SOS Conference Highlights

By Jim Christopher

"Wellness in Recovery" is a life theme for many in SOS. Theoretically one could achieve sobriety and simply sit in a chair or one could continue to delve into dysfunctional behavior after achieving sobriety; however many opt to participate in life’s adventure; reaching out in sobriety, exploring, learning, growing.

Hence our conference theme "Wellness in Recovery." We discover that there’s plenty going on in life besides drinking or drugging. Some of these "wellness" opportunities will be presented at the conference by Larry Beck, "Your Sobriety Toolkit"; Ed Batis, "Anger Management"; Liz Purcell, "Seeds of Sobriety: Daily Secular Reflections"; Ken Campbell, "Secular Relapse Prevention"; Bernie DeKoven, "Deep Fun: Sober not Somber"; and yours truly, Jim Christopher, on "Escape from Nicotine Country" and "Managing Weight and Staying Fit Painlessly."

Key Presentations:

Barry Solof, M.D., is Physician-in-charge of Addiction Medicine for Southern California Permanente Medical Group in West Covina. Dr. Solof will be speaking on "Medical Aspects of Chemical Dependency."

Randolph Atkins, Jr., Ph.D., is a research scientist with the Walsh Group, P.A. (TWG), a private substance abuse research and consulting firm in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Atkins will be speaking on his proposed research project, a comparative survey of addiction recovery group participants: AA (12-step) and SOS (non-12-step).

The conference will also feature SOS International Advisory Board members: Morris Kight, world renowned human rights activist, founder of the Women’s Center for Alcoholism and the Van Ness Recovery House; Edward Tabash, Esq., prominent Beverly Hills attorney; Dr. Vern Bullough, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, SUNY, Visiting Professor of Nursing, USC; Ruth Hollman, founder of SHARE! (Self-Help and Recovery Exchange) and Lew Hollman, Attorney at Law, longtime SOS activist and convenor; Bob Dey, will present Recovery Inc., a secular cognitive behavioral approach to addressing depression, anxiety, panic, and other emotional problems.

Key talks will also be presented by Texas Department of Criminal Justice leaders: Bob Lewis, Substance Abuse Director for the Volunteer and Education Section, TDCJ and Guy Ogan, Substance Abuse Program Administrator II, Program Planning and Development Specialist, TDCJ. Duaine Metevia, longtime SOS convenor (SOS Dallas), SOS prison outreach program activist (creator of "SOS Behind Bars" Web site) and SOS webmaster for SOS International sites (sossobriety.org and secular sobriety.org) will also speak.

Joseph Hunter, CAS, substance abuse counselor at Los Angeles County’s Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center, a 300 bed therapeutic community in Castaic, CA, where SOS meetings are held as an alternative to 12-step meetings will address the conference.

SOS convenors from around the world will share the podium: speakers from California, Texas, New York Missouri, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Oregon, and other U.S. states; European SOS members from England, Ireland, Belgium and other countries will share their adventures in SOS Sobriety.

We will recognize all SOS pledge drive and building fund donors on conference day, Saturday, August 3.

El Magnifico

Celebrities supportive of SOS will be in attendance for the Friday night conference reception (August 2) and Saturday’s conference (August 3); we will acknowledge them on both occasions. Reception night entertainment includes "El Magnifico," eleven year old magician, Adrian Ramos, who has appeared on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, "Access Hollywood," "The View," with Barbara Walters, and performed at the Magic Castle and Universal Studios. A well known comedian will also entertain at the reception.

   Acme Jazz Band  

Conference Day, Saturday, August 3, will feature the Acme Jazz Band at our luncheon. The band’s talented members have appeared at the famed House of Blues, Hollywood, CA and other major venues. Register now! We’ll see you in Hollywood.

Naming of the SOS Office

Though I have always tried to contribute as much time and money as I can to CFI West, as its honorary chair, I wanted to contribute to some aspect of the building project that most profoundly reflects my greatest commitment within the CFI fold, and that is the attainment of a thoroughly secular society. To this end, there was no CFI project that was more on target than SOS (Save Our Selves). The true test of a society's ability to overcome the pervasive influence of religion can be measured by the extent to which we can wean ourselves away from viewing religious beliefs as the only possible avenue of recovery from chemical dependency.

