What is COSA?

COSA is a recovery program for women and men whose lives have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior. In COSA, we find hope whether or not there is a sexually addicted person currently in our lives. With the humble act of reaching out, we begin the process of recovery.


COSA Welcome

We welcome you to the Zoom COSA fellowship and extend to you our support and friendship.

COSA is a Twelve Step recovery program for spiritual development, no matter what our religious or philosophical beliefs. Through working the Twelve Steps, we seek to achieve serenity, one day at a time.

The only requirement for Zoom COSA membership is to have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior. When dealing with the effects of this behavior, many of us experience profound trauma, pain, powerlessness, and unmanageability. Often we turn to unhealthy behaviors of our own to manage our pain or try to control the behaviors of others.

In the long run, our efforts fail. The consequences leave us in despair: our self-esteem, personal boundaries, and values are seriously compromised. Our health and our lives are at risk, and we may feel our identity has been lost. We realize our need to reach out for help.

COSA offers hope, whether or not there is a sexually addicted person currently in our lives. In COSA, we begin to experience relief from our isolation in the safety of an anonymous gathering with others who share our stories. Everything that is said in the group meetings and between members must be held in confidence. This promotes open and honest sharing of our experience, strength, and hope, creating a trust level that many of us have never before experienced.

By working the Twelve Steps in COSA, we gain a new perspective on ourselves and our lives. The loving interchange of help among members and daily use of program tools make us ready to receive the priceless gifts of serenity and freedom.

If you decide you are one of us, we welcome you with open arms. Whatever your circumstances, we offer you the gift of acceptance. Step into the sunlight of the spirit. You are not alone anymore. Welcome to COSA! Welcome home!



Hope

What brings us to COSA? Before recovery, we are unable to admit our powerlessness over compulsive sexual behavior, either someone else's behavior, or our own obsession with the sex addict. We attempt to control, losing regard for our own well-being in the process. No matter what term we choose to call it, our problem is a serious and progressive disease—as harmful to us as sexual addiction is to the sex addict.

Lying, covering up, explaining away, or ignoring compulsive sexual behaviors are some of the unhealthy ways we may cope. We stifle the inner voice telling us something is wrong. We accept promises like "it won't happen again" many times over, and in effect, enable the addiction. With the denial of reality, our lives become increasingly unmanageable.

Our efforts to control escalate in an attempt to alleviate the strain. We tell ourselves that if only we could somehow change—for example, be more (or less) attractive, provocative, intelligent, competent—we could change another person's sexual behavior.

In the long run, our efforts to control fail. The consequences leave us in despair: our self-esteem, personal boundaries, and values are seriously compromised. Our health and our lives are at risk, and our identity is lost. We realize our need to reach out for help.

COSA offers hope. In COSA, we begin to experience relief from our isolation, in the safety of an anonymous gathering with others who share our stories. During every meeting, little by little, sanity, clarity, and our own truth begin to emerge.



Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer (short version)
God grant me…  serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer (long version)
God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Patience for the things that take time,
Appreciation for all that I have,
And tolerance for those with different struggles.

Freedom to live beyond the limitations of my past ways,
The ability to feel your love for me and our love for each other,
And the strength to get up and try again even when I feel it is hopeless.


The Twelve Steps of COSA
  1. We admitted we were powerless over compulsive 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 others, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.


The Twelve Traditions of COSA
  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon COSA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority -- a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for COSA membership is that our lives have been affected by compulsive sexual behavior. The members may call themselves a COSA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or COSA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to those who still suffer. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps ourselves.
  6. A COSA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the COSA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every COSA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. COSA should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. COSA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. COSA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the COSA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all Program members.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


COSA Tools

LITERATURE ~  Newcomer packets and other literature may be ordered at www.COSA-Recovery.org. COSA produces a newsletter called Balance, a valuable resource for recovery and news about the COSA fellowship, conferences, retreats, etc.
                                                           
GIFTS AND PROMISES ~ These are the "results" any member of COSA can expect from working the COSA Twelve-Step program. By holding on to these promises, many members have found hope and strength, as well as help to focus on their program. Reading the Promises is often helpful when we feel hopeless or like we’ll never make it through the pain and turmoil we feel. Knowing that those who have gone before us have found the peace and serenity found in the Gifts and Promises helps us to know that the program works “if we
work it.”
                                                           
