I do feel this way - again
they learn their lesson.”
                                                specific non-addictive purpose, and         honesty counts.)
     “Don’t get mad at somebody who knows
                                                when I finish my search/work I get off         Take what you like and leave the
more’n you do. It ain’t their fault.”
                                                the web."                                   rest.
From: Don’t Squat With Yer Spurs On!                                                                   Bruce
   by: Texas Bix Bender 1992                    5. I share my experience, strength and

                                                            PAGE 2
             Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

                                                                                           time. That's why I need to continue to
                                                     The Promises?                         practice these principles, uncover my de-
     ISO OUTREACH                                    by: Jim H.
                                              Have you ever sat in a meeting while
                                                                                           fects of character, and try to rightly relate
   (Each  month, the ISO Office answers
                                                                                           myself to God as I understand Him.
                                              someone was reading the promises
   hundreds of pleas for help. They come      and wondered it and when they would
   in postal mail, through e-mail, and over                                                Promise #4 & 5-- "We will not regret the
                                              come true for you. Well, I have. Too         past nor wish to shut the door on it." With
   the phone. This space is dedicated to
   sharing some of them)                      many times. Therefore, I've decided          over 17 months of continuous abstinence
                                              to write this piece for the PBR to           (that's days, nights, and weekends!), I
                                              answer this fleeting question.               have to admit that this promise is really
                                                                                           bearing fruit in my recovery. I have the 12
Here is a letter from a man who               Promise #1-- St .we will be amazed           steps to thank for this promise coming
found SAA and sobriety after viewing          before we are half way through." Am I        true for me because they teach me that
the website and then calling the ISO          amazed at my recovery, at my new-            my past is a powerful tool, in God's
                                              found ability to stay abstinent? It de-      hands, with which I can help another
Office.       Jerry B.
                                              pends on the day, my mood, my atti-          human being. The still-suffering new-
                                              tude at the time. If I haven't had           comer, as well as the struggling sex
    It was a Monday afternoon, MLK            enough sleep, or drank too much caf-         addict who keeps coming back, can be-
day, and I had just acted out. I didn't       feine, or have a headache, I might           gin to see his addiction in a new light
know the term "acting out" yet, but I         answer in the negative. However, if I        once he has the benefit of my story. I can
knew I needed help. I drove home              sit down and reflect about how much          help him discard his denial and defen-
                                              I have struggled and for how many            siveness because he will often find it
and did a yahoo search for sexual
                                              years, I have to acknowledge that it's       easier to listen to someone who shares
addiction. I found the SAA web page           pretty amazing that I haven't acted          his experience with shame and power-
and was glad it existed. I sent an            out in so long. I remember getting 10        lessness. Do I still harbor any regrets
E-mail asking for help and after a few        days and slipping, getting 20, 30, 3         about my past? of course I do. This is a
messages back and forth, I was at             months and 6 months and slipping.            program which emphasizes spiritual
my first SAA meeting that Thursday-           Many of those times I was baffled and        progress. I still regret losing my teaching
my third day of sexual sobriety (I've         angry, feeling like I'd been blind sided     credential and a $45,000 per 8 months of
                                              by the addiction and that my best            work salary. I now struggle to make
been sober in AA for 14 years).               efforts were to no avail. Now, I cer-
    I knew I was in the right place as                                                     $25,000 for a full year of work. I am
                                              tainly don't work a perfect program,         graeful, however, that I am no longer in
soon as I got there. When I got the           but it seems to be working one day at        such a stressful and trigger-laden envi-
opportunity to speak I spilled my             a time. Maybe I am amazed.                   ronment every day Even though conse-
guts. It was such a relief to have                                                         quences aren't fun, they have humbled
finally found a solution to my prob-          Promise #2 & 3-- "We are going to            me enough to perhaps allow a little of
                                              know a new freedom and a new hap-            God's grace to enter. Do I regret victimiz-
lem. I found the people sincere, help-
                                              piness." Nothing could be more im-           ing others? Yes I do and I think it's clear
ful, and honest. Now I'm attending            portant than the freedom from addic-         that I still have a lot of work to do in the
meetings regularly with the support           tive craving and obsession which I           area of Steps 8 and 9 and making
of my loving wife and help of a spon-         now enjoy. This in itself doesn't guar-      amends to those who have suffered as a
sor.                                          antee happiness but it at least makes        result of my acting out.
    If it weren't for the SAA web page        it possible. Yet, I am still vulnerable to                    Jim H.
and the help of the ISO office, I might       a slip or a binge. We don't graduate in
                                              this program and we need to be wary
                                                                                              LOOK AT THIS !
not have found SAA. A month or so             of ever present triggers, both internal
before I came to SAA I remember               and external. The freedom for me is
                                                                                               >AN “800” NUMBER !
being in the middle of an acting out          that it's gotten easier to protect my-
episode and thinking, "I'm going to           self. I know what I need to do and a
be like this for the rest of my life." I'm    lot of the time I am willing to do it. As       > BUY/DONATE WITH
learning very quickly that this pro-          a result, today I don't have to peek
gram really works.
                                              through the blinds in fear that a detec-           CREDIT CARD!
                                              tive has come to my house to ques-              A long time coming !! The ISO
    It's my hope that we can carry the        tion or arrest me. Today I don't have
message to the multitudes, many                                                            Board and Staff has never given up
                                              to pervert my natural talents by using
currently in other 12 step programs,          my creativity to dream up ways to            on it. Now you can call:
who are suffering and don't know we           victimize people without getting                       1-800-477-8191
exist. In this day and age it's hard not      caught. Today I don't have to make              [See Office hours, Page 12]
                                              up lies about where I am, where I've          for information, to place an order,
to bump into information about AA.
                                              been and where I'm going. And today          or to make a contribution. You can
Maybe soon the stigma of sexual               I don't have to experience that terrible
addiction can be lifted and those who                                                       use Visa, Master Card, Discovery,
                                              dissonance that comes with the ef-
want help can get it. Until then, the         forts of living a double life. Hve all       and American Express. And, bank
Web is a great platform sharing the           these new freedoms made me hap-                 debit cards of the same name.
message.                                      pier? of course they have!! Neverthe-          ALSO, Bob D. is setting up the
            Bill A                            less, I'm still unhappy too much of the        Web-Site to do the same. Card
331 words                                                                                     number security is assured!
                                                          PAGE 3
           Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