Once we recognize that human beings can be empowered to change their lives, without the crutch of supernatural beliefs, then we can finally begin to emerge from the dark ages of a religion-dominated approach to health and healing. There is no better organization by which to accomplish this goal than SOS. As the world leader in rational recovery, in shining the light of reason on some of the most intractable addictions that can afflict human beings, SOS truly represents the best that Secular Humanism can offer to modern civilization.

As an Atheist, I don't usually nominate anyone for sainthood. However, I must make an exception in the case of Jim Christopher. Who, among all secular activists, does as much as Jim in the effort to help people mend their broken lives? His kind and gentle manner, his overflowing love and compassion for people in distress, all demonstrate that the purest love for humanity can flow from a godless person. I am so honored that Jim heads SOS.

I am proud to pledge $25,000 for the naming of the SOS office. I implore all of you to contribute as much as you can to SOS and to all CFI projects that will help the rule of reason displace superstition. Remember, as the bumper sticker says: "When religion ruled the world, it was called the dark ages."

Eddie Tabash,

Honorary Chair, Center for Inquiry–West

SOS Conference Speaker

   

Dr. Barry Solof graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and is credentialed in the fields of addiction medicine, geriatric medicine and pain management. He has been the medical director of a large number of adult and adolescent chemical dependency and psychiatric treatment programs, including Edgemont Hospital in Los Angeles, Tustin Medical Center in Orange County and "Alternatives" in Glendale. Currently Dr. Solof is Physician-in-Charge of Addiction Medicine for Southern California Permanente Medical Group in West Covina. He is the national Chairperson for ASAM’s committee on Geriatric Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

Dr. Solof’s presentation is entitled "Medical Aspects of Chemical Dependency." A fascinating video will be shown in conjunction with his talk.

Dr. Solof is nationally known and his compelling talk is not to be missed.

 

SOS Conference Speaker

Dr. Randolph Atkins is a research scientist with The Walsh Group, P.A. (TWG), a private substance abuse research and consulting firm in Bethesda, Maryland. He is the project leader of TWG’s Web-Based Drug-Free Workplace Resource Center and is also involved with other TWG training and research projects. Before coming to TWG, Dr. Atkins held a joint appointment as Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatric Medicine in the School of Medicine and Instructor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Atkins’ work at U. Va. including a study on the effectiveness of Employee Assistance Programs in the workplace and a number of surveys examining substance abuse. He has done extensive research on recovery support groups and is currently working on a book about self-help recovery groups and the American addiction treatment system. He will be speaking on his proposed research project, a comparative survey of addiction recovery group participants, which will compare the beliefs, behaviors, motivations, and experiences of members of two alcohol recovery support groups. Alcoholics Anonymous (12-step group) and Secular Organizations for Sobriety (non-12-step group).
Don’t miss this groundbreaking presentation!

SOS Conference Speaker

Grown-up Fun

Bernie DeKoven, Author of The Well-Played Game and founder of Los Angeles based "DeepFUN" shared his highly acclaimed approach (as part of the SOS ongoing "Wellness in Recovery" presentation ) on Sunday, April 21 at the Center for Inquiry–West. Bernie will present Deep Fun at the forthcoming SOS International Conference (August 2–4, 2002).
As long as I’m going to be making a presentation about "DeepFUN" at the SOS International Conference, Jim thought it’d be appropriate if I introduced myself. I’m Bernie DeKoven, author of the DeepFUN.com Web site and a book called "The Well-Played Game." My work is fun. Literally.

For the past thirty years I’ve been exploring new ways to have fun. Since I’ve spent those years as a grown-up, I’ve been especially interested in grown-up fun. Everybody talks about how important it is to have fun. Well, not everybody. And generally not the people who sign your paycheck. But friends and spouses and grandparents and therapists can frequently be overheard talking about how good fun is for you, how healthy and healing it is.And yet, when it comes to knowing how to have this healthy, healing kind of fun, none of us is really that well informed. The last time we learned anything new about the fun we can have we were, what, seven? eight? And even then, the kind of fun we had all too frequently ended in tears or betrayal,or loneliness, rejection, abuse.

