Friday Working Our Program Toward Self-Discovery

Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference

The Opening:
Sex Addicts Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so they may overcome their sexual addiction and help others recover from sexual addiction and dependency.
Membership is open to all who share a desire to stop addictive sexual behavior. There is no other requirement.
Our common goals are to become sexually healthy and to help other sex addicts achieve freedom from compulsive sexual behavior.
SAA is supported through voluntary contributions from members.
We are not affiliated with any other 12 Step programs, nor are we a part of any other organization. We do not support, endorse, or 
oppose outside causes or issues.
Sex Addicts Anonymous is a spiritual program based on the principles and traditions at Alcoholic Anonymous. We are grateful to 
A.A. for this gift which makes our recovery possible.

Our Program (page 20 and 21 of SAA green book)
   Attending SAA meetings starts us on a new way of life. But while the SAA fellowship supports our recovery, the actual work of 
recovery is described in the Twelve Steps. Meetings are forums for learning how to integrate the steps into our lives. Working the Twelve Steps leads to a spiritual transformation that results in sustainable relief from our addiction.
    When we start attending meetings of Sex Addicts Anonymous, many of us are surprised to meet people who are enjoying life and experiencing freedom from the painful, compulsive behaviors that had brought them to SAA. Listening to other members share about their recovery, we gradually realize that in order to make the same kind of progress, we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get sexually abstinent, and to stay abstinent. We have learned from hard experience that we cannot achieve and maintain abstinence 
if we aren’t willing to change our way of life. But if we can honestly face our problems, and are willing to change, the Twelve Steps of SAA will lead to an awakening that allows us to live a new way of life according to spiritual principles. Taking these steps allows fundamental change to occur in our lives. They are the foundation of our recovery.      

The Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous(pg 20-21 SAA green book)
1.  We admitted we were powerless over addictive sexual behavior - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3.  Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5.  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6.  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7.  Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for 
knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to 
practice these principles in our lives.

These steps are the heart of our program. They contain a depth that we could hardly have guessed when we started. Over time, 
we establish a relationship with a Power greater than ourselves, each of us coming to an understanding of a Higher Power that 
is personal for us. Although the steps use the word “God” to indicate this Power, SAA is not affiliated with any religion, creed, 
or dogma. The program offers a spiritual solution to our addiction, without requiring adherence to any specific set of beliefs 
or practices. The path is wide enough for everyone who wishes to walk it.

Abstinence Statement(pg 14-15 SAA green book)
   Our goal when entering the SAA program is abstinence from one or more specific sexual behaviors. But unlike programs for 
recovering alcoholics or drug addicts, Sex Addicts Anonymous does not have a universal definition of abstinence. Most of us have 
no desire to stop being sexual altogether. It is not sex in and of itself that causes us problems, but the addiction to certain sexual behaviors. In SAA we will be better able to determine what behavior is addictive and what is healthy. However, the fellowship does not dictate to it’s members what is and isn’t addictive sexual behavior. Instead we have found that it is necessary for each member to define his or her own abstinence.
    Since different addicts suffer from different behaviors, and since our sexuality is experienced in so many different ways, it is necessary that SAA members define for themselves, with the help of their sponsors or others in recovery, which of their sexual behaviors they consider to be “acting out”.
    This can be a difficult challenge. If we are too lenient with ourselves, we might not get sober. If we are too strict, we might 
restrict ourselves from healthy behaviors that we have no need to give up, and an inability to meet our high standards could set 
us up for relapse. We need the help of other recovering sex addicts, and the reliance on a Power greater than ourselves, to find 
the right balance between these two extremes.
    Our program acknowledges each individual’s dignity and right to choose his or her own concept of healthy sexuality. We have 
learned that our ideas of what is healthy and what is addictive evolve with experience. In time, we are able to define our individual abstinence with honesty, fairness and gentleness. This process is a valuable exercise in our recovery. It requires us to carefully 
examine all of our sexual behaviors, decide which ones are healthy or addictive, and note those cases where we’re not sure. It is a 
way of taking stock of our sexuality that teaches us a lot about ourselves and our behavior.

Double Winner” Promises (CoDA “12 Promises”)

1. We will no longer see ourselves as merely predators or prey.  Instead we will know ourselves to be integrated, whole, spiritual 
people, and we will let gratitude replace the view of ourselves as victims.
2. We will see that we are not so devastatingly complex that we cannot be understood.  We will be able to recognize what we have
in common with those we fear and resent.
3. We will experience our pain and anger but refuse to build shrines to our feelings.   We will grow more respectful in the way we express our uncomfortable feelings.
4. We will forgive, and allow ourselves to be forgiven.  We will make peace with our past, and with all parts of ourselves.
5. We will no longer confuse love with sex, emotional dependency or romantic intrigue.
6. We will feel at last at home in our own bones and discover precisely how beautiful we are.
7. We will be committed not merely to stopping our behaviors, but to finding a new way to live.
8. We will connect in honesty and integrity with our Higher Power, our sponsor, our fellow addicts, our partners, our families and 
those around us.  We will live transparent lives in which there are no secrets.
9. We will risk telling those truths about ourselves that cause us the most shame.  At the same time, we will develop a healthy sense 
of caution in our relationships.
10. Our behavior will be in integrity with values that are rooted in our spirituality.  We will find serenity and live in peace.
11. The fence between addict and co-addict will be transformed by empathy into a bridge of understanding with others.
12. Through trusting our Higher Power who transcends our addictions and co-addictions, we will learn to better trust ourselves and recognize trustworthy people.

Unity Prayer (pg 45 Tools of Recovery)

I put my hand in yours and together we can do what we could never do alone.
No longer is there a sense of hopelessness.
No longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower.
We are all together now, reaching out our hands for a power and strength greater than ours,
and as we join hands,
we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams.

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