FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ TRG QUARTERLY EVENTS ~
I believe that most of us here think that when we come into the
rooms that it will just be a matter of time when some kind of
magic will take place. We hear happy stories from those who have
experienced many miracles and so we try to visualize ourselves
doing the same. We hope some of their recovery will wear off.
We encourage those who have been blessed by the program to share
about it ... to tell others how things used to be. Then we
suggest that they tell us what happened to change things and how
things are now. But what happens when we are still struggling,
and feel we are trying, but recovery is eluding us?
The Recovery Loops are not just for those who have experienced a
miracle ... our support groups are also for those who are still
waiting for their physical, emotional or spiritual recovery ....
or, in many cases, all three.
Why do we encourage taking the message to others and the mess to
our sponsors? The reason is simple. When one hears negative
things and the horrors of the disease over and over again, a type
of brain-washing occurs. Others begin to wonder if the program
really works ... if they're in the right place. So this is why a
share needs to be balanced and even if we can't end our share by
enumerating one miracle after another quite yet, there is a way to
share positively. We ask that our members share their HOPE for
Sometimes Hope is the only thing we have. So rather than lurk,
tell us how it was, what is happening and how very much you are
hoping for your very own miracle ... and how you envision that
miracle will happen.
Happy August, Loop Buds,
Love in recovery,
~ HONOURING OUR BODIES ~
Not many of us come into twelve-step programs with a great deal of
respect for or understanding of our bodies. I know I didn't.
When I walked into my first OA meeting I had two enemies that I
could put my finger on. One was the food I craved to insanity,
and the other was my body, which mirrored that insanity to the
world. Truth be told, if it weren't for that tattletale body, I'd
have been content to continue my relationship with food until some
other, more satisfying god entered my life.
Yes, I yearned for deeper, more meaningful relationships. But,
since about the age of four, food was my comforter, my confidant
and my friend, as well as my sordid master. In exchange for
moments of numbness and a thoroughly fleeting taste reward, I was
required to turn over a strong physical instrument designed for
experience and interaction, and also give up the joy of that
experience and interaction. I thought it was food that was my
master, and I thought my body had betrayed me by its condition
I was wrong. Once I allowed the sanity of this twelve-step
program to seep into my life, I knew that food was just chemicals
which could not on their own find a way into my body, and my body
was only reacting to a behavior that was caused by a disease which
affected the body only after it had first conquered my mind and my
It was 10 years after my first taste of abstinence, while deep in
the throes of relapse that I had a brief blast of sanity. One day
I glanced down at my thighs (often associated with the word
"thunder") and I knew that they were wonderful. They had
faithfully carried me and all my weight, often nearly enough for
an extra person, all my life. They had responded to my unending
hatred with priceless service. They carried my children, carried
me to chores and allowed me to practice a profession. I walked
through sunsets and gardens and joy and danger, because of a gift
I'd never even said "Thank you" for. I'd used my body as currency
both to purchase and to spend the expression of my addiction.
I remember on that particular day that I did not drown in guilt
and remorse. My only feelings were of amazement and reverence.
I had nine more years of relapse to live through, but in those
minutes of insight, my body had become my friend and my ally.
Today I am grateful that I know my body is the interface with
which my spirit touches this world and others in it. Regardless
of our personal and various belief systems, our bodies are the
vehicles with which we experience this life. They are neither
traitors nor saboteurs. They are holy, gentle servants and
whether we have full or partial use of them they are a blessing.
Today, I will take a moment to appreciate my body. I will look at
it in a mirror without judging it for reflecting my past
decisions. I will touch my hands and mouth which were servants of
my compulsion and addiction and I will know that they are
innocent. I will look into my eyes and know they reflect a
physical wisdom which I ignored for most of my life. Today I will
give thanks and share what I know about my beautiful servant and
Joy on the journey,
~ TRG ADMINISTRATION ~
From TRG Adminstration (TRGAdm)
When a compulsive eater finds The Recovery Group page at
http://www.therecoverygroup.org, one of the first things they will
read is "A Worldwide 12-Step Online Community of Meetings, Support
Groups, Studies, Sponsors and Services for Compulsive Eaters."
That,and much more, is exactly what is found here. Located under the
umbrella of The Recovery Group are numerous resources available for
us compulsive eaters 24 hours a day.
No matter where we live, there are OA meetings we can be a part
of. If we need the support of others, we can choose from among the
50+ loops available. There we cannot only share what we need, but
can also read letters containing the Experience, Strength and Hope
of others, who like ourselves, are learning daily how to work and
live the 12 Steps to overcome our compulsive eating.