It turns out that there’s a lot we can learn about fun—about our capacity for fun, about our capacity to help each other have fun, about the kinds of fun we can create for each other. As adults we’re much better at it than we were as kids. And if we want, we can help each other become amazingly playful, creative, supportive, and very, very funny.

I’m especially interested in the innocent, intimate, safe, funny, profound kind of fun that we can achieve. Unlike the innocence of childhood, this innocent, adult fun is based not on ignorance, but on informed openness. It’s an intimacy that goes beyond sexuality to create moments of physical,emotional and spiritual union that make us larger than life. The kind of intimacy built on trust, respect, on our abilities to keep each other safe, to hold each other close, to make each other laugh, to touch each other deeply.

When I teach people about this kind of innocent intimacy, I like to bring them to some beautiful, comfortable, safe, peaceful place. I like to take five, maybe six days to have fun with them on every level that I can find: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, socially. I like to play "pointless games"—where we don’t keep score, where the only point is to share fun. I like to play games without equipment of any kind so that there’s nothing that stands between them and the fun they’re creating for each other. I like to play games that don’t take any special skills so that really nothing distracts them from creating the kinds of fun that set them free, that make them whole.

By the way, I recently published an article you might want to take a look at. It’s called "Sober Doesn’t Mean Somber." It was in the June issue of The Phoenix. I’ll be bringing a bunch with me just for you.

The Wind Beneath My Wings

by Valerie White,Esq.

I consider myself a feminist. I object to treating people differently based on gender. I have a tee shirt which says, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people," and I think that is a very good definition. I am also a sober alcoholic–fifteen years in October. So you can imagine I was interested in a recent Time magazine article (April 1, 2002) entitled "Women on a Binge." The facts cited in the article were really scary. The author cited a National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse study which found that girls as young as the first year in high school were just as likely as boys to say they had drunk alcohol. It also mentioned a statistic from the University of Colorado that frequent binge drinking among women students there increased 67% in the seven years before 2000. According to the article, women "associate drinking with power, and they think that if they drink like a guy, they will be like a guy." The author quotes one hard-drinking co-ed as saying, "To be able to drink like a guy is kind of a badge of honor. For me, it’s a feminism thing."

WHAT! Whoa! Hold on here! In my mind, hard drinking has NOTHING to do with feminism. First off, women CAN’T "drink like guys" . . . their physiologies are different and they simply cannot tolerate the same amount of alcohol as men. Their proportionally greater amounts of fat means alcohol is less diluted in the bloodstream. They also have reduced amounts of an alcohol enzyme. They get liver disease a decade earlier than men, even at a lower daily alcohol consumption. They are more likely to develop depression.

Second, they are living in a society which holds women to different standards from men. A man who drinks hard is a "real man" who can "hold his likker." A woman who drinks hard is a lush, a disgrace, and an object of pity, so women have tended to do their alcoholic drinking in secret at home. Perhaps it is not surprising that of the 100 founding members of Alcoholics Anonymous, only one was a woman.

Third, women have a lot more to lose than men. For many people, alcohol and sex go together. Drinks have names like "orgasm", "slow comfortable screw" or "sex on the beach." There is at least one mixed drink named after a slang term for the female genitalia and another called "buttery nipples." (I can’t think of any comparable drink names which similarly play on parts of the male anatomy. Somehow "screwdriver" doesn’t seem to fit.) Accordingly, getting drunk leads women to high-risk sexual behaviors. Drinking women may have sex when they wouldn’t have had it sober, engage in riskier acts like anal sex, or have sex without insisting on a condom. These behaviors in turn expose women to sexually transmitted diseases (some of which women are more likely to get from men than men from women) and pregnancy. And women who drink increase their likelihood of being victimized by mugging, rape, or domestic violence. One source was quoted as saying that co-eds "walking back to campus intoxicated wear a neon sign on their back: Mug me. Victimize me."

Girls shouldn’t drink hard to be like the boys. Feminism doesn’t imply hard drinking. Some of us feminists are sober and plan to stay so.

