If you are new to the issue of sexual addiction and betrayal trauma, you may be unaware that one of the world’s largest anti-pornography Conferences is held right in our own backyard.
UCAP (the Utah Coalition Against Pornography) is a group of individuals from various faiths and professional backgrounds who are working together to bring awareness and education to the personal, social, and national issues surrounding pornography and its effects on individuals and families.
UCAP has a special place in my heart, because it was there that my recovery really got serious. I had been attending a support group for over a year when I heard someone mention this UCAP Conference–something I had never heard of. When I googled UCAP and saw Rhyll Croshaw on the list of speakers, I timidly asked my husband if we could go. Rhyll’s book What Can I Do About Me? was one of the first books I had read after my world was shattered, and I felt in awe of the chance to get to see her in person.
When we showed up, scared to death that we would see someone we knew, I had no idea that this day would literally change the trajectory of my whole life. Turns out that I not only got to see Rhyll speak, but I also got to speak to Rhyll…and learned that she hosted a 12 Step meeting just a few miles from my house.
I had no idea that this 12 Step program would be completely different than the support group that I had been attending for over a year, feeling like I was treading water and going nowhere. I had no idea about surrender or sponsorship or reaching out or holding boundaries, and I certainly had no idea that I had no idea how to really truly live with God at my center, one day at a time.
Today, my life is completely different because I went to that UCAP Conference 4 years ago.
Here are 3 reasons that YOU should be at UCAP this year:
When I showed up at my first UCAP Conference, ashamed and fearful, I had no idea what recovery really entailed–even though I thought I had been working recovery for over a year! It turns out that there is so much more to recovery than showing up at a weekly meeting and flushing all of our money down the toilet at an unqualified therapist’s office.
Recovery requires learning about the brain–learning the nature of addiction and trauma. Recovery is enabled by a growing understanding of what is happening in our brains and bodies as we are experiencing trauma triggers, flashbacks, heart palpitations, all of it. Healing in our relationships is fostered by understanding what is going on in our husband’s brains and bodies as they are experiencing negative emotions, lust triggers, and acting out…the addict cycle.
There is SO much to learn about the psychosomatic, spiritual, social, and scientific aspects of both trauma and addiction that science can’t even keep up with the new discoveries.
UCAP is one of the best places you can find to educate yourself on the science behind your rock bottom and your healing, from some of the top experts in the field.
Like I said, when we showed up at our first UCAP, we were skulking around, desperate to hide from anyone who might know us. Our year-long recovery thus far had involved showing up at an out-of-town support group, leaving the meeting as soon as possible, and never making contact with anyone who knew that part of our lives until the next week’s meeting.
Becoming part of SAL opened me to a new world of connection and sisterhood. It felt amazing to talk to women throughout the week about what was really happening in my life instead of keeping the trauma bottled up day after day. By the time I went to my next UCAP, I was excited to be there, excited to see people I knew from Group, and even more excited to see people I knew but I had never seen at Group. You too? Me too! Automatic sisters.
Showing up at UCAP is like flipping the bird to the shame surrounding this issue. When I show up at UCAP, I am saying, “I am a human being, with strengths and weaknesses just like everybody else. And I am not afraid to stand here and own my experience. I am grateful to be a part of this community of recovering warriors.”
This shift alone has empowered my personal recovery.
For the last few years, I have volunteered at the SA Lifeline booth at UCAP. This year, I am actually speaking with Rhyll on Betrayal Trauma (wow–talk about full circle!). The changes in my life have been completely unpredictable and beyond anything I would ever have expected (or even wished for) at my rock bottom. The healing I have experienced in my personal life has opened a door to all the things that mean the most to me in my life today.
Relationships that are deep, fulfilling, and based on intimacy and honesty. Peace and presence in my daily living. Opportunities to share the gift I have been given with others. A chance to make a difference for someone else at their rock bottom. Every time I have that chance, it makes everything I have been through that much more meaningful, that much more sacred.
My life has continued to deepen and grow richer as I have changed the question from “What can I get by going to UCAP?” to “What can I give by going to UCAP?” Who might be there to bump into that needs to see a smile on my face, feel my arms around them, and know they are not alone? How might my recovery community benefit from me showing up and supporting them at a booth, or spreading the word to people I meet there that SAL 12 Step groups have changed my life and could help them too?
My journey from victim to empowerment has been blessed by the opportunities to serve in my recovery community. I still remember the first time I shared in Group and realized…”Maybe I DO still have something to offer…maybe all the bright and shiny hasn’t been sucked out of me by trauma…maybe there is something still there that would mean something to someone.”
Showing up at UCAP is one way to support your recovery community, to support the cause itself, and to grow in your sense of empowerment.
You DO have something to give.
Your contribution DOES matter.
Your voice, your presence, is needed.
So be there! Who knows this year’s UCAP might change your life?
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