A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


December 2000
Volume 2, Issue 12



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


FEATURED ARTICLES

From Our Editor
From Our Founder
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Tools of Recovery
Relapse Danger Zones
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
A Call To Action: Recovery Meditations
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer
The Closing Prayer



FROM OUR EDITOR

Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the anniversary issue of Serendipity! It's hard to believe that our Recovery Group newsletter is a year old already! It came into existence as the brainchild of Mari, our founder, and has continued over the past year because of those of you who have contributed your time and your writing to this ever-growing and changing forum. I hope that in the next year you will all continue to help us by contributing service to your recovery newsletter.

In this month's edition, TRG founder Mari speaks of the many changes going on in administration of The Recovery Group. In our loop spotlight of the month, which this month is Isolation and Homebound, Lorraine tells us how the loop has been her lifeline during her struggles as a recovering agoraphobic. In the Tools of Recovery, Christine S. writes about the importance of a food plan in her recovery from COE. We have included an article from OA's Lifeline about relapse danger zones, and have for this month only moved the list of weekly meetings from part two to part one of the newsletter.

In a very special section of shares from Recovery Group members, eleven members share their gratitude during this special time of the year. These shares are truly inspirational reading, and we thank Marilyn H., Dakini, Caro, Ruth, Janet H., J., Donna, Steph, Mickie, Danny and S. for their contributions.

We have included the Twelfth Step Prayer in the Literature section. A Call to Action lets us know that the Recovery Meditations committee is still seeking your meditations for The Recovery Group's book of daily meditations. This month's edition ends with OA and TRG contacts, the Serenity Prayer, and a new prayer, The Closing Prayer, written by Lynne, who is offering her prayer as an alternative for closing TRG's on-line meetings.

We hope that you enjoy December's anniversary edition of Serendipity, and that it will inspire you to contribute your own experience, strength and hope to the newsletter.


Love in recovery,
Suzanne,
Editor
SERENDIPITY



SERENDIPITY SUBSCRIPTIONS


FROM OUR FOUNDER


Dear Serendipity Readers,

Trusted Servants taking the hand of a compulsive eater who finds us and gently guiding them into recovery are God's gifts to the Recovery Group. We have over a hundred of these precious people who give part of themselves night and day to others and no two words describe them better than "trusted" and "servant." A team doesn't just happen ~ it must be built ... and nurtured ... and organized ... and administrated.

I am pleased to announce the administration team who will be working with all of the Recovery Trusted Servants in the months to come. Most of you know them simply as John, Cate, Shlomo and Patt. John (JoMarst1@aol.com) is the Coordinator of WTS, Cate (sophie@coiinc.com) is the Coordinator of Sponsors and Recovery, Shlomo (Shlomosh@actcom.co.il) is the Coordinator of the Recovery Loop and Patt (Plomba3200@aol.com) is the Coordinator of OA Friends.

In addition to their loop coordinator jobs, these four people have given much service in many other areas and now add Recovery Administrator to their extensive service commitments. If ever there is a question or problem related to the Recovery Group, you may contact them at ADMCom@egroups.com and be assured that your concerns will handled expeditiously. Being a TRG Administrator has been one of the most fulfilling jobs of my life and I know that the next term is in good hands with these four very special people.

And that's why we're here.


@-}-}-}- ----- Love in recovery,
Mari
The Recovery Group




FROM THE LOOPS:
SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH

ISOLATION AND HOMEBOUND



Dear Recovery Group Members,

My name is Lorraine and I'm a COE. I'm also a recovering agoraphobic, which means that I have tendencies to isolate myself at home because I feel safer there -- sometimes for long periods of time. From my experience so far in recovery, I am learning that isolating is a problem for many of us with this disease -- so the folks on our loop are trying to overcome and deal with issues of isolation that come from having an eating disorder as well as with whatever keeps us at home.

