A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

December 2002
Volume 4, Issue 12

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


Founders Corner
From the Administrators
From the ODAT