The SERENITY PRAYER ~  Simple but profound appeal to a Higher Power to assist us in the process of receiving the "priceless gift of serenity." Many people utilize this COSA tool as a method to get through difficult experiences, or the obsession about the sex addict that is so common to COSA members. By repeating the prayer, either silently or aloud, whenever we are faced with a person, situation or issue that we need to let go of, we find that we are able to let go of our need to control and/or our worries— if only for a moment.
                                                           
SPONSORS ~  A person who serves as a guide through the Twelve Step process; after you have been attending a meeting for a bit, you may find that there are people who have a story similar to yours, and also people who have the serenity you seek for your own life. It is your responsibility to ask another COSA member to be your sponsor; they will not come to you. A sponsor is someone who agrees to be your sponsor, can be honest with you and support you, knows your whole story, holds you accountable for working your COSA program, and helps you focus on how the Steps apply to your life. This relationship often becomes the life-line that we seek, and we can form a healthy nurturing bond with our sponsors, who share their Experience, Strength, and Hope with us in working the Steps of COSA, and realizing the Promises and Gifts that COSA recovery can bring. Those of us who serve as sponsors most often find that our own recovery is enhanced by the experience.
                                                           
SUPPORT NETWORK ~ Communicating with other COSA members, either by phone, private email, internet messenger, or in person; asking for support when needed; corresponding with other COSA members; all can be especially important if there are no face-to-face meetings you can attend. This network is best cultivated in non-crisis times, so members often make a practice of calling or emailing their support people on a regular basis. Some groups encourage newcomers to make “practice” calls right away, in order to avoid the common problem of the “two ton phone” and continuing to isolate, if only between meetings. .
                                   
SLOGANS ~ Quick references to important Twelve Step program concepts, i.e.: "One Day at a Time," "Progress, Not Perfection." “It works if you work it.” 
                                                           
PRAYER AND MEDITATION ~   To some, prayer is talking to our Higher Power and meditation is listening to our Higher Power. Both can be difficult when we first come to the program. We may feel disconnected or even angry at our Higher Power and therefore resist or even avoid prayer. Meditation is a tool that may be difficult at first as well, as our minds are often spinning with the pain and anger we feel toward our loved one’s compulsive sexual behaviors. Through patience and practice, both tools can become trusted allies on our recovery journey.
                                                           
HONESTY ~ Striving to eliminate denial, half-truths, white lies, partial truths and overt dishonesty with others and ourselves. This includes denying or lying about our feelings. Learning to be rigorously honest with ourselves and others is a journey.

JOURNALING ~ This can be a very important part of recovery, helping us to investigate and examine our lives and record our thoughts, feelings and insights. Journaling can be any reflective writing and Step work, including poetry, letters (which we don’t intend to send) to our Higher Power and people we have issues with, lists and stream-of consciousness-writing, to name a few.

SERVICE ~ Participating in activities that support the COSA group or COSA as a whole. There are many different opportunities, such as: cleaning out a coffee mug; leading the meeting as the secretary or trusted servant; setting up the room or putting chairs away at the end; Sponsoring another COSA member; serving on a planning committee; welcoming newcomers; sharing at meetings. There are no professionals at our meetings— we are all equal. Working together ensures the health and well-being of our group, ourselves, and COSA as a whole.

COSA CONVENTIONS AND RETREATS ~ These provide COSA members with opportunities to spend more time focused on the COSA program and issues, and build a support network. Most members find conventions and retreats to be an essential part of their recovery program, and feel that missing out on an opportunity to attend would be missing out on an important part of their recovery journey.
                                                           
ANONYMITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY ~ What is said here, stays here. That sounds so simple, and yet, it is this simple rule that helps us all to feel safe discussing the sensitive issues we face as co-sex addicts.
                                                           
DEFINING OUR SOBRIETY and INNER CIRCLE BEHAVIORS ~ In defining our own sobriety, we make a list of those behaviors we engaged in that made us, and the situation, worse. Most COSA members report that they find that their definition of their COSA sobriety evolves over time, and includes both those behaviors we choose to no longer engage in, as well as those new behaviors we begin to embrace that are self-nurturing.
                                                                                                                                   
CELIBACY ~ Some find that periods of celibacy can help couples increase communication, by taking the focus off being sexual and placing it on growth and true intimacy.
                                                           
SETTING BOUNDARIES ~ Boundaries are personal choices, and no one in COSA will decide what your boundaries need to be. You can ask a COSA friend or your sponsor about the kinds of boundaries they have set and how they discovered their own boundaries to get ideas and inspiration for discovering your own personal boundaries.