From the Inside...                            I give thanks to all SAA groups            cared. That was worth something, not
                                           that support the jail and prison pro-         just to him but to others in his life.
    [Ed comment: We are happy to                                                              My friend told me of a lesson he had
receive letters. poetry and articles       grams, and the Houston Intergroup
                                                                                         to learn. His spirituality called him and
for the PBR from prisoners. They           that donates reading material. I              required him to pursue justice - making
offer hope to the entire Fellowship.       thank the Chaplain for allowing us a          things right in his world. But often, de-
Thanks to you all!                         chapel to meet in. We are made fun            spite his efforts, he despaired of seeing
    A change however...                    of and laughed at as we come to               anything righted. He found he had to
                                           these meetings. But I keep coming             divorce himself from the results. What
    We ARE going to withhold, at
                                           back because it is helping my recov-          was important, and reallly all that was
least for the time being, the printing                                                   required, was that he be engaged in the
of any names or addresses of pris-         ery.                                          process. It was kind of like lighting a
oners, even though permission to              I want to thank each volunteer             candle rather than cursing the darkness.
print has been given.                      who comes to the jail. And our offi-               His advice to himself and to me was
    We know the sincerity of those         cers for keeping things “smooth”.             this: “Pursue justice, be a positive influ-
working programs on the inside.            Without them there would be no or-            ence in our world. But detach from what
                                           der. Thanks to the PBR, and last the          ‘we’ want. Surrender and trust. We
And the desire of all to receive let-                                                    have no control of the outcome.”
ters of ESH from others on the out-        most important, the whole body of
                                                                                              So how should we, as people in re-
side. There are concerns though,           SAA.                                          covery, respond to the suicides and the
that must be answered before we               Thanks from behind the walls.              attempted suicides among us? Aren’t
continue this practice. We regret                          Bruce W.                      our sex addictions often characterized by
this action at this time. ]                +++++++++++++++++++++++++++                   self-destructiveness, a sort of soul-
                                                                                         suicide? They are us and we are they.
                                                 ROGER S. , from Iowa                    Shall we beat ourselves up with “what
Dear PBR,                                                                                ifs”? I have found that it is healthy for me
    In the October PBR on page 4,                                                        to ask myself all the questions. It is part
                                                My life in recovery has also been        of the process of grief. But in the end I
Bill H. writes: “I am continually...                                                     need to do what I know to do and that
                                           touched by a suicide. More than two
amazed at how easy it is for me to         years ago, a friend of a friend put me in     can be summed up in two words - to
gradually stop doing the things I          touch with a man with whom I began            love. I will continue to love the suicides
need to do to keep my recovery go-         some outreach by mail. Like me, “Sid”         in life and in death. They are my broth-
ing.”                                      had a sexual addiction that had taken         ers, my sisters. They are me.
    No kidding. That must be univer-       him across the line to criminal behavior.          Mother Teresa said, “It is not neces-
                                           He had a never been caught but had            sary that we do great deeds but that we
sal; it should be in LARGE BOLD                                                          show great love”. Great love can face
                                           experienced some close calls. He was
TYPE.!                                     beginning to “come out of hiding”, seek       down demons, tear down prison walls,
    He quotes Sirach: “The day of          help, and break the cycle of abuse, but       melt away masks and self-defenses. But
prosperity makes one forget adver-         only tentatively.                             it won’t if I don’t show this love. Love is
sity; the day of adversity makes one            In my letters I tried to help him see    never without fruit because even if it
forget prosperity.” Worth contempla-       the choices he had, with the most impor-      doesn’t change others I am so much the
                                           tant consideration being that he do what-     better for having shown it.
tion; take a moment.                                                                          “Sid”, I light a candle in your name. I
                                           ever he felt was necessary to avoid ever
    Sincerely,      Jim Z.                 again causing harm to another human           love you, Brother.
  +++++++++++++++++++++++++                being. Loss of reputation, of employ-                       Roger S.
Bruce W’s edited letter. Sent with         ment, of his marriage, and even of his        PS I celebrate nearly 9 years in SAA - all
permission by a P.O. Worker....            freedom, I told him, might unavoidable        in prison. Thanks for all your ESH over
TO ALL RECOVERY ADDICTS,                   but better than the alternative - another     the years through the PBR.
    I come to you not only as a sex        victim. And even though I had lost all
                                           those things, I was the happiest I had            Ed note: Roger asked if he could
addict but...as a sex offender. I am       been in my life - having regained my          copy the “old” issues of the PBR that the
awaiting appeal.                           sanity and my soul                            prison group had kept over the years,
    It took me three times to be in jail        Three months later “Sid” took his own    now that the ISO position is such that it
to realize that this program works.        life. I was shocked and saddened. I           can be copied. He says they have done
My HP opened my eyes to work more          wondered if I [played] a part in this         this with the newer issues with good
vigorously and to be honest....            choice he had made. Did I say the wrong       results. The Editor, Robert S., now
                                           thing? Should I have kept writing to him      sticks his neck out as a true addict and
    The two steps that God has me
                                           even when he didn’t answer? Did I             says: “Go ahead and copy them for the
working on most are 8 and 9.               waste my time or my compassion on             benefit of those who see them”. Don’t
    It was hard for me to make a list of   him? The biggest question: “Why?”             sell them for profit though, ok?
all prostitutes I’ve slept with, what I    these were questions I couldn’t answer.           Roger also volunteers for work on the
have done to children I’ve brought              My friend, who had also had some         Literature Committee. He is co-chair of
into this world, and how I’ve let down     influence in “Sid’s” life, helped me to put   the in-prison SAA group and is willing
my stepchildren. A son I’ve not seen       some things into perspective. I didn’t        and able to bring submissions to their
                                           “save his life” but I did listen to him. I    attention for brainstorming and feed-
in 22 years.                               understood him and I showed him that I        back.
                                                      PAGE 4                             More “From the Inside”, pages 6-8
              Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