SOS Launches Special Interest Meetings

During the summer of 2001 a series of six seminars that focused on special topics in addiction and recovery were held at the Center for Inquiry–West and the SHARE! Facility in Marina del Rey, CA. 5. This SOS special series will be repeated at the new Center for Inquiry–West facility, Hollywood, CA, in 2002. SOS convenors are free to utilize this published material in SOS meetings as they see fit. In the current issue of the newsletter we offer the fifth installment of this continuing series of six seminars entitled "Recovery and the Dynamics of Aggression and Addiction." The topics for the series of six seminars are:

Louis F. Market, Ph.D

Manijeh Nikakhtar, M.D., M.P.H.

1. Nature and Nurture in the Cycle of Addiction

2. Understanding the Underlying Dynamics of Addiction

3. Brief Biological Review of Addiction and

Recovery

4. The Mind, Its Function, and Addiction:

The Psychoanalytic View

5. Recovery and the Dynamics of Aggression and Addiction

6. Resolving Conflicts and Lifelong Recovery

Each seminar is two hours in length. A brief reading of concepts, principles and discussion points are presented at each seminar. The following discussion presents the background information for meeting #5. "Discussion Breaks" are suggested at certain points in the reading so that participants can share their thoughts, questions, and comments on the

material covered.

Recovery and the Dynamics of Aggression and Addiction

by Manijeh Nikakhtar, M.D., M.P.H. and Louis F. Markert, Ph.D.

In our last article, we discussed the psychoanalytic view of the structure and function of the mind. We said that the mind, both conscious and unconscious, consists of three "systems" (id, ego, and superego) that vie for control or dominance. Healthy individuals live meaningful and productive lives by maintaining these systems in a state of balance or equilibrium. Unhealthy individuals fail to maintain such a balance. We will now expand this discussion by exploring the dynamics of aggression and assertiveness and their role in addiction and recovery.

Classical psychoanalytic theory holds that there are two classes of biological instincts or drives that govern motivation and behavior: Eros, or the life instincts, that push us toward self-preservation and pleasurable activities; and Thanatos, or the death instincts, that push us toward rest, inactivity and energy conservation. Eros includes sex, defined broadly as all pleasurable activity, and Thanatos included aggression. Both of these instincts provide biopsychic energy that must be guided or directed through the balancing function of the ego into socially adaptive and appropriate behavior. When the ego (the rational, realistic self) is effective in its function and leads the individual to appropriate goal-directed behavior, needs are met, anxiety and tension reduced, and a state of biological-psychological homeostasis achieved.
 

Aggression as Goal-directed Behavior

Contemporary psychoanalytic theorists, however, view basic "instincts" (e.g. aggression) more as psychological wishes and desires than strictly physiological drives. Thus, aggressive behaviors are seen as outlets for personal, social, cognitive wishes more than just biological drives. They explain the manifestations of aggression, such as rape, suicide, self-destruction, some cases of drug use, some acts of religious fanaticism, and high-risk gambling as ways of coping with and adjusting to life. Individuals are aware, consciously or unconsciously, of their "present state," but, on encountering life situations, perceive a more favorable or "ideal state." For example, a man might wake up in the morning and go to work routinely, feeling happy and no animosity toward anyone. At work, however, he is insulted or ridiculed, or worse, finds out his company is going bankrupt and he’ll shortly be out of work. The mismatch between his new "present state" (anxious, angry, insecure, upset) and his "ideal state" (happy, relaxed, secure, confident) moves him to wish for the present state to be closer to the ideal state and to act on this wish. He has a number of aggressive options, including removing his inhibitions by use of alcohol or drugs, assaulting his boss or co-workers, or committing suicide. And he has some prosocial options, such as standing up appropriately to those who insult him or beginning to update his resume and mount a job search to keep his career going.
 

Discussion Break (5-10 minutes)

Have you ever found yourself in an "undesirable present state" and sought through aggressive behaviors to change your situation to a more "ideal or desired state"?

Aggression is a hostile reaction triggered by anger or frustration resulting from obstacles we encounter in our effort to achieve our goal. Psychologically, our goal is usually to feel good, to not feel bad. Aggression is evoked by cues, such as social injustice or someone cutting in front of us on the freeway. Some aggression is instrumental in the sense that we act aggressively to achieve a goal. For example, we assault someone so we can rob him, or we inject heroin so we don’t have to feel stress.

