Tuesday A Journey to Hope Step Study

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

Our Lives Before(from pugetsoundsaa.org)

We were sexually compulsive people. Despite our most heroic efforts and solemn promises, we were unable to turn away from behaviors and obsessions that were ruining our lives. We interpreted our lack of control as proof that we were bad or defective people, so we sought comfort by justifying our behaviors and sometimes reveling in them, or by denying our sexuality, and hiding in our shame. Our compulsions were at once our worst enemies and our most familiar sources of comfort.

Why We Are Here (from pugetsoundsaa.org)

We could no longer deny the pain that our compulsive sexual behaviors had caused in our lives. Many of us experienced such dramatic consequences as divorce, disease, jail, or financial ruin before seeing that our lives had become unmanageable. Others among us were confronted about our behavior by family, friends, or counselors, and were given a choice to seek help, or face yet more loss in our lives. When we learned of S.A.A., we began to hope again that our lives could be freed from our sexual compulsivity.

Our Recovery(from pugetsoundsaa.org)

We began to attend S.A.A. meetings. We heard stories similar to ours, and we heard how others in S.A.A. were abstaining from their compulsive behaviors. We learned of the twelve steps of recovery, and when we began to apply them in our lives, we discovered that we, too, could abstain from our compulsive behaviors, with the help of our fellow addicts. We acquired the faith and courage to make appropriate changes in our lives, and to accept our daily problems as stepping stones for spiritual growth. As we continue in our recovery from sexual addiction, one day at a time, we are developing healthier sexuality, a stronger sense of personal integrity, and an ability to truly enjoy our lives.

Twelve Steps Of SAA:(adapted from AA Big Book)
Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous are suggested steps, adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, that help us recover from obsessive and compulsive sexual behavior. Having this limited amount of material to work with is a real advantage for those of us who tend to complicate our lives. The Twelve Steps are very powerful and versatile tools - simple and straightforward enough to help the new member, yet with enough substance that old-timers can always gain new insights.
The Twelve Steps of Sex Addicts Anonymous (pps 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.
Following the Steps in the order in which they are presented helped us greatly, especially when we first began. Being compulsive people, we always wanted to reach our goals and "fix" things immediately. 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. (adapted from SAA green book)

ABSTINENCE STATEMENT:(adapted from pg 14-15 green book)
Our primary purpose is to abstain from sexually compulsive behavior, and
help others to achieve abstinence. In line with this purpose, we feel that a
brief statement regarding the meaning of abstinence is in order.
First, we define abstinence in terms of behavior rather than mental states.
We do not focus our efforts upon abstaining from mental "lust", but from
compulsive behavior. Just as A.A. focuses on the need to stop the
behavior of drinking, and as O.A. focuses on compulsive eating as the
point of abstinence, so S.A.A. focuses on compulsive sexual acting out.
The lust of the mind may take years to drain away as one works the twelve
steps of recovery; abstinence from the destructive and addictive behaviors,
however, can begin today, and is the basic foundation upon which all
subsequent personal growth depends. "Progress rather than perfection" is
the atmosphere for growth that we seek to promote.
Secondly, abstinence will be different for each member of S.A.A.,
depending upon what behaviors are compulsive and lead to pitiful and
incomprehensible demoralization. Some addicts can engage in sexual
behaviors from which other addicts find they must abstain; in S.A.A., we
leave the choice up to the individual.
Finally, abstinence does not imply the complete elimination of sexuality
from the addict's life, whether married, partnered or single; rather, it lays
the foundation for learning a new approach to the experience of sex and
relationships which is non-compulsive and non-destructive. Such an
approach is possible to all who earnestly desire it.

How We Live:(adapted from Step 12 in SAA Green Book)
“Practicing these principles in our lives means applying program principles at home, at work, and wherever else we gather with others for a common purpose. As we grow spiritually, we find opportunities for service in virtually any situation. Our closest relationships may offer the most challenges to our honesty, compassion, and integrity, but we are often rewarded beyond our expectations. We find that spiritual principles can guide us in the everyday challenges of life, and they can help us face even loss, grief, and death with fortitude and grace. What we gain in this program is a blueprint for full and successful living, whatever may come. We maintain our recovery by working a daily program, in the knowledge that although we can never be perfect, we can be happy today. We can live life on life’s terms, without having to change or suppress our feelings. Our serenity and sobriety grow as we continue to live according to spiritual principles. We enjoy the gifts that come from being honest and living a life of integrity. We ask for help when we need it, and we express our love and gratitude every day. We realize that everything we have been through helps us to be of service to others. We learn that the world is a much safer place than we had ever known before, because we are always in the care of a loving God.
Working this program leads to a spiritual awakening.....For some of us, this awakening may be a sudden and dramatic gain in awareness. for others, it may be slow and gradual, and we may not even realize we’ve had one until we reflect upon the changes that have occurred. We find ourselves being less judgemental, more ready to let go of resentments and admit when we are wrong. We start to see life in terms of growth, change, and transformation. We have a greater sense of belonging, intimacy, and true friendship.

Closing Prayer:
The Third Step Prayer
God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!

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