Tools to Recovery

The White Book (the basic text for SA) tells us that a happy and joyous freedom that we could have otherwise never have known is possible for the sexaholic who works a program of recovery. For the newcomer, as well as for those who have been in recovery for some time, there appear to be certain tools that help us become sober and live free from the compulsion of sex and lust. The following are a few key tools that many in our fellowship have found to be essential in their recovery:

Go to Meetings

Old timers in the recovery community have a saying that we should "Stick with the winners!" We suggest that newcomers attend four to six meetings before deciding whether SA is for them. We also suggest that newcomers consider attending as many meetings as possible. SA Columbia has a variety of meetings throughout the week. A list of all local SA meetings is available at all meetings.

Get a Sponsor

A sponsor is somebody who has worked the steps and who is exhibiting the effects of recovery in their daily life. Everybody in SA is strongly encouraged to get a sponsor and to work the steps actively with the sponsor. "How does one get a sponsor?" you ask! At the end of each SA meeting members of the fellowship who meet the sobriety requirements for sponsorship and who are willing to take on sponsees will be asked to raise their hand. If you are seeking a sponsor, ask one of these people to be your temporary sponsor. Working with an SA sponsor can and will be a life changing experience for any sexaholic who is willing to do the work.

Get the Books

The following literature is most often used in the SA fellowship:

  • The SA White Book is the handbook and contains an overview of the program as well as all the readings.

  • The Step Into Action book is a guide for working the steps with a sponsor.

  • The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is the original 12 Step book. It is often quoted and used in SA meetings and in working the steps with a sponsor.

Where do I get the literature

Make Calls

For many of us our sexual addiction left us isolated in guilt and shaming that crushed the very life out of us. In recovery we have found that we are no longer isolated and have no reason to live in shame. The fellowship is just that--it is a fellowship. Members are encouraged to get a phone list from a meeting and start to make calls to other members of the fellowship.

Work the Steps

SA is built on the principles of the Twelve Step as first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. We highly encourage you to get a sponsor who will help guide you through working the 12 steps.

Get Involved In Service

Early in the history of SA, it was established that the least amount of organization necessary for the functioning of SA would be a guiding principle. SA has adopted the A.A. principle that each member involved in service and those elected to positions of responsibility are designated as trusted servants without any governing authority. An inverted pyramid of accountability would be the foundation on which service is built. When issues arise, final authority always rests in the collective group conscience of the fellowship. A group conscience can be defined as the will of those present at any meeting of the fellowship. When doubt and indecision are apparent, the international group conscience always prevails.

How Can Service Help Me?

It is often stated in SA program circles that those committed to service find true sobriety. Active members have discovered many rewards, including hope, faith, courage, peace of mind, self-respect, self-confidence, the respect of others, a clear conscience, real friendships, a clean pattern of life, the love and understanding of their families, and the freedom of a happy life.

What Can a Newcomer Do To Get Involved in Service?

Much of what follows is the result of a group conscience that asked the above question and was seeking answers as to how the group and Intergroup might carry the message more effectively to the newcomer. Experience has shown us that doing many of these things will assist the newcomer in establishing a new simple life style which focuses on a desire to stop lusting. Using service as a tool of recovery helps in the removal of obsessive thinking by focusing outside oneself.

Some suggestions for service follow.

Early Days

  • Stay sober.

  • Join a home group.

  • Attend meetings regularly.

  • Work the Steps.

  • Set out and put away literature before and after a meeting.

  • Obtain telephone numbers and call someone instead of acting out.

  • Get a sponsor. Give a sponsor an opportunity for service, too!

  • Anniversary Meetings––volunteer to set up, breakdown, and cleanup after.

  • Attend marathons, help setup and cleanup; prepare and serve food.

  • Walk up to an unfamiliar face and introduce yourself.

  • Arrive at meetings early for fellowship and participate in fellowship after meetings.

  • Attend International conventions; meet other newcomers.

Progressive Victory

  • Work the Steps.

  • Chair a meeting.

  • Chair a month of meetings.

  • Support meetings with low attendance.

  • Attend business meetings.

  • Become secretary and/or literature supplier for local group.

  • Participate in prison / institutional service commitments.

  • Repeat all of the Early Days suggestions.

Continuing the Work

  • Work the Steps.

  • Become Treasurer

  • Serve as chair of an annual fellowship function.

  • Sponsor others.

  • Attend Intergroup meetings.

  • Volunteer for telephone service.

  • Lead a meeting at marathons, speaker jams, and international conferences.

  • Become an Intergroup representative.

  • Carry the message––contacting helping professionals.

  • Learn about the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts.

  • Attend regional meetings.

  • Read the Essay newsletter.

  • Write articles for Essay and other SA publications.

  • Chair Intergroup committees.

  • Become a long distance sponsor by phone or email.

  • Sponsor an inmate through the Twelve Steps by Sponsor By Mail program.

  • Host a meeting in an institution.

  • Repeat previous suggestions.

All of the above suggestions are options that can be carried out on a daily basis for all members. An addict often faces challenges with focus. Choose carefully but choose!

SA Literature, SA Service Manual © 2006. Reprinted with permission of SA Literature.