Some of the people on our loop are homebound because of physical problems, and others, like me, are dealing with more emotional issues. Regardless, we welcome anyone who can relate to the problems that come with being isolated.

At one time in my life many years ago, I didn't go out of the house for months at a time. After therapy, I was able to "get out there" without as much difficulty. Then more recently, my husband and I relocated to another country -- a whole new life -- no friends, no family -- and my problems with isolation and agoraphobia reared their heads, and, once again, I found myself reluctant to go out of the house.

That's when my HP lead me to the loops -- and in particular the Isolation and Homebound Loop. There, I have found a new group of friends who can identify with many of my issues and I am already experiencing a large measure of recovery in that regard. I have been learning that it is important to try to reach out to others who are hesitant or who cannot go outside, and in that process, I have been going out much more -- and isolating much less.

So we welcome anyone who can relate to these problems. We are a very small group, so I find that sharing there is much easier than it might be on some of the larger loops for people with issues with isolating. If you feel that you can relate to anything I have talked about here, then please check out this loop . . . it is a safe place to share, and a very warm and welcoming group!

Luv, Lorraine

Mission Statement for Isolation and Homebound:
(A Member of the Recovery Group Community)


As a compulsive eater, you have lived through things many others can't begin to understand. We do. As someone who isolates, you may still be "in the closet" about this. We understand that too. For those of you who find yourselves homebound after a life of achieving, our members can empathize. Most of us have been there and done that.

Through our very private and special place, we offer you solace and peace. We offer you anonymity and safety. No one will be in this group unless they have experienced life as a compulsive eater and as an isolator. We ask each member to introduce themselves and tell their stories upon arrival here ... and newcomers should expect to hear back from some of the most wonderful human beings on Earth.

Isolation and Homebound uses a program based upon the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We belong to a group called Recovery and our mission is not to replace face-to-face meetings, but the reality is that our disorders make that sometimes impossible. We treat the food and weight problem and we acknowledge the isolation issues not as a lack of willpower or a oral defect, but as a disorder that can be arrested.

The 12-step program offers recovery for the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of compulsive eating. This same program offers insight to the need to socially isolate. We are not therapists nor are we a professional diet club. Our organizations does not endorse specific food plans or diets and there are no professionals among us. In our 3D lives, we come from many places and life styles ... but in our recovery home here in cyberspace, we are bonded by the knowledge that, as COEs, we have a problem we did not ask for ... and that we do not want. Our food problem is exacerbated by the shame and anxiety heaped on us as we live our lives isolated from those we love. But we also know deep in our hearts that we will get better.

Our mantra is One Precious Day at a Time. And we affirm to ourselves daily that what we could never do alone, we can together.

If you have the courage to join us, we have the love to keep you here.

To join, send a blank e-mail message to: IsolationandHomebound-subscribe@egroups.com

What we could never do alone We can do together.





~ TOOLS OF RECOVERY ~
Plan of Eating

As a food addict, I need a plan of eating. How can I determine whether I am practicing my addiction unless I have a food plan to guide me? Drug addicts abstain from drug use. Alcoholics abstain from drinking. As a food addict, how can I know whether I am abstaining from MY drug of choice?

By the food plan. By following my food plan, my energies are free to focus on the Steps and Traditions of this program. Without it, I am in the throes of my disease ... obsessing about what to eat, what not to eat, or what I have just put in my mouth ... all the characteristics of a practicing compulsive eater.

I thank my HP for my food plan today.

~Christine S., Deerfield, IL



RELAPSE DANGER ZONES


Exhaustion: You allow yourself to become too tired or you neglect your health. Some compulsive overeaters are prone to work addictions; perhaps they are in a hurry to make up for lost time. Good health and sufficient rest are important. If you feel well, you are more apt to think well. If you feel bad, your thinking may deteriorate. If you feel bad enough, you might begin thinking food couldn't make it worse.