Sayings, Slogans and "Catch Phrases"

One day at a time

Cultivate an attitude
of gratitude

Your worth should never depend on another person's opinion

HOW it works = Honesty, Open mindedness, and Willingness

GOD =
Good
Orderly
Direction

Many meetings,
many chances;
few meetings,
few chances..

SLIP =
Sobriety Lost Its Priority

HALT = don't get to Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

Not my circus,

Not my monkeys!

EGO – Edging God Out

Don't let someone who doesn't know your value tell you how much you're worth!

You don't have to understand the steps to work them; you have to work them to understand them.

GOD – Grace Over Drama

FEAR – Forgetting Everything is All Right

You can't think your way into a new way of living…
You have to behave your way into a new way of thinking.

Don't act out …. ask for help, call your sponsor, and go to meetings

If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got

This program works ….
if you work it!

Learn to listen and listen to learn.

Just for today

Keep it simple

This too shall pass

Stick with the winners

Time
 takes
time

H O P E =
Happy Our
Program Exists

Recovery is a journey ...not destination

To thine own self
be true

I don't want you to save me; I want you to stand by my side while I learn to save myself!

If I quit now, I will be right back where I started; and when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.

My Ego is not my Amigo!

Not everyone will understand your journey; that's okay, it not theirs to understand. It's yours.

Progress, not perfection

It's a simple program for complicated people

Easy does it

Don't quit before the miracle happens

Willingness is the key

When all else fails, follow directions

Change is a process, not an event

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired

Principles before personalities

If it looks like a Duck, Quacks like a Duck,
it's probably a Duck

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

Nothing changes if nothing changes

Give time...time

Misery is optional

Easy does it but do it

Feelings are not facts

How important is it?

It is possible to change without improving -
it is impossible to improve without change

An addict cannot be grateful and hateful at the same time

Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm

I wish to grow away from
the four M’s – Mothering, Martyrdom, Manipulation, Managing

THINK – Is it Truthful, Helpful,
Informative, Necessary, Kind?



Zoom Room Meeting Schedule
We look forward to having you join our meetings, but please be advised that you must email either the cosazoomroom@yahoo.com or the individual meeting email address and receive confirmation prior to attending your first meeting. Thank you for understanding our safety is important as we respect yours also.

Support Meeting:  A process in which two or more people come together
in support of mutual healing and growth. 

'Sunday Serenity' Topic Meeting
Time:   7:30 pm Eastern, 6:30 Central, 5:30 Mountain, 4:30 Pacific, 12:30 am London UK, 12:30 pm NZ
Go to: https://www.zoom.us/join - Enter Meeting ID: 457 778 6313
Contact Information: cosasundayserenity@yahoo.com

Monday 'Finding Life In Balance' Meeting
Time:   7:30 pm Eastern, 6:30 Central, 5:30 Mountain, 4:30 Pacific, 12:30 am London UK, 12:30 pm NZ
Go to: https://www.zoom.us/join - Enter Meeting ID: 457 778 6313
Contact Information: findinglifeinbalance@yahoo.com

Tuesday 'Living the Literature' Meeting
Time:  2:00 pm Eastern, 1:00 Central, 12:00 Noon Mountain, 11:00 Pacific, 6:00 Reykjavik, Iceland, Greenwich 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm London UK 8:00 pm Paris – Vienna - Switzerland, 9:00 pm Helsinki, Finland
Go to: https://www.zoom.us/join - Enter Meeting ID: 457 778 6313
Contact Information: livingtheliterature@yahoo.com

Wednesday Zoom Sponsor Check In
(CLOSED - except to Sponsors and Soon-To-Be Sponsor)
Meets only on first Wednesday of the month
Time: 7:30 pm Eastern, 6:30 Central, 5:30 Mountain, 4:30 Pacific
Go to: https://www.zoom.us/join - Enter Meeting ID: 457 778 6313

Wednesday 'Warriors' Meeting
Time:  8:30 pm Eastern, 7:30 pm Central, 6:30 pm Mountain, 5:30 Pacific
Go to: https://www.zoom.us/join - Enter Meeting ID: 457 778 6313
Contact Information: cosa.zoomweds@yahoo.com

THURSDAY – MORNING STEP STUDY
A group step study began July 19, 2018 – CLOSED TO NEW MEMBERS.
If you need additional information, you may contact a representative at cosathursdaystep@yahoo.com
Time: 9:00 am Eastern, 8:00 am Central, 7:00 am Mountain, 6:00 am Pacific, 1:00 pm GMT