                                     POET’S                                            PAGE
[Stuart is a first time contributor to the PBR. He   Just for self, or exposed?                        MORE FROM BILL R.
is on “the inside”. He has a long time to serve.     There is no individual.                           The title makes this self explanatory.
His sponsor suggested he submit this poetry.
We are happy to oblige.                              Who am I fooling?                                 Amends
                                                     Mostly only myself.
         FROM SHAME TO GRACE                         Let's be real -- myself and I.                    I put on my past transgressions like a winter
When the light is on I can see better                What is it I can really do?                       buttoned fast against the cold to keep me
what I try to read or write.                         I'm good at lying.                                warm.
                                                     Can I perform?                                    I see how winds have torn your hair.
The frown is a squint left over from when the        Can I teach?                                      I feel the chill as ice melts in your eyes.
light is off.                                        Can I set an example?                             Is there no safe place for me?
Can I hear, in the headphone radio, evidence                                                           Some refuge from this home that does such
of the frown                                         I do perform -- is the performance                harm?
left from trying to hear approval for my efforts     one I like -- a choice I want to attach           I trim my beard and let my hair grow long.
in high school biology that my mother thought        my name to?                                       I wear my shroud of indecision.
weren't worth the ~A" the teacher awarded                                                              Still the mirror traps me in a smile.
or the college recital performed                     I do teach -- is the lesson the                   What does it mean?
with no family in the audience                       one I want to pass to the                         What does it mean?
because it was the wrong instrument.                 students -- some I am not even                    Are there no metaphors to mend
                                                     aware are learning?                               the broken love that lies upon the floor?
The holes in my soul seem impossible to fill                                                           Can I bear this sorrow for a while?
Mountains of shoulds, oughts, and musts              I do set an example                               I used to dance with you and sing.
can never void the abyss                             often a very poor one.                            I wished for you a child's world never ending.
left by the absence of                               I desire                                          I see instead the pain that I have brought.
that's fine, good jobs, and terrifics.               I crave                                           I see instead the price I never paid.
                                                     Do I need?                                        How can I tell you now how hard I fought?
Friends and colleagues were always real adults       Why; do I think I’m abandoned                     My heart is broken with your kiss.
doing real jobs                                      forgotten                                         How can this spirit still be so unbending?
competent, equals, among peers.                      ignored                                           I put on my past transgressions like a winter
My job was just a token attempt, always lack-        rejected?                                         coat
ing                                                                                                    buttoned fast against the cold to keep me
the polish, the resonance,                           I must be greedy                                  warm.
that any child could do as well or so it seemed      I do feel needy                                   I walk down streets to winter's icy blast
because the authority,                               The soaring Brahms                                of memory that plays me like a pawn.
the approval given always responded                  drives rhythmically                               And yet I pray it cannot last.
as if a child had indeed done it --                  My should watches, wishes, dreams,                A spring will come.
and never well enough.                               but limps, trips, stumbles.                       Tell me spring must come.
All the book learning is fine,                       No way can I measure up --                        FROM GEORGE S...
but it only serves to fill the blanks                so far from perfection.                                 “During much of my life, I felt that I would
on an exam paper or in talk.                                                                           be better dead. Constantly, I wished I could go
The test of life, measured by the emotions in        The letter, the spirit the                        to sleep and never wake up. What I really felt
fires of                                             reality is the failure.                           was that my life was...”
self disgust, reveals scores of childlike fear and                                                                           “Useless”
insecurity.                                          Poetry                                                   Life is useless, dlying comes too slow.
                                                     gives freedom to expression of emotion                   Life without meaning is all that I know.
Tiptoeing through life                               Is the thought portrayed                           This penetrating fear crushes all of my desires
Pizzicato                                            meaning is in the mind of the reader                  To continue on the path that living requires.
Choosing the faces to show                           Can it even be possible to communicate the
the emotions to allow                                idea                                                 I’ve hated my time in this Godless world
Safe feelings, approved Pastoral, Major keys         every mind will have its own color connotations         With all the madness. It has to stop.
Real living, truth,                                  Is it still valid to try                               I never considered my deeds as rape,
the pain, humanity? -- not me!                       What is communication?                            They were feeble effort to experience escape.
Reality might not be neat and tidy                   What is perfection?
the rough edges might cut                                                                                Why do these feelings persist in my soull?
a kerf across the ideal that                         Feeling stupid is giving                             Why can’t I cover that gaping ugly hole?
distorts the protected image,                        license to imperfection                              When will I learn that living really hurts?
desired, dishonest.                                  Claiming stupid feeling is                          Perhaps only when I finally mix with the dirt.
                                                     inferiority taking power.
Fake                                                                Stuart D.                                Just keep on looking. My eyes reveal
Does it show as much as it feels?                                                                       All the hate and resentment I constantly feel.
Must be like trying to mute a Piccolo.                                                                  Yes. I know all the craziness filling my head
                                                                                                           Cannot be erased until I’m finally dead.
A choice, a karma                                                                                                    [I hate this last line...]

                                                                   PAGE 5
           Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

MORE FROM...                               had not done anything but my past
                                                                                              PROBLEM SOLVING”
   THE INSIDE.....                         all but insured that I had to be re-
                                           locked up.
                                               [Referring to a tv show involving
                                                                                          Around and around a little dog ran;
                                           women who had been raped, and the
Tony writes from Minnesota and                                                            when exhausted it slumped and fell.
                                           questions asked...] “How do you get
comments on his recovery from look-                                                       No matter how fast the little dog ran
                                           your sexuality back?” Reply, “Like a
ing at the life of Bill W. ..                                                             it could never catch up with its tail
                                           necklace, one bead at a time”.
     My name is Tony and I’m a sex             Another question: “How could a
addict. I live and go to 2 SAA groups                                                     Around and around the little boy ran;
                                           person rape another?”
in Minneapolis, MN. I quit drinking                                                       in circles he ran till he fell.
                                               Bill responds: The questions
alcohol and smoking cigarettes in                                                         He ran until he became a number
                                           touched me; my sexuality had been
1980. I have been going to SAA                                                            locked up in a prison cell.
                                           linked to masturbation, pronography,
since 1985. My boundaries are NO           fantasy and violence for as long as I
pornography, writing porn, Playboy                                                        Around and around the cell he
                                           have had it.
and strippers…. The story of Bill W.                                                      paced,
                                               And further: I did not see myself
is helpful for my SAA recovery and I                                                      but always one step behind
                                           as a person, nor any of my victims.
hope it is for yours too.                                                                 the answer to all the pain he felt
                                           Their bodies simply replaced my
[Ed comments: He refers to the                                                            inside his tortured mind.
                                           hand and the pictures. I struggled
books, “Bill W.” and “Pass It On”.]        for a long time with why I did what I
  +++++++++++++++++++++++++                                                               Around and around the parolee ran
                                           did. After much therapy I came to
Excerpts from a long, long missive                                                        in his sham and games a-fakin’;
                                           understand that I did it because I
from Carroll “Sonny” W...                                                                 he smiled at the world as he raced
                                           wanted to. It was the easy, softer
     [Nov ‘98] Dear PBR,                                                                  along
     I just received the PBR with the                                                     with a heart full of sorrow and break-
                                               His advice: For anyone who is
article. [his] SAA is going strong in-                                                    ing.
                                           raped, “REPORT IT”. Your attacker
side this facility. Thank you for print-   will only continue until he/she is
ing it.                                                                                   Around and around an old man
     We are still trying to find a group                                                  walked;
                                               Thanks for letting me share.
[outside] that might be willing to be                                                     that was ll he wanted to do.
                                           Your Brother in Recovery,
our outside sponsors. It would be                                                         This habit was formed in his early
helpful and also allow us to have                                                         years
evening meetings. Like we do in AA.                                                       until it was all he knew.
                                           From former writer, Jerry A.
It would give us a lot of help and         Hello,
encouragement.                                                                            Around and around the black hearse
                                               Thank you for your note and for            went
     I wish each end every one of you      acknowledgment of my article... and
all the best that God can give. Hope-                                                     with a coffin locked to the floor.
                                           for the “word count” [it was long..Ed].        Inside lay the man who had circled
fully someday soon we may meet in              ....Sadly, most SAA’s in prison
our new new walk towards destiny,                                                         himself;
                                           don’t have a meeting. We get that              he will circle himself no more.
one day at a time.                         via the PBR and contacts who write [I
     God Bless and Thanks.                 have 2 regular contacts]
         Carroll W. [Sonny]                                                               Around and around in circles
                                               Sincerely, Jerry                           has never been know to bring gain
[Ed note: Carroll wrote the “Old           [Jerry is submitting to the “Large
Brass Rail” some years ago, and has                                                       and circular problem solving
                                           Book” he says...]                              will keep us encircled with pain.
enclosed a very long submission             ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
written in 1997. Can’t include it now].                                                       Written 9-7-98 by Ron B.
  +++++++++++++++++++++++++                                                               [Sent in by a Prison Outreach Coor-
William [Bill] S. writes... [The letter                                                   dinator]
is excerpted, ED]
Dear PBR,
     I am in prison new because of
                                           NEED A LITTLE HUMOR? EVEN “SHAGGY DOG”
rape. I was a rapist. I had served         HUMOR?? Here’s a few “Tom Swifties”...from a member of the
over 13 years of my sentence and           SAA Fellowship, no less. Don’t hold it against David B....
made parole in Nov. ‘94. Nine              “I can’t believe I ate the whole pineapple!” Tom said, dolefully.