Dishonesty: This begins with a pattern of unnecessary lies and deceit with fellow workers, friends and family. Then we lie to ourselves. This is rationalizing: making excuses for not doing what you do not want to do or for doing what you know you should not do.

Impatience: Things aren't happening fast enough, or others are not doing what they should do or what you want them to do.

Argumentativeness: Arguing small and ridiculous points of view indicates a need to be right. "Why don't you be reasonable and agree with me?" Are you looking for an excuse to binge?

Depression: Deal with unreasonable and unaccountable despair, and talk about it.

Frustration: Things are not going your way. Remember, everything is not going to go just the way you want it.

Self-pity: "Why do these things happen to me? Why must I be a compulsive overeater? People don't appreciate all I do for them."

Cockiness: You have it made! You no longer fear compulsive overeating. You go into slippery situations to prove to others you have no problem. Do this often enough and it will wear down your defenses.

Complacency: "Bingeing was the farthest thing from my mind." You weren't thinking of bingeing, but you weren't thinking of abstaining either. It is dangerous to let up on disciplines because everything is going well. A little fear is a good thing. More relapses occur when things are going well than when they are going badly.

Expecting too much from others: "I've changed. Why hasn't everyone else?" It's an advantage if they do, but it's still your problem if they don't. They may not trust you yet and be looking for more proof. You cannot expect others to change their lifestyles just because you have changed yours.

Letting up on discipline: Your prayer, meditation, daily inventory and OA attendance decrease. This can stem either from complacency or boredom. You cannot afford boredom with your program. The cost of relapse is too great.

Using mood-altering chemicals: You may want to ease your feelings with a pill, and your doctor may go along with you. You may never have had a problem with alcohol or chemicals, but you can easily begin to lose abstinence this way. It's the most subtle way to have a relapse. (Check with your doctor if you are on antidepressants. These are mood-stabilizing, not mood-altering chemicals.)

Wanting too much: Do not set goals you cannot reach with normal effort. Do not expect too much. It's great when things you were not expecting happen. You will get what you are entitled to as long as you do your best-but maybe not when you think you should. "Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want."

Forgetting gratitude: You may be looking negatively at life, concentrating on your remaining problems. It is good to remember where you started from and to realize how much better life is now.

Thinking it can't happen to you. This is dangerous thinking! Almost anything can happen to you and is more likely to happen if you are careless. Remember that you have a progressive disease, and you will be in worse shape if you relapse.

Omnipotence: This feeling results from a combination of many of the above. You now have all the answers for yourself and others. No one can tell you anything. You ignore suggestions or advice from others. Relapse is probably imminent unless drastic change takes place.

- Reprinted from OA's Lifeline, November 2000, Volume 28, No. 11 (Edited and reprinted from The Butterflyer newsletter, Chicago Western Intergroup, March 2000)




RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS
All Meetings US Eastern Time
All IRC meetings on Starchat Channel

All IRC meetings in #Recovery with the exception of the Spanish meetings which are held in #SpanishRecovery and Christian meetings held in #Christian&Recovery
SUNDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Informal
3:00 PM IRC Swedish Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Italian & Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Christian Step
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
MONDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:00 PM IRC Christian Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
TUESDAY:
1:00 AM IRC Nightowls
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:00 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Talk
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
WEDNESDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
THURSDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Recovery
7:00 PM IRC Informal
8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
FRIDAY:
1:00 AM IRC Nightowls
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
10:00 PM IRC Christian Talk
11:00 PM IRC Newcomers
12:00 AM IRC Informal
SATURDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
11:30 PM IRC Spanish OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Talk ~ Informal
7:00 PM IRC Informal
7:00 PM IRC Abuse & Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal


AOL ONLINE MEETING SCHEDULE
All Meetings US Eastern Time
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL
MONDAY
10:30 PM AOL Recovery Chat
TUESDAY
12:00 PM AOL OA Topic
12:00 AM AOL OA Topic
WEDNESDAY
9:30 PM AOL 100 Pounders
THURSDAY
9:00 PM AOL OA Topic
10:30 PM AOL Recovery Chat
FRIDAY
11:00 PM AOL Twelve Steps
SATURDAY
12:00 AM AOL OA Topic


All Recovery meetings held in #Recovery Room on IRC
All Spanish Meetings are held in #SpanishRecovery Room on IRC
All Christian Meetings are held in #Christian&Recovery Room on IRC
All Abuse Meetings are held in #RecoverySafeHaven Room on IRC
All Swedish Meetings are held in #SwedishRecovery Room on IRC
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL
All times Eastern Daylight Time


Meetings Information ~ The Recovery Group
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html
or RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com


To volunteer as a meeting leader or substitute leader, please contact us at
RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com

Meetings Information ~ AOL
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/aolmeetings.html
or HOSTAnRUnity@aol.com
or HOSTAnRTalia@aol.com



~ FROM THE
RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~


I'm so grateful to be in OA today - to have 66 days of abstinence and to have dropped 15 pounds. I had the thought today that we're always so worried about getting "our share" in life (at least I am!!), and the antidote, courtesy of the 12 Steps, is that we get to cheer on other overeaters as they get THEIR share, i.e., abstinence, weight loss and spiritual/emotional recovery!!

I'm thankful that our local OA intergroup held a round-the-clock marathon of meetings today from 10 AM - 10 PM. At the last meeting tonight I spoke about these frozen pies that I'd bought a week ago - how although I didn't have any plans to actually consume them, they were so cheap with the coupons (99 cents each!) that I couldn't NOT buy them, and they were "talking" to me all week from the freezer! This morning I baked them both up and brought them to the friend's house where we were having Thanksgiving dinner, so now they're GONE - and I was thinking about how I hoped that maybe next Thanksgiving (or maybe even by this Christmas?) I wouldn't have to buy those pies just because they were a "bargain" and because that's what I've always done before!!

I'm grateful that because of this program, I don't have to eat the way I used to. I may still feel compelled to "stock up" on foods I have no business monkeying with, but I don't have to eat them. I used to have no choice. But these days I'm getting my needs met through means other than excess food.

I'm so thankful that there are over 100 meetings per week within 30 miles of my home. That there is so much real recovery in the program, right in front of my eyes. That I'm finally willing to get a sponsor, take directions and listen with an open mind. That there is so much support and so many resources online, in the literature, on the phone and in person to help me recover. That so many people show up at meetings and strengthen my desire to stop eating compulsively. That at last I know that the reason I couldn't do it alone for all these years is NOT because I'm defective, stupid or otherwise "bad" - but because I have a disease that tells me I MUST do it alone. The disease is wrong. Thank you all for being there and proving it to me and each other!

Marilyn H.




dakini here, compulsive overeater and addict who's been feeling really grateful this week for an abundance of health and affection. More specifically:

1. for being able to walk places again and enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of nature

2. for the ability to walk up and down stairs normally and no longer needing to take them one step at a time

3. for being able to take regular exercise again, and all the fun of learning how to swim properly and of learning the steps and stances of Tai Chi

4. for the boyfriend my HP sent me - and the healing pleasures of having sex again after 6 years of celibacy

5. for my relationship with my Higher Power and for the way that HP's teachings put all pains and pleasures in perspective ... "good or bad, all things pass." This was my comfort in my worst times of illness and helps me keep some balance now, when the distractions of the physical world are so alluring. with love in recovery,

dakini



Dear God,
Today, I am especially thankful for:

Abstinence
Friends online and f2f
Chat rooms... keep me sane
My new grandson
My 3 granddaughters
My husband, recuperating nicely, thank You
Stores that sell prepared foods
A husband who encourages me to take care of myself
The TeePee I made for the grandkids
OA...Emotions Anon...Al-anon....
And most of all, You, God, for leading me by the hand to places I wouldn't
have had the good sense to go!

