A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


December 2001
Volume 3, Issue 12



Please send Letters to the Editor to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroup.com

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
Founders Corner
From Our Administrators
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Danny's Corner
Tools of Recovery
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer



~ FROM OUR EDITOR ~

Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the December edition of Serendipity!

I am delighted to say that, with this issue, we begin our third year of publishing a newsletter of The Recovery Group. Serendipity was TRG founder Mari's brainchild. In the autumn of 1999, she decided it was time that The Recovery Group had its own newsletter, and tasked Anne S. and Cheryl to come up with ideas -- I volunteered to "help." The four of us spent a lot of time coming up with the format, and it has changed little in the past two years. Our first issue was published on December 1, 1999, and we have never looked back! I am so very grateful to all of you who have contributed to making this newsletter a success. Without your help, we could not have completed 24 months of carrying the word to other compulsive eaters around the world through this wonderful newsletter.

In this edition of Serendipity, Mari talks about Serendipity's first two years and gives way too much credit to its editor! Cate, writing for TRG's Administrators, celebrates Serendipity's anniversary and each of you who have contributed to its success, and also reminds us of the five rules of netiquette. Our loop spotlight of the month is Big Book and Recovery, which is a loop for those who want to study the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in depth. We have included an invitation to participate in the wonderful Meditations Project, and encourage all of you to contribute at least one meditation to this wonderful project. Next comes Letters to the Editor, and we are fortunate to have one letter to share with you this month. In Danny's Corner, in his conversation with God, Danny writes about resentments and our choice to resent or not to resent. Then, in the Tools of Recovery, an article reprinted from the August 2001 Lifeline talks about that one more meeting on the road to a miracle!

In a special anniversary edition of shares from TRG members, Mickie shares a tribute to the Relapse and Recovery loop, Loretta M. shares on her recovery, Addy in Canada writes of "serenity of the mind, simplicity of the heart, tranquility of soul," Nola writes of thanksgiving, Marlene shares a wonderful poem on a Christmas candle and wishes our Christian members a joyous holiday, John shares a tribute to The Recovery Group, Marlene again shares on Santa and his compulsive eating and the meaning she finds in the reindeer, and Nola shares with us her translation of the Serenity Prayer. Thank you all for contributing to what is a very special edition of Serendipity!

In the Literature section, we conclude our 12 months of The Promises from the Big Book, as well as an inspirational Step Twelve from Reflections on the Twelve Steps of Recovery. This month's edition ends with directions to on-line meetings and a current list of the meetings, as well as contact information for the latest changes to the meetings list, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer.

I am so very grateful to Mari for her concept, for her support month after month in getting this newsletter out, and for her design of the wonderful web site. I am also grateful to the administrators for their monthly participation, to Danny for his wonderful conversations with God, to Anne and Cheryl for all their help in launching Serendipity, to Marty for getting the newsletter translated for the web site each month, and of course to Gary for getting Serendipity up on the web. I also want to thank all of you who have contributed your shares, because without you we would not have a newsletter! So keep those shares coming - send them to
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroups.com. As I said last month, we have thousands of members with so much ESH to share - if each of you would send just one share, on a topic of your choice, we would have enough ESH to last for a long time to come!

Peace, my dear friends.

Love in recovery,
Suzanne, Editor
SERENDIPITY



SERENDIPITY SUBSCRIPTIONS



~ FOUNDERS CORNER ~


A TRIBUTE TO SOMEONE SPECIAL

Dear Recovery Friends,

I look on Serendipity as something of a miracle. Two years ago when we were discussing having a little newsletter, I wasn't sure we had enough month after month to sustain it. Putting out something of quality with article after article of inspiration, support and recovery shares is no easy task.

Little did I know then that one of the most tenacious young women I've ever run across would be the driving force behind Serendipity .... and that this issue you are now reading is the 25th she has so carefully nurtured each month and wrapped up and presented to us as a gift.

I want to present a tribute from all of us to Suzanne, the Editor of Serendipity. In addition to being one of the best writers I've ever known, a compassionate human being, a loyal Trusted Servant, an animal devotee, she is an attorney by profession and the personification of the kind of woman I admire so much.

It is simply mind boggling how this one person can find the material, do the editing and format the newsletter in such a way that it is timely enough to be sent out monthly to all of us yet timeless enough so that each issue put on our website will be as fresh ten years from now as it is today.

