A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


April 2004
Volume 6, Issue 4



ser*en*dip*i*ty ~ (noun) First appeared 1754:
the faculty or phenomenon of finding
valuable or agreeable things not sought for.


PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TO:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Letter to the Editor'


PLEASE SEND Serendipity ARTICLES TO:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Serendipity Article'


TO VIEW Serendipity ONLINE, PLEASE VISIT:
The Serendipity Archives





Note: WTS "TWELVE STEPS IN TWELVE WEEKS" STUDY
BEGAN APRIL 1, 2004!!! (See ANNOUNCEMENTS!)

FEATURED ARTICLES





~ FROM OUR EDITOR ~

Dear Serendipity Friends,

Finally, the weather seems to be changing "for real" and spring is truly here: flowers abound, buds are on the trees and birds hop about, gathering bits for their new nests! I say this, but then remember that there are TRG members whose warm season is just _ending_, who are just entering the cold time of their year. Hmmmmm.... I then realize that, as members of the huge TRG family, and like members of any typical family, we each have our own special characteristics. Further, being so spread out, we will each have differing views of the current weather.

The beautiful concept here is, that as different as we and the places in which we live are, we all share a wonderful, common bond. We share both the beautiful gift of recovery, and the company of each other, provided us in The Recovery Group, this cyber-community of recovering compulsive overeaters.

Serendipity Newsletter endeavors to bring you insight into The Recovery Group and its administrative workings, as well as some of the experience, strength and hope of some of its members. In this issue you will find a thought-provoking article from our founder, Mari, as well as our first Milestone-50 article! Please remember that we are looking forward to many more Milestone articles; send us yours today! We also welcome your thoughts and comments, in a Letter to the Editor.

My hope is that you will feel as though you've grown in at least a small way when you've finished reading the entire issue.

Faith and I want this newsletter to serve you, the TRG members, so if you have suggestions and/or ideas for ways that we can improve Serendipity, please let us know!

Blessings on each of you on the road to recovery,

Marty

Editor, SERENDIPITY
Newsletter of The Recovery Group





~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ 12 SPECIAL PEOPLE ~


"All human beings should try to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why."
          James Thurber


Dear Serendipity Readers ~

I usually approach April and Springtime as my season of renewal. It would be a good time to reflect on James Thurber's important words and try to answer those three life altering questions. They are not easy questions and I don't believe they should or can all be answered at once.

I always knew in my youth I was running from something and at the same time running to something. But I wasn't sure what I was running from or what I was running to ... and it took me almost a lifetime and working the Twelve Steps and doing inventory after inventory to answer the question "why?". Perhaps you would like to join me and give some careful thought to the answers to those questions.

Happy April, Loopies.

@-}-}-}------
Love in recovery,
Mari




~ NEW 'TWELVE STEPS IN TWELVE WEEKS' BEGAN APRIL 1ST ~

The 2nd Quarter WTS Twelve Steps in Twelve Weeks began on April 1st and will end on June 30th. We have have started an extraordinary year ... one of the best ever!

Each quarter a different Step Leader guides the members of WTS through the Twelve Steps as they share their experience, strength and hope together. Inspired by the questions the Step Leader asks at the end of each week, members take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

We want to send our appreciation to Dodee, who led the the WTS Step Study in the first quarter of 2004. She did a wonderful job. Thank you, Dodee!

On April 1st, John began the second Step Study of this year. John is a longtime member of TRG, and will lead WTS members on a thoughtful journey through the 12 Steps, reminding everyone that there is so much hope available to us as compulsive eaters through them.

To join WTS, please send an e-mail to:

    Listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu
    no subject
    Subscribe WTS FirstName LastInitial
If, however, you just want the Leader's shares, please join WTSStudy by sending a blank email to
WTSStudy-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org. This is a non-sharing loop, whose members receive and are able to read only the leader's Shares and Questions each week.

Sponsors are available through the Recovery Group's sponsor program and you can get one by writing to: RecoverySponsors@yahoogroups.com and letting all the sponsors at once know your needs. You can also get a copy of the Sponsor Directory and the biographies by writing to Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org. Patt and Cate are the Sponsor Coordinators.

Is it time for _you_ to begin taking the steps of recovery? Why not familiarize yourself with the information from the previous WTS sessions? These are available from 1996 through the present: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/wts/


~ MILESTONE-50 CONTINUES! ~

This month we urge you to help us continue down the "Milestone 50" road, and send us your stories. Use your imaginations, be creative, and see how "50" applies to your life; is it a certain time period?, does it apply to a weight loss?, or does it, perhaps, pertain to a number of inches which have disappeared from your frame?