Your obedient servant,
Carol



Here's a thanksgiving real story from the life of Ruth:

It was cold today in Minnesota, but not the bone chilling two-digit below zero weather we often have. I had to run to the store and pick up a few things as the stores will be closed tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I will be home alone with myself, not by myself, which is a wonderful distinction I recently learned. I planned to celebrate and have a marvelous day of thanksgiving. I parked far from the store's door as the lot was quite full. As I got closer, I saw a man, dressed in a red apron, jeans, a stocking cap, and a winter coat, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. He was in his 30's, tall, reddish blonde beard and quite good looking. I always wondered how many hours the bell ringers stood outside in all sorts of weather to collect for charity. So I stopped and asked, "Hi, how many hours a day do you do this?" He answered, "Sometimes 8 hours and even sometimes 12 hours," he said. He rambled, speaking slowly, and I began to detect he was slightly retarded. I listened for about five minutes as he told me all about this important job he did, how sometimes drivers unfamiliar with the city couldn't find him, and he would be left there for the next driver's round. I thanked him for doing this special job to help others, and I put $1 in his bucket.

As I shopped, my mind thought about him outside. Ringing that bell, saying thank you to passers-by so many times as they donated. I couldn't stand out in a Minnesota winter for 12 hours at a time and collect money. My knees couldn't take it, and it gets so cold. Wow, what a job! So, as I shopped, I picked up a big package of Christmas cookies made at the store, an almost homemade treat. I asked if they had hot chocolate, but they didn't. I had them bag the cookies separately, telling the checkout kids this was for the bell ringer outside. They looked surprised, then seemed to ponder for a minute. I asked them if they had seen the movie "Pay It Forward," or knew of Random Acts of Kindness? They shook their heads, one yes and one no. They were good kids, and I enjoyed them as I checked out. I think I and many others often don't see people like the bell ringer or appreciate what they give to the world. This person, doing this wonderful job to give to others, a person most likely in need himself, becomes invisible as shoppers pass him going in or out of the store. We see bell ringers every year, and they become a fixture like Christmas decorations. We get so wrapped up in our lives that it's easy to maybe throw some change in the bucket and just walk by. We forget this is a real person.

When I walked outside pushing my cart, I stopped by him and asked, "Do you like cookies?" He smiled a big smile, that kind that comes with a child-like innocence so often seen in those that are disabled, and said "Yes, I do." I handed him the bag of cookies and said, "These are for you." He looked at me, confused, said "thank you" and began to follow me as I pushed my cart toward my car. I stopped and looked at him with a questioning look. He said, "My name is Marvin, what's yours?" I told him my name is Ruth. He said, "I don't know what to say." I told him, "You said it all, Marvin, when you said thanks. And thank you again for doing this very important job you do, you are truly a special man. And have a wonderful holiday!" I then began to walk to my car, looked back, and saw him wave, then turn around and go back to his post. I nearly began to cry, because the gift I got from this man was truly far bigger than the cookies I gave to him. I understood the gift of giving maybe for the first time in my life.

My church recently did a series in which we studied a chapter a week out of Deepak Choprah's book "The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success." Our pastor gave a lesson on the applicable law each week. The second law of spiritual success is The Law of Giving, also known as The Law of Giving and Receiving. Choprah believes "the universe operates through dynamic exchange." He says that "you must give and receive to keep wealth and affluence or anything else you want in your life circulating in your life." To practice the Law of Giving, Choprah recommends that "If you want joy, give joy to others, if you want love, learn to love, want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention and appreciation, material affluence, help others become materially affluent . . . Make a decision to give wherever you go. As long as you are giving you will be receiving." For those of you who wonder how do you know you are giving like this and or giving as codependents, I've asked myself that same question. I was quite confused. But as I grew in recovery, I began to know the difference. In my disease, it seemed that all I did was give and that I was a doormat. I gave so much and hurt so much. How could I give as Deepak Choprah recommended without being codependent? I just didn't understand. But the difference is that I am not giving to get back from that person.

