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Wednesday Recovery Round Table Topic Discussion


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

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

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

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.

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.

Closing Prayer:

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.

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