Thursdays 'Safe Haven' Topic Meeting
Time:  3:00 pm Eastern U.S., CAN, Trinidad/Tobego, 2:00 pm Central, 1:00 pm Mountain, 12:00 Noon Pacific, 8:00 pm London UK, 9:00 pm Paris & Vienna, 10:00 pm Helsinki, Finland
Go to: https://www.zoom.us/join - Enter Meeting ID: 457 778 6313
Contact Information: cosasafehaven@yahoo.com

THURSDAY – STEP STUDY (Self Starters) – CLOSED to new members
8:30 pm Eastern, 7:30 pm Central, 6:30 pm Mountain, 5:30 pm Pacific

FRIDAY – STEP TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) A group step study open to all COSAs started January 4, 2019
If you need additional information, you may contact a representative at cosasteptgif@yahoo.com
2:00 pm US Eastern, CAN, Trinidad/Tobego, 1:00 pm US Central Time, 12:00 noon US Mountain Time, 11:00 am US Pacific Time, 6:00 pm Greenwich / Reykjavik, Iceland, 7:00 pm London, UK, 8:00 pm Paris – Vienna - Switzerland, 9:00 pm Helsinki, Finland

Please read the meeting Guidelines

Meeting Topic Information: To receive meeting topic information each week, you will need to sign up for either the COSA Solutions listserve or the COSA 12 Step listserve.
COSA Solutions listserve: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cosa_solution/info
COSA 12 Step listserve: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/COSA_12_STEP/info?showJoinPopup=true

Questions?  Contact Us



Zoom Room Meeting Guidelines

During the meeting

  1. Please mute your microphone when a member is sharing.
  2. Pre & post meeting discussion:  When there is a lot of chat, you can turn your microphone on.
  3. Think about your actions on camera. Movements are distracting to the audience and can be disruptive to the speaker.  Try to stay still and be attentive.

Etiquette for meetings

  1. Dress to respect.   Dress for your Zoom meeting the way you would for an in-person meeting.   Note:  Scant clothing can be triggering.  Please be respectful.
  2. Your environment - Participate in meetings from a quiet, indoor location to control ambient noise.
  3. Lighting. Please refrain from sitting directly in front or beside a very bright light source.  Experiment with moving lamps and your camera until you can see your brightly-lit face on the screen.
  4. Think about the background behind you. Is it appropriate for international viewing? 
  5. Practice speaking to the camera and not the screen.   Our tendency is to look at the person on the screen, but it's preferable to look at the camera when you speak so the audience feels like you’re talking directly to them.
  6. Sharing.   Open up only relevant documents before the call and share only those during the meeting.  Remember that whatever is open on your desktop will be viewed by everyone.
  7. Bandwidth and signal - If you are wireless, try to remain close to the wireless router. When you have the option, choose wired (instead of wireless) for video conferencing.

How you prefer to view the meeting participants - Gallery or Speaker View -   
In top right corner of screen, selecting
‘Gallery View’ will display everyone in same-size images.   
‘Speaker View’ highlights whoever is speaking in large center screen.   

Difficulties? 
Please PM (private message)  this meeting’s secretary for assistance by clicking on ‘manage participants’ & selecting the host from the list of members who are attending.  That will allow you to send the secretary a private message.



Meeting Format - Optional
(Meeting leaders choose what to use or not.)

Welcome to the COSA ZOOM ROOM meeting. My name is _________and I am doing service for this meeting. Before we begin, please unmute your audio to join in saying the (Host pick version here) of the Serenity Prayer (Clarify short 'me', 'we' or longer version):

'Me' Version (short version)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

'We' Version (short version)
God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer (long version)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Patience for the things that take time,
Appreciation for all that I have,
And tolerance for those with different struggles.

Freedom to live beyond the limitations of my past ways,
The ability to feel your love for me and our love for each other,
And the strength to get up and try again even when I feel it is hopeless.

(Read aloud) We welcome you to the Zoom COSA fellowship and extend to you our support and friendship. COSA is for people whose lives have been affected by another person’s compulsive sexual behavior. COSA is an anonymous Twelve-Step recovery program for spiritual development, no matter what our religious or philosophical beliefs.

COSA offers hope whether or not there is a sexually addicted person currently in our lives. In COSA, we begin to experience relief from our isolation in the safety of an anonymous gathering with others who share our stories. Everything that is said in the group meetings and between members must be held in confidence. This promotes open and honest sharing of our experience, strength, and hope, creating a trust level that many of us have never before experienced. By working the Twelve Steps in COSA, we gain a new perspective on ourselves and our lives. If you decide you are one of us, we welcome you with open arms.

