Suggestions for Newcomers
You have just taken a big step in finding out more about the program of S.L.A.A! Based on many of our personal experiences, here are some suggestions for a successful, life-long journey of recovery in S.L.A.A.
You are not alone. Individual patterns of sex and love addiction vary. If you visit the 12 Characteristics page, you will see patterns that are common among us.
Some of the first questions we faced as we began to attend meetings were:
“Am I an addict? Am I a sex and love addict? What is the nature of my addiction?”
Please take the time to discover the answers to these questions for yourself. The 40 Questions page may help you. It is taken from the S.L.A.A. pamphlet, “40 Questions for Self-Diagnosis,” which is available here in PDF, at most meetings and through S.L.A.A. Fellowship-Wide Services (FWS).
For more information, see the pamphlets “Introduction to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous,” “Questions Beginners Ask,” and “Anorexia: Sexual, Social and Emotional,” also available at most meetings and from S.L.A.A.’s international office, Fellowship-Wide Services.
1. Define your Bottom-Line behavior
Bottom-Line behavior is any sexual or emotional act which, once engaged in, leads to loss of control over rate, frequency or duration of its recurrence, resulting in worsening self-destructive consequences. Each member defines their own bottom-line behaviors. Staying away from this behavior defines your sobriety. You are encouraged to start now. Write out your list of bottom line behaviors today. Don’t wait for the perfect list of bottom-lines. With the help of your sponsor and others in S.L.A.A. you can amend it later, if necessary, as you become more aware of what your acting-out pattern has been.
2. Don’t act out!
Just for today, this hour, this moment – no matter what! Instead take care of yourself: make a phone call, talk with your sponsor, another member of the fellowship, attend a meeting, rest, exercise, read program literature, journal your feelings, say a prayer or meditate. You are worth it. IT WILL PASS.
3. Ask for help and express gratitude on a daily basis.
- Set aside a time of prayer or meditation of each morning and ask “Help me stay away from _______ for today.” Even if you haven’t defined a higher power for yourself, just the expression of powerlessness over your addiction and an intention to recover can help you succeed.
- Set aside a time of thanks each night and express gratitude for the help received.
A good place to start is The 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.”
4. Attend S.L.A.A. meetings regularly.
If you believe sex and love addiction may be an issue in your life and you are ready to do something about it, the next step is to go to a meeting. By giving and receiving support from others like us, we not only have a better chance of recovering, we also begin to learn how to engage with people in a non-addictive way.
To become a member of S.L.A.A., there is nothing you need to do, other than to begin attending meetings.
The Greater Delaware Valley Intergroup has a number of beginner/newcomer meetings. You can attend these to become familiar with SLAA meetings or jump in to any other meeting that you qualify to attend.
5. Join a group:
Many of us go to a lot of meetings, and feel we can share at each meeting. But it was helpful for us when we officially “join” one group where we have a commitment to attend, and will be missed if we don’t. Get active in your group – we round out our recovery when we make a commitment and become more involved on a more personal basis.
6. Call S.L.A.A. members daily for support.
Talk to members after the meeting and write down phone numbers. Or get a copy of the meeting’s phone list. Reach out, don’t isolate. Your call also helps other members carry the message and stay sober!
7. Get a Sponsor.
Ask someone to be your sponsor. Look for someone who “has what you want” and ask them to sponsor you. Talk to your Sponsor or another S.L.A.A. person on a daily basis during your withdrawal period. We are as “sick as our secrets” and when we share our feelings, hopes, thoughts, fears, behaviors and discouragement with another person, we are diffusing the power that addiction has over us; we are bringing light to the many ways that we are sick and only then can we patiently, persistently work on these distorted thoughts and emotions. – from “Suggestions for Newcomers”
A sponsor can help you define your “Bottom-lines” and work the Steps. Here are some suggestions for finding a sponsor:
- Attend meetings and listen for members whose shares resonate with you. Ask them if they are available to meet, to consider being a sponsor or to help you get started, even temporarily.
- Read the Sponsorship pamphlet and answer the questions.
- Share at meetings that you are looking for a sponsor.
8. Read S.L.A.A. literature.
You will gain insight, understanding, tips and tools through program literature. Books, pamphlets and recordings can be purchased from most in-person meetings, locally from our Intergroup Literature Coordinator or online from the F.W.S. website.
Suggestions for starting literature:
- S.L.A.A. Newcomer Packet – GDVI will send a newcomer packet to anyone within their first 6few meetings and/or first few weeks in SLAA at no charge. Contact our Literature Coordinator.
This book contains information about discovering the illness, beginning recovery, defining sobriety, and the Twelve Steps of S.L.A.A. It includes personal stories of others who have gone from addiction to recovery. A copies can be purchased at most meetings.
- Pamphlets can be picked up at many in-person meetings, locally from our Intergroup Literature Coordinator, or ordered from S.L.A.A. Fellowship-wide Services: These can be of great help in learning more about a specific topic in the program:
- An Introduction to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
- Suggestions for Newcomers
- Questions Beginners Ask
- Romantic Obsession
- and more
- Subscribe to The Journal, S.L.A.A.’s “meeting in print” – Personal stories and writings on recovery topics. Some meetings read stories as topics for sharing. Visit the Journal page for more information.
9. Be of service – Service helps you stay sober.
- Read literature or take on other service roles at meetings.
- Participate in one of the Service Opportunities available in at the monthly Intergroup meeting.
- Join one of the Fellowship-wide Services (F.W.S.) Conference Committees.
10. Call the Inspiration Line or the Inspiration Story Line
Listen to one of our member share their experience, strength and hope.
24-hour Inspiration Line: 215-574-2120
The GDVI S.L.A.A. Inspiration Line is available 24 hours a day. S.L.A.A. members offer voice messages of their experience, strength and hope. At the end of the recorded message, callers may leave feedback about the message and/or “get current” (share what’s going on for them today). This recovery tool supports both recorders and listeners.
Inspiration Story Line 24-hour Weekly Extended Message of Inspiration 215-574-2121
The GDVI S.L.A.A. Inspiration Story Line is also available 24-hours a day. A weekly story from one of our members shares their story of experience, strength and hope.
Inspirational Story Line stories are intended to change weekly.
Above all KEEP COMING BACK!
It works if you work it, so work it, you’re worth it.
Meeting Locator Map – List of meetings in the Greater Delaware Valley
Inspiration Line – Daily recorded messages of inspiration