The 12 Step Basics

In Topic 1 we discuss many different things relating to the basic needs of a newcomer beginning to work the Twelve Step Program. We tell you about our administrative team and the general make up of an OA group. You learn how to handle your subscriptions and what is needed to prepare for basically learning a new language. We answered that first question so many of you have: "What do I do first?" We also discussed some technical tips that would make it easier for you to navigate around the Recovery Group. You can also review the archives for this topic here and clicking on OANewcomers and then click Week 1.

Here are some more details of The Basics. As we move through all twelve topics, we will focus on many of the items below in even greater detail. You will receive questions each week and should respond to them by writing the loop at OANewcomers@lists.therecoverygroup.org.

As we proceed through the topics, the main question we hope to answer is "What is the first thing I'm supposed to do?"

A little bit about some technical things:

The Recovery Group is a community ~ a 12 Step community. The OA Newcomers list is a small part of this community but a very important part. TRG is divided into the following divisions:
  • The Recovery Group Loop Division
  • The Discovery Division
  • The ODAT Loops Division
  • The Foreign Loops Division
  • The OA Online Meetings Division
  • The Programs and Services Division

The Recovery Group has many Trusted Servants. Each of our support groups, whether it be a business loop or otherwise, have two Coordinators. We have a total of 93 loops and 56 regular meetings. In addition we also have some foreign language and special focus meetings.
Our Administrative Team looks like this:

  • TRG Administrators
  • TRG Trusted Servants Coordinator
  • TRG Division Chairpersons
  • TRG Loop Coordinators
  • TRG General Coordinators
  • TRG OA Meeting Leaders
Sometimes the Coordinators will assign Trusted Servant positions within their loops, but the responsibility of all duties lies with the Coordinator who supervises all the Trusted Servants in his/her loop.


When you first came into these rooms, many of you were unsure if you belonged here. You wondered what the requirements were, what the 12 Steps were all about and, most of all, you wondered if you were a compulsive eater.

In Overeaters Anonymous you'll find members who are extremely overweight, even morbidly obese. You'll also find some only moderately overweight or even average weight. Some are underweight. Some of our members are still maintaining periodic control over their eating behavior and others who are totally unable to control their compulsive eating.

You read the questions that were asked to determine if YOU were a compulsive eater and you decided that you were because you wouldn't be here otherwise.

Your words may have stuck in your throat the first time you wrote or said "I am a compulsive eater." Or "I am a food addict." But it got easier.

You learned that the only requirement to be here or OA was to have the desire to quit eating compulsively.

You learned that abstinence didn't mean abstinence from food. It meant abstaining from compulsive eating and from certain foods. Your goal was to find out what those foods were.

Your coordinators spent a lot of time helping you with your subscription. Suddenly you found your recovery lifeline was tethered to a computer and because you cared about your recovery you were determined to learn enough technology to make you proficient. You learned many things but the most important thing you learned was that if you didn't know something, you knew where to find the answers.

ESH? ODAT? Abstinence? HP? TRG? COE? Suddenly you were being asked to learn a new language. It was like going to school. You weren't prepared for all this but you learned. And you will continue to learn. The reason you will continue to learn is because you will ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.

We heard that dozens of times. Those of us who were guiding you wrote it out until we could do it in our sleep. Read the shares, get a sponsor, buy the OA 12&12, get a sponsor, start really looking at what you eat, attend a face-to-face (f2f) meeting, get a sponsor, learn to pray and meditate, journal, get a sponsor, write your recovery story and send it to the loop, visit the web site, get a sponsor. We wonder if you got a sponsor.

There are some things that make life easier for a COE on a computer. One is to have a file that you put all your OA material in. You have to do some clicking for that to happen. You learned to copy and paste. And you discovered how very much about recovery you could find on the Internet. You learned that there is a wealth of information about food and nutrition. You learned how to click a button and find yourself in a room with other people just like you. And when the mail piled up, I hope you learned that after you were finished it, you could delete it by highlighting the top line, hold down the SHIFT key, highlight the bottom line and delete all the old posts at once. You found the Subscriber's Corner. And you learned not to spend too much time on the computer and to live your life with hope knowing that it's going to be a better quality life simply because you're here.

No matter how far down you found yourself, when you walked in the room you found an anchor. Each other. And even when you were alone, you found a prayer that you would probably say hundreds of times as you worked your program. Suddenly the words made sense ... and suddenly you found it was the answer to just about every problem you would ever have.

God, grant me the serenity to
ACCEPT the things I cannot change,
COURAGE to change the things I can,
and the WISDOM to know the difference.


Quarterly Orientation Sessions Begin:
January 1, April 1, July 1, & October 1


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