I've always heard that when you want someone to do something right, find a busy person. Suzanne is that ... yet I have never heard her even once make an excuse for not doing her job. She works full time in a challenging career, is Coordinator of a Recovery Loop, Co-Editor of Recovery Meditations, and just recently she wrote me to see if it would be "okay to continue her service for yet another year as Editor of Serendipity?" That was an absolute first! I've never had anyone ever ask ME if they could continue a job and I smiled all day long.

Congratulations to Suzanne for the extraordinary job she has done for two years ..... and Happy Birthday, Serendipity.

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




~ FROM OUR ADMINISTRATORS ~

Dear Friends in Recovery ~

We celebrate with each of you as we complete the second year of our TRG newsletter, Serendipity. The idea of a newsletter began with one person, and grew into a reality which includes and reaches far and wide. It is with gratitude and wonder that we remember the many people who have contributed in this sharing of recovery which reaches so many people across our globe.

Most of us have become more aware of the unrest in our world in recent months. Here in The Recovery Group, we come together to simply share the miracle of recovery. With our many participants and Trusted Servants, we gather to focus on the sharing of our E.S.H. and to freely pass along what have been so generously shared with each of us. With the steps as a personal guide for each individual, and the traditions as the guide to our group experience, we are able to share recovery without the influence and effects of outside issues.

We have recently received a simple 5 step guideline to effective loop sharing which we would like to pass along to you today.

FIVE RULES OF NETIQUETTE

  1. As a courtesy to those who like to print shares, please delete the original message before sending the new one.
  2. Change the subject line to reflect what you are sharing about.
  3. Send personal shares to the person's personal e-mail, not to the whole loop.
  4. It is hurtful (no matter how well intended) to copy a person's share and send it back to the loop with admonishments. We always want to put principles before personalities and treat others as we want to be treated.
  5. At no time is it appropriate to share with someone off the loop what has been shared on the loop. Please write to the person and ask permission and then remove any personal addresses or names. We respect each other's anonymity not matter whether it is in a f2f meeting or on the web.
We hope this will be helpful to you as you continue to participate in the your loop(s).

We would also like to extend a special note of thanks to all who have contributed to the success of Serendipity. We hope that each of you have enjoyed sharing your recovery in service to others through Serendipity. It is a beautiful example of many people reaching out to others through their sharing and service.

In Recovery ~
The Recovery Group Administrators ~ Cate, John, and Patt
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org




~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT ~


~ Big Book and Recovery ~

The mission of the Big Book and Recovery Loop is:

  • To read the Big Book section by section, through the eyes of a COE. For instance, the word alcoholic will be changed to the words Compulsive Eater ... the word alcohol to food.
  • To gain from the experience, strength, and hope (ESH) of the AA founders ... ESH that is used today, in our existing fellowships
  • To explore the evolution the Big Book's spiritual foundation that was developed and used by the founders..... and by people in recovery today.
  • To learn the answers to questions such as what are spiritual tools? how does this apply to my addiction? how do I work these Big Book ideas into my recovery journey?
We hope to bring the Big Book to you as Compulsive Eaters, so you may explore the endless spiritual, mental, and physical tools contained within this Big, Blue Book.

The path is endless. The Journey is worth it.

To Join, send a blank e-mail to:
BigBookandRecovery@yahoogroups.com or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bigbookandrecovery/join.




~ DANNY'S CORNER ~

~ To Resent or Not to Resent ~

Dear God,

I'm angry this morning and went to my bed angry last night. I am not responsible for other people's actions nor their mindset, only my reaction to them. By the way, good morning, and thanks for another day to do with as You will it. I may at times be cranky, may even revert to my old ways of lying, stealing and cheating. I am, however, truly grateful for this life I have been given. The reason for my anger is unimportant. What is important is what I choose to do with same. That, my God, is why that anger is coming to lay at Your feet, my present for You, just for today.

There is that old question again, "How important is it?" The act that prompted my anger is really not important, however, the reason for it is. Here is the difficult part, I have absolutely no way of changing the attitude of another person. BINGO!!!!! So do I sit and erect the foundation of a wonderful resentment, one which I could and would eventually eat over, or just say my favorite word and go on with being happy, joyous and free?