                                                                                                              AAAGGHHHH !!!
months later I was arrested on a           “That’s the last time I’ll ever pet a lion,” Tom said, offhandedly.
parole warrant. Several months later       “I won’t let a flat tire get me down,” Tom said, without despair.
violated and went back to prison. I        “I keep banging my head on things,” Tom said, bashfully.
                                           “That’s the third electric shock I’ve gotten this week!” Tom said, revolted.

                                                      PAGE 6
             Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

                                          FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN                                                            by
                                                                                                                         Joel B

     I don't get cavities very often -- in fact   has already happened and I just don't           (while not likely at this time) that I could
my first one happened when I was al-              know what the results are yet (like what is     be laid off (and I would not be the first to
most 30. And for a few days before, I             going on in my body) or that I have no          have to go through this!).
acted pretty much like a child would -- my        influence on what is going or the outcome.
fear increased and I acted in accordance          In either case, I need to quickly "... accept        Stressful and fearful? I would not be
with the fear. Then last year at this time,       the things I can not change...". Thirdly, I     human if I didn't admit that I have no clue
I took a routine physical at work and they        am constantly exposed to good and bad           what is going on and that it will probably
found an elevated liver enzyme level. So          experiences and influences. They come in        get even more confusing tomorrow when
I made an appointment with an internist           cycles and they aren't all good or all bad.     we all return to work. But I don't have act
and during those two intervening weeks            Sometimes, what seems to be negative            out or even get into 'middle circle behav-
-- my imagination got the better of me            can in fact be a major positive when I look     ior' over this. I know what is likely to
and I began assuming the worst -- that I          back on it later in my life. So I should not    happen if I don't plan ahead and deal
had hepatitis B or C. Even though the             try very often (if at all) to 'swim upstream    with how I know I will likely react -- so I
fears didn't make any sense (since I was          against a strong current'.                      go into action! Go, meet, talk, lay out
never a drug user nor had a transfusion                                                           those fears no matter how silly they are
since 1957), that didn't stop me from                 Luckily, I am sometimes blessed with        and then let things go on concurrently.
reacting irrationally. I guess for me (and        the opportunity to anticipate those situa-      No matter how good or bad things are --
possibly for others), the unknown causes          tions that are newly developing and will        even if I get laid off (worst case scenario)
me to react in irrational ways.                   produce a significant element of unknown        -- I have a life to live to it's fullest poten-
     My natural way to deal with the un-          and fear. It is during those situations I can   tial in the meantime -- both my profes-
known should be to get additional infor-          prepare myself ahead of time -- to set up a     sional life and my social life. In fact, just
mation but instead I often would rather           game plan. For example, increase my             talking about it here was a great start!
just 'go with the irrational flow' and imag-      daily involvement with recovery, go to one                                   Joel
ine the worst. Not only is this not physi-        or more additional meetings (as I will be
cally healthy nor mentally healthy, but it        doing in three hours), spend additional
also potentially provides me with reason          time with my support network of my spon-                -OLD WAYS-
to 'escape' and in the worst case, escape         sor, my good sex addict friend, etc. And
leads me to acting out behaviors.                 mostly, talk and network however difficult it          —NEW WAYS—
                                                  may be.                                                                      by: Rich W. ..
     Last year, I did not have to wait two
full weeks in fear (+ another week after              Finally, I have to remember to place the
the tests), to determine I was negative on        events in perspective. Not anything, even       How I might choose to
hepatitis (and three more months to find          a death of a loved on (which is not the                     Respond
                                                                                                              to Confrontation
out my levels were back to normal). In            case thank G-d this time), is so over-
                                                                                                  These are the Old Ways, which did not work...
fact, after a day or two, a good friend           whelming that my whole life and activities
from Orlando called. She happens to be            need to be 'shut down'. I need to give          Ignore my confronter,
a nurse and works for the drug distributor        appropriate time (and respect) for any ma-      resist and lie
of the most popular drug used to treat            jor stressful event in my life but then move    run away fearful
Hepatitis C and after listening to me,            on to other things that require my time and     or stonewall deny.
assured me that I did not have it. (That          attention as well.                              Be defensive, justify my actions, blame others.
was no coincidence of course that she                                                             After careful [errant] analysis of the motivations
                                                                                                  of my confronter,
called, I believe).                               “Stressful and fearful? I would                 counter-attack, retaliate.
     Anyhow, I can not always search out
                                                  not be human if I didn't admit that             As last resort, skillfully dehumanize my confron-
for the information to alleviate my fears. I
also have to realize that when certain            I have no clue what is going                    ter.
fearful and unknown situations happen to          on.....”                                        Here are the New Ways, which do...
me, they often happen to others as well
and even if they didn't, I am not the first                                                       Be open, take time, try to understand the com-
person to be going through it.                         So what is about to happen that I antic-   plaint,
                                                  ipate? Friday in the Wall Street Journal        have faith in the process of listening to my
    So dealing with fears and the un-             and then yesterday in the Houston paper,        confronter.
known for me is much like the process of          articles talked about what is likely to be a    At least accept the possibility of a valid com-
working on my addiction. First and fore-          major merger between the company I work
                                                                                                  by searching diligently for my part,
most, I need to confront them directly            for (the #1 oil company) and the 4th largest    looking for evidence of my flaws at work.
and immediately AND WITH OTHERS.                  oil company. The formal announcement is         Ask for help or advice and agree to the truth.
Holding things to myself, whether they be         supposed to occur tomorrow. Assuming            Be humble, empathetic, willing to change,
fears or past behaviors only lead to neg-         the merger is approved, major organiza-         make amends.
ative consequences. Secondly, I must              tional changes could occur (even if they        Negotiate with willingness to comply where ap-
remember that either what I am fearful of         are engulfed into us). It is also possible      propriate
                                                                                                  and, oh yes, don’t forget to thank my confron-
                                                             PAGE 7
              Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