If the conflicts of life are severe enough, major changes in behavior may occur as indirect expressions of instinctual aggressive needs. The perception of others and situations as dangerous or threatening can increase our tendency to develop defensive behaviors to diminish unpleasant feelings. Failure to achieve an appropriate sense of "success" and recognition in childhood, for example, can be a major source of anxiety, which may then be compensated for through competitive and mastery behavior. This competitiveness may progress from childhood experience to adulthood as aggression when one anticipates situations with feelings of inadequacy, failure or rejection.

 

Defense Mechanisms

In the course of development, individuals develop several defense mechanisms and coping strategies to manage or express aggression. For example, through the defense mechanisms of projection and displacement, individuals attribute (displace or project) to others thoughts, feelings, drives, impulses, behaviors and motives that are unacceptable to themselves. These defenses are common, too, in paranoia and other psychoses secondary to intoxication where reason (ego) is overwhelmed by irrational, intoxicated, uncontrolled feelings and thoughts.

Displacement often results in expressions of anger and violence. When people are upset and frustrated at someone or a situation—a boss, parent, poverty, being unemployed, failing a test, society in general—and cannot express their feelings directly to the cause of the frustration, they typically redirect their energy to safer, closer, more vulnerable targets such as children, spouses, pets, total strangers, and the elderly. Domestic violence, drive-by shootings and gang violence, especially when committed under the influence of drugs that eliminate conscious logic and the functions of the superego, represent the displacing of unresolved conflicts with authorities or society as a whole. Solutions to this level of displacement must explore the entire range of social and psychobiological issues that underlie the drug use and violence. Otherwise those who engage in this form of behavior simply move in and out of the revolving doors of society’s pseudo-treatment centers and prisons and find new targets for their frustration.

Sometimes when people feel anger and aggression toward others or toward external situations and cannot express or assert this feeling directly, they shift their frustration or anger inward towards themselves through passive or aggressive behavior. Their conscious intention is not to do harm, but to change their feeling. Heavy drinking and drug use among adolescents who feel alienated from school and family, for instance, can be a form of passive aggression. A housewife who turns to alcohol because she is bored with her husband or life in general may turn to drinking instead of discussing her feelings openly. A man who feels guilty over divorcing his wife and hurting his children may turn to the drug culture to ease his pain. One client reported how he turned to crack cocaine after his divorce and one day loaded large rocks in his pipe, fired them up, and then waited to see if his heart or brain would burst. He was totally unaware at the time that he was angry and frustrated with his situation and was taking his frustration out on himself.

Recovery must identify the sources of aggressive wishes and behaviors and help individuals find more acceptable outlets for these. Insight about emotional conflicts and the dynamics of aggression helps people in recovery gain a more objective perspective of their own defense mechanisms as ways of coping with frustration and stress. Through role-playing, problem solving, assertiveness training, anger management activities, individuals suffering from out-of-control aggressive behaviors can learn to understand the dynamics of their defense mechanisms and develop more productive ways to set boundaries and express themselves. As a destructive character trait and coping behavior, aggressiveness can be changed into assertiveness. People suffering from addiction can become positive and enthusiastic about their lives again, improve their self-esteem, and learn new ways to give and receive love and achieve relatedness and unity with others. In this way they divert their inner psychic energy from destructive to constructive behaviors.
 

Discussion Points (10-15 minutes)

Did your childhood experiences in any way contribute to a sense of inadequacy that led you to compensate with an excessive sense of competition or aggression? What defense mechanisms or outlet behaviors (destructive or prosocial) did you choose to express your aggression or lower your anxiety?

SOS Presence Impactful at

Star-Studded "Festival of Books"

By Jim Christopher

The seventh annual Los Angeles Times "Festival of Books," the world’s largest and most diverse bookfair, held on the campus of UCLA on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, proved to be overwhelmingly successful. The free event required over one thousand volunteers, featured four hundred and fifty exhibits, over four hundred authors and celebrities.

There were book signings, poetry readings, lectures, workshops, panel and speaker discussions, demonstrations, dance performances, and award ceremonies. Some of the luminaries present were Gore Vidal, Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury, John W. Dean, Oliver Stone, Ralph Nader, Tom Hayden, Quincy Jones, Dom DeLuise, Steve Martin, Julie Andrews, Jayne Meadows, and Arianna Huffington.

