The Recovery Group's

12 Step Community Newsletter

April 2009 ~ Volume 10, Issue 4

 

CONTENTS

From the Editor
Founder's Corner
From the Administration
From the Executive Committee
From the Loops
From the Meetings
Announcements
TRG Sponsor Program
Working The Steps
Big Book Study
Spotlighted Meeting of the Month
Spotlight Loops of the Month
Recovery Division
ODAT Division
Discovery Division
Low-Fat Recipe of the Month
Recovery Stories
OA's Lifeline
TRG'S Recovery Writings
Qualifications
TRG's Trusted Servants
Serenity Prayer
Serendipity Website

FROM THE EDITOR:

Dear Readers,

I was thinking about freedom today. Recovery gives us freedom ... Abstinence gives us freedom ... And few things come close to that. There is one thing in my life that does, though! With Springtime coming I can't wait to pull out my Harley and hit the road. Nothing beats a warm, sunny day, fresh air and the sound of your bike as you drive down the road. It's freeing.

This issue of Serendipity is very much like that. Fresh stories, warm feelings and the freedom that is only found in recovery from our illness of Compulsive Overeating. When I found my freedom from Compulsive Overeating, I also found me. Here's a little piece of my story:

For years, I thought I was a horrible person because I just couldn't stop eating. I didn't understand that I suffered from an illness, that made me no different, and no more at fault, then someone who suffers from high blood pressure or diabetes. When I came into OA, I was relieved to hear that recovery was not only possible but that it was actually happening to those around me who were willing to go to any lengths for recovery.

Was I willing? I've never been more willing in my entire life! When I came in the doors of OA I was ready. I had hit bottom and I knew there was no other way out for me. OA was my last resort, my last chance, and my last hope at a "normal" life.

As it turned out, I discovered I wasn't as bad of a person as I thought I was. In fact, it was just the opposite. I discovered that I was a human being who could receive and give; love, compassion and friendship, openly and without taking hostages. I discovered that I was a person who had feelings, and that when those feelings got hurt, it was okay to feel them and not eat over them.

I also discovered that somewhere deep within me was this insane urge to drive a motorcycle and to get a tattoo. What I've discovered from both of those situations can best be summed up in one word, individuality, which means: total character peculiar to and distinguishing an individual from others and/or a separate or distinct existence.

I'm also learning that after six years of abstinence, that my own individuality continues to grow, as I grow within this program. Without OA, I wouldn't be where I am today. OA has helped me to discover who I really am but most importantly OA has helped me to become more of the person that I was meant to be.

Sincerely,
Heidi L ~ Editor

FOUNDER'S CORNER

There is a time to be sad ~ And a time to be happy
A time to be quiet ~ And a time to talk
There is a time to be alone ~ And a time not to be.
And a time to laugh ... and to cry ... and sing ... and,mourn ... and dance.

Dear Serendipity Friends ~

I've been thinking a lot recently about things that happened in the past ... And a lot about things that may or may not happen in the future. As I have gotten older, I can piece the strands of my life together a lot better now than I could when I was younger. Life began to make more sense ... but sometimes it seems to make less sense. I think it's supposed to be this way. Things that seemed to have no meaning whatsoever two decades ago suddenly have great meaning. Things that meant the whole world to me at one time have faded and are but memories. I truly believe timing is everything.

When I first began to work my 12 Step Program I was told by my first sponsor that I was exactly where I was "supposed to be." I really didn't want to hear that but over the years those words gave me great comfort and I find myself telling others the very same thing. Seasons are important globally ... And just as important in our lives. "A time to weep, and a time to laugh."

There was a time when I used to worry a lot. There were usually two things that kept me awake: worrying about something that happened long ago ... Or anticipating something that might happen tomorrow or at some point in the future. I would get up the next morning and the worries of the night before gave way to the present and I went about my day not thinking about the things giving me a sleepless night. Is it any wonder why we live and breathe the "one day at a time" philosophy. A gifted man once said: "A neurotic is a person who worries about things that never happened in the past. Not like us normal people who only worry about things that won't happen in the future." Anthony de Mello described me perfectly.

Things happened this week I had not expected ... And things happened a month ago that I could have never predicted in a thousand years. I'm grateful for whatever or whomever reached me and taught me about acceptance and trust and loyalty and tenacity. There are going to be times in my life when I will weep. But there are going to be more times that I will laugh. There will be other times in my future when I will mourn. But one thing I know for absolute certainty: there are going to be extraordinary times ahead ... and a time I will sing my heart out . . . and I will dance.

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

MONTHLY HAPPENINGS AROUND TRG

FROM THE ADMINISTRATION:

The new administrative team continues to fill open positions on the loops. Each week brings another person willing to do service.

The First Quarter WTS study has come to a close. Dawn did a wonderful job — her honesty made it easy for those doing the study to also be honest. It is gratifying to see those who have lived up to their commitments of completing the study. The Second Quarter WTS is being led by John Stepworker. We expect another great study.