                                                  ONE MORE FROM INSIDE...
                                                    A NEWCOMER TO SAA...                                        Michael P.
                                                  [Editor’s note: This letter and 3 attached     sor, but am still [acting out].
by Rima B.                                        poems are reflective of some extreme               I requested in Dec-98 that the medi-
                                                  pain, extreme early abuse, and extreme         cal department help with medication. It
                                                  gratitude to SAA and his sponsor in a          doesn’t seem to “stop” anything but re-
                                                  neighboring state. This missive is more        duces the cravings.
It’s downright embarrassing how little it takes   explicit than can be printed at this time,         Perhaps this is “cheating” but it
to send me reeling, to make me shake.             even with his permission to use all text       [helps]. I’m not proud of my weakness at
                                                  and name and address. It is essentially        having to resort to chemical help, but I
One moment I’m full of peace and calm.            a “first step story”. We wish he had a         am grateful....
The next, my mind is racing on                    group inside to share it with. This is why         My last poem says thanks to my
about a million things gone wrong
                                                  Prison Outreach is so needful!]                sponsor, my mentor, my friend, “ “. I
and how I really don’t belong
in the world of those who trust,                                                                 Love You, “ “.
who find their way without lust                   Dear PBR,                                          Sincerely,
for things which aren’t good for them                  My name is Michael P. and I am            An addict in recovery,
and make an effort to contend                     finally able to admit I am a sex addict. I                     Michael
with their fears, no matter how strong,           am almost 56 and have only been sexu-          [Ed: Michael’s last poem might well ap-
in a way which isn’t wrong,                       ally sober since February 1, 1999. As of       pear in a subsequent issue. If you’d like
that doesn’t end up hurting their soul,           tonight, I have 28 days of total and com-      to write to him, or any other prisoner who
the very thing that is my goal.                   plete sexual sobriety.                         might need it, contact: Prison Outreach,
                                                       Yes, I know I am but a baby, that I       ISO Office, P.O. Box 70949, Houston TX
But to do this, as I must,
there is no other way but TRUST,                  have a life-time battle ahead of me that       77270, or c/o Mike L., P.O. Box 27544,
despite the fact that fear exists,                will probably be all uphill.                   Houston, TX 77227-7544.]
and my weakness does persist.                          Twenty-eight days ago I took that first    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                                                  tottering step, and I’d like to thank SAA,
In my heart, my faith is TRUE,                    SA and my wonderful, loving sponsor, “ “,
turn to God, that’s what to do,                   in “ “, for standing beside me through
and say some prayers to get the help to deal
with what it is I felt
without tearing myself apart,
                                                  some severe tribulations, and helping me
                                                  reach this point.                               HEY GROUPS!
                                                                                                  SUIT UP, IT’S
                                                       It was not long ago that I didn’t even
but instead feel in my heart
the Grace God’s love can bestow                   realize that I was a sex addict. Then I
and the peace that I can know                     was arrested, tried, convicted - again! I

                                                                                                    TIME !!!!
by remembering that I’m HIS child,                knew I had a problem with sex, but I
and no matter how nuts, no matter how wild        wasn’t an addict. I was just “kinky”, with
my thoughts can make me feel inside               a high sex drive.
It’s in HIS love I can abide.                          One day I ran across a list of 12         The PBR received the
                       Rima B                     questions for self-assessment. “D...” if I
                                                  didn’t have to answer “yes” to every one       listing of SAA GROUPS
                                                  except #6. I immediately wrote for more
                                                  information. Now I know. I am a sex
                                                                                                 that are CURRENTLY
        INNER CONVERSION                          addict.                                        REGISTERED ! Some of
Louis D...                                        [Here is where the family story, his child-
                        Learning to live          hood, personal adult story are given...]       you are NOT, I say, NOT
                               with the
                                                       After the last episode I ran away from
                                                  “home” again. The third time. This time
                                                                                                 there ! Groups that WE
                        process of life -         I lied about my age and joined the             KNOW are still meeting.
Learning the                                      Marines. Little changed; the pattern was
challenge of change -                             set, the die cast.                             It is TIME TO LOOK FOR
                      Old patterns                     I was kicked out of the service be-
                                                  cause of sex. I held and lost dozens of
                                                                                                 THE FORM. No, not the
                      of behavior
                      soon become                 jobs, destroyed 5 marriages and many           one most of us sex ad-
                      uncomfortable,                   I visited adult-video arcades and         dicts looked for in past
                      hard to deal with
                     - unnecessary.
                                                  [acted out], sometimes a dizen times per
                                                                                                 days, WE MEAN THE
Inner conversion                                       I molested my adopted daughter            REGISTRATION FORM !!
is the healing process                            when she was 12, my adopted daughter
that brings wisdom,                               from age 7.                                    You can’t send a dele-
comfort, and graduation
                                                       The only programs here are AA/NA
                                                  but nothing to assist the sex addict, or
                                                                                                 gate, nor vote at the
to life's most                                    sex offenders at all.                          convention til you do !!!
challenging endeavors.                                 I correspond regularly with my spon-
               Louis D.
                                                             PAGE 8
           Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