Hmmm. The woman You sent to run my life continues to spend money on junk for the house and insists on stuff for me that I would never buy or use. Now You know if I don't make a fuss over this junk her feelings will be hurt. Yes, I know, make a fuss. In a short while I'm to wake her so she can pick up her gang to do the shopping thing and she will be gone all day. Three generations of females turned loose on the outlet stores, where for some unknown reason they think they are saving money. The way to save money is to bank it, not spend it. Geez, even I know that much. They will be out of my hair, and my football games will be more enjoyable without the constant interruptions. Thanks.

I'm not as angry as when we started here so at least the stress of anger is lessening. I really need to let go of things I cannot change, which comprises about 99.99% of my life. Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance. NOW!!!! There is some battle raging in me, and, to be sure, if I have my way the fight that ensues will cause much damage. It is not worth it, so where then shall I place this crap? Once again, at Your feet, realizing this may be a process to be repeated many times this day. So be it, I accept, don't like it, but do accept and will not start a war over it. WHEW!!! Sometimes it is not easy being me, especially when the focus of my anger is going about doing just fine. Well, You handle it and allow me the wisdom to shut up and seek the knowledge of and power to do Your will. Watch over the ladies today as they drive my new car, as well as the family, friends, fellow loopies, those who still sit in anger and those I just don't like.

AND WHY NOT......
Danny





~ TOOLS OF RECOVERY ~
Just One More Meeting


Because of a schedule change, I went to a different meeting this week. During the day at work, I thought a number of times: "Maybe I'll be too tired at the end of the day. Maybe I should go home. What can I get out of just one more meeting?" But I decided not to pass up the opportunity and headed off to the meeting after work.

The topic was fellowship. Several people I knew well were there, as were a couple of newcomers. One OA friend had returned after dropping out of the program for many years. One of the newcomers was a man. Men are scarce in OA in my area. We talked about his program questions after the meeting, and I gave him my e-mail address. We have exchanged a few messages since then.

It's amazing how HP works in my life. Here I was thinking, "What can I get out of just one more meeting?" What I got was fellowship, encouragement and the opportunity to work with a male newcomer. It shows me again that if I am willing to reach out to others, my Higher Power has wonderful things waiting for me. Thanks, HP!

Reprinted from Lifeline, August 2001, Volume 29, No. 8 (K.G., Goshen, Indiana USA)





~ SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF SHARES FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~


Tribute to Relapse and Recovery Loop

I am currently a member of several groups but my most important one is relapse and recovery. I went off the deep end a few months ago and I have not been able to recover enough to get much under my belt. If it weren't for this group, I would be worse off. They let me share and care and since it is a relapse section I don't feel alone. I have a great respect for those who have a solid recovery but until I get one, I have a place I can call home as they share and care for each other. Thanks for letting me comment on my recovery.

Mickie of microger@yahoo.com



Share on My Recovery

When I read Suzanne's request for sharing my first thought was "I hope someone responds." My second thought (ok, maybe my 3rd or 4th thought) was why don't I share on my recovery?

My first O.A. meeting was in January 1996. January - a new year - a new weight loss method. Would this one be any different from the many other methods I had tried? I didn't know, but I did know I was exhausted from a seemingly endless series of diets. I had thirty years of up and down weight gains, daily weighing, bingeing and starving. This had taken a toll on my mental, physical and emotional health. I knew all the methods to shed excess pounds. Keeping the weight off was another subject. I didn't have a clue as to why I always regained every pound, plus a few more.

My first meeting was frightening, overwhelming, and yet rewarding. I heard stories just like my own. Imagine sitting in a group and learning that there are other individuals who couldn't stop eating. One bite of a particular binge item often leads to days and days of bingeing. But the individuals talking had found a solution to their problem. Their solution was the recovery that could be obtained in O.A.

I have to admit my first year was a tough one. I would attend two or three meetings and then go weeks without attending. I regained all the weight I had lost prior to O.A, (on a diet that nearly destroy my health). But I didn't give up. I knew I couldn't face another diet, but I still hadn't obtained abstinence. I wasn't one of the lucky ones who discover immediate abstinence. But being somewhat stubborn, I knew I couldn't quit. Besides, what choice did I have? Another diet. No, I just couldn't face the dieting merry-go-round.

By my second year I started doing service. As literature person I had to be at my Monday evening meeting. I found a food plan that fit my life style and started seriously working the Steps.

