New Members Meeting Script
The Wednesday COSA Zoom Room Newcomers Meeting has a distinct purpose: to create a space where those who are new to COSA can meet to learn about COSA, make connections with other new and “seasoned” COSAs, be introduced to available online resources and ask questions.
COSA Diversity Statement
- COSA Diversity is consistent with the Third Tradition of COSA, which states that the only requirement for COSA membership is that our lives have been affected by compulsive sexual behavior.
- The COSA Fellowship welcomes all genders, all varieties of relationship to the addict, all religious and spiritual preferences, all employment statuses, all marital statuses, all ethnicities, cultures, and languages. COSA does not discriminate on the basis of class, financial status, sexual orientation or gender identification, physical or mental challenges, race, or national origins.
- In COSA, we find hope whether or not there is a sexually addicted person currently in our lives.COSA Diversity is consistent with the First Tradition of COSA, which states that our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon COSA unity.
- Closed Caption is available for this meeting. Click on “Show Captions” at the bottom of your screen to enable the written transcripts.
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.
We welcome you to this Newcomer-focused meeting and the COSA Zoom Room, a virtual meeting place where dozens of independent COSA meetings are held. We extend to you our support and friendship.
COSA is for people whose lives have been affected by 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 this meeting 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.
In this meeting, our hope and desire is that newcomers to COSA who don’t know where to turn will have a space to learn more about COSA and form relationships with other COSAs. If you are comfortable, we recommend that you put your email address and/or phone number in the chat so those connections can be made.
We will pause for questions later in the meeting, or you may type them into the chat as they come to you.
Now is time for introductions and a feelings check-in. Please take turns unmuting and tell us your name, how you are feeling and a short summary of what brings you to COSA. We will take 2 minutes each to share.
(Leader begins with) “Hi, my name is _________ and I am feeling _________. I came to COSA because of ____________”
Stop Screen Sharing during check-in, then resume
(Members can unmute and check-in popcorn style: no special order of speaking, just when you are ready. Please use the ZOOM timer.)
[Stop Screen Sharing during check-in, then resume]
Leader share: 2 minute maximum.
Why I stay. (I want to give back to the organization that’s given so much to me.)
- Why I serve. (It is through service that I grow and recognize the gratitude I have for where I am today.)
When you are not speaking and for the safety of the group, please:
Stay attentive, avoid cell phone use/texting, and minimize distracting movements.
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 inform the group in the chat.
- In a face-to-face meeting it is appropriate to thank each speaker after their share. In the COSA Zoom Room, we borrow the applause sign from American Sign Language [show the hand wave] as an alternate way of expressing our gratitude.
During this sharing time, each person often has a specific number of minutes (typically 3) to share, and we are requested to talk about our own feelings and behaviors rather than the qualifier’s behaviors that have been hurtful to us. It is especially important to omit specifics about abusive behaviors as they can be very distressing/triggering for others in the meeting.
It is helpful for those new to COSA to attend at least 6 meetings – and if possible several different meetings – to know if COSA is for you and which meetings resonate well with you. You are welcome in any COSA meeting other than the in-progress Step Studies that have been closed to new attendees.
Most COSAs find that there is a comfort in the repetition and rhythm of the meetings that brings a measure of peace. No one will tell you what to do except to keep coming back. After most meetings there is less formal discussion (called “fellowship”) and time for questions and answers. COSA meetings are by COSAs and for COSAs and each meeting is unique to those who attend.
Many find that after a few months in COSA meetings, they gain a measure of understanding and calm and find what works best for them.
What is COSA?
COSA is a fellowship of loosely connected groups who share the common commitment to working the COSA Twelve Steps and carrying the message to others.
COSA’s Tradition 9 states that “COSA… ought never be organized, but we may create service boards and committees.” The International Service Organization (ISO) of COSA is one of these service boards. It is the umbrella group which coordinates efforts that affect COSA as a whole. Their website is cosa-recovery.org. (We will visit the site later.)
What is the COSA Zoom Room?