The Newcomers Orientation has been shortened to 8 weeks, so they are now in the middle of their series. We love watching newcomers "get" the program.

Are you feeling like you want to be a part of the trusted servants team? You can send an email to TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org to let us know.

Your TRGAdministrators are:

Athena ~ TRGAdm@yahoo.com
Dodee ~ TRGAdm@hotmail.com
Nancy ~ TRGAdm@hotmail.com
Sharon ~ TRG_Adm@yahoo.com

We are all looking forward to being of service in this way.

Yours in Recovery,
Dodee & Nancy Lee
TRG Administration

FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:

The Executive Committee spent the better part of March working with members of to resolve various complicated issues surrounding our support loops and meetings. Thanks to the diligent work of committee members, administrators, coordinators and meetings leaders these issues were resolved and resulted in TRG being better than ever.

TRG's ExCom is made up of members who have an overview of the entire Recovery Group and have been active in just about every Trusted Servant job there is. This overview is essential in making decisions which will affect our community in years to come. The committee listens well, reacts quickly and fairly and invites all members of TRG to bring any proposals to them via their Coordinators.

FROM THE LOOPS:

Many times we are asked by newcomers to The Recovery Group ... "what is a loop?" Loops are support groups and those who join them are called "loopies." We have many loops of just about every kind imaginable. If one can only join one loop, it should be a 12 Step General Sharing loop. Many prefer to be active in two loops, a general sharing one and another with a special focus in addition to their eating disorder. A third loop isn't really a "loop loop" because it's not specifically for sharing ... it's a study, a workshop, an orientation. You can find all our loops and their missions here. By clicking RECOVERY and ODAT, you can find our general sharing loops and our special focus ones.

The Recovery Loops are world wide and serve compulsive eaters who speak many languages. A special thanks to translators who make it possible for many resources of TRG to be available to all. After all, recovery is a special language .. A language of the heart.

FROM THE MEETINGS:

Recovery Meetings are held daily every three hours around the clock beginning at midnight Eastern time. Dedicated meeting leaders volunteer to lead the meetings and many special focus and foreign language meetings are held. If you would like more information about meetings or to volunteer to lead a one hour meeting each week, please contact Linda, the Recovery Meeting Coordinators at MtgAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org. If you would like to take part in a brief training program and give service once a week as a Meeting Leader, contact us. Brenda H. And Linda will welcome you with open arms. If you would like to attend a meeting, here's the doorway.

 

TRG MEETINGS ~ CLICK DOORWAY

Midnight, 3, 6, 9 AM Eastern Time
Noon, 3, 6, 9PM Eastern Time
Please arrive and leave on time.
OA Protocol Observed during the meeting.
Type * to share
Type "done" when finished

ANNOUNCEMENTS

**** WTS BEGINS TODAY****

See Article Elsewhere in this Issue

CREATIVE

Dear Serendipity Readers,

Are you a creative person? Would you like to express that creativity while giving service? The Serendipity Newsletter is looking for individuals, like yourself, who are interested in writing articles, obtaining stories from other OA members within the TRG, and proof-reading the next month's edition before it is released to the TRG community.

If you feel this is a form of service you would like to try please write to:

SERENDIPITY@LISTS.THERECOVERYGROUP.ORG

TRG'S SPONSOR PROGRAM

A CALL FOR SPONSORS

Dear Members of The Recovery Group:

Can you remember when you were a newcomer? Can you remember when you found a sponsor? Can you remember working the steps with your sponsor? Can you remember how grateful you were that someone was willing to help guide, encourage and at times inspire you on your journey through the 12 steps?

Can you remember hearing; You will not keep it until you give it away? Are you now willing to share what you have so generously received from your sponsor with those who still suffer?

Please write to Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.Org and ask them to add your name to the sponsor list. When this new group of newcomers will be seeking a sponsor there will be enough for all of them.

We need your help in helping the newcomer getting all the help they will need to recover.

The JOY you will receive in sponsoring others is beyond your wildest imagination.

Waiting to hear from you
Patt and Cate
TRG Sponsor Coordinators

WTS ~ Working The Steps

Second Quarter 2009

WHO?
Our new Step Leader this quarter will be John S. Come join us as WTS continues its 14th year working the 12 Steps together. John was one of the first Administrators of The Recovery Group and is currently the Coordinator of two support groups. You will find that John, a delightful soul, makes each step interesting and asks thought provoking questions that members will share with their sponsors and each other. You will find other Step Studies led by John, a past Step Leader, on the Recovery Website. If you need to contact him during the study, his address is: JohnStepworker@comcast.net

WHAT?
The WTS Step Study began in 1995. The leaders since that time have been diverse, and no Step Study is ever the same. The format is usually one Step a week; however, sometimes several weeks are spent on one Step and more than one may be combined in other weeks. There are usually several hundred new members in WTS each quarter. We ask that any newcomer take part in TRG's Four-Part Newcomer Orientation Program before registering for WTS. Working the Steps is writing intensive ... So is the Orientation Program. The Mission of WTS is linked here:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/mission.htm

WHEN?
Dawn, our current Step Leader is finishing up with the group and has presented a wonderful Step Study. John will be sending an introduction to the Study on April 1st along with the First Step that week. Members may register now and become familiar with the group and ask questions. The WTS coordinator, Luanne, will be there to welcome you. Other important Trusted Servants of WTS are: Tina (Administrator), Dodee and Nancy (Advisors), Lin (WTS Web Servant) and Alice (RecoveringODAT@aol.com). We are so grateful to Dawn and all the WTS Trusted Servants for their excellent work this quarter.