Don’t mean to chew                       An Appeal...                                Bruce B. again...
the cabbage twice,                       We are getting closer to another an-          “NATIONAL
but....                                  nual convention. I hope that a number       CONFERENCES...
                                         of you are planning to go. But even if                  What can wedo....”
                                         you are not, I appeal to you for sup-
                                                                                     A minority view?
                                         port.                                                       Maybe... Read on
     You saw the darkly bordered col-
                                                   No I am not asking for finan-
umn on the previous page. We hope        cial support. I believe that the money                I just need make my position
so.                                      will be there and that money is a small     clear to the fellowship, and then I can let
     Because of problems arising from    thing. No, I appeal to you to consider      it go. Unless I can do that, I feel like I'm
groups not being registered over re-     who can step up to help the whole           not doing my part - like my silence would
cent years, the ISO Board adopted a      fellowship. We need people. People          be harmful to the fellowship. That's what
policy of requiring ANNUAL REGIS-        who have proven their ability to work       my gut tells me, and it seems to mesh
TRATIONS for all groups. Primar-         with others; People who have shown          with my understanding of Concept V; in
                                         that they                                   Concept V individuals with minority opin-
ily the problems are two.
                                         know how to listen to their higher          ions are encouraged to speak out.
1. Member groups have not been                                                                 I'm sad. I feel powerless over
                                         power and act in the right way; People
“zealous” in keeping their meeting                                                   the fate of the joint COSA/SAA confer-
                                         who can bring others together even
information current with the ISO of-     when they disagree and still hold the
                                                                                     ences that have meant so much to me in
fice. Some of that information is                                                    my personal recovery and the recovery
                                         fellowship together; People who have
over two years old. This makes it                                                    of my marriage.
                                         the skills of communication and coor-                 I came into the program
hard to refer someone who is seek-       dination of other volunteers.               1/30/93, and attended my first national
ing help.                                          For example, this last year, we   conference in Louisville, KY that same
2. ISO By-laws require member            have not had anyone on the Literature       year. It was overwhelming. Hundreds of
groups follow the 12 steps and 12        Committee who would bring the view-         SAAs and COSAs from all over the
traditions of SAA, rather than a mod-    points of the eastern region. The rep-      country coming together to celebrate a
ification or adaption of those from      resentative from the Northern Tier has      year of growth and share experience,
                                         been out sick many times this year          strength & hope with one another. I had
SAA or from other sources.
                                         and there was no backup person. The         been to many meetings, and I thought a
     There was a form sent to each                                                   conference would just be like a big meet-
                                         representatives from the south central
group in August and again in De-         region and the intermountain region         ing - I was wrong. Not only did I get to
cember of 1998. Your group, if you       are leaving their posts this year. We       hear stories from husband/wife teams, I
still get any mail at all, got one, in   need you to step up to help.                was able to see in the discussion semi-
fact, two. Some have chosen NOT                    No, you do not need to go to      nars how healthy couples, with the same
to return a completed form.              the convention to be part of this effort.   disease my wife & I have, interacted.
                                                                                     Aside from the couples, I heard perspec-
     If you do not register, you will    If you would like to help but can't make
                                                                                     tives I had never heard before. I was
                                         it to the convention, please just con-
not:                                     tact your regional board representa-
                                                                                     able to see the disease of codependency
- Be eligible to send delegates to                                                   much more clearly than ever, and how
                                         tive and tell them of your interest and     rampant it was running in my own SAA
the annual ISO Delegate meeting.         of your background in the program. (It      meetings (not to mention, myself!)
- Be on the PBR mailing list             would help if you had a computer and                  I left that conference full of
- Be on the list to receive other        electronic mail as then we can com-         shame from acting out during it, but in
mail                                     municate much faster.) Sponsors: If         the months that passed, my memories of
- Be listed in the SAA Directory         you see someone in your groups who          the conference grew back into hope. My
- Be given the opportunity to be         can help us on an international level,      wife, Ruth, had also had an eye- opening
listed on the SAA Web-site.              please encourage them to consider           experience at the conference, and we
                                         volunteering.                               felt loved at the heart of a huge, caring
     After registering THIS YEAR,
                                                   Together, we can make litera-     family. We also got involved in an RCA
future registrations may be made by                                                  group, but although helpful, it was noth-
                                         ture and make the proper decisions for
phone or e-mail.                         our fellowship. Together, we have a         ing like the power of the SAA & COSA
     You’re too important to be left     strength that none of us have alone. I      fellowships coming together for that
out. Tradition 5 says we need to be      encourage you to step up to help.           conference. After that, we determined
visible so as to “reach out”. Be there                                               that we would allocate our vacation time
for someone who needs you !!                              Dave R                     and financial resources to being sure
  +++++++++++++++++++++++++                                                          that we attended our conferences every
                                                                                     year. Of course, just because we de-
                                                                                     cided it didn't mean it happened; we
    For those just getting the PBR,                                                  missed the next year (Phoenix). Since
maybe by the web: You may be in-                                                     then we have been at all of them (Ann
terested in starting a new group. It                                                 Arbor, Minneapolis, Houston and Hamp-
just takes two. Call the new 800                                                     ton.). No conference has been perfect,
number [p.12] to see how easy it is!                                                                      (Continued on page 10)

                                                    PAGE 9
            Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

                                                                                           INTERGROUP COMMITTTEE
(Continued from page 9)                       does. For this year the time had run out.
but the time and money were well worth                  However, the group conscience      NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
it every time. The coming together of the     I heard when agreement finally came
fellowships allowed me to learn and in-       was that although the conferences would          My name is Rob V., a sex addict from
teract with many different perspectives       be separate, each presenter or speaker       Michigan and I am the board member for
and personalities - wisdom and perspec-       had the right to open their event to mem-    the Great Lakes Region.
tives that I have not found at SAA or         bers of COSA. Ruth and I tried to look at
COSA (or RCA) meetings alone. There           this positively - we can go to two confer-       Last year at the Convention in Vir-
                                                                                           ginia, I signed up to be a part of the
  “Each year we look forward to seeing                                                     Intergroup Committee. The Intergroup
                                                                                           Committee has bee inactive for several
  out brothers and sisters in recovery -                                                   years. My intention is to ask for your help
                                                                                           to get this committee active. My belief is

        both SAA’s and COSA’s...
                                                                                           that the Intergroups can strengthen SAA
                                                                                           as a whole. So, where do we need your

                                                                                               I would like to ask each registered
is a powerful sense of community and          ences and (maybe) get twice the recov-       Intergroup to get a volunteer that can
family.                                       ery. It might be interesting for one year    serve on this committee. Our first objec-
           Each year we look forward to       anyway.                                      tive will be to develop a communication
seeing our brothers and sisters in recov-                I really liked what the COSA      link among the various Intergroups. To
ery - both the SAAs and the COSAs.            board chair said at last years conference    facilitate the communication, I am asking
Ruth and I have learned as much from          conclusion. She spoke about how, for         for the volunteer to send me an address,
people in one fellowship as from those in     many SAAs and COSAs, a time of sepa-         an email address, and a phone number
the other. I may have a slightly different    ration and detachment is necessary until     to my attention ASAP. I will then set up
perspective because a few years in, we        each person can stand on his/her own         a conference call so that we can begin to
came to realize that both of us qualify for   as healthy individuals. Then, many come      communicate with each other. The con-
both fellowships. But I digress….             back together as equals, and move for-       ference call will be held on either April 17
           Last year, some members of         ward in healthy relationships. That is       or April 24th depending on everyone's
the Indiana SAA/COSA conference plan-         what I had anticipated for our fellow-       availability. The goal of the first confer-
ning committee apparently made some           ships.                                       ence call will be the sharing of the suc-
poor choices. The board, with the dele-                  Here is what I have seen since:   cesses that various Intergroups have had
gates, dealt with the situation in a fair      -an SAA Conference brochure that            and the frustrations of inactive Inter-
and gentle manner, and I saw a lot of          makes it clear the COSA's are not wel-      groups. During the conference call, we
people working their programs. I was           come                                        can also discuss future projects or ways
glad I was there, and proud to be part of      -a COSA conference in Chicago where         to better communicate with each other.
the process. As an unfortunate, and           it is clear SAA's are not welcome
somewhat surprising, side effect, several      -news of a possible COSA conference             I am excited about jump starting this
people on the board felt that COSA &          bid from Minneapolis in 2000 where           committee so that we can better reach
SAA should no longer hold their confer-       SAA's will not be welcome.                   the sex addict that does not know of this
ences jointly.                                           SAA and COSA clearly need         awesome program-SAA. I do need your
           There was a lot more to the        different meetings, but to me, conven-       help, and boy has this recovery program
decision and discussions, but there was       tions are not meetings; frankly they are     taught me that I must ask for help to stay
difficulty in agreeing on where the con-      growth filled vacations. They are a          sober.
ference should be held (SAA had the           chance for us to gather as a family. If
support in LA, but COSA didn't). And the      you want to see the fellowships come             Looking forward to hearing from you
idea that SAA was stunting COSA               together again in 2000, please speak         soon. If you are interested in represent-
growth by allowing them to lean on us -       out. Contact your regional board repre-      ing your intergroup on the phone confer-
classic enabling, one might say. The          sentative and let him/her know how you       ence or would like to discuss any other
two traditions quoted most often were:        feel. Get the details of last year's dis-    matters, please feel free to call Jerry B.
- Tradition 7, Each SAA group should be       cussion from your delegate - I'm bound       at the ISO office at 713-869-4902 or
self supporting, declining outside contri-    to have missed some things. Please           email me at vrmichigan@aol.com.
butions, and,                                 take an interest! Don't let this special
- Tradition 6, An SAA group ought never       experience die. We are creative people                                 Rob V.
endorse, finance, or lend the SAA name        - we can make it work.
to any related facility or outside enter-                Bruce B.
prise, lest problems of money, property
or prestige divert us from our primary
           Based on all I knew (and know              FROM EVERY POINT ON THE COMPASS....We still need:::::
now), separating the finances and hold-                 YOUR experience, strength and hope. In the form of::::
ing the conferences in separate cities                  ARTICLES - - - STORIES - - - POEMS - - - LETTERS - - -
was logical, based on time constraints               -THE PBR IS THE INSTRUMENT OF THE SAA FELLOWSHIP-
and the above factors. Clearly, given
time, a balance can be struck, and the
                                                     SEND YOUR IDEAS & OPINIONS, YOUR LETTERS & E-MAILS
fellowships can work together in mutual
respect, like any healthy married couple
                                                         PAGE 10
              Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