Prometheus Books, publisher of my four addiction recovery books, ("How to Stay Sober," "Unhooked," "SOS Sobriety," and "Escape from Nicotine Country") had a booth at the popular event. Prometheus displayed numerous titles including several books by the late entertainment legend Steve Allen; his widow, celebrated actress/lecturer Jayne Meadows, was present at designated times for signings of Mr. Allen’s books.

SOS gained a great deal of positive exposure at the fair attended by over 120,000 persons.


Icon Interview — Gore Vidal chats with C-Span host on a grassy knoll prior to packing UCLA’s Royce Hall where he held forth on numerous subjects, in conversation with Victor Navasky.

 

         The Los Angeles Times

"Festival of Books" at a Glance


Authors Exchange — Jim Christopher presents Kathleen Daelmans, author of Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen and host of "Cooking Thin" on the Food Network, with his book Escape from Nicotine Country and tells her about his own weight loss/fitness book-in-progress entitled Bye Bye American Gut; she agreed to consider participation in the project.


Celebrity Support — Jayne Meadows expresses full support to Jim Christopher for his smoking cessation and smoking prevention work.


 


 

Preparation for Onslaught — Jim Christopher readies himself for thousands of folks who will soon visit the Prometheus Books booth.


Anti-Smoking Advocate — Ms. Meadows explains that she and her late husband, Steve Allen, passionately eschew smoking. "The Smoker’s Body" poster courtesy of COLORS Magazine.

 


Celebrity Break — Actress Jayne Meadows visits with 92-year-old comedian Mousie Garner during her break from signing Steve Allen’s books at the Prometheus Books booth. Mr. Garner, celebrating his having recently received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Comedy Hall of Fame, stopped by to reminisce with Ms. Meadows about the late Steve Allen.



Speakers Reception--
Conference presenters mingle with conference creators in the Century Ballroom, Gateway Sheraton Hotel, Wednesday evening, May 8, 2002.


Lone Star State Visitor — SOS Dallas member, John (pictured far right) visits SOS CFI–West Wednesday night group, May 22, 2002.


A ‘Net Note’ from Duaine

Web Notes
The Internet

The Internet has become an important part of the SOS recovery movement. While some are resisting the Internet and all it encompasses, others are embracing it wholeheartedly.

The Internet is here to stay. So we (SOS) had better use it or be left behind. Members, who have no contact with the Internet and no interest in learning how to use it, still are able to have a friend or family member locate SOS Web sites, print out articles written by Jim Christopher or SOS members, find meetings in their area, and keep up to date, etc.

SOS groups that want to promote their recovery groups, post times, dates and where a meeting is being held, can do it with a Web site. You can do this on your own if you know how or you can send the info to SaveOurSelves@msn.com  and request a Web site be put up for you—there are still good free Web sites out there. Before it's promoted you will have a chance to check it out -make changes. It’s your Web site if you put it up yourself or have SOS do it. It’s also easy for you to take over the Web site at any time if SOS puts it up for you.

A New Heading on the SOS Links Page

SOS Groups E-Lists. For the use of promoting the Group and giving Info to the local members.

This idea came about because of Christopher in ST Louis. Christopher setup a Yahoo Chat Group for his local group.

The idea being:

The group could post meeting times and place.

The group could post changes.

The group members could post discussions of whatever the group needs are at the time.

The group members who couldn’t make it to a meeting could still stay in contact with the group by posting.

The group could send out reminders of meetings automatically.

This idea quickly caught on with Don Berg of Chicago setting up the next E-List.

The E-Lists are easy to set up and will be promoted on the SOS Links page of most of the SOS family of Web sites.

SOS St. Louis E-support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sosstl 

SOS Chicago E-Support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOSChicago 

SOAR-SOS Western New York E-Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/soswnysoar  

SOS Central Texas E-Support Group

In Temple Texas

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cen_tex_SOS 

SOS Dallas E-Support Group

http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/sosdallas 

Your group or group in the making can be added to this list easily, just go into Yahoo and set up an

E-Support Group, let me know at SaveOurSelves@msn.com  and it will be promoted worldwide.