WHERE?
Those who plan to register for the study should send a blank email to: WTS-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org. You will be asked to confirm this subscription request. Please try to register before April 1st and you will be encouraged to participate fully in the study by responding to the group at least once a week.

WTS MEETINGS
All members in the upcoming 12 Step Study will have the opportunity to attend online 12 Step Meetings coinciding with the Step being presented by the Step Leader. We have 56 Twelve Step meetings each week and each leader of those meetings uses the same Step that the WTS leader is using as their main topic. In addition, each leader chooses a sub-topic related to the main topic. By doing this and working with a sponsor it is possible to complete the quarter having thoroughly worked the Steps. Meetings are held on IRC, Starchat Network, #Recovery Channel daily every three hours beginning Midnight eastern time. Click here at those times to enter the #Recovery Meeting Room.

ABOUT SPONSORS
When we build a house, we use tools. When we plant a garden, we also use tools. If we cook a meal, there are kitchen tools we use. And when we work the 12 Step Recovery Program we use tools. There are many tools ... But one of the most important by far is Sponsorship. When The Recovery Group started the TRG Sponsor Program, the goal was then and is now to see that everyone working the 12 Step Program had a sponsor. You may ask ... "What IS a Sponsor and how do I get one?" Sponsors are Recovery Group members who are living the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions in their daily lives who are willing to share recovery with other members of our Fellowship and are committed to abstinence.

FINDING A SPONSOR
WTS members are asked to work the Step Study with individual sponsors. If you do not have one, please read the following entitled "How To Choose A Sponsor." You will find many different ways to get a sponsor through The Recovery Group and if you need additional help, please contact Shlomo, TRG's Sponsor Coordinator for WTS or Patt and Cate, TRG's Sponsor Coordinators.

THE WTS WEBSITE
Our Step Study has some of the best 12 Step Recovery writings in the world. Those writings are included in over 1700 pages in the WTS section of the Recovery Website. You may enjoy Bookmarking the site and from time to time reading some of them. We are grateful to the men and women who have contributed their service to so many by leading the study.

SHARING WTS and COPYRIGHTS
The WTS Writings are copyrighted by The Recovery Group. Nevertheless, permission is granted to anyone who would like to share anything on the Recovery Website if used to carry the message to other compulsive eaters with the understanding that it is not to be used commercially or for profit.

THE AA BIG BOOK

(In Memory of Myrlene)

I have been a Trusted Servant on the Recovery Loops since the year 2000 but one member who will always live on in, not only my heart, but those of us who knew her, was our precious friend and ‘Birdy Lady’, Myrlene, who passed away in the year 2006. Myrlene served in many capacities as a much loved Trusted Servant on several loops, but I do know that she held her Big Book studies close to her heart and right up to her untimely death, she was writing for Serendipity propped up in her sickbed with her laptop by her side. To the end, she valued the service she gave to us so much and she never gave up hope.

There is a word that I always think about when I think of Myrlene .. The word is HOPE. I define this beautiful word as HP dwelling with the Overeater (OE). Myrlene personified 'hope' and it showed in her shares and in her writings.

The following is Myrlene’s last share and was printed in Serendipity in June 2006 just a few days before she died. Future writings for our Serendipity will be coming regularly by a volunteer member of The Big Book, but just for this month we all agreed that the ‘spot’ rightly belongs to this very special person.

~ Marlene, Trusted Servant ~ TRG's BigBook Loop

BIG BOOK READING

"We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future.
We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle.
We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us.
In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill.
How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how?
We could not wish them away any more than compulsive overeating."

. . . . AABB, page 66

MYRLENE’S BB SHARE
I was both excited and scared as I prepared my list and resentments. I could soon see that I had let my world have the power to make many drastic changes in my life. As I could not go along with or reconcile myself with the God of my childhood, I was always at odds with some person, place or thing where I lived. It took me many years to try and shake the ingrained teachings, but when I found the AABB and started studying the 12 Steps, I was so grateful because I was free at last!!

I learned that most of the resentments I had were because of "fear." Fear of being struck down by my punitive and punishing God. But now I have learned that my God is loving and kind and accepts me! I forgave the ones whom I had resentment for because I learned that I'd been feeding myself the poison for years. I could now see that it was "they" who were spiritually sick. At last I can truthfully say that I am a much happier and serene person and I owe it to the Big Book and its wonderful teachings!!