Each meeting in the Zoom Room is autonomous (has the right of self government), except in matters affecting the other groups. CZR Intergroup is a committee formed by representatives from each meeting that uses the Zoom Room, and it coordinates efforts related to the COSA Zoom Room.
What are HIR Meetings?
Common Acronyms and Terms
These are some common terms that are used in meetings.
COSA – No longer used as an acronym to allow individual COSA groups to decide how to define themselves. In the history of COSA, it has previously stood for both “Codependents of Sex Addicts” and “Co-Sex Addicts” (reference: ‘COSA History’ via the ISO website https://cosa-recovery.org/
SAH/SAW/SAP/ – Sex addict husband, wife, partner, etc.
Other 12 Step Fellowships commonly mentioned
- SAA – Sex Addicts Anonymous
- SA – Sexaholics Anonymous
- SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
Qualifier – The sex addict in your life, i.e. the person who “qualifies” you to attend COSA
Acting Out – A term used to refer generally to non-sober or addictive behaviors
D-Day – discovery day or disclosure day, often used to refer to the first time you found out about your qualifier’s acting out.
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.
We want to recognize that there is significant trauma that is experienced due to the betrayal of trust in our relationship. It takes time to heal. COSA is a group of supportive women and men who have been in similar dysfunctional relationships and uphold each other as we heal together.
You are currently in the COSA Zoom Room provided by the CZR Intergroup. There are regularly scheduled meetings here. The most up-to-date information regarding meetings held in the COSA Zoom Room and HIR Zoom Room can be found below.
The Zoom Room is available 24 hours a day for COSAs to meet and give support to one another between scheduled meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings take precedence.
There is also a What’s App Group entitled “Next Meeting In” that may be helpful. I will put the join link in the chat.
(Leader: put the join link in the chat.)
Meeting Around the World
To find those meetings, go to https://cosa-recovery.org/ and hover over the word “Meetings”
There are two ways to find meetings.
The first is to click on COSA Calendar https://cosa-recovery.org/meetings/cosa-calendar/ . On that calendar you can choose to see all meetings or click on the areas on the top left to eliminate the areas you aren’t interested in learning about.
The second option is to click on Local, Online or Phone Meetings. When searching for a meeting, look carefully for the time zone, as that can be confusing.
- Local – when you hover over the word, a drop-down list appears. Click on the area you want information about.
- Online – online meetings require that you contact someone to get the password before attending. This is for the safety of the group.
- Phone – the phone number and password is given on the link provided.
Texting App Groups
Many meetings have formed groups on apps such as WhatsApp or GroupMe (both of which are free to use) to communicate with their members. When you attend a meeting, you can ask them to add you to their message group if you would find that helpful.
There is also a larger chat group, for all COSAs. I will put the link in the chat if you would like to join.
ISO of COSA Newsletter
Current COSA news can be emailed to you. At the bottom of every page of https://cosa-recovery.org/ is a sign up for the “Balance” and “COSAs In The Know”.
“COSAs In The Know” (CITK) is a weekly email giving the latest information from the various ISO committees regarding what’s happening in the COSA world, and includes excerpts from the Balance newsletter. The “Balance” is a bi-monthly (usually) publication that focuses on a specific topic (usually), current news or upcoming events, and the Step and Tradition of the month.
There is a gold mine of information below in the “Additional Information for Personal Exploration” that we aren’t going to touch tonight. When you are ready, feel free to come back to this website and explore that section found just after the closing. There are a few things that may be very helpful and comforting to know, as well.
- It’s okay to cry in a meeting. We’ve been there and understand.
- It’s ok to ask questions – especially after the formal meeting.
- It’s ok to not say a single word.
- It’s ok to let people know when you have a reason you cannot be on camera.
- It’s ok to ask for contact information – and it’s ok for them to say either yes or no.
- It’s ok if you don’t want to share on the meeting’s topic and you just want to share what is going on in your life currently.