There are studies of the Big Book, a Working the Steps study, and a
special place for Newcomers to learn about the 12 Steps and how to
find what they need here at The Recovery Group. Lists of those who
are giving back what they have received through sponsoring,
Meditations that have all been written by our own members. All of
this, and so much more, is right here at our fingertips each day.
Making friendships, understanding, and knowing we are no longer
alone are among the many other things we find here at The Recovery
A special thank you that volunteer to make all of this possible.
You are appreciated!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In loving service to all,
Q. I didn't subscribe to ALLRecovery, [ALLRECOVERY]. Why am I
getting mail from that address?
A. When TRG was using Yahoo for its mail, each member got a copy
of the daily meditations for each loop of which they were a
member. If you belonged to three groups, you got three copies.
When we moved to LSoft, we were given the option of having a
"super-list", and that list has been called ALLRecovery. When an
email is sent out to all TRG members, it is done via ALLRecovery,
and ensures that everyone gets only one copy, no matter how many
loops they belong to. ALLRecovery is not a list that you can
subscribe to or unsubscribe from. It's a composite list of all
TRG members belonging to at least one loop. Daily Meditations,
Serendipity and a few additional adminstrative things are examples
of what is sent out via ALLRecovery.
Dodee, Nancy, Rob & Mari
The Recovery Group
~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
This step scared me. Who would I be after all my defects were
gone? Would I recognise myself, like who I became? I wasn't at
all sure. Plus, I liked many of my defects. They seemed fine to
me or they protected me. Getting overly anxious and fearful meant
I could scope out the territory and be ready for anything. Just
like a wall of fat had once kept me safe from hurts, and the
excess food had been my comfort and reward, so my defects were a
way of taking the "edge" off reality. I often hated reality.
Over the top fantasy, procrastination, resentment, criticism,
judging others - all these defects kept me safe and protected in
my little castle, let me feel better than you or someone else.
No one could see the vulnerable, frightened child and young woman
and middle-aged adult I was. I couldn't even see those parts of me.
But my Higher Power had other, better plans for me. The wise
founders of Alcoholics Anonymous heard HP's request that they
become willing and then ask G-d to take away those shortcomings.
In their place would come gifts - awareness of how each
shortcoming is transformed by G-d into an asset. Fear and anxiety
change into courage and faith. Resentment becomes delight in
others' abilities and achievements. Procrastination turns into
effective, realistic goal-setting and completion of tasks. Excess
fantasy becomes creative problem solving or, for me, visual
imagery and lots of writing. Judging others or situations mutes
into, for me at least, living in the now, and seeing each person
fresh each day and leaving judgment to the God of My Understanding
I find that, one day at a time, I like the me I am becoming. G-d
shapes me and tenderly lifts away each defect as I am willing for
that to happen. Currently, we are working with my being
judgmental. I'm already finding more energy being released, as
energy is less and less needed for negative judging.
Writing on TRG's loops helps me work Step Seven too. I can see my
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors more clearly when reflected in
what I put down and see on the computer screen.
And speaking of the loops, in Discovery Division this month, we
are bubbling, especially in the Exercise loop and The Yellow Brick
Road. Come and visit us, if you haven't already done so.
AbKitchen has recipes and people sharing. We also have a new
coordinator for 'Exercise': Melissa. Again, a hearty welcome to
We still need second coordinators for both 'Exercise' and
'Abstinent Kitchen.' We are also recruiting for two coordinators
for 'COkids', and an advisor for 'Kids and Recovery'. Contact me
In loving service,
Discovery Division Chair
Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~
The ODAT Group
Compulsive overeaters all have the common goal of recovering from
their addiction. But sometimes it is good to talk to others who
have the same special challenges, within the context of 12-step
recovery. The ODAT groups exist for this reason.
We have many different focus groups within the ODAT division.
There are groups which focus on the members' physical and
emotional challenges; such as diabetes, disability, pain,
depression, and PMS. Other groups focus include 'Relationships'
(eg, divorce), 'FFOA' (Al-anon), 'OAAnon', 'Grief', 'Isolation',
'Homebound', 'Rainbow to Abstinence', 'Sponsor-Sponsee Talk',
'Pregnancy & Motherhood'. Two groups target specific age groups:
'Silver Recovery' (for over 50) and 'Teens' (for under 21). 'HOW'
and 'Grey Sheet' talk to those who share a food plan. Other
groups' members share the same faith: 'Jewish', 'Pagan',
'LatterDaySaints', and 'Christian'. Still other groups focus on
those who are also addicted to other substances: 'AA', 'Spending',
'SLAA' (S*X,Love and Food Addiction), and 'Drug Abuse'.
One of our groups is the 'Creative' group. This is for compulsive
eaters who express themselves through some sort of creative
medium, such as art, music, dance, or theatre. Members discuss
how their creative outlets help them work their Program, and/or
any challenges to their creativity which are related to their
addiction. Some members share their work with the group.