Thanks for letting me share!!
Myrlene

BEGINNING APRIL 1ST
"More About Alcoholism"
You are invited to join us for the start of Chapter 3
You may join our study at any time during the year.
We'd be happy to have you.

To join our study, please send a blank email to the following address:

TheBigBook-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

THE BIG BOOK TRUSTED SERVANTS

Co-coordinators:
Gracie ~ ackme194@aol.com
Linda ~ the-smallwoods@pris.bc.ca

Greeter: Patty ~ PJEB45@aol.com
12 Step Within: Cheryl ~ c_mcdermott1550@yahoo.com
Alternate Greeter and 12th Step Within Person: Irene ~ yrene@aon.at

Additional Trusted Servants:
Co-chairpersons:
Sunday: Charles ~ aloisio03@EARTHLINK.NET
Monday: Carolee ~ maranelfen@comcast.net
Tuesday: OV, overeater anonymous ~ oveater@GMAIL.COM
Wednesday: Linda ~ the-smallwoods@pris.bc.ca
Thursday: Marlene Brooks ~ dietrich12000@yahoo.com
Friday: Gracie ~ ackme194@aol.com
Saturday: Robin ~ rwheat05@yahoo.com

Alternate Co-chairs:
Gracie ~ ackme194@aol.com
Carolee ~ maranelfen@comcast.net
Nancy ~ nkirkbar@MAINE.RR.COM

Reports Person: Linda ~ the-smallwoods@pris.bc.ca
Assignments Person: Marlene Brooks ~ dietrich12000@yahoo.com
Outreach Coordinator: Linda ~ the-smallwoods@pris.bc.ca

Spotlighted Meeting of the Month

Tuesday 6pm

Having an amazing tool that can actually help us to recover right from the comfort of our own home is priceless. Many are already taking advantage of The Recovery Group Online Meetings held in the #Recovery Room. This month we are focusing on the Tuesday 6pm meetings. These meetings are full of ESH (experience, strength and hope) and a place where we can go to feel safe and comfortable. Nobody there will give us advice or suggestions, but we are all there to listen to each other and grow in our own recovery. These meetings are held around the world, beginning at midnight eastern standard time.

The leader of our Spotlighted Meeting of the Month is Linda K. This dedicated and wonderful trusted servant in our midst holds her program and her service very dear to her heart. What makes this lady so exceptional is the amount of time, energy and love that she puts into her service with The Recovery Group.

Many of us know Linda K. As the Meetings Coordinator. She works very hard answering emails, arranging the daily and weekly schedules, organizing our reports and tries to find meeting leaders for any empty time slots. She also blesses us with her presence in the Tuesday 6pm meetings, as she graciously leads us through our hour of sharing. Linda shows respect to each member in her meetings and shows professionalism, as well as compassion, showing us that her meetings are very special to her. She has been a meeting leader for 60 months. Her husband David leads our 6pm meetings on Sunday and Monday. It's so nice to see a "couple" recovering together.

What most of us don't realize is that she has her hand in many areas of this precious recovery program. She currently serves on the Executive Committee and is Coordinator of a four-part orientation program........ She is also in charge of the Outreach Program encompassing TRG Telephone Angels, TRG E-mail Angels, TRG Instant Angels and publishes a separate directory for each. She previously was a Telephone Responder and took every call that came into The Recovery Group until the telephone service was discontinued.

If you get a chance to thank Linda for her hard work, she can be reached at LKlingman@stny.rr.com. If you would like to become a leader of our meetings, please send an email to MtgAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org . There are always some open meetings that could use your assistance.

SPOTLIGHT LOOPS OF THE MONTH

Recovery Division ~ Anorexia and Bulimia
ODAT Division ~ Creative
Discovery Divisioon ~ Pregnancy and Motherhood

THE RECOVERY DIVISION:

ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA

We are very excited to welcome you to our family here. Our goal is to establish what we call ''a safe place'' ... A place where you can share your thoughts, feelings, and dreams. A place where you can be YOU, and not be judged or critiqued. We are here not to point fingers or to lecture; we are here to give and receive support; to share our experience, strength, and hope; to affirm our successes and to grow with our challenges.

If anything, our main mission is tell you that RECOVERY DOES HAPPEN!! No one ... No, not even you, is exempt from that promise. Many of us truly believed that we must have had a genetic flaw stunting any chances we may have had in obtaining inner peace and of living a life free of obsession and pain. Gratefully, however, we were proven wrong.

We invite you to share your story as you become comfortable in doing so. Your experience, strength and hope helps others as well as yourself. With that, we leave you with just one word:

BELIEVE...

The Trusted Servants of Anorexia and Bulimia
The Recovery Group
http://lists.therecoverygroup.org/archives/anorexiaandbulimia.html

ANOREXIA NERVOSA

It is not easy to understand a person suffering Anorexia. People living with the illness often have low self-esteem and a tremendous need to control their surroundings and emotions. Quite often the Eating Disorder is a unique reaction to an array of external and internal conflicts, such as stress, anxiety, and unhappiness. Anorexia is a negative way to cope with these emotions.