When you are not speaking and for the safety of the group please:

  • Stay attentive, avoid cellphone use/texting and minimize distracting movements such as eating etc.
  • Mute your microphone so that any background noise will not disturb the speaker.
  • Keep your video on. If you must step away or temporarily stop your video, please address the group in the chat.
  • Please be mindful as you prepare to enter the room that certain attire might be triggering for others and dress accordingly.

[IF THERE ARE NEWCOMERS] If you are attending a COSA meeting for the first time, will you please hold up your hand and tell us your first name? This is not done to embarrass you, but so we may welcome you. (Newcomers introduce themselves) Welcome. We’re glad you are here. If you are interested in literature or an email list, please talk with the host or leader after the meeting.”

Will someone be willing to read COSA 12 Steps? (Share Screen)
 
Would some be willing to read our 12 Traditions? (Share Screen)
 
When we work the COSA program, we find that the symptoms of codependency are removed on a daily basis. The preoccupation with the addict decreases and for some will disappear entirely. Through recovery, we move away from a life of emotional turmoil to a healthier living experience. We encourage newcomers to attend at least six meetings in a row to get acquainted with the group, practice letting go of denial, and open up to receiving the gifts of this program.
 

Guidelines for Sharing in Meetings
(Read aloud)

Members are asked to share their own experience, strength, and hope(ESH) with the group, speaking in “I” (rather than using 'you') and keeping the focus on their own journey.

Advice-giving, telling others what they should do, scolding, preaching, judging or commenting on what people say or crosstalk are all strongly discouraged.

During the meeting participants will please refrain from directing their comments to a group member or using another participants name during share.

[IF APPLICABLE ~ LEADER TO ANNOUNCE before shares begin ] So that all attendees get an opportunity to share, please limit your shares to three minutes, allowing time for re-shares, check-ins (PEMMS), and readings.

(Read aloud) Now it's time to go to today's topic. ( [LEADER NOW SHARES SCREEN & has someone read today's topic]
Invitation to share: "The floor is now open for someone to share on today's topic."

(Leader: PLEASE RETURN HERE at end of meeting for any Announcements, offering Inventory Question(s) of the Day, and other business.

CLOSING The host invites members to join in saying either the 'I Put My Hand in Yours' or Serenity Prayer (announce what version) (Leader to Screen Share). Meeting is officially over, and room opens to Open Chat.

OPEN CHAT After the meeting, it is considered 'open chat' where everyone can unmute microphones (as long as the noise level remains doable) and talk about whatever subjects are on their heart. People can ask for feedback in the form of members sharing specific ESH (not advice). The only guidelines are that there is no SA bashing or explicit sexual talk.



COSA Readings
Selected from the COSA Meeting Guide (Downloadable at: cosarecovery.org)

The Gifts of COSA
With the twelve suggested steps of recovery, and the wisdom, experience, and support of the COSA group, we discover the faith and acceptance to let go of the situations we were once desperate to control, and the courage and strength to grow in matters we once avoided or denied.
Gradually, the gifts multiply. As our awareness increases, so does our personal power and self-esteem. In our relationships, we learn detachment and become more fully present. In continued recovery, we live our lives in deeper joy, serenity and fulfillment, one day at a time.
 
Recovery
We have found that when we thoroughly work our COSA program, we receive the life-changing gifts of recovery. We begin our journey toward healing when we walk through the meeting doors. We grow as we listen, as we share, as we work Steps, and as we take service positions to help the fellowship thrive.The promises become ours as we open our hearts and minds to the Steps, tools, and principles.
***

The Promises
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half  way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly,sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”

Reprinted from Alcoholics Anonymous, page 83-84, with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.

Welcome to the Sunlight

Those of us who have come to COSA have found that we share a common thread. Although our stories may be as varied as the colors of the rainbow, each of us have been impacted by another person's compulsive sexual behavior. The relief we feel as we learn we are not alone allows us to open to the truth: Although we may have been brought to our first meeting because of another person's acting out behaviors, we, too, are in the clutches of a dangerous illness.

We may have been too broken, despairing, and lacking in the self-confidence we once possessed to continue to cope with our own lives as they were.

We come to find that although we may be capable, dependable, courageous people, we cannot control the impact of the illness of sexual addiction on our lives. We turn our attention away from the sex addict and detach from the emotional turmoil that sexual addiction can bring, turning instead to the proven, workable method by which we can arrest our own illness.

As the kaleidoscope of our personal stories attests, working the Twelve Steps is just as important for us as it is for the sex addict. To remedy our own emotional, physical and spiritual illness, the COSA program offers suggestions, but keep in mind that the basis of our program is spiritual, as evidenced by the Twelve Steps.