Please share with us by sending your personal stories (up to 250-300 words) to SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com with the subject line "Milestone-50". Articles received by April 25th will be considered for inclusion in the May issue.

We are excited and looking forward to hearing from you!

Marty and Faith,
    Serendipity



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

~ FROM THE TRG ADMINISTRATION ~

The Recovery Group Administration is the hub of activity for all of the Recovery Group. It is made up of an Adminstrator (Dodee) and two Apprentice Adminstrators (Cody and Mary W). Cody is doing the month-end reports, while Mary writes many of the announcements. All of the administrators have been working on getting the Recovery loops strong leadership. Although Nancy is doing a really good job on ODAT, TRG Adm hopes to be able to assist her in some of the quiet loops soon.

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE RECOVERY LOOP DIVISION ~

The Recovery Loops continue to provide a place for general sharing. These loops are getting some excellent trusted servants and sharing is consistent.

The Recovery Loops are general-sharing loops for compulsive eaters. We are rounding out the trusted servants with new people. It is exciting to watch loops come alive with sharing and people finding OA and sharing their recovery. The Newcomers loop has many new members. Anorexia and Bulimia, OA Friends, HOTJ, Recovery, Relapse and Recovery and Journey to Recovery are for sharing the day-to-day process of living without eating compulsively. Meditations and Sponsors are loops for sharing the way you use the tools of Literature and Sponsors. Big Book is now in "There is a Solution." The first week of April, WTS will be starting a new study led by John Stepworker.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: RecoveryLoopsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE ODAT LOOP DIVISION ~

The ODAT loops are Twelve Step Special Focus Loops and are here for those with special interests to share their program of recovery with others who share those same interests.

One of these loops is the GriefODAT loop for persons who have experienced a loss in their lives. In this loop are other COEs who understand how deeply the loss of someone or something we love can effect us because they have all experienced a loss too.

Another of our special interest loops is the SpendingODAT loop. This loop is for those with eating disorders who are compulsive spenders also. Here is a place where you can safely discuss these compulsions with others.

These are just two of the many loops available for those of us with eating disorders who are working our program of recovery. Please check out the other ODAT loops available at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who are Trusted Servants for these loops; you are all special people.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/
Contact: ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

~ FROM THE DISCOVERY LOOP DIVISION ~

Hi everyone, there has been some big and amazing things happening over on the Discovery side of TRG! First of all, we now have a place where members and administration can write directly to the Division Coordinators, who are Cody and Mary W. You can reach them at: DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org with any questions or concerns.

As the loops go great things are happening, and under new direction they are being perked up again. Last month Exercise & Discovery tripled in the amount of sharing, and now Discovery Kitchen, under Mary W.'s leadership, seems to be the place to go to share recepies, foodplans and just talk about food issues. This loop is growing stronger every day and has a lot of eager people looking into it.

On the kids side of things under Cody's leadership COkids is thriving high. So far this month the amount of shares have tripled and the responses are coming here more steadily than before. Kids & Discovery is also a growing loop for kids with eating problems, and Cody is trying her best to get them moving by sending them posts daily, and even just recently started a thought for the day where the kids can respond to a very easy quote to which they can relate. Both loops have the potential to be turned around with patience and a loving dedication from people. Thanks everyone!!

In loving service,
Cody & Mary W.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE TRG OA MEETING DIVISION ~

For the last twelve weeks, our online meetings coincided with the steps being covered by WTS. These meetings have now ended. It is our hope that many of the people who attended them are working the steps and are carrying a message of hope to others.

The topics for the current meetings will be based on themes such as trust, honesty, courage, self esteem, change, and being positive. In the next few weeks, more topics will be added to this list.

We are working on updating the TRG meeting schedule on the OA web site. OA now lists our meetings as a courtesy. It is our hope that OA will soon recognize online meetings, and will register them with the World Service Organization.

We are working to provide leaders for all meetings. We especially need leaders from foreign countries. If you can give even one hour a week of service, please write to:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

In Loving Service,
    Terri, Jeannine and Danielle
    (TRG Meeting Coordinators)

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/
Contact: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ FROM THE TRG SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~

This TRG division encompasses such TRG elements as the Recovery Meditations, the Thirty Questions series, the Odyssey journal of recovery, and this newsletter, Serendipity!

Mari is still coordinating the meditations that are written by our members. Todd sends out the meditations during the week and Penny does it on the weekends. The Odyssey is sent out regularly. We thank those who do these special services.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html#services
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ FROM TRG'S SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

Dear Friends,

The TRG Sponsor Program is available to assist Sponsors in sharing their recovery with our members who are seeking recovery from compulsive eating through the 12 Steps of recovery. The Sponsor Directory is posted weekly to all loops, regularly updated and available to those individuals who are seeking a sponsor.