"...starvation fills a void inside when it's approval from you I crave. The
Desire for food is gone and you are there again... Yelling... So negative.
Times like this filled with the pounding urge to run far away and Disappear..."

The person suffering with Anorexia may be abnormally sensitive about being perceived as fat, or have a massive fear of becoming fat -- though not all people living with Anorexia have this fear. They may be afraid of losing control over the amount of food they eat, accompanied by the desire to control their emotions and reactions to their emotions. With a low self-esteem and need for acceptance they will turn to obsessive dieting and starvation as a way to control not only their weight, but their feelings and actions regarding the emotions attached. Some also feel that they do not deserve pleasure out of life, and will deprive themselves of situations offering pleasure (including eating).

Some of the behavioral signs can be: obsessive exercise, calorie and fat gram counting, starvation and restriction of food, self-induced vomiting, the use of diet pills, laxatives or diuretics to attempt controlling weight, and a persistent concern with body image. It is not uncommon for people suffering with Anorexia to waver through periods of Bulimia (binging and purging) as well.

"... Lost in the darkness of my own circumstance, criticizing echoes leaving
Me awake in the night...
The barrier and blockades that keep me safe and in control while I pretend
That I am okay... "

It is important to point out that there can be a number of ways a person suffering from Anorexia can portray their disorder. The inherent trait of a person suffering Anorexia is to attempt to maintain strict control over food intake. In a number of cases a man or woman suffering will seem to eat normal meals with only periods of restriction. Anorexics are sometimes known to eat junk food, particularly candy, to drink a lot of coffee or tea, and/or to smoke. They may deny hunger, make excuses to avoid eating, will often hide food they claim to have eaten, use diet pills to control appetite, or attempt to purge the food away with self-induced vomiting, or by taking laxatives.

"...Emotions control me... Make me hide in a safe place of silence.... My Mind stays distant from what my heart feels. If I say it... it's real... So I
Say nothing. I can't touch it... If I did I would curl up or crumble.
I may seem to be made by heart of stone.... But really just chalk... And I'm
Afraid to face the possibility that I could easily turn to dust..."

BULIMIA NERVOSA

Men and women who live with Bulimia seek out binge and purge episodes -- they will eat a large quantity of food in a relatively short period of time and then use behaviors such as taking laxatives or self-induced vomiting -- in order to punish themselves for something they feel they should unrealistically blame themselves for. This can be in direct relation to how they feel about themselves, or how they feel over a particular event or series of events in their lives. The Bulimic will also seek episodes of binging and purging to avoid and let out feelings of anger, depression, stress or anxiety.

"The shackled anger I am accustomed to.. Reflecting on myself...
And with every tear there are a thousand more
That need to follow so I may climb from the darkness ... "

Men and women suffering Bulimia are usually aware they have an eating disorder. Fascinated by food they sometimes buy magazines and cook-books to read recipes, and enjoy discussing dieting issues.

Some of the behavioral signs can be: Recurring episodes of rapid food consumption followed by tremendous guilt and purging (laxatives or self-induced vomiting), a feeling of lacking control over his or her eating behaviors, regularly engaging in stringent diet plans and exercise, the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, and/or diet pills and a persistent concern with body image can all be warning signs someone is suffering with Bulimia.

"... My need to do this... It is almost instinctually protective....
A mechanism shielding out the real me in my mind...
And I don't think I even know who the real me is... "

It is important to realize that what makes a person Bulimic -- as opposed to Anorexic -- is not the purging, but the cycle of binging and purging. Purging may be using laxatives or self-induced vomiting, but there are Bulimics who use other inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as compulsive exercise (i.e.., excessive jogging or aerobics), to attempt to burn off the calories of a binge, or fasting the day following a binge. It is not uncommon for a man or woman suffering with Bulimia to take diet pills in an attempt to keep from binging, or to use diuretics to try to lose weight. A victim will often hide or "store" food for later binges, will often eat secretly and can have large fluctuations in their weight.

"...I sense a stranger filling this silent room with anguish...
A silence that rattles against the windows leaving me so cold
And numb... And somehow... This feeling I do not understand
Is my best friend and enemy all wrapped up in one... "

THE ODAT DIVISION:

CREATIVE

We hope you will join Creative ~ a very special part of The Recovery Group. Many of us are compulsive eaters who are creative types. We use our disease as a way to escape the fear and the rewards of our creativity. Our compulsion robs us of the gifts our Higher Power has so generously bestowed upon us.

How many of us have left a project or been unable to begin one because the food had taken away our ability to express ourselves? Our souls hunger for the mere act of putting pen to paper, brush to canvas, needle and thread to fabric and yet our warped sense of needing to be "perfect" prevents us from doing this.

This loop is geared to those of us who need to express ourselves creatively, and yet struggle because of our eating compulsions.

This Loop is an open forum where we can discuss the pitfalls and glories of our creative souls and anything else we may feel a burning desire to share.