As a result of practicing the Steps, the fog that once shrouded our lives begins to lift, and the symptoms of our own dysfunction are removed on a daily basis. The Twelve Steps aid us in our process of surrendering to something greater than ourselves, and we find that the more total our surrender, the more fully realized our freedom from the coping behaviors we learned to use.

Can we guarantee YOU this recovery? The answer is simple. Those who find the most serenity and recovery do so by honestly facing the truth about themselves and their own illness and have been willing to rely on a power greater than themselves for direction in their own life. They also keep coming back to meetings to talk and listen to other recovering members of the COSA program, and take the Twelve Steps to the best of their ability. If you can commit yourself to these as well, we believe you, too, can indeed join the ranks of those who recover.

Once we become open to our own recovery, the preoccupation with the addict diminishes and in many cases leaves us entirely. As we walk further into the clarity of recovery, we find that to deal with our inner turmoil, we have to have a new way of thinking— of acting on life rather than reacting to it— in essence, a new way of living.

“But I’m too weak. I’ll never make it.” Don’t worry, we have all thought or said just about the same thing. The amazing secret to the success of this program is just that. It is our common weakness, not our strength, that binds us to each other and to a Higher Power and somehow gives us the ability to do what we cannot do alone.

If you decide you are one of us, we welcome you with open arms. Whatever your circumstances, we offer you the gift of acceptance. You are not alone anymore.


"I Put My Hand In Yours" :  I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we could never do alone. No longer is there a sense of hopelessness, no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower. We are all together now, reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams. - Rozanne S.



Meeting Topic Information: To receive meeting topic information each week, you will need to sign up for either the COSA Solutions listserve or the COSA 12 Step listserve.
COSA Solutions listserve: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cosa_solution/info
COSA 12 Step listserve: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/COSA_12_STEP/info?showJoinPopup=true


PLEASE READ: As our COSA Zoom Room continues to grow and the recovery process evolves for us, opportunities to serve open up to us as well. There are many ways to do service and as we grow, those occasions will continue to increase.

Service can include leading/shepherding, hosting or co-hosting a meeting, becoming a trusted servant as an Intergroup representative, or serving as a delegate of your meeting to the ISO COSA Convention. If you feel led to serve or would like to nominate someone attending your meeting on a regular basis, please contact your current Intergroup representative. (Descriptions of each service may be found by clicking the service tab on the menu.)

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Seventh Tradition of Zoom COSA Recovery Meetings
Now is the time for us to honor the Seventh Tradition to be “fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions’. Our groups have no established dues. Funds collected cover expenses such as website and PayPal fees, delegate fees, and donations to the ISO. At the end of local COSA meetings, a basket is passed for our Seventh Tradition. In the Zoomroom we have the easy option of making contributions via PayPal with a one-time or recurring donation. You can see our expenses and income during the last month, our total balance available as well as our budget for the year.
One-Time DonationRecurring by Month or Year

Monthly Donation

How to make a change to your recurring 7th Tradition donation


Financial Report as of February 1, 2019

Beginning Balance 02/01/19

    $2,525.80
-INCOME

Recurring donations

One time donations.

80.00

72.00

-EXPENSES

PayPal fees

-7.65

Ending Balance 2/28/19     $2,670.15
Projected 2019 expenses and donations

2019 Budget

Zoom Video Communications Fee
CPA reimbursement state/fed filings/
         EIN number/Nonprofit Status
ISO Donation
PayPal fees
Go Daddy Secure Lock 1/4 set aside
Reserve 2 year operating expenses
Delegate Fee Reimbursements




$120

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Speaker Series Links
Date Topic Speaker
10/4/2015 Recovery Circles/Sobriety Contract -1 Amber E. & Amy MJ
10/11/2015 Recovery Circles/Sobriety Contract -2 Beth H.
10/18/2015 Recovery Circles/Sobriety Contract -3 Betsy
Document COSA Steps in 15 Minutes  
Document Sobriety Contract Example Beth H.
Document Boundaries Claudia M.
11/01/2015 Boundaries-1 Sara
11/08/2015 Boundaries-2 Claudia M.
How the ISO COSA Board Works Sandy S.

Conducting a Group Inventory

Groups evolve just as recovering individuals evolve. Things that may have worked for the group in its early years may no longer work. Rather than resorting to criticism and judgment, sometimes an objective inventory and a few changes are all that is needed. We remember to place principles before personalities, and aim for progress not perfection.