Now, several years later, I'm abstinent, I have a 30 pound weight loss and wear the same size month after month after month. In fact, I have just one size of clothes in my closet. Prior to this program I had at least 3 or 4 different sizes - clothes for whatever weight I was at that moment.

The weight loss is important to me - but my emotional recovery is even greater than the physical recovery. I enjoy my life. I don't have to have "control." I don't lose my temper, throw things or slam doors. I don't have to be right every time. I admit my mistakes and make amends as needed.

I've always considered myself a spiritual person, but find I have a much closer contact with my Higher Power since my recovery. Prayers and mediations are an important aspect of my recovery.

I'm thankful I have a sponsor who understands me, helps me maintain my abstinence and continues to encourage my growth and recovery.

I'm grateful I found this program and I'm especially grateful I didn't give up before the miracle of recovery happened.

Loretta M.
Oceanside, CA




Peace be with you!

"Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with Serenity."
Big Book at page 68

When in my disease, I'd wish someone peace. But it was limited, because in effect it was only a temporary cessation of hostilities on my part ... until I forgave someone who hurt me. Carrying a resentment, I was dishonest, unloving and selfish ... soul poisoned.

Some spiritual masters in the world documented their definitions of peace. Augustine said peace to him meant "serenity of the mind, simplicity of the heart, tranquility of soul."

I suffer loss of serenity of mind when I exaggerate my fears and worry with future-based anxiety. Someone once told me that 80% of the things I worry about never happen, and 15% of the misfortunes I worry about don't take place as seriously as I expected. So my fret and worry blocked me from achieving peace of mind ... and blocked me from trusting God.

When I lose "simplicity of heart," I let my emotions run wild with anger or envy, allowing negative energy to take over rather than the peace I so crave. When I return to "simplicity of heart," I feel content, and I can focus on what I need rather than what I want. I know God meets this need if I do the footwork recovery suggests I do.

Without envy, I'm satisfied with what I have and quit looking over the back fence of others, coveting what they have. I can see the beauty of what lies at my feet ... Mother Earth, for example. I can remember all that we have is but temporarily borrowed from God, and can avoid so much external focusing.

When I feel "tranquility of soul," my life is not spiritually messy but connected. I lose this when I allow the "ism" or disease itself to take over and I'm feeling shamed or guilty or blame others, or when I forget to thank God that I can breathe and see, no matter where my life is at. Daily action of Step 10 helps me restore tranquility through honesty and humility. When I can honestly look at what part I played in my life, change what I can, make amends if needed, and let God take the rest, peace is restored.

I once heard a theologian say that spiritual peace is a meaningful relationship with God resulting from forgiveness, reconciliation, and union. Just for today, God, I am peaceful with You, not the peace I think the external world and its goods -- including excess food -- gives. And I will wish others peace as well.

Today the world is threatened for its peace as we know it in the free world.
Today, our members suffer with those who suffer.
Today we remember those who have given their lives, some through a valiant struggle to save others.
Today we mourn.
Today we beg God to give us peace!
Today and always we pray in our own way to our God.
Today we ask God to restore us to sanity.

In our own way, in faith or belief, some of us celebrate days of peace and light in December. May I wish all of you, my brothers and sisters in recovery, peace of the Spirit of the Universe at this time!

In Harmony .. Addy in Canada





Thanksgiving

As I sit here on Thanksgiving morning, I want to think about all the gifts I've been given in this program. It seems only fitting that I take time today to give thanks...

  • for friends with whom I can truly connect on a very deep and intimate level.
  • for friends who can understand me and how I feel.
  • for acceptance of myself and others. (Most of the time!)
  • for understanding and the ability to "live and let live" without judgment. (Most of the time!)
  • for a now closeness I feel with my husband and children.
  • for being able to stay in the moment and enjoy what each moment has to offer. (Most of the time!)
  • for a connection with a Higher Power which I'd been searching for for years.
  • for hope.
  • for knowledge of this disease and what it can do to me.
For today, I am living in the solution and not focusing on the problem.

Thank you for letting me share,
Nola





Christmas Candle

Often at Christmas we see candles burning or Christmas lights, and this next poem is one I wrote which was inspired by candles burning one night last Christmas. It got me to thinking how one candle lit can make a difference, but the more lives that candle flame affects, the more diference it can make. We are like that candle. Alone, a candle flickers and can die. But TOGETHER we are making a real difference to the world, to each other and ourselves.