We have completed our quarterly update of the Sponsors Directory and want to let you know that many of our Sponsors are currrently "full". This is great news because it indicates that TRG members are connecting with sponsors in order to work the 12 Steps of recovery. On the other hand, it means that our Sponsor list is growing shorter; WE NEED YOU!!!

Are you ready to share your recovery through sponsoring, so that others who still suffer can recover? Do you have some space for some additional sponsees at this time? Are you finishing the steps this quarter with WTS and are now ready to sponsor? Are you willing to share what has so generously been given to you?

"Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have -- the key to life and happiness for others."
   AABB p. 124

Please write to us today to join the TRG Sponsor List.

Patt and Cate, TRG Sponsor Coordinators
The Recovery Group Sponsor Group Trusted Servants

Contact: TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~

~ Please consider submitting a Letter to the Editor. ~



~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~




MILESTONE-50 STORY

~ 50 + 50 + 50 ~

My milestone is 50, plus 100(!) = 150 lbs. taken from this body since 1978 ... a day at a time.

My thanks, my gratitude, all go to a loving Higher Power and O.A., as without both I would not have a regular size body today, nor the emotional peace and spiritual connection ... of myself. All I could do was diet, lose weight and then regain all of it, plus, over and over and over since age 11.

Today I am a 64 year old woman, living in a 140-145 lb. body at 5'6" - with the awareness that O.A. works, and works well when Barb works it. Recovery, for me, is consistent vigilence and persistance, a day at a time.

When I came to O.A. in 1976, they told me that I had a three-fold disease, and that if I was willing to go to any lengths, I could have recovery in all three areas - and they were 100% accurate, for me.

Thank you, loving Higher Power and thank you, Overeaters Anonymous, for a full, rich life today, and for a woman who is responsible, and a kinder, more gentle person - both to herself and to others.

Barbara B.
Palm Springs, CA


~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~

~ Recovery Inspirations ~

In this column we bring you shares from Recovery Meditations, Odyssey, Danny's "Letters To God", Journey to Recovery, Reflections, The Promises and many others. Beginning this month we invite you to share the thoughts and observations of a special woman named Mari. Not only has she made the journey into recovery, but she also founded TRG, which serves as a beacon of light to guide others who seek abstinence from compulsive eating. This month we have chosen an essay from Mari's "Journey to Recovery ~ Reflection on Recovery" series, one which focuses on the strength, meaning and benefits of letting go. (Note: if you wish to read the remaining Reflections, the entire collection of essays can be found at: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/jtr/journals.html)



~ Letting Go ~

Dear Friends on our Journey ~

I was told recently that I must "let go." Those words made me panic. They were words that I didn't want to hear ... because the times I heard them in the past were times that I thought they meant literally. I had always been under the impression that to "let go" of something or someone meant to give them up completely. And if you care for someone ... and don't want to give them up completely ... then you certainly don't want to let them go.

In my past, I have had to "let go" of some situations in my life. These were situations which were causing me harm ... or keeping me from realizing potential that I had in other areas. They were retarding my growth ... and in order to pursue other things, I had to "let go" of those situations to make room for things which would be good for me .... and make me a better person ... and more productive.

In my past, I have also had to "let go" of certain people in my life. In one case, it was a family member, and it was a painful experience, but one that was necessary. I have always associated "letting go" with abandonment ... or extinction.

Letting go does not mean abandonment or extinction in most cases. There may be some that must come to that ... but what I now know "letting go" to mean is not that at all. There is a book called "Stepping Stones to Recovery" and in this book are the following words which I have printed out ... and which I have made a vow to read each and every day until I almost know it by heart.

When someone tells me again that I must "let go", I'm going to not take them literally, at least not until I make very sure that I am not holding on to them in one of the following ways:

~ LETTING GO ~

~ To let go doesn't mean to stop caring:
it means I can't do it for someone else.

~ To let go is not to cut myself off;
it is the realization that I can't control another.

~ To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.

~ To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

~ To let go is not to try to change or blame another;
I can only change myself.

~ To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.

~ To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

~ To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

~ To let go is not to be in the middle, arranging outcomes,
but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.

~ To let go is not to be protective;
it is to permit another to face reality.

~ To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.

~ To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

~ To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

~ To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

~ To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

~ To let go is to fear less
and love more.



~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~




~~THE TWELVE STEPS ~ STEP FOUR~~

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.