It is important for meetings to stay healthy and fresh. Just as individual COSA members benefit from a regular sobriety check-in or inventory, so do meetings. Conducting a group inventory will help group members bring unresolved issues to the group for discussion and identify areas where the meeting can grow.

As a means of helping each group conduct an inventory, the following questions may be used to identify what needs to change, but also remember to celebrate what is working. As with all meetings and Group Conscience discussions, we practice safe communication* and honor the input of each member of the group. We pay careful attention to the Twelve Traditions when conducting a group inventory. COSA individual recovery depends in large part upon the support of a healthy, Higher Power-directed group.

Dynamics Within Our Group

  1. Are our members respectful of each other? (Please refer to the COSA Guidelines for Safe Communication*.) Are we all invited to participate in the meeting and also in the Group Conscience decisions?
  2. Are we a fellowship of equals? Are some looked to as COSA experts? What might be some ways to avoid imbalance or dominance in the group?
  3. Do we share experience, strength, and hope or do we engage in advice-giving or crosstalk? (Crosstalk means talking to, talking about, or talking with someone else during the meeting.) If the latter is true, how might we redirect our group toward healthy communication?
  4. Are newcomers given a warm welcome and an introduction to the program and COSA literature? Do we make COSA literature available at the meeting?
  5. Are our members working the Steps? If not, can we identify some ways to encourage this?
  6. Are our members aware of and able to apply the Traditions? If not, can we identify some ways to encourage this?
Behaviors/Skills of Individuals Outside the Group
  1. Do we focus on our own recovery or do we spend a lot of time talking about the addict? What are some ways to stay solution-oriented?
  2. Do we know and honor the principles of anonymity? Do we actively and respectfully listen to one another?
  3. Do we use phone/email lists? Do we have a way of staying connected and supporting one another between meetings?
  4. Are members willing to be involved in service at the group level and beyond? Do we have a Delegate?
Relationships to Other COSA Groups
  1. Does our group belong to an Intergroup and actively participate? If not, would we benefit from connecting with other COSA groups?
  2. Is our group honoring the Seventh Tradition and supporting our meeting group financially? Do we also donate to the ISO of COSA which provides our materials, literature, support, and convention? Is our group staying connected with the ISO of COSA?
*Guidelines for Safe Communications
  1. We respect others and ourselves in the group by using the safety guidelines.
  2. We use "I" or "we" statements. We avoid blaming and shaming, button pushing, case building and the taking or sharing of another person's inventory*.
  3. We practice active listening, especially when in meetings.
  4. We respectfully allow others to have the floor. We do not interrupt others.
  5. We remain present when others are addressing the group.
  6. We end meetings on time to allow people to attend to their personal needs.
  7. We agree that one person at a time has the floor.
  8. We wait until the speaker is finished, before raising our hands or if by phone, asking to be recognized by the Leader to speak.
  9. We ask for clarity and use mirror feedback if we are uncertain about what the speaker is saying.
  10. We avoid triangulating with others by practicing direct communication.
  11. We say what we mean, mean what we say, and we do not say it meanly. When we say how we feel, what we think, and what we like or dislike, we use care and concern for the relationships within our group.
  12. We accept that we will have disagreements.
  13. We accept that there are many right answers.
  14. We speak in polite voices. We do not use yelling, intimidation, or sarcasm.
  15. We agree to keep our language clean.
  16. We table issues when emotions run high, for a period, beginning with 15 minutes, or until the next meeting.
  17. We commit to return to discussion of tabled issues at a specific mutually acceptable time.
  18. We own our responsibility for our own feelings and triggers. We contain ourselves.
  19. We agree that all of us are equally responsible for the relationships within the group. (See Traditions: 2 – For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as expressed in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. 4 – Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or COSA as a whole.)
  20. We agree to show up, speak our truths, and then, turn over the outcomes to our HP as expressed in our Group Conscience.

(Source: http://www.cosa-recovery.org/PDF/ISO_of_COSA_Safe_Communications_Procedures.pdf)

*Taking inventory = honesty about only your own defects of character; acceptance that “the problem” is within yourself without blaming others.