 

The Place to be on the Web?

Where do I go to get the most from SOS on the web?

A place where I can benefit the most as far as getting info and support from SOS?

A place where SOS members from around the world meet?

A place where new ideas are being tried?

A place where I can be heard?

A place where people will listen to what I have to say?

The answer?

SOS Save Our Selves

E-Support Group.

SOS Save Our Selves International E-Support Group.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sossaveourselves

This is an important part of SOS on the web. This is the place where a lot of new ideas are tried and members give feed back. Become a part of the movement that never stands still, SOS. You may have something that works for you and want a place to share it. Here is that place.

This is a place to come for support in your recovery. It’s also a place to give back or make the journey a little easier for the next person.

New to SOS — Long Time Sober — Promoting an SOS Meeting — Thinking of Starting a Meeting — Looking for On-Line Support — Promoting a Web Site.

CFI-West

http://www.cfiwest.org/sos 

CFI-West, the home site of Jim Christopher; it’s always up to date. It’s a great place to start your search in finding what’s going on with SOS.

 

Recovery Connections

http://www.cfiwest.org/sos/find.htm 

Find a meeting in your area.

Looking at the Web site isn’t enough. The Web site only tells part of the story. It lists meetings and gives contacts.

The rest of the story is behind the scenes. It’s the people who want to be a part of SOS but don’t want to start a meeting at this time, don’t want to have there contact info on the web page or just want to be there for local people, people in there area-to give a supportive ear. Maybe they will meet you for coffee. They could be waiting for one more person in their area to start a meeting. Help or a friend in recovery could be a phone call away. If you don’t leave your contact info you could miss out.

The way "Recovery Connections" works: SOS@CFIWest.org 

You leave your contact info with Jim Christopher.

If there is someone in your area, Jim will link you up with him or her.

If there is no one in your area today, someone could do what you have just done and tomorrow they will be linked up with you.

It works if you become a part of it and make it work.

To make it work you need to give Jim Christopher your contact info.

Watch our Face to Face meetings grow!

SOS@CFIWest.org 

SOS International

http://www.sossobriety.org 

This Web site is filled with diversity.

It has some writings by James Christopher and some by SOS Members from around the world.

You will find lots of information on SOS and you will also find, printed thoughts of SOS Members.

Many SOS Web sites have contributed to its making. By going through it you will find links to many of the SOS Web Family and get a flavor of other SOS Web sites.

I encourage you visit all of the SOS Web Family

Secular Sobriety

http://www.secularsobriety.org 

Filled with info on SOS and a Discussion Board with postings from around the world. Post your thoughts on a variety of topics.

SOS Behind Bars

http://www.sosbehindbars.com 

SOS Behind Bars was set up to meet the needs of SOS Members behind bars holding SOS Meetings.

There are posts by SOS members.

Printouts of suggestions on How to Hold an SOS Meeting Behind Bars.

Lots of SOS info!

Recovery Happens On Line

Recovery is valid wherever it comes from; on line, as well as face to face or alone. Recovery is valid no matter where it happens.

SOS Save Our Selves E-Support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sossaveourselves 

This was built as a safe place to come and share.

This is the Home Group of SOS E-Support Groups.

SOS Women E-Support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/soswomen 

This group is set up to meet the needs of women in SOS.

It was set up to have a safe place to share. To give and get support.

Talk about the special needs of women in recovery.

This is a very successful group because of the hard work of its founder (Cyn).

One Person

One person can build a meeting.

Give your contact info to Jim Christopher at SOS@CFIWest.org .

Become a contact person for your area. Become a group in the making.

Build a Web site. Build it yourself or have Duaine M help at SaveOurSelves@msn.com  Promote your group or group-in-the-making with a Web page.

Promote your group or group-in-the-making at

SOS Save Our Selves E-Support Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sossaveourselves 

Share what you’re doing in SOS or want to do. You can make a change. You can make a difference. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.

New Groups

SOS Nuchterheid Belgium

http://www.SOSNuchterheid.org 

SOS Nuchterheid Belgium has now a new Web site provider, to replace all former links to access the Flemish SOS Web site.

They have also been using this as an opportunity to "overhaul" their SOS Web site.