In addition to all the creativity of our members, our group has a very special mission purpose. We provide a place to work our own recovery program and also to carry that message to other creative people who suffer from compulsive eating. We are here together to build one another up ... To accept each of us as we are ... To support each other ... And not to judge one another. We offer you a place to share your particular path to recovery, in safety and serenity.

Our loop is a place where 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will have a safe haven where you can interact with others who are suffering. Our loop does not just focus on our physical problems. We focus on our emotional and our spiritual needs, as well as how our orientation impacts our recovery and our lives. Our recovery home is a place where we hope and believe you can experience growth spiritually, emotionally and physically. Our way of finding recovery is through the Twelve Steps. We have reached a place in our life where this may be the last stop on the bus ~ the last house on the block. And we have come to believe that there is a power greater than ourselves and that we cannot recover alone.

There is only one requirement for membership in our loop ~ the sincere desire to stop eating compulsively. If you have this desire and would like to become part of our recovery family, we welcome you with open arms. Our mission is firm ... Our purpose is resolute ... Our goal is to ensure a better quality of life for compulsive eaters worldwide. Through the miracle of the Twelve Steps, tools to reach and maintain a state of abstinence, one-on-one sponsors, online recovery meetings, full service loops, study loops, other special interest loops, dedicated Trusted Servants and many other tools of recovery to offer you, we will accomplish our mission, achieve our purpose and transcend our goals.

WELCOME HOME!
What we could never do alone ~
We can do together.

One Day at a time ~
One Step at a time.

To join Creative: www.therecoverygroup.org/odat/creative/

THE DISCOVERY DIVISION:

PREGNANCY AND MOTHERHOOD

The mission of the Pregnancy and Motherhood loop is to provide a place for those with eating disorders to come together in a safe environment to share their experience, strength and hope about various issues concerning their recovery program and how pregnancy can affect it. This loop is in TRG's Discovery Division; therefore, is more informal and less structured than the support groups in the Recovery and ODAT Divisions.

Pregnancy and Motherhood provides a comfortable place to work a recovery program and may even become a second home. Lifelong friends happen/can happen here or you may choose to be alone and reflect on your life and your eating disorder. We offer anonymity and you should feel free to use an e-mail alias here. It offers serenity and peace as you work your personal program and gives you the opportunity to carry the message to others.

We are here together to build one another up ... To accept each other as we are ... And a place where we can focus on spiritual and emotional growth as well as physical.

Visit our website at: www.therecoverygroup.org/odat/pregnancy/

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

Chicken stir-fry with eggplant and basil

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 3 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops, 2 coarsely chopped and 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant, with peel, diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Directions

In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, mint, 1/4 cup of the stock, the chopped green onions, garlic and ginger. Pulse until the mixture is minced but not pureed. Set aside.

In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, yellow onion and bell peppers and saute until the vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the basil mixture and saute for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken strips and soy sauce and saute until the chicken is almost opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup stock and bring to a boil. Return the eggplant mixture to the pan and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the sliced green onion. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Analysis

Per serving

Calories: 248
Monounsaturated fat: 5 g
Protein: 30 g
Cholesterol: 66 mg
Carbohydrates: 13 g
Sodium: 408 mg
Total fat: 8 g
Fiber: 4 g
Saturated fat: 1 g

Recipe from the Mayo Clinic

Peace in Recovery,
Tina

QUOTATION OF THE MONTH

"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
Nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;
It is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one
When he discovers that someone else
Believes in him and is willing to trust him."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Recovery Rose

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as "rootless or stemless". We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we do not condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they first appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place, and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of it's development.

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed until the time it dies. Within it at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly alright as it is.

We are as a precious rose seed.
May each of us always know that we are exactly as we are supposed to be.

I PRAY

Dear God,

Thank you for this crisp beautiful morning. Thank you for the song of the birds and for allowing me to watch their morning activities – going about their business of life openly and honestly.

Thank you for this wonderful evening – for bringing my friends and family together to watch my beautiful daughter shine on stage like the star she is. Thank you for giving her the gifts she has and my ability to accept her as she is and not as I want her to be.

I pray you guide me in parenting her to be a strong, self-loving independent young woman. Free from the cunning and baffling disease I have struggled with for so long. I pray she hears your voice and sees there is nothing wrong with her – that her step-father’s inability to love her was about his inability to love himself.

I pray that my beautiful son had a nice time with his daddy and adjusts to this situation as it unfolds. I pray I can be a great role model for them both – teaching them mature love while helping them let go of infantile love.

I thank you for my beautiful sponsor’s guidance using '10 Ways to Love Ourselves.' Help me to have the willingness to practice the exercises. I see how my self criticism and terrorizing has led me to get stuck in the fear and self-hatred that keeps me rooted in this disease. I pray for the willingness and strength to continue to practice each exercise daily so that I might learn to give and receive unconditional love.

I pray for the strength and willingness to hear your voice as present difficulties and daily struggles supply me with the chance to practice the principles of gentle self-love. While the visualization of your arms around me will help me to find that peace and serenity within my moments of fear and anxiety.

