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 fellowship, extending 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 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 in the chat so those connections can be made.
We will pause for questions later in the meeting, but please feel free to type them into the chat as they come to you if you are worried that you will forget them.
Now is time for introductions and a feelings check-in, just 2-3 words describing how you are feeling. Please take turns unmuting and tell us your name and how you are feeling.
(Leader begins with) “Hi, my name is _________ and I feel _________.”
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.
Leader share: 2 minute maximum.
What brought me to COSA and when. (My inability to control someone else’s behavior, my emotional pain, the recognition of my need for support from others who have walked a similar path and found healing.)
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.
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.) On the website, some of the helpful resources you can find are:
Official literature (hard copies and ebook versions)
More meetings! Including local in-person, online, and phone meetings
Past and current issues of COSA’s newsletter, Balance
Sign up for “COSA In the Know” weekly emails
Make donations to the ISO
Many more resources!
What is the COSA Zoom Room?
The Zoom Room, where you are now, is a separate organization from the ISO. The Zoom Room started as a group of COSAs who got together to hold meetings online using a shared Zoom account. Over the years, meeting times have continued to be added to the schedule. “COSA Zoom Room” is often abbreviated as CZR.
Each meeting in the Zoom Room is autonomous, 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?
CZR also hosts HIR (Healthy Intimate Relationship) meetings, which can be attended by COSAs and/or their intimate partners, and focuses on the specific recovery dynamics of committed relationships. HIR meetings use a different meeting ID and password than the main COSA Zoom Room. This password may be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Common Acronyms and Terms
These are some common terms that are used in meetings.
COSA – No longer used as an acronym so as 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.
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.
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.
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.
Step Study group
Temporary Sponsors: Some people choose a temporary sponsor. Some define this as a COSA member asking someone to serve as a temporary sponsor until a more permanent sponsor or cosponsor can be found. Others see temporary sponsorship 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 is someone who works the Steps with us like a study partner. Often, both members are inexperienced, learning together along the way. Sometimes the co-sponsor arrangement is a lasting solution. Other times it is temporary and allows a COSA member to proceed with Step work while continuing to search for a more experienced, permanent sponsor.
Step Study Group: Some may choose a Step study group. These are 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 either 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 at the beginning of every quarter. Our next Step Study is scheduled to begin ___(date)___ at ___(time)___. Watch the https://cosazoomroom.org/ website and COSAs in the Know 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.
This is a perfect time for any questions or concerns you may have. How can we/I help you? [Stop screen sharing]
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.
As we go through the website resources, please feel free to ask questions or ask for clarification.
Also know that you can come back to this New Members Meeting script to review every link.
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 a large general WhatsApp group for COSAs (over 100 members), which includes international folks, that you can be added to. If you do plan on being added, you likely will need to silence notifications due to frequent posts throughout the day and night.
There is also a What’s App Group entitled “Next Meeting In” that may be helpful. If you wish to be added, let me know.
Meetings Around the World
The website from the International Service Organization of COSA website is: https://cosa-recovery.org/ The schedule for all in-person, online, and phone meetings around the world can be found here. This includes all online meetings, both those offered in the COSA Zoom Room and those hosted by other groups and Intergroups.
To find these meetings click below:
When searching for a meeting, look carefully for the time zone, as that can be confusing.
If the meeting number is 457 778 6313, which is the meeting you’re in right now, it’s being held in the COSA Zoom Room.
If the meeting number is 566 056 0930, it’s being held in the Healthy Intimate Relationships (HIR) room, which is also a part of the CZR Intergroup.
At the bottom of every page on COSA-Recovery website is a sign up for the “Balance” and “COSAs In The Know”.
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 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.
- Go to – http://cosa-recovery.org/
Hover over Events to find the most recent or the next upcoming convention information. Take note of virtual vs. in-person…
Hover over Other Recovery Events to learn about any upcoming local or virtual events that are planned
On the COSA- Recovery website, click ‘Resources’, ‘General Resources’ and click ‘Contact Us’ – contains the email addresses of almost every COSA committee
Would someone please read the COSA Promises?
We know from our own commitment to recover and our experience in using these tools, that our lives will be transformed. We will begin to experience these promises and see these miracles come true.
Having had a Spiritual awakening as a result of working our COSA 12 Step program, we will know a new freedom, and we will experience joyful living. We will fully embrace our past and see how wisdom and maturity grew out of our pain and addictive behavior.
We will know peace, serenity and a genuine connection to ourselves and others. We will share our experience to make a difference in the lives of others.
Our lives will be purposeful, and we will grow in self-esteem and self-appreciation. We will gain a healthy interest in our own lives and give to others from a place of fullness within.
Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. We will welcome prosperity in all areas of our lives. We will grow to trust ourselves and learn how to choose trustworthy people.
A healthy sense of fear will guide us in unsafe situations, and our self-confidence will grow.We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that our Higher Power is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
*Taken from the Balance September-October issue 2002, not Official COSA Literature at this time.
You are invited to unmute your audio and join me in saying:
I Put My Hand in Yours
That is the end of our meeting, we are now in informal fellowship. In meetings other than this one, you would wait until Fellowship time to ask questions, get answers, talk directly to another member (called cross talk), and give feedback to others.