I came to OA huge and desperate, in total despair, near to suicide. Finding no meeting in our area, I started one, helped by the OA literature and the Big Book. After doing PI, I founded the first f2f group in our town and it is still florishing. My latest venture is founding the new group based in our town of 'OA to Go' ... I am the contact, and if someone needs a meeting and can't get to one (more remote in England, you see) they can ring me up and a team of volunteers and I will go and take a meeting to the loner, a sick person, or someone who is housebound or with no transport, wherever they are (within reason).

I also coordinate a couple of loops and work with others on them, as well as sponsoring and being sponsored.

So someone lit my 'flame' and my HP gave me the spiritual power I needed to pass it on.

One day at a time we make a difference!

A flame burns within my heart
Lit by my God
>From HP'S own Own Glorious Flame.
A burning, living reminder
That my HP is part of me
As I am ever part of my HP.

As my flame burns brightly
It combines with the light of other OA's
Shining splendidly
Glowing a hundred-fold
Making clearer all that otherwise would
Be in darkness.

Christmas is a time to renew
My faith in this belief
We are all essential to one another
Because of each light of awareness
Another will see more clearly
And be guided more surely.

For it is my HP'S promise
Made just for me
At this special time of Christmas
That NONE need walk alone
Or in darkness.

My heart is uplifted in realization
I cry joyfully at the thrill
And expectation
Of a Happy Christmas.

I glory with my God
That mine is with me as yours is with you
And all around us
Forever.

Written and sent with love by Marlene
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!





The Recovery Group

Since joining The Recovery Group online in October 2000, I have experienced a great deal of support and improved recovery.

There are two small face to face meetings in my town, and I need more support than I can get there. I have found a sponsor through The Recovery Group who listens to me unconditionally. I wanted a male sponsor, which wasn't available where I live, and I found that here.

I have people to chat with online, which is great, because making phone calls to the women where I live is not OK by their husbands or my wife!

So The Recovery Group has been a lifeline for me. I have come through emotional distress around the loss of a full time job due to burnout, and the constant support in the group has been a lifesaver for me. I have gotten abstinence back after years of relapse, and I am two months without overeating as I write.

I wish to say many thanks to the people who volunteer their time to help run all the functions of The Recovery Group!

John





My name is Santa and I am a Compulsive Eater

I don't suppose this will come as any surprise to anyone, especially when you consider all those mince pies I eat my way through every Christmas Eve. But what is a real give-away, I guess, are my reindeer. Let me tell you a bit about them:

  • There is Dasher - He's always dashing about on Christmas Eve, eating on the run and under stress.
  • Then there is Dancer - He reminds me of the one thing I can't do very well. All that fat wobbling about. It's uncomfortable and I feel everyone is looking at me. I really wish I had joined OA earlier.
  • Prancer - Reminds me to hold my head up "prancing about." But I have to watch that people pleasing with all those gifts people "want" on their wish list.
  • And Vixen - Reminds me of this cunning and baffling disease of compulsive eating.
  • And Comet - The blinding light of each spiritual awakening.
  • Donner (German for "Thunder") - The booming thundering inner voice that told me I was totally powerless.
  • And lastly Blitzen (German for "lightening") - And the streak of lightening that lit up my inner spiritual awareness as I found I had finally come home.
The first four reindeer are earth-oriented and remind me to keep my feet firmly on the ground as I work this program. The last four reindeer are sky-oriented and tell me that while my body is earthbound, my spiritual self can soar to unknown heights. Written by Marlene (so Santa's anonymity hasn't really been compromised - in case you were worried). May you have a joy-filled abstinent Christmas. YOU have given my life meaning, and have given me a life worth living. Thank YOU!

Much love, and in fellowship - Marlene





The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity....

    Peace
To accept the things I cannot change....
    I am an addict. I don't understand it. I don't get it. Help me to accept it without understanding it. Help me to stop analyzing it. Help me to believe it and not deny it. Help me to remember it.
The courage to change the things I can....
    My attitude, the food I put in my mouth, the choices I make.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen.

Nola





~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~


The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous


We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity.
And we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain insight in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook will change.
Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.