Guidelines for COSA ZoomRoom Service Positions

Note: These are guidelines only—hosts, co-hosts, and leads may wish to modify these guidelines to suit their particular strengths and situation. The key is to have clear communication among the host, lead, and co-host in a meeting to ensure all functions are covered.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt8GSrwMLtU

1. Host
  1. Plan the topic or assign it to another person, such as the Shepherd/Lead.
  2. Post the topic to the cosa-solution and cosa_12_step email lists one to two days prior to the meeting.
  3. In preparation for screen sharing, open the cosazoomroom.org page to the meeting format and a separate page with the topic of the day.
  4. Enter the zoomroom through the zoom.us site using the yahoo account and password portal. (If you don’t have this information, ask your Intergroup Representative.)
  5. Open the room, if not early, at least by the time the meeting is scheduled to begin.
  6. Assign/Request the role of Co-Host.
  7. Guide the Shepherd/Lead through the process of the meeting as needed.
  8. Take special care of (possible) newcomers by helping them to turn on their video and audio, introducing the chat feature and informing of the ASL borrowed “applause” sign that we use to express our gratitude at the end of each share. (This duty may also be done by the Shepherd/Lead or Co-Host.)
  9. If necessary, be prepared to remove an attendee who is unwilling to speak or show their audio.
  10. Watch and listen for audio and video that might be noisy or inappropriate, muting or turning off the offending video if necessary.
2. Co-Host (note—smaller meetings may not have a co-host, but larger meetings will need one)
  1. Assist in every aspect of the Host position as needed. (See all aspects of above)
  2. Be aware of the unique needs of each meeting. When a new person is the Shepherd/Lead, the Host has primary responsibility to guide them, making the other responsibilities fall to the Co-Host.
  3. Be prepared to take over as Host if the Host is having technical or other difficulties.
3. Shepherd/Lead
  1. Read the Meeting Format during the meeting following the “directions” in blue as needed (and/or ask others to read parts of it—e.g., steps, traditions).
  2. If possible, prepare your computer/tablet/phone by opening the cosazoomroom.org page to the meeting format and a separate page with the topic of the day. (This may be done by the host if the Shepherd/Lead is not comfortable with the electronics yet.)
  3. If newcomers are present, ask if they are a COSA and let them know that our unusual hand waving at the end of each share is the ASL borrowed “applause” sign that we use as a way of expressing our gratitude.
  4. Invite attendees to share their experience, strength and hope regarding the topic. You may choose to thank each person after their share and remind everyone that the floor is open for sharing or simply let it happen. (Remember that it’s important, based on Traditions One and Twelve, to speak only in “I” terms, allowing the newcomer to recognize that they are of equal importance to those with the most experience.)
  5. Should there be a newcomer present who doesn’t yet understand the principals of the program, it’s appropriate to gently remind the group that in this meeting we keep the focus on ourselves when we share, but after the meeting we will take time to answer any questions and provide feedback, should that be requested.
  6. Close the meeting with one or more readings (if time allows) and/or ask someone to read a closing reading and lead the group in saying the prayer.
  7. Mention the opportunity to give back to COSA with a one-time or recurring gift through “passing the basket”. Funds are allocated by group conscience and may be used for expenses of running the website, donations to the ISO of COSA, support for delegates to the ISO of COSA convention, or other cause as voted.
4. Trusted Servant
  1. The representative to the InterGroup, chosen by each individual meeting, is the liaison between the individual meeting and the collective group, gathering information from the meeting to share with the InterGroup and relaying information from the InterGroup to the meeting members.
  2. The Intergroup recommends that the representative should have completed at least Step Five, have a current sponsor and be a regular attendee to be eligible as a representative. But it is a Group Conscience (per meeting) decision.
  3. The current roles within the InterGroup are: Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Librarian, InterGroup ISO Delegate, Email Coordinator, Main Zoom Room Administrator.
5. Year Round Delegate (information obtained from ISO website)

Year-round Delegates serve as a vital link between their groups and the fellowship as a whole. Having this link keeps COSA's group conscience alive and brings valuable recovery and resources to each meeting. The Delegate your group chooses would ideally be the person your group thinks is best suited to represent them. We suggest that Delegates be members who have attended at least six out of the group's last ten meetings, are working the Steps with a sponsor or co-sponsor, and meet the basic requirements for all of their group's other service positions. Groups are strongly encouraged to raise money to send their Year-round Delegate to the Annual Convention each year, and to elect an Alternate Delegate.

What does a Year-round Delegate do? The chosen Year-round Delegate:

  • Serves year round for a two-year term
  • Represents their home group's group conscience at the Annual Delegate Meeting and throughout the year
  • Acts as a conduit for information between the ISO and their home group
  • Encourages written submissions to the COSA Literature Committee
  • Informs their home group about financial and service needs at the International level
  • Encourages all members to be generous with their time, talent, and treasure
  • Participates on an ISO working committee
  • Follows the COSA Delegate Checklist