           “HALF MEASURES...”                     By Chris C.                                              thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are at the
                                                                                                           root of what we call “inventory”. The FEAR-
        [Reprinted with permission from the “Indiana Check-in”]                                            LESS, MORAL INVENTORY.
                                                                                                                  As I worked my own Step 4 the first time,
                                                                                                           which was during my first 6 months of being in
                                                                                                           the SAA program, I doubt seriously that there
      At the meetings I used to attend, there was    tual growth.                                          was any eye-opening revelation beyond the
a man named Jack who had been in AA a long                 If we do these, we can count on our Higher      superficial characteristics which I rather knew I
time. Whenever Jack recognized that he was           Powers doing the rest. It is clear, however, that     had possessed all my life. The good points,
trying to avoid the work of recovery from his        abstinence from acting out is NOT optional.           which were few, were also those I accepted as
sex addiction, he would quote an AA old timer              Then there is the confusion of 12 Step          having by “luck”, fortunate by birth to have.
he knew. The guy used to say, “Most of us are        recovery with therapy or religion. Sometimes it               Then followed immediately my Step 5,
just looking for an acceptable level of misery;      is difficult to make distinctions because they        given to a person recommended by my coun-
we don’t really want what the program has to         overlap; still it is very important to see the        selor. As I have stated before, it was a struc-
offer.” Jack was honest enough to say that he        differences. Therapy is about gaining insight         tured, stilted, superficial presentation. Like per-
stopped working the program when he went a           into our problems, mustering resources                haps I was giving a talk about someone who
few days without acting out. He didn’t want to       [including willpower] to change our behaviors         wasn’t really there. There was no depth. Be-
do the work that would lead to the fruits of         and/or situations around us, with the ultimate        cause there was no depth to the SEARCH
sexual sobriety; instead, he just wanted to feel     goal of having more control over our lives. In        done in Step 4.
a little “less bad.”                                 recovery, experience shows that neither insight              I’m going on 10 years in the program and
      I have to wonder about looking for an          nor our own actions stop addictive behavior           have gone back several times to these Steps as
acceptable level of misery when I hear things        and that the goal is surrendering control of our      well as all the others. Each time I took the trip
people say in some of the meetings in this           lives to our Higher powers. Religion is about         back I was able to bring forth some added
area. These included half measures like:             increasing the quantity of faith, growing in a        knowledge about myself, and some added wis-
- people with years in the program only              particular religion-defined relationship with         dom as to the defects which required my Higher
       managing a few weeks or months of             God, and often [attempt] throwing a number of         Power to take care of them. But it’s not as if
       clean time and admitting they white-          obstacles [including willpower] between one’s         my HP could do much with them if I hadn’t seen
       knuckle it to get that far                    self and addiction or behavior that is consid-        them myself.
- people collecting tokens for years in the          ered sinful. In recovery, we focus on the quality            It really IS the constancy of process that
       program rather than for years of absti-       of faith [particularly honesty], finding a self-      discovers these new “possessions”. Some of
       nence from sexual acting out                  defined HP that is effective helping one re-          these have been eating my lunch for years,
- people who sponsor others but who don’t            cover, and facing our addiction directly [Step 1]     some have been hidden behind the shame of
       have sponsors themselves or have never        while developing a spiritual way of life [Steps 2     not measuring up. I didn’t discover all of these
       worked past Step Three.                       through 12]. Both therapy and religion are            in group meetings, in fact very few.
       One other common misconception here is        good and important for life’ however, they                   I reckon that’s what Chris was talking about
       the confusion of therapy issues with re-      aren’t the right tools for bringing about recovery    when he pointed to those entities and pro-
       covery issues.                                from sex addiction. For those who doubt this,         cesses that SUPPORT our Step and Group
       Therapy issues are: building self-            look around at meetings; see if it is not true that   work.
esteem, making “choices” about acting out,           the longest clean time and deepest serenity                   And there is Experience, Strength, and
exploring childhood abuse or dysfunctional           belong to those who focus on 12 Step recovery         Hope to be found in places other than a single
families. Religion issues are often included         and let their religion and therapy act in support-    workbook, a single group, a singular approach
here. These are: studying the Bible, having          ing roles.                                            to awareness. Some of these places of awak-
more faith, going to church more, getting                  Working this program leads to recovery -        ening are even those which, if accepted by SAA
saved.                                               full-fledged, abstinence-based, serene recov-         as a whole, would be contrary to one or more of
       Recovery issues are: abstaining from          ery; nothing else works as well. Just as Jack         the Traditions.
acting out, admitting powerlessness, develop-        knew he had to choose between getting a little               I would suppose just as my early trauma
ing a deeper spirituality, having the compulsion     less miserable or going through the work of           compounded itself to exponentially increase my
to act out lifted, developing healthy sexuality,     recovery, so too does each one of us have to          addictive propensities over time, so is it that
doing Step work, sponsorship, carrying the           make a choice - the program is truly all or           little by little, each recovery step I take com-
message or becoming more honest, open-               nothing. The misery of addiction is not a             pounds itself to exponentially improve my char-
minded and willing.                                  necessary component of life. The “half-               acter defects. When I read stories of recovery,
      Since the Big Book [of AA] is approved         measures” listed above are signs of a little less     it it like being in my group, hearing them.
literature for SAA, let’s look at what it teaches    misery, not recovery. I encourage my brothers                In my first 60 years my mind was so narrow
us about recovery and see where we might             and sisters in SAA to be satisfied with nothing       that nothing could get in or out. And it was
apply it. The program tells us that sobriety         less than the full fruits of recovery from our        always “made up”. There was fear in opening
equals abstinence plus on-going spiritual            common addiction.                                     it, what would I find? It was easier to stay in
growth. Abstinence from compulsive sexual                                        Chris C.                  denial than to believe that something just might
behavior may seem impossible at first; then as                                                             be different from what I believed. Narcississm
we focus on Step 1 and immerse ourselves in                                                                really is comfortable. For me. Not friends or
the life of the program, it just begins to happen.                                                         family. Friends could leave, children can’t,
And the program goes farther, promising that if                                                            employees sometimes couldn’t. Those as sick
we work the Steps diligently, our addiction will                                                           as I wouldn’t, we were having too much fun!
be lifted. In other words, if we work the Steps                                                                   For those who have not yet worked Steps 4
to get us into “fit spiritual condition” then the
obsessive thinking about sex and the compul-
                                                            STEPS 4 AND 5                                  and 5, it is truly a great big, fearful process. If
                                                                                                           you do it like I did, you’ll miss a lot the first time.
sive sexual behavior will stop. The urge to act                                                            When you come back to do them over, assum-
out is gone! Out Higher Powers do this for us             Perhaps it is appropriate that Steps 4 and 5     ing you have gone through the others in order, it
without our fighting the addiction [see Alco-        follow the previous article by Chris C. It would      will be more revealing than you can believe.
holics Anonymous, pp 84-85]. AA also sug-            seem that although Steps 1 through 3 are the          There will be less fear, less denial, more aware-
gests five key recovery behaviors; pray, call        mental processes that are at work as we give          ness, and more desire to do it again. You’ll also
your sponsor, go to meetings, work the Steps         our lives over to the care of our Higher Powers,      feel more like you deserve those “good” things
and read program literature. These are the           it is the “self” that begins to unravel the com-      you find out about yourself... And you DO !!
basic activities that are the foundation of spiri-   plexities of body, mind and spirit, and all the         +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                                                                  PAGE 11
           Carrying the Message of Hope to the Sex Addict who still suffers April-May, 1999

