Did you know that this Saturday is the annual UCAP Conference? The Utah Coalition Against Pornography hosts the largest event of its kind in the nation. Whether or not you are excited to spend your day listening to specialists speaking about the effects of pornography may be debatable. Whether or not you will leave this Conference more educated, more informed, and with a stronger sense of community is not. Attending UCAP is a great way to work your Step 12, and to step out of your comfort zone of isolation, into a sense of belonging.
UCAP holds a spot dear to my heart. The UCAP 2015 Conference is where I was introduced to SA Lifeline. The only reason my husband and I decided to attend was because the author of the most important book I had read a year earlier at my rock bottom was going to be presenting: Rhyll Croshaw, author of What Can I Do About Me? Little did I realize that I would not only get to hear Rhyll speak, but that she would take the time to talk with me personally at the SA Lifeline booth, invite me to her home to attend a weekly 12 Step meeting, and eventually become a cherished friend and example. My life will never be the same.
Attending UCAP was important for me in shifting my mentality about my trauma and my husband’s addiction. Mostly, it was an important step in stepping out of a life of shame and secrecy, where we were skulking about in the dark, hoping no one would guess our awful secrets…into a life of belonging and acceptance. This simple step out into the light has opened the door to a greater and greater sense of empowerment in my daily living. While my old self wouldn’t have comprehended the day that I would claim the world of sexual addiction as my community, today I can accept that this is my world. With gratitude. Not regret.
Today I am grateful to have people. People who understand what I’ve been through. People who need my strength, hope, and experience. People who have their own strength, hope, and experience that I need. These are my people. And we are all making a difference when we are willing to step forward, own our experience, and share what we are learning along the way.
This year’s line-up looks particularly interesting to me because of the many presentations that relate to trauma and the new presenters that I have not heard before. Here are some that might interest you:
Session 1: Addiction and Trauma: Current Perspectives for Healing Wounds, by Jon Taylor
Session 1: How you can Rebuild Trust After Sexual Betrayal by Kevin Skinner
Session 2: What Doesn’t Kill You: Posttraumatic Growth in an Age of Trauma by Dorothy Maryon (Dorothy presented on a similar topic at our 2016 SA Lifeline Conference and it was excellent!)
Session 2: You are NOT your Brain: The Power of Spirituality in Recovery by Mark Kastleman
Session 3: Mindfulness: A Tool for All Recovery by Dallin Bruun
Session 3: Exposing Untreated Trauma–The Common Thread in Addiction and a Multitude of Mental Health Problems by Jeremy Boberg
These presentations are just a few that seem particularly relevant to our SAL Women’s Groups. For a full schedule, click here.
Remember, if you are unable to attend UCAP this year, many of the presentations will be posted on their website in the coming weeks so you can view them at your own convenience.
I hope you will consider taking the time to attend UCAP this Saturday! If you do, make sure to stop by our SA Lifeline booth, say Hi!, and tell us that you are our people. I am grateful to be rowing my boat, gently up the stream, alongside you.