- It’s ok if you don’t quite know how to follow all the etiquette guidelines at the beginning. It’s something that you will pick up over time. The important thing is to be able to start sharing when you’re ready.
We want to give you an opportunity to ask questions and get to know each other a little better. So, what questions do you have?
Would someone please read the COSA Promises?
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway 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.”
You are invited to unmute your audio and join me in saying:
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.
A Sponsor serves as a guide in working the Steps of the COSA program, shares his or her experience, strength, and hope (ESH), and offers encouragement and support on a regular basis.
If you are seeking a sponsor, the most effective way to find a sponsor is to attend as many meetings as possible, watch for someone who has the kind of recovery that you would like to have, and ask them to be your sponsor. It is important to remember that if they say “no”, it’s not about you, but more likely about their time availability or other commitments at the moment. Keep asking, because your Higher Power has just the right person at the right time chosen for you.
If a “traditional” sponsor is not available, there are several other options for sponsorship possible solutions.
Temporary Sponsors: You can ask someone to serve as a temporary sponsor until you can find a more permanent sponsor or cosponsor. Sometimes this can serve as a “trial run” to determine if this is a good match for both parties for a more long-term commitment
Co-Sponsorship: A co-sponsor works the Steps with you a study partner. Both members may be inexperienced, learning together along the way. Sometimes the co-sponsor arrangement is a lasting solution. Other times it is temporary and allows you to proceed with Step work while continuing to search for a more experienced, permanent sponsor
Step Study Group: You can join a Step study group. This is a special type of meeting in which members work the steps together, starting with Step One, over a period of several months or more. These groups are typically closed to additional members after the first few meetings to promote closeness and create an environment of comfortable sharing.
Group Leaders have completed the steps and guide the group. Step studies are a wonderful way to connect with other COSAs who may be in the same place. Step studies are often helpful to people who have not yet found a sponsor. They are a great place to make a connection with others to form co-sponsoring relationships.
Three or more people meet face-to-face or by phone, e-mail or Zoom, to work the Steps and share their Step work with each other. The opportunity to present Step work to several people and receive feedback is invaluable
The COSA Zoom Room has a goal to begin a new Step Study on a regular basis. Watch the https://cosazoomroom.org/ website and “COSAs in the Know” weekly newsletter for more information or write to email@example.com to connect with someone.
If you are struggling to find a sponsor, you can also reach out to the Sponsorship Coordinator at SponsorshipHelp@cosa-recovery.
Sponsorship can be one of the most unique and beneficial relationships for a COSA. Sponsors and sponsees together can learn how to have meaningful, healthy relationships, sometimes for the first time in their lives.
Resources Available on the International Service Organization of COSA (ISO)
- Newcomer’s Packet – https://cosa-recovery.org/resources/newcomers-packet/
- Literature – Booklets – https://cosa-recovery.org/product-category/literature/
- MP3s of previous conventions – https://cosa-recovery.org/product-category/mp3/
- Literature on Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/s?i=digital-text&rh=p_27%3AInternational+Service+Organization+of+COSA&s=relevancerank&text=International+Service+Organization+of+COSA&ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1
- Convention – Go to https://cosa-recovery.org/conventions/ to find the latest Convention information
- Other non-ISO events – https://cosa-recovery.org/conventions/other-recovery-events/
Balance & COSAs In the Know
At the bottom of every page on COSA-Recovery website is a sign up for the “Balance” and “COSAs In The Know”. http://cosa-recovery.org/
The “Balance” is a bi-monthly (usually) publication that focuses on a specific topic (usually), current news or upcoming events, and the Step and Tradition of the month.
“COSAs In The Know” (CITK) is a weekly email giving the latest information from the various ISO committees regarding what’s happening in the COSA world, and includes excerpts from the Balance newsletter.
Current and previous issues of the Balance newsletter from the past 20+ years can be found by:
- Hovering over Literature
- Then choose ‘Balance Newsletter’
- Then choose the date.
- OR you may search for a topic, which may or may not bring up a Balance Newsletter.