       Member    Alternate
          Penny K[Chr]     Rodney R.
                                             “KEYSTONES TO FREEDOM”
At Large Claude E [Treas]                              THEME FOR THE TWELFTH ANNUAL
Latin Am. Octavio E.        None
          Patty F.
          Rob V [ Sec’ty]
                          Peter B.
                           Roger B.                                 SAA CONVENTION
Intermtn  Charles A.        Bob D.
NC        Dave B.         Lonnie S.
           Frank B.
                          David G.
                                            Friday-May 28            MAY 28th thru 31st, 1999                                      Hotel
                                             Open Newcomer                                                                Make your reservations
                                                 Meeting               The Red Lion Hotel                                   before May 7th!!
                 Staff                      Convention Opening                                                             Single/Double rate:
Jerry B.          Office Manager               Celebration           100 West Glenoaks Blvd.                                $80.00 per night
                                             Keynote Speaker                                                                 818-956-5466

    Office Hours [Central time]
                                            Evening Workshops          Glendale CA 91202
                                                                                                                             Air Discounts
[Staffed]       10:00 AM - 6:00 PM            Sat - May 29                                                                 5% [OR 10% on 60
[Phone calls taken in Person]                   Workshops:
                                             “First Awareness”
                                                                    DELEGATE                                              day advance purchase]
                                                                                                                            American Airlines
M-T-W-F         10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Thurs            2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
                                              “Looking Inward”
                                                Banquet and
                                                                         CONFERENCE                                           800-433-7300

                                             Keynote Speaker        SAA members appointed by their home                     ——OR CALL——
            ADDRESSES                         Dance and other       groups as delegates to the business con-                 Travel Agent
e-mail: info@saa-rcovery.org                                        ference need to be onsite beginning early             Airline-Hotel-Auto Rent
web: http://www.saa-recovery.org                                                                                          “Justin” 800-304-5100
                                            Sunday-May 30           Friday morning through Saturday after-
PBR: PBR@saa.recovery.org                         Workshops         noon. Delegates must register for this                     —-NOTE —-
                                             “Finding Connection    portion separately through SAA’s Interna-               When making
Office:    International Service                and Fellowship”     tional Service Office. If your group has
                                             Noon Chili Fest and                                                           reservations, be
           Organization of SAA, Inc.             Entertainment      not received the official documents from               sure to mention
           P.O. Box 70949                         Workshops         the ISO office, make contact by using the                Keystones to
           Houston, TX 77270                  “Breaking Free into   phone or e-mail [on left of this page]                    Freedom !!
                                            “Power to Transform
            PHONE                                 our Lives”                                                               ALSO NOTE:
                                                                    Register Early and Save ! By       By Apr At the
713-869-4902                                     Variety Show                                 Mar      30th   Door             If you need more
1-800-477-8191                                                                                30th                        information or a regis-
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                    Mon - May 31                                                                 tration blank, contact
                                                Open Meting:        SAA MEMBERS ONLY                                      the ISO office as at left.
LITERATURE COMMITTEE                          Where to Next?        FULL 4 DAY PLAN            you     $90      $100
Area       Member        Alternate            Brunch/Speaker                                                                   When you register
SC         Dave R[Chr]   Tom S.              Closing Ceremony       FRI-SAT-SUN PLAN           are     $75      $85       early by mail, you’ll re-
Pacific    Frank A.      David B.                  OTHER                                                                  ceive a registration
                                                                    FRI-SAT PLAN               too     $57      $67
NC         Sunni W.      Vacant                CONVENTION                                                                 packet with both a per-
GL         Jeff W.       Elizabeth S.            AMENITIES          SUN-MON PLAN               late    $58      $68       sonal phone contact
SE         Joseph T.     David G.             24 hour room for                                                            and a coded-access In-
Intermtn   Norman S      Marie L.                 meditation        SUNDAY ONLY                for     $43      $53       ternet Web Page where
NE         Peter S.      Vacant              24 hour marathon                                  this                       we’ll post the latest con-
At Large None            None                     meetings                                                                vention information and
PBR Editor/Member         Robert S.           Hospitality Suite     YOUR INVITED GUEST         bar-                       address any special
                                             T-Shirt-Gift-Book                                                            needs you make known
                                                                    SAT BANQUET - DANCE gain           $32      $42       to us.
                                            Specialty workshops     SUN CHILI FEST - SHOW !!!!!        $18      $28
                                                and meetings
                                                                    Donations needed for Scholarships - Some Scholarships are available. Ask.

                                                                    You can order materials and make donations, us-
                                              Now!!                 ing your VISA, MC, Discovery or AMEX !!!!

WILL YOU PLEASE? Remember the needs of the SAA Fellowship at the international level? This newsletter was provided for
you by those doing their own Step Twelve and Tradition Five work. And by one, yes only one, paid staff member. There are
important programs of outreach, many of which are represented in this publication. Outreach of all kinds, prison and all other.
Materials are provided free to those who cannot afford them; i.e., prisoners. It costs dollars to maintain the central facility through
which our efforts are maintained. For you who downloaded this, or have received it via “snail mail”, we hope you will strongly
consider sending your periodic contributions to the ISO office. YOU are the answer to total Outreach! Thanks !!

                                                          PAGE 12

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