I'm not looking for validation, approval, some sort of response or action. I am not trying to buy or earn love or fix someone's life. My intent is simply to give and go on, to take a minute and recognize another human being on this earth. I am giving from my heart. I am guided to give and feel drawn to give. It is different. It feels different, and I know the difference when I am giving codependently and when I am giving from the heart. Most importantly, I am learning to trust in God for my abundance and not look to others for it, and not to hoard because I am worried I will not have enough. Even though I gave today, I also received wonderful presents, far greater than I gave. The minutes I took to listen to this man tell me of his job, to know that he mattered to someone if just for a minute, the innocent smile and the bit of confusion on his face were the best gifts I've gotten in many years. And best of all, I learned the Law of Giving today, what it really means to receive by giving. I have much to be thankful for on this eve of giving thanks.

Ruth



Dear Friends,

Today Spirit is reminding me to stop and check in and have an attitude of GRATITUDE.

It is funny. I used to circle the parking lots trying to get as close as possible to the door and get a little miffed at rows of empty slots with those little blue signs, and those mommy-to-be signs, and those moms with sick kids signs that Wal Mart now has. But lately, I drive past those slots and give thanks to HP that my kids are healthy, that I don't have a need for a handicapped parking space, and that I can now handle the distance from my car to the store entrance with relative ease. What a difference an attitude of gratitude makes! So tonight's writing will be a small sampling of things I have to be grateful for.

My family's needs are met and exceeded by HP. We have shelter, food, clothing,
transportation and education. These needs are not merely met but are abundantly met.
My husband has a job he enjoys and that takes care of our family.
My children are healthy and happy.
My kitties, who delight me with lap time and sleep with me when Ben is away
My body lets me experience my life, hug my kids, see the sun, feel the wind, taste, hear, touch.
Heater and air conditioner both work.
My Mom is becoming very supportive and I am letting her. We have had great healing
in our relationship.
My willingness to change, to be honest with what is, and to risk
Frozen dinners
My computer
My cyber friends
My f2f friends
Massages
My kids scratching my back for me
My brother is turning into a friend.
My opportunity to go to college
My intelligence
My hair
My hands that do so much
Microwave ovens
The YMCA
The telephone
Trees
Rain
HP listens to me
I listen to HP
I got a sponsor to work with me online while HP gets my new one ready for me.
A warm comfortable bed to sleep in
Indoor plumbing
Washing machines and dryers
Wrinkle resistant fabrics
Remote controls
And more..... May your day be filled with love and abstinence!
Love and Light,

Janet H. in KS


For many years I have lived hidden behind a wall of shame camouflaged behind a wall of COE. Each year, as the abuse continued, my self esteem dwindled a little more. Then one day I woke up and decided life wasn't worth living. I found OA that day by chance. I was listening to the news, and OA was mentioned. Suicide was put aside as I went to the yellow pages to look up this thing called OA. I found it and called, and was sent a meeting list. I went to a meeting. I heard hope and love and kindness in that meeting, as well as identifying with everyone. I discovered I had an illness that was fatal unless I did certain things. Well I knew it was fatal! After all, I had come to the point of wanting to die. So I purchased the BB and the 12 & 12, and received the outstretched hands of others welcoming me home. HOME? I didn't have a home, but all of a sudden I had a wonderful warm home. These wonderful people told me that God could solve everything if I would just seek to have a personal relationship with God and give that God of my understanding my will.

So I started searching all over for this HP. I looked for it in my house, in my family, in my place of worship, in meetings, but couldn't find HP until I looked within. I found God was with me all along, I had just forgotten how to find God, I had ignored God. So I asked God if what these people were telling me was true, that I was loved and worthy of being loved, and I was told yes. Then this God of my understanding took me in His/Her arms and held me. That was the start of true recovery for me - getting back in touch with this wonderful power that was greater than me.

