Welcome home. There is a solution: Trust Higher Power, Clean House and Do Service.
This is the (Tuesday night/Thursday evening/Saturday afternoon/Sunday morning) Citylights (Book Study/Step Study) meeting of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. My name is _______________ and I’m a Sex and Love Addict. Let’s open with a moment of silence to reflect on why we’re here, followed by the
Citylights Weekly Prayer found on our website (http://citylightsnyc.org/prayers/)
(or use serenity prayer if opening prayer of the week has not been posted)
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.”
Chair: Our capacity for the…
Tuesday evening meeting is 49 people
Thursday evening meeting is 8 people
Saturday afternoon meeting is 8 people
Sunday morning meeting is 8 people
(Tuesday) bathrooms are behind and to the left
(Thursday/Saturday/Sunday) Our landlord has strict capacity rules. Please write down the code if you have to go to the bathroom. We will take down the sign on the outside of the door with the code once the capacity has been reached.
Chair: I will describe a broad format of the meeting. Part 1: opening Part 2: book study, Part 3: sharing, Part 4: closing.
(Part 1, Opening):
Chair: Citylights New York, citylightsnyc.org, is a distinct and dynamic, but not separate part of SLAA NY created to focus on the recovery of members who want help with the steps and tools of the program in safe, sober, intimate, handicapped accessible, spiritually-neutral environments. Together, members of Citylights New York support one another in applying the SLAA principles in an empathetic, accepting, inclusive atmosphere. As a part of SLAA, there is no separate membership for attending Citylights meetings. As it states in our Third Tradition, “the only requirement for SLAA membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction.”
Chair: We now read the problem, please read one and then pass, going in a clockwise circle.
(Read the characteristics)
- Having few healthy boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.
- Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in and return to painful, destructive relationships, concealing our dependency needs from ourselves and others, growing more isolated and alienated from friends and loved ones, ourselves, and God.
- Fearing emotional and/or sexual deprivation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time.
- We confuse love with neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or the need to rescue or be rescued.
- We feel empty and incomplete when we are alone. Even though we fear intimacy and commitment, we continually search for relationships and sexual contacts.
- We sexualize stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame, fear and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitutes for nurturing care, and support.
- We use sex and emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.
- We become immobilized or seriously distracted by romantic or sexual obsessions or fantasies.
- We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to people who are emotionally unavailable.
- We stay enslaved to emotional dependency, romantic intrigue, or compulsive sexual activities.
- To avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat from all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional anorexia for recovery.
- We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not fulfilling our fantasies and expectations.
Chair: To address the problem the solution starts with the 12 steps, please read one and then pass, continuing clockwise from where the last reading left off
(Read the steps, starting with the person next to the one who just finished reading the characteristics).
- We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a Power greater than ourselves, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to sex and love addicts, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.
Chair: The steps help keep us from killing ourselves, the traditions help keep us from killing each other.
(Read the traditions, starting with the person next to the one who just finished reading the steps).
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon SLAA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as this Power may be expressed through our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for SLAA membership is the desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction. Any two or more persons gathering together for mutual aid in recovering from sex and love addiction may call themselves an SLAA group, provided that as a group they have no other affiliation.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or SLAA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the sex and love addict who still suffers.
- An SLAA group or SLAA as a whole ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the SLAA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every SLAA group ought to be fully self – supporting, declining outside contributions.
- SLAA should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- SLAA as such ought never to be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- SLAA has no opinion on outside issues, hence the SLAA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than on promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, film, and other public media. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all fellow SLAA members.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
SLAA was started in 1976, in Boston, by a few people who had come to realize that sex, romantic intrigue and dependency were affecting their lives in the same way as had their chemical addictions. They found that the compulsion to continue with promiscuous sex or to return over and over to destructive relationships could not be controlled by willpower alone.
Sobriety is the return of choice, sanity, and personal dignity which comes from surrender to sex and love addiction, followed by involvement with S.L.A.A.’s Twelve Step Program of recovery. There are no absolutes for sobriety in S.L.A.A., as individual patterns of sex and love addiction vary. However, each S.L.A.A. identifies for him/herself major addictive behavior which is personally relevant, and becomes “sober” by abstaining from this behavior on a daily basis.
END OF OPENING
Chair: Book Study
Chair: Can I get a volunteer to be the spiritual timekeeper?
Chair: Timekeeper, please time 12 minutes with a 1 minute warning.
(For Reading meetings–see below for Workshop meetings)
Chair: At this time we will read selections about the topic of the meeting. These selections are taken from conference-approved SLAA literature and other 12-step related literature. Today we are reading from ________ (state the title and if official SLAA literature) Read a section or two, and then hand the pages on to the next member. We will go around the room clockwise, starting with me. Feel free to say “pass” if you choose not to read.
(During Workshop meetings):
Chair: At this time we will engage in the study portion. I will help members through the item of the meeting.