~~ THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ~ TRADITION FOUR ~~

Each of our loops and meetings should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or the Overeaters Online Recovery Group as a whole.



~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~
BIG BOOK READING
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation --some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

AABB, Page 449

THOUGHTS...by Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)
This is a major page for most of us who have one addiction or another. It is a very important paragraph to me because I was so much a controller until I came to The Recovery Group. Everything and everyone that I came across seemed to be different from I thought was right. What I found out was that _I_ was the one who needed to be changed. I was not running the Universe and all the people in it. As Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage and we are only players". God/HP has a Plan, and who am I to try to change things that He/She has originated?? If I stop and remember to read this page, it puts me in my place and the proper perspective is gained again. It does settle my frustrations very much and allows me some peace again.

Peace and Love,
Myrlene




~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~

~ April Meditations Calendar
~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/april.html)

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
RecoveryMeditationsList-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org




~ THE RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS ~

THE RECOVERY GROUP ONLINE MEETINGS

The doorway to the meetings is at the top of the page at
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org. All you have to do is click it, and you'll be in the meeting room. The times are 12 noon, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM, 12 midnight 3AM, 6AM, and 9AM. These are Eastern times, and all meetings are held in #Recovery on IRC with a doorway located at: http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org. Yet another way to reach the meeting webpage is directly, at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings/

CAN YOU SPARE AN HOUR A WEEK?

We need your help for a wonderful line-up of online meetings. We will be working on a schedule of meetings every three hours around the clock every day, and are well on our way to meeting that goal. This will make it possible for those in time zones around the world to participate both as leaders and attendees. Will you help by volunteering an hour or two or three a week? It's easy, it gives you a good feeling by helping others, and it's fun!

Prospective meeting leaders must be actively working the Steps to the best of their ability and belong to at least one Recovery Loop. Although abstinence is not a requirement, many find that being abstinent allows them to better focus on the meetings. Further guidance is given after a prospective leader contacts the Meeting Admins at: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

We hope as many of you as possible will write us back and let us know if you can help. Please don't be shy ... meetings are easy and rewarding to lead.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

SEND TO:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

Yes, count me in. I'd like to lead a meeting at the following times:

___________________________________________

Name _____________________________________

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

For AOL members, there is a direct link to #Recovery: #Recovery on StarChat.Network. AOL users need to first go to the Meeting website and look at the special instructions for AOL users before they can fully participate in the meetings or they can go to: http://www.starchat.net/aol.php.

#Recovery is the meeting room for Recovery Group. There is a doorway to #Recovery on the Recovery Group website, www.therecoverygroup.org. The meeting room can be directly accessed by going to either of these sites:
http://www.starchat.net/recovery or
http://www.starchat.net/chat/?chan=recovery.

Another way to reach the meeting webpage is directly, at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings/index.html.

You can find other helpful information, including on-line meeting protocols at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html.

If you wish to offer your time to lead a meeting, please send an email to:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.
We will get back to you as quickly as possible.



~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
6075 Zenith Ct. NE
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.html
E-Mail Address ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

"I put my hand in yours ...
and together we can do what we could never do alone."
~ Rozanne, OA CoFounder ~





~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~



TRG ADMINISTRATION
(
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org)

TRG ADMINISTRATOR

Dodee

TRG ADMINISTRATOR APPRENTICES
Cody
Mary W.

TRG ADVISORS: John and Patt
TRG DIVISIONS
RECOVERY LOOPS: Dodee and John
ODAT LOOPS: Nancy
DISCOVERY LOOPS: Cody and Mary W.
FOREIGN LOOPS: Isabella
TRG OA MEETINGS: Jeannine, Terri and Danielle
TRG SPECIAL SERVICES: Open
TRG WEBSITE: Gary
Newsletter Editors ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Marty and Faith
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Email Subscription)
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Letter to the Editor)
Sponsor Coordinator ~ sponsors@therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery Group Founder ~ Mari


"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."


~~ The Serenity Prayer ~~

Grant us the SERENITY to accept the things we cannot change;
The COURAGE to change the things we can;
And the WISDOM to know the difference.


What we could never do alone ~
We can do together.

One day at a time, ~
One step at a time.




Disclaimer


The Recovery Group and our newsletter has as its mission and purpose that of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. We are an anonymous organization and follow the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; however, we are not affiliated with that group. Your articles, announcements and information are welcome. All opinions in this newsletter represent only the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of The Recovery Group or OA, Inc.

The Trusted Servants of Recovery

Volume 6 Issue 4 © Copyright 2004 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.