Now I have come eight years down this road and have grown to trust this God of my understanding. It was a slow process, but it brought me here. I am now a participant in this play. I am living a life that is directed by a loving HP. I now have a large family of choice who can provide all the ESH I require, because God is in them too. I am never alone, there is always someone somewhere who is extending a hand to me, or I to them. So fellow COEs, thank you for making this a season of gratitude.

Love and Hugs, J



Dear Loopies,

I am very grateful first of all for my relationship with my HP, and for the Program that has enhanced it.
I am grateful for my two children.
I am grateful for both of my jobs, each of which give me more than money.
I am grateful for my sponsor, and for other loyal friends.
I am grateful for music, which makes any day better.

Blessings,
Donna



I have so many things to be grateful for. First and foremost, I am thankful that I am sober
and abstinent today. Now for my list:

I am thankful for:
-my husband, who is loving and understanding as well as supportive
-my son, whom I love very much
-my beagle, she is a little love bug :-)
-being able to paint
-living in an RV
-being warm vs. freezing up north
-healthy food to eat
-meetings online
-AA meetings
-my most excellent relationship with my father
-my computer
-the ability to share Reiki healing with people
-learning EFT(emotional freedom techniques),
    (which is helping me to go off of the medications I have been living on)
-my parakeet
-that I am NOT Al Gore or George W. Bush :-)
-the freedom to choose what to believe
-not having long term health problems from my previous addictive behaviors
-a nice warm bed with two snuggle bunnies waiting for me (Bobby and Molly Beagle)
-living in America
-not being abused anymore
-being alive to see another day

And last and definitely most importantly:
-My higher power without whom I could have none of these things, who keeps me sober and abstinent one day at a time.

Love and happy thanksgiving to you all,
Steph



I've learned a lot lately. One thing is that when I give my HP more control of me, I get a lot farther down the road of recovery. I love 'hearing' from those who are further along in recovery. It gives me insight as to what it is like to succeed, and I draw into their shadow and get a jump start into my own success. I don't feel alone in my journey. I don't get to go to many f2f meetings, so online talking/listening is important. There used to be a commercial, YOU CAN'T FOOL MOTHER NATURE. Well, we can't fool anyone. I've learned to live ONE DAY AT A TIME, in the now, not in the past or the future, in the now.

May we all get where we are going, one more day down the road.

MICKIE (COE)



It has been suggested we write about the things we are thankful for and the word change keeps rattling around my mind. A long time ago, in a meeting far, far away, a very smart lady told a room full of compulsive slightly large people that we were about to embark on a journey of 12 very simple steps. Each of these steps taken in order would compel us to in some way change or be left alone in our misery. How right she was, and her words are as true today as they were on that cold February night in 1975.

Did they sink in immediately, naw, took some time, about twenty or so years, and still from time to time they are either forgotten or ignored. Even change can be changed until it is changed again. Yesterday's change just might not fit today's needs, and if so must be changed again. The only constants in this process are the 12 steps, along with the Big Book.

Step one insists I admit my weakness over food, people, places, things and situations. An admission that my entire life was headed down the nearest commode. . . . Looking back, this was and is some big change from the attitude of "I shall fear no evil for I am the meanest son of a bitch in the valley." Big change.

Step two: I came to believe in a power greater than me. Read above. I also was asked to believe this power could restore me to sanity. Actually, this was not a big change as I knew I was nuts and was comfortable as such. But more change in just believing. I fought this change thing for years until circumstances forced me to take step three. I found out that God was alive and well and He was not me. Surrender, ugh!! Big, big nasty change.

Do it or die, said my not too gentle sponsor, it's time to, yep, you guessed it, change. This is what I'm thankful for on this eve of my favorite holiday. Change.