I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to seek out my recovery with open arms and for the support of all those around me who are seeing the changes it is making in my life.

I pray for the strength and willingness to eat today and not starve myself into physical perfection. I pray for the daily reminder that I would never send my children to bed hungry and undernourished, therefore, I should also remember, that I too, should never treat myself with that kind of neglect.

I pray for my ex-husband, that he finds self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-love and the ability to hear your voice through this process so that he might be able to give and receive mature love. I pray this simply prayer for myself and for all whom my life touches.

I pray I am open to receiving the love and support from you and all of those whom you are placing in my life today. I pray this so that I might see that the love that I experience today, is enough love and that my ex-husband’s love (or lack of it), need not be a barrier to my finding happiness and acceptance today.

I pray for true acceptance of my present situation, that I might cease to resist it because of my own self-will and wants. I pray I am open to hearing and seeing the positives that this particular situation has brought me, such as; my beautiful daughter’s emerging self-esteem after many years of feeling isolated. All the time I need to recover. The opportunity to become teachable and to learn a new way of being.

Thank you for my emerging understanding of how destructive his inability to truly love was and also my emerging understanding of how destructive my inability to truly love was. Learning though I had a part in the breakdown of our relationship that doesn't make me “guilty” of anything other than coping the best way I knew how.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn true forgiveness for myself and for others. The ability to learn a new way of loving myself, of helping me to know your presence and that the healing of my relationship with you is possible, as long as I believe. The illustration of how self-deception keeps us stuck making poor decisions that hurt us and others.

Thank you for the gift of love and acceptance that I have found in OA and TRG. Thank you for the ability to sit with all this yucky feeling and not let it tear me down but instead let it build me up into the strong, loving woman you know I can be while taking back my emotional wellbeing after having it placed unfairly in the hands of another human being as I hand it over to you where it belongs.

I turn myself over to you so that you might infuse me with your will while freeing me from my character defects. I pray you lift from me all the fears and doubts associated with this world while helping me to see the path you would have me take so that I might be an instrument of your will.

I turn my impatience and anxiety over to you since only you know what is best. I offer myself to you today so that you might do with me as you need. I pray you direct my energy and focus where I can best be of service to you and others. I pray you return me to sanity as I take this day one baby-step at a time.

Love and peace.
Amen,
Jess

FREEDOM

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
Instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
Judy Garland

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be like -- or act like -- someone else. I never allowed myself the freedom to be me. I was my parents' child, my husband's wife, and my children's mother. It wasn't until I came into program wearing all of my identities on my body -- 150 pounds’ worth -- that I was able to see how unhappy I really was.

I began my journey to recovery by slowly discovering the real me underneath all that extra weight. Working the Twelve Steps of recovery helped me to peel away the layers of fear that kept me stuck.

One Day at a Time . . . I am free to be me ~ And I am enough.

~ Eileen

It Ain’t In The Book

Some things often heard in meetings
that the Big Book contradicts

"I will always be recovering, never recovered."

Title Page: "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism"

Page 20, paragraph 2
: "Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.

Foreword to the First Edition: "We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body."

Page 29, paragraph 2: "Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered."

Page 132, paragraph 3: "We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others."

"This is a selfish program"

Page 20, paragraph 1: "Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs."

Page 97, paragraph 2: "Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn't enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights' sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. "

Page 14-15: "For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead."

Page 62, paragraph 2: "Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles"

Page 62, paragraph 3: "So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it will kill us!"

Page 86, paragraph 4: "Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough."

Page 69, paragraph 3: "We subjected each relation to this test--was it selfish or not?"

Page 86, paragraph 3: "Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest, or self-seeking motives. . . . Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives."

Page 87, paragraph 2: "We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn't work."

"We need to give up planning, it doesn't work."

Page 86, paragraphs 3-4: "On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.

In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while."

"I have a choice to not drink today."

Page 30, paragraph 3: "We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals - usually brief - were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better."

"If all I do is stay sober today, then it's been a good day."

Page 82, paragraph 3: " Sometimes we hear an alcoholic say that the only thing he needs to do is to keep sober. Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no home if he doesn't. But he is yet a long way from making good to the wife or parents whom for years he has so shockingly treated."

Page 82 paragraph 4: "We feel a man is unthinking when he says sobriety is enough."

“My sponsor told me that, if in making an amend I would be harmed, I could consider myself as one of the ‘others’ in Step Nine.”

Page 79, paragraph 2: “Reminding ourselves that we have decided to go to any lengths to find a spiritual experience, we ask that we be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences might be.”

"Don't make any major decisions for the first year"

Page 60, paragraph 4: "(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if He were sought. Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him."

Page 76, paragraph 2: "When ready, we say something like this: 'My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.' We have then completed Step Seven."

