Conference Approved Literature (CAL) in S-Anon includes publications from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon, and Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). In light of this, how can the S-Anon point of view be maintained in S-Anon meetings?
Tradition Five reminds us that S-Anon’s primary purpose is to help friends and families of sexaholics. If S-Anon were to extend our focus to recovering from the effects of alcoholism or from an addiction to alcohol or sex, the S-Anon program would become diluted and, as a result, could lose its clarity of purpose and its ability to best serve our members. The S-Anon Twelve Traditions keep the program focused on the common thread that binds us all together.
During the 1980s, in the early years of the S-Anon fellowship, there was little S-Anon literature to speak of. Early members had to use material from other programs as a supplement until S-Anon developed more literature. As a result of this, the S-Anon program adopted the use of Al-Anon, AA, and SA literature. Fast forward 40 years: S-Anon has built a library of our own published CAL filled with S-Anon member experience, strength, and hope, providing an opportunity for groups to more deeply explore the S-Anon point of view.
In 2019, the Board of Trustees, serving as the guardian of S-Anon’s Twelve Traditions, sought to provide more insight into the importance of using S-Anon literature as the primary recovery tool in S-Anon meetings. As a result, the BOT added the following material to the S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual. It describes one of the understandings for registering as an S-Anon or S-Ateen Family Group:
“To guard against the dilution of the S-Anon program (Tradition Four), the group will use S-Anon-published literature as the primary recovery tool. S-Anon literature is written by S-Anon members, addresses the S-Anon “problem” as experienced by the group conscience of S-Anon members, and addresses the S-Anon “solution” as experienced by S-Anon members using the S-Anon Steps, Traditions, and Concepts of Service. We also ask that other S-Anon Conference Approved Literature be used in meetings only as a complement to S-Anon published literature.”
S-Anon/S-Ateen Service Manual, Part 1: How Groups are Registered
Further clarification of this topic can be found in our Conference Approved Literature piece What is the S-Anon Point of View?: “Al-Anon literature can be a useful complement to S-Anon literature because it is focused on recovery from the effects of someone else’s addiction. While literature from AA and SA can be helpful in understanding our addicted relatives as well as some of our own behaviors, we primarily use S-Anon literature during our meetings.”
What is the S-Anon Point of View?, p. 4
When reading from AA, Al-Anon, and SA literature during our meetings, we encourage groups to reframe the message to reflect how these recovery materials may apply to someone affected by another’s sex addiction. As a reminder, the S-Anon program has no sobriety definition in relation to alcohol or sex; these are outside issues for our fellowship according to Tradition Ten: “The S-Anon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.” We ask all groups to respect this when utilizing Al-Anon, AA, and SA recovery materials.