Yes I'm grateful for family, friends, loopies, newcomers, even the folks I dislike. I'm grateful for being alive for one more glorious day, for the love all of you display for each other every day. I am grateful for life which happens to be full of, yep, change.

AND WHY NOT.... Danny



These are the things I am grateful for:

Three friends with whom I can laugh.
An extraordinary platonic friendship with a man I respect a lot.
My dog, who has taught me everything I know about love.
My three cats, who love me unconditionally.
These loops, and all of you wonderful people, with whom I can share all the stuff I've kept stuffed down with food and other compulsive behaviors.
A cold, sunny morning.
A break from work.
Having enough.
My sisters, who are always there for me.
The program, and a strong belief in the HP of my understanding.
My new therapist, and my new therapy group.
My former therapist, who saved my live.
Again, and again, and again, my dog.

Love, S.



~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~

Twelfth Step Prayer

Dear God,

My spiritual awakening continues to unfold. The help I have received I shall pass on and give to others, both in and out of the Fellowship. For this opportunity I am grateful.

I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day on the road of spiritual progress. I pray for the inner strength and wisdom to practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say. I need You, my friends and the program every hour of every day. This is a better way to live.






~ A CALL TO ACTION:
RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~



Hi Serendipity readers!

As you know, one of the best ways to keep your recovery is to give it away. Well, here's your chance to give away some of your experience, strength and hope to fellow compulsive eaters worldwide.

The Recovery Group is writing our very own meditations book, called "One Day At A Time," and we need your help. We're looking for submissions for the book. You don't have to be a great author to participate, so don't let that stop you! In case you haven't seen what we've gotten so far, check it out on the Web at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/meditations/index.html

It's very simple. Here's what to include in your submission:

1. A quote and who said it.
2. Your own ESH concerning the quote. Please try to keep it between 150 and 300 words.
3. A brief meditation beginning with the words "One day at a time..." relating to the quote and your ESH.
4. Let us know whether you want your first name and last initial, just your initials, or "anonymous" used at the end of your piece.
5. Send your submission to the Recovery Meditations committee for evaluation at recoverymeditations@egroups.com

We'll edit only for length and clarity, keeping the spirit of your submission intact. All work becomes the property of the Recovery Group and may be used in the book, on our website, or both.

Speaking of the book, we're also looking for a publisher, so if you're in the publishing business (or happen to know one who'd be willing to work with us) please contact us at the above address.

Thank you, and remember, you may not think you have anything important to say, but your ESH could save the life of a fellow compulsive eater.

Love in recovery,
Recovery Meditations Committee




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 ~ overeatr@technet.nm.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



Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Meetings ~ RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com ~ Anne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ sophie@coiinc.com ~ Cate
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ hopeful@teleport.net ~ Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ bingebuster@hotmail.com ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com ~ Cindy
Recovery Group Administrator ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari
Recovery Group Founder & List Owner ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari


"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."
~ Mari, Recovery Group Founder ~


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.


Closing Prayer

I reach out to you in cyberspace,
Joining heart to heart,
Feeling here your presence,
Though we're miles apart.

We've found love and understanding
Which no food could ever fill,
As we seek to find recovery,
Day by day in HP's will.

To our keyboards and computers
We are sending blessings, too.
And we thank our Higher Power,
As the miracles come through.

Our phone lines are all singing
With the joy and strength we share.
Not alone now, but together,
As we're closing with our prayer.

God grant us faith and freedom,
Breaking bonds of self-will and fear,
And to those who still suffer,
An open door to find us here.

Amen.

-- Lynne



BACK
EMAIL US
RECOVERY HOME
THE TWELVE STEPS
RECOVERY SITE MAP
ONLINE MEETING LIST
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
SPECIAL INTEREST LOOPS
THE TWELVE TRADITIONS
LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS


Disclaimer


TheRecovery 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

© Copyright 1999-2000 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.