For common e-mail to SOS Belgium the Webmaster address (mail to:info@sosnuchterheid.org ) can be used. This mail is received simultaneously by the two web masters (Frank and me) and it can be distributed to all concerned SOS members in Belgium.

 

SOS Norwegian

http://www.sossobriety.org/SOSNorway 

This is the first version of the Norwegian SOS homepage.

I think this is the first SOS group in Scandinavia.

SOS Web Sites

SOS Clearing House

http://www.cfiwest.org/sos 

SOS International

http://www.sossobriety.com 

SOS Humanist Page

http://www.secularhumanism.org/sos 

SOS Secular Sobriety

http://www.secularsobriety.org 

SOS Behind Bars

http://www.sosbehindbars.com 

SOS Dallas

http://www.sosdallas.org 

SOS Rochester, NY

http://www.sos-rochester.org 

SOS London

http://members.tripod.com/SOS_London 

SOS Norwegian

http://www.sossobriety.org/SOSNorway 

SOS Nuchterheid Belgium

http://www.SOSNuchterheid.org 

SOS Iceland

E-mail only Petur-tyrf@isholf.is 

SOS E-Groups

Home E-Group of SOS

SOS Save Our Selves E-Support Group — Support and Information:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sossaveourselves 

 

SOS Women E-Support Group — Set up to meet the needs of women in SOS.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOSWomen 

Secular Sobriety Chat Group E-Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/secularsobriety 

SOS Groups E-Lists.

For the use of promoting the Group and giving Info to the local members.

SOS Chicago E-Support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOSChicago 

SOAR SOS Western New York E-Support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/soswnysoar 

SOS Central Texas Temple E-Support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cen_tex_SOS 

SOS Dallas E-support Group

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sosdallas 

SOS Group Site

For Real Time Support Meetings — Times and places for SOS meetings —Some info on posting — Some info on SOS.

http://members.tripod.com/sosinfosite 

SOS Meetings and contacts to start a meeting.

http://www.cfiwest.org/sos/find.htm 

If there isn’t a meeting in your area leave your contact info with James Christopher. This is how many of our meetings start, it’s hard to start a meeting if no one knows you’re out there.

Not all cites have a SOS Meeting. Some have phone contacts, where you can talk with an SOS member over the phone in your area. In some cites SOS members meet as needed for coffee. This is why it’s so important that you leave contact information with James Christopher. There may be some one in your area who wants to lend an ear and a voice, a caring person who cares and wants to help . . . a meeting being formed. Please don’t miss out.

http://www.cfiwest.org/sos/find.htm 

Contact Jim Christopher

Jim Christopher (323) 666-4295

Save Our Selves (SOS)

4773 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90027

E-mail: SOS@CFIWest.org  Att: Jim Christopher

Let Jim know you are out there. This is how we grow.

 

Home Page

Times,  Places & Contact Info for SOS Meetings

Meeting Time & Place

Religious & Non-Religious Freedom is Practiced Here

Religious & Non-Religious Freedom

An Over View of SOS What are We About?

What is SOS

An Overview of SOS

Sobriety Priority

SOS Organization

The Founder of SOS How it came to be.

James Christopher

Sobriety Tools & Articles by SOS Members

Sobriety Tool Box

Relapse Prevention

P.A.S.T. Para-Addiction Stress Trauma

Drugs & Cross Addiction

Scientific & Medical Articles

Sexual Orientation

Family & Friends

Is Your Group a Cult?

Starting an Running an SOS Meeting

Starting an SOS Meeting

Guide Book for Group Leaders

Print Out Opening a Meeting

Print Out on Starting a Meeting

Chartered or Shackled?

SOS Conferences & Books

SOS  International Conference 2000

SOS International Conference 2002

Books-Newsletter- Videotapes

AA-SOS Relations

AA-SOS Relations

AA-SOS as One member sees it

Links for Support

Links to Other Groups

SOS Family of Support links

Up to Date SOS Links Print Out

People in SOS -- More Support

 
 
OS Newsletter Winter -2012
Val. 24 No. 3



SOS Newsletter Spring - 2012
Val. 24 No 4


SOS Newsletter Summer - 2012
Val. 25 No 1


Collectors Editions

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