From the Website: http://www.aaprimarypurpose.org/passingiton.htm

FROM OA'S LIFELINE:

FAMILIES AND FOOD

Certain situations and people make it challenging to maintain my abstinence. I find it difficult to attend family gatherings and eat at family members' homes because I strongly associate food with places like my mom's house. When I first started working this program, I had to tell my mom that I could not have a meal at her house for awhile. That was hard. Mom is a good cook and shows her love by working hard to prepare foods that are pleasing.

After some time I was able to return to having meals at her home. It was painfully hard to say "No thanks" when she offered foods that were not on my food plan. It was a big challenge to celebrate my birthday without the dishes she usually served. At first I felt deprived. Each time I survived such an event, it got easier. God does for me what I cannot do for myself.

I remember the first time I felt I had made progress in my recovery during a family situation. Mom was passing out dessert to dinner guests. Several people offered the next plate to me, and I politely refused. I overheard Mom say, "She doesn't eat that kind of stuff."

Mom continues to make special dishes, but most of the time she makes things I can eat. Other things she makes, which once tempted me, seldom do so now. She doesn't intend to tempt me into messing up my abstinence. Instead, I know she loves and cares about me. Providing food is one way she chooses to demonstrate her love.

When I'm in situations around food that challenge me, I tell myself it's not about the food; it's about the people. We are there to share our lives and enjoy our relationships. Food is not the most important part. Before OA, everything revolved around food. Thank God it's not that way now.

I pray each day that my food obsession will continue to be removed. I thank God for my abstinence.

--Maxine M., Temple, Texas, USA

TRG'S RECOVERY WRITINGS:

THE ABC'S OF FRIENDSHIP

A FRIEND. . .

Accepts you as you are
Believes in "you"
Calls you just to say "HI"
Doesn't give up on you
Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
Forgives your mistakes
Gives unconditionally
Helps you
Invites you over
Just because
Keeps you close at heart
Loves you for who you are
Makes a difference in your life
Never Judges
Offers support
Picks you up
Quiets your fears
Raises your spirits
Says nice things about you
Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
Understands you
Values you
Walks beside you
Xxoxoxoxxxoooxxoxo
Yells when you won't listen and
Zaps you back to reality (OUCH!)

SERENIDIPITY'S STAFF

Editor
Heidi ~ skipdun@myclearwave.net

Serendipity Web Servant
Lin ~ ls8937-odat@yahoo.com

Reporter
Tina ~ oarecovery@YAHOO.COM

Proof Readers
Carrie ~ c.beckerfishman@GMAIL.COM
Leeanne ~ Leeanne.SHILO@3DS.COM
Tina ~ oarecovery@YAHOO.COM

Advisor
Mari ~ Mari@TheRecoveryGroup.org

COORDINATORS AND MEETING LEADERS

QUALIFICATIONS

All Coordinators and/or Meeting Leaders of The Recovery Group shall:

  • Be working and living a 12 Step program.
  • Have been a member of TRG for a period of no less than 3 months.
  • Read and commit to TRG's Guidelines and Traditions.
  • Read and understand the Trusted Servants' Training and Sharing pages.
    Coordinators shall read their loops' mission statement and the Coordinators' Website.
  • Mentor with an experienced Meeting Leader and/or Coordinator.
    Commit to serving until the end of the term, which currently is December 31 of each year.
  • Leave their Trusted Servant position mid-term only in the event of an emergency.
  • Have access to a personal computer.
  • Be personally responsible for all services needed by their support group or delegate others. Commit to recruiting, training and supervising them. (Please ask Mtg. Adm. or TRGAdm. for a list of specific duties expected of our Meeting Leaders and Coordinators.)
  • Please communicate with MTGAdm (Meeting Leaders) or TRGAdm (Coordinators) immediately when a member requires moderating. TRG Coordinators and Meeting Leaders shall be patient and correct people regarding inappropriate sharing privately and in kind, gentle and loving ways. In the event of blatant spam, porn or misconduct, Coordinators and Meeting Leaders should take immediate action. Meeting leaders shall remove such members from the meeting, while coordinators are to contact TRGAdm and report that a member needs moderated. Both Coordinators and Meeting Leaders shall send a detailed report to their respective administrators once the emergency has been attended to.
  • Be an example for others by sharing personally in a 12 Step Way, not using inappropriate signatures on TRG communications, and, if at all possible, writing your members individually and privately as your time permits when you think a note would be appreciated.

If interested in giving service in IN 2009 ~ please send an email to:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

The 2009 Coordinators & Meeting Leaders

TRG has six divisions and our support groups each fall in one of these divisions: Recovery, ODAT, Discovery, Special, Meetings and Business.

Click on the link below for the directory of all of
TRG's Coordinators and Administrators



TRG'S COORDINATORS & ADMINISTRATORS

God, 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.

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

Your Support Group Would Like to Hear From YOU!

Serendipity wants to you to use our writing resources to inspire you to share your own personal experience, strength and hope with your home support loop. Sharing with your fellow coes is an act of service and often without your ever realizing it, your words may touch someone deeply and be responsible for a significant change in their life.

Opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of Serendipity Newsletter, or of The Recovery Group.

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