If you would like information on any of our ODAT groups, please
contact me at the address below.
ODAT Division Chairperson
Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html
~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's Twelve-step
general sharing support groups. Our common mission is to provide
a safe andsupportive space for anyone who wants to recover from
the disease of compulsive eating to share their experience,
strength, and hope with others. In addition, some of these loops
also have a special focus. The loops that make up this Division
are: 'Anorexia and Bulimia', 'The Big Book', '200 Plus',
'Journey to Recovery', 'Meditations', 'OA Friends', 'OANewcomers',
'OA Recovery', 'Relapse', Sponsors', 'Working the Steps' (WTS),
and 'WTS Weekly'.
One of the precepts of the program is that you can't keep it if
you don't give it away. One of the best ways to "give it away"
is to perform some sort of service. In my own experience, I have
found that whether it be sponsoring, being a coordinator of a
loop, or some other form of service, I always get back much more
than I give. Several of the Recovery Group Loops are in need of
a second coordinator or a coordinator-in-training to help balance
the workload. I hope some of you will consider this opportunity
to give service. If you are interested in becoming a coordinator
or a coordinator-in-training for one of the Recovery Group Loops,
please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren't
interested in a coordinator service position, but would consider
sending welcome and/or farewell letters or posting daily topics,
please contact me as well.
Cheryl S., Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division
More details about these support groups can be found at:
~ TRG PROGRAMS & SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~
Programs & Special Services Division is an expanding wing of
The Recovery Group, and contains a diverse number of TRG programs
and projects. These include TRG Sponsor Program, TRG Telephone
Angels, Serendipity, TRG Topics Team, Recovery Meditations,
Recovery Meditations Book project, Recovery Message Board,
Recovery Photo Album, Recovery 12-Step Anniversaries, Recovery
Talk Room on the main website, Recovery Guestbooks and Counters,
Recovery Bravenet Features, Outreach Programs with other Online
Groups, TRG Speaker Program and the Writer's Series.
Once again, we've had a brisk month in our division. Marilyn,
with Gary's help, has finished preparing a new webpage for
Telephone Angels. She has also recruited two more new members for
the TRG Topics team, and has entered the 200 Plus loop.
Cate & Patt have updated our Sponsor Program List and are busy
trying to find sponsors for members involved in the current WTS
I am currently looking for someone to coordinate the TRG Speaker
Program. If you are interested in giving service, please contact
me for further information.
Love in Recovery,
TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group
~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these
steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive eaters, and to
practice these principles in all our affairs.
No one wants to miss the JOY of carrying the message to those who
still suffer. One of the ways we do this is by becoming willing to
share our recovery through sponsoring others.
*Those who sponsor, and continue to sponsor, keep their own
recovery alive, well, and growing!
As the very foundation of our program is one helping another, we
ask someone to guide us through the journey of recovery.
*Those who sponsor will continue to work the steps and go deeper
into the spiritual principles embodied in these steps.
*Those who sponsor find that Recovery goes from the head into
*Those who sponsor receive the greatest JOY in sharing with their
sponsees, and then an even greater JOY in seeing them blossom, as
they also begin to share their recovery by sponsoring others.
Sponsors are usually those who have gone before us, and are
committed to the practice and principles of the 12 steps in all
When we are sharing with others, our own inner JOY, Peace and
Serenity rises up on a daily basis, and we find that we have
joined a fellowship where we truly walk hand in hand on the
Road of Happy Destiny.
The Recovery Group is in need of more sponsors. If you are ready
to experience this JOY please write to:
and we will be happy to help you get started.
With love and great JOY in service,
Patt and Cate
TRG Sponsor Coordinators
Patt and Cate
TRG Sponsor Coordinators
~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~
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/ \ / \ / \
Not long ago I was asked to lead TRG's Recovery Telephone Angels
program. It got me to thinking...
Every so often there is a special person who comes into your life,
who reaches down into the depths of your despair, and drags you
out. They encourage us, inspire us, and empower us.
I have been fortunate enough to have several angels in my life.
They saved my life.
Right now there are Recovery Telephone Angels who are standing by,
holding out their hands to "you" in fellowship, to help you in
When you are feeling unsure of what to do, feeling depressed or
just want to talk, they are here to help and share their ESH with
To learn more about the Recovery Telephone Angels, and the
Recovery Telephone Angels Program, please visit our webpage at:
Wishing you joy and peace in your recovery,
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER - Meet Roberta H. ~
Roberta comes to us from Phoenix, AZ where she lives with her two
cats, Dixie and Harriet. She has two children, Marcie, 23, and
Roberta, can you tell us how you came to learn about TRG, and what
brought you here?