(remember statement on outside literature)
End of Book Study
CHAIR: We are now ready to begin the reflection portion of the meeting. We have pen and paper available on the table for those of you who need them. We will take two minutes for all of us to reflect on the topic or to meditate.
Chair: Timekeeper, two minutes please.
[At 2 minutes] say…
(part 3: shares)
Chair: It’s now time to begin the sharing and getting current portion of the meeting. Getting current means that each person has the opportunity to share what is currently happening in his or her life. Particular emphasis is placed on sharing the sexual and emotional situations which appear to pose the major threats, here and now, to maintaining sobriety in SLAA. Getting current is best done on a daily basis within groups, with your sponsor, or with other members. Also, we are here to work the 12 Steps, traditions and the concepts of Sex Love Addicts Anonymous. Please share about your progress in working the 12 steps of SLAA.
Chair: Can someone read the statement on cross talk?
MEMBER READS: Cross-talk, in some areas also called “feedback,” is discouraged at our meetings. Cross-talk is sometimes defined as advice, making direct reference to what someone else has shared or otherwise drawing attention to another member’s story. Cross-talk is interrupting someone when they are sharing, commenting on what someone shares, talking to someone directly in the meeting, or referencing what someone has said in this or another meeting. We also avoid excessive detailing of our acting out behaviors.
Chair: I will start holding the invisible talking stick and will then pass it to the next person in a round-robin. If you don’t want to share, you can say pass.
Chair: That is all the time we have for sharing today.
Chair: Treasurer, can you please read the 7th tradition statement?
TREASURER READS: We now pass the (“basket” or “envelope” on Fridays) (“purple pouch” Saturdays and Sundays) according to our 7th Tradition which states, “Every S.L.A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions”. We have no dues or fees but we do have expenses. Our expenses such as rent and literature are paid by voluntary contributions from our members. Some of the money collected may be sent on to the local intergroup and to SLAA’s Fellowship-Wide Services office which provide service to the Fellowship on a regional and Worldwide basis respectively. Please give what you can. If you can’t, please keep coming back — we need you more than your money.
Chair: Are there any announcements for SLAA or related programs, including service such as literature?
(Please announce or have a member announce the other Citylights meetings, also stating that our meetings can be found on the SLAANY website)
Chair: The best way to help this meeting is to count days off your bottom lines. We recognize progress on bottom lines at our chip ceremony every other Sunday.
Chair: We will now read the “Blessings.” Please each read a portion and pass the reading on to the next member.
(Read The Blessings)
- We came to find intimacy with ourselves, intimacy with God, and then intimacy with others.
- In domestic partnerships we discovered a whole new experience of sexuality as a non-addictive medium.
- In relationships with others we let go of self-serving power and prestige as driving motives.
- Careers that had been exploited mainly for material security at the expense of self-fulfillment no longer appealed to us.
- Our usefulness as channels for healing was a direct result of our experience in sickness, as well as in recovery.
- We discovered that we could continue to affirm our recovery by working with other sex and love addicts.
- We discovered that the source of love, which was of God, had begun to flow from within us.
Chair: We will now read the “Signs of Recovery.” Please each read one or two Signs and pass the reading onto the next member.
(Read The Signs of Recovery)
- We seek to develop a daily relationship with a Higher Power, knowing that we are not alone in our efforts to heal ourselves from our addiction.
- We are willing to be vulnerable because the capacity to trust has been restored to us by our faith in a Higher Power.
- We surrender, one day at a time, our whole life strategy of, and our obsession with, the pursuit of romantic and sexual intrigue and emotional dependency.
- We learn to avoid situations that may put us at risk physically, morally, psychologically or spiritually.
- We learn to accept and love ourselves, to take responsibility for our own lives, and to take care of our own needs before involving ourselves with others.
- We become willing to ask for help, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and learning to trust and accept others.
- We allow ourselves to work through the pain of our low self-esteem and our fears of abandonment and responsibility. We learn to feel comfortable in solitude.
- We begin to accept our imperfections and mistakes as part of being human, healing our shame and perfectionism while working on our character defects.
- We begin to substitute honesty for self-destructive ways of expressing emotions and feelings.
- We become honest in expressing who we are, developing true intimacy in our relationships with ourselves and others.
- We learn to value sex as a by-product of sharing, commitment, trust and cooperation in a partnership.
- We are restored to sanity, on a daily basis, by participating in the process of recovery.
Chair: In closing, I’d like to say that the opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest. The things you heard here were spoken in confidence and should be treated as confidential. Keep them within the walls of this room and the confines of your mind.
Chair: A few special words to those of you who haven’t been with us long: whatever your problems, there are those among us who have had them too. If you try to keep an open mind you will find help. You will realize that there is no circumstance too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened. We aren’t perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while you will discover that, though you may not like all of us, you’ll love us in a very special way—the same way we already love you. Talk to one another. Reason things out with someone else. But let there be no gossip or criticism of one another. Instead, let the understanding, love and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.
Chair: Would all who care to, please join with me in the 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.”