~ Reflections on The Twelve Steps of Recovery ~

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

~~THE 12th STEP~~

The Twelve Steps of Recovery

As I mentioned to you above, for the past twelve days, I have been writing about the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous. Each day and each step have been thought provoking. But it is today's step -- that twelfth step -- that I now take and that I will take each and every day of my life... it is the step I feel that has given me my life's purpose.

The first two decades of my life were spent growing up in the deep South where I was the oldest of three children. I was very different from my brothers and often I wondered if I had been adopted. I never really felt I "fit in" with my family, and my two little brothers and I were really never close. Both my parents were alcoholic and, as a result, our family was very dysfunctional. I didn't, of course, know it at the time. None of us do when we're living in the middle of it. We think *everyone* lives the way we do.

The manifestations of my parents' disease of alcoholism affected my entire life .... it still does. The very smell of alcohol now brings back memories I'd like not to have. Things happened in my childhood that I have blocked out and that only resurfaced in therapy a few times when my therapist would regress me and I would "let them out." But, despite my family, my childhood was rather extraordinary because of a gift I had been given and which set me apart from, not only my family, but just about everyone else.

The gift was that of music. I was called a child prodigy. And my instrument was the piano. I began giving little concerts and recitals and my world became wall-to-wall music. Little Mari became a "special child" ... she basked in the attention and she felt like Shirley Temple! Little Mari also lost her identity in the process. I became someone my parents "displayed"... as did my teachers... and even my friends.

I was fortunate, I suppose, in that I did not have a problem with weight as a child or as a teenager or young adult. All of the predispositions seemed to be buried somewhere. The disease was there .... and as I so often say .... doing push-ups just waiting for the time to emerge ... but it lay dormant during those years. My life was music. Church five times on Sunday and all during the week .... playing for everything including all the weddings and funerals, playing for dancing school and ballet classes, practicing constantly for recitals and concerts, accompanying others ... so many things. Somewhere along the way .... I lost my childhood. The keyboard took it. And my parents became known as "Mari's Mom and Dad" and my two little brothers as Mari's brothers. My two brothers felt left out ... ordinary. I was resented. My parents forgot that I was a little girl ... they forgot that I was their teen-age daughter .... and when I left home .... they pretty well forgot me. By then it was ..... where did you play this week? How much money did you make? Did you win that scholarship? How many students are you teaching now? When in God's name were they ever going to ask about ME.

I married, had children .... the wall-to-wall music continued. No longer a prodigy, not pursuing everyone's dream for me to become a world famous concert pianist ... I felt I had let everyone down. So I continued to practice and teach and give recitals and concerts and supplemented that with all the things women did in the 70s. Raising their children ... being good wives ..... having a pretty home .... entertaining ...... and, for me, the never-ending, never even slowing down, totally and completely absorbing life of music.

It was at this stage that the disease, once dormant, began rearing its ugly head. I stuffed every anxiety, every shred of guilt, every bit of anger I had ever felt, anesthetizing my once 125 pound body with food. I had taken a respite from the music before I married and became an airline stewardess, trying to claim a different identity, and when my weight began ballooning, I would each day go look at my navy blue David Crystal designed stewardess uniform and see my body going from slim to grotesque .... and I died each and every day a little bit.

Most of us who are victims of compulsive overeating are long-timers. The weight gain plateaus ... we take it off ... it plateaus again at a higher level ... we take it off ... we begin a life of yo-yo dieting ... and we say "Okay, life ... this is ME. This is the way it will always be." And we do our jobs, raise our children, take care of hubby and home, and when we go into our bathroom to take our showers and look in our mirrors at what we have become, we try to cry but the tears won't come because we are all cried out and we no longer feel.

I began my plunge into that deep dark place called depression. I functioned .... I HAD to function. I had children. But I was a non-person. A person without the slightest bit of hope left. Hopeless was an understatement. Hopelessness was something I lived with day after day. I had reached my absolute bottom. In this beautiful world of mine with beautiful people and beautiful things ...... I was desolate. Withdrawn. My feelings were locked tight. No one .... absolutely NO ONE was going to be allowed to enter this place where I resided 24 hours a day. This place called ME.

God intervened.

It was raining. Hot. I was alone. I was staring into cyberspace via a new computer. It was three years ago. Summertime. I was clicking my mouse randomly from one place to another. Hopeless women do not look for miracles on computers. Depressives do not surf the net looking for recovery. I was NOT looking for hope. Or recovery. I ran across a man named Richard who introduced me by e-mail to an angel named Billie who introduced me to 37 other people in a place called simply "the loop." I call it my "loving loop." It was here that God gave me the first miracle. HOPE. The second miracle UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE. The third miracle LOVE. The fourth miracle FEELINGS. The fifth miracle SPIRITUALITY. The sixth miracle RELEASING 100 POUNDS. The seventh miracle PRECIOUS FRIENDS. The eighth miracle MY LIFE BACK. And there have been so many other miracles since. I learned to cry. I learned to feel love. To be loved. I learned what joy felt like.

Music Mari is now just plain Mari .... Would someone like a seven foot Steinway sitting in my studio that I don't need anymore?

And I still have my airline stewardess uniform with it golden wings hanging in my closet.

I have just, by writing this letter and sending it to you, completed yet another 12th Step!

And I will continue until the day I die to carry "this message of my personal ESH to compulsive overeaters" any and everywhere I can find them. I hope to live my life, not proselytizing about the miracles of recovery .... but by "practicing these principles in all my affairs."

I hope this helps some of you who have not found hope in some way. I hope perhaps some of you will understand a little better now what this loop means to me .... and why I want it to stay a recovery loop and not a recess. I hope you can understand that this was the place, where, when there was no place else for me to go, I came. And it was the place that took me in ...... unconditionally accepted me .... loved me warts and all ..... and introduced me to the miracles of the 12 steps ... and to OA ... and to recovery.

Dear God,
Help me to carry
the message to those
who need to hear it ...
as I needed to hear it ...
and as I now do.
Finally!






We invite all of you to attend our online meetings. We have many dedicated meeting leaders and we have several meetings each day. The simplest way to enter the #Recovery Room is to go to: http://www.starchat.net/recovery. Be patient! It takes several minutes for the page to download because of the chat software (called an applet). If a screen comes up asking you if you want to accept the Java Link, click YES. (Not all computers get this message.)

  • -- On the Nick Name line, type in a nickname you want to use, or your first name. (Just type right over the word "Recovery" )
  • -- Click on the Connect button at the bottom.
  • -- Wait a few minutes without doing anything, and you go right into our chatroom. Type on the line across the bottom and hit enter (or return) to send what you wrote to the chat room.
There are other ways to enter the room depending on your server....so go to this page and you will see the instructions: http://www.therecoverygroup.org/support/meetings.html

Here is a copy of our latest Meeting Schedule:



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
MONDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC Christian & Recovery
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Big Book Study
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
TUESDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Humbly Asking God to Remove Our Character Defects
7:00 PM IRC Step Meeting
8:00 PM IRC #Christian&Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
WEDNESDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC #CCA
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC #CCA
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
THURSDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC #Christian&Recovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
FRIDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC #Christian&Recovery
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Step Meeting
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC Newcomers
SATURDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
10:30 AM IRC OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Talk
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic-Leader Needed!
SUNDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
11:30 AM IRC #CCA
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:30 PM IRC #ItalianRecovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic-Leader Needed!


AOL ONLINE MEETING SCHEDULE
All Meetings US Eastern Time
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL
(A & R Forum)
MONDAY
1:00 PM AOL How It Works
9:00 PM AOL Open Topic
10:30 PM AOL Recovery Chat
TUESDAY
12:00 PM AOL OA Topic
10:00 PM AOL Relapse & Recovery
11:59 PM AOL OA Topic
WEDNESDAY
9:30 PM AOL 100 Pounders
THURSDAY
9:00 PM AOL OA Topic
10:30 PM AOL Recovery Chat
FRIDAY
8:00 PM AOL Beginners/Step One Study
11:00 PM AOL 12 Step
SATURDAY
8:00 PM AOL OA Topic
11:59 PM AOL OA Topic
SUNDAY
3:00 PM AOL Anorexic/Bulimia
9:00 PM AOL How It Works


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 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 RMTalia@aol.com




~ 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/
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
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Sponsor Directory ~ sarkar@cableonda.net ~ Maureen
Telephone Angel Directory ~ jlevine19@nyc.rr.com ~ Jessica
IM Directory ~ a_birkhead@hotmail.com ~ Andy
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@egroups.com ~ John, Cate and Patt
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.




BACK
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LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS


Disclaimer


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

© Copyright 2001 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.