"I was looking to see if OA had any online meetings, and when I
did a search, it listed an online 12-Step Community. I was really
intrigued, so I went to the TRG website, started reading, and it
seemed to be just what I was looking for."
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Roberta. It is a
pleasure to have you as a member of our community.
"I love the convenience of being able to attend meetings online,
and not have to venture out into 100+ degree weather to go to a
local meeting. Online, I can even attend multiple meetings a day
if I want or need to."
"I got to a point in my life where I finally realized that
conventional dieting just does not work me. It would work, but
only to a small degree, and the effects were short-lived. It
seemed as though I was never happy. I was either miserable while
trying to stick to a diet, or wanting to diet and beating myself
up over my lack of control when I wasn't dieting."
"I really love the sharing that goes on, in meetings or on my
loop. I find sanity in knowing that I am not alone, and that this
is a program that will work for everyone as long as they are
willing to work the steps."
"I am already making better choices, and feeling good about what I
am doing. My sponsor shows me how I can relax, take baby steps,
and still get there without all of the "bad stuff" that I used to
feel when trying to diet/take care of myself."
"I'm still a little nervous about how this will all turn out. It
is hard for me to imagine what life would be like without all the
excess weight. I just keep telling myself that what is to come is
natural, and that the way that I was living is not, I just need to
get back to the basics, with God's help."
Love in recovery,
Newcomer's Meeting Leader
Note: Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST
~ GETTING THERE TOGETHER ~
In 2003, at the urging of a couple of co-workers, I decided to
participate in a long distance cycling event. The proposition was
absurd; I was very overweight, and I hadn't been on my bike in
seven years. It sat in the hallway of my apartment building with
two flat tires. And the ride ... across the state of New Jersey
on Saturday, and back on Sunday, 78 miles each way.
Were they nuts?
I took my bike to the shop and got it tuned up. I got new tires.
The day I picked it up, I threw my leg over it and in the first
few wobbly turns of the crank, I was convinced I was going to
break my neck. You CAN forget, I thought. But, slowly, I
regained my balance. Soon I was venturing out, first a mile or
two, then five, then ten to fifteen, then thirty-five. I was by
no means an athlete, but the impossible seemed more possible.
That first ride out to the shore will always stand out in my mind
for one reason: riding a long distance by yourself is tedious and
hard. Your body really starts to protest, and you feel like your
foot can't make one more revolution. I won't even discuss what
happens to your backside. Your mind gets very chatty too, and
it's never encouraging; you start thinking about giving up. You
get very childish and petulant in your own head. But, when you
are with others, something amazing happens: suddenly, it seems
like their energy is your energy. You find yourself matching
their pace. You don't notice as much, how much you hurt as you
talk to them. Miles pass without effort, and the next thing you
know, the last bridge is before you and the end is in sight.
Our Fellowship is a lot like that. How many times have you gone
to a meeting feeling spent, beaten down, depressed, and come out
with a completely different attitude? We are critical to each
other, we must be present to each other. We are going to get
there, and we are going to get there together.
Love in recovery,
~ MY SEAT ON THE BUS ~
"In the depth of winter...
I finally learned that within me...
there lay an invincible summer."
This is precisely how I feel. The winter was hard for me in more
ways than the weather. Spring is just right, and summer is around
An eating disorder is a "me" disorder. It affects every fiber of
my being and is more than food on my plate, although it stops at
my plate. The direct link between my feelings and emotions and
the hand-to-mouth reflex can be stopped by a food plan and the
tools. There's no "E" in HALT except for me, sometimes there is.
It's been a long time since I actively binged and purged, yet my
mind can do it in a second. It goes from zero to 60 with a
thought that takes root and grows and grows until it looms large.
That's when I get to a meeting or make calls or write or post.
My brain never listens when I want to shut if off, so I need
people who understand what I'm saying. An emotional riptide is no
This year I had a few adventures, mended two friendships and
reconnected with someone from my past. During a bad spell, I
reached out, and was met with love and understanding. Some things
have clawmarks on them, and some I've let go easily. I kept my
secrets to myself when I was growing up, so talking things out
was a relief and scary as he**. I can come online and be myself
and let you know what's going on because you understand.
I still don't know why God chose me for recovery, yet it's time I
stop asking, and accept that I'm blessed and grateful. I'm not
perfect, and mess up big time and own up and say I'm wrong,
sometimes clumsily. Yet, I've also done welland keep trying.
The slogans that come to mind are "give time time" and "when the
student is ready, the teacher appears." God's timetable is
perfect, and when I try to jump in, it doesn't flow. Some things
kept coming back into my life, and I guess I wasn't ready to hear
them or learn them the first times.
I was given that second and third and, if need, be fourth chance.
Keep coming back. That's what they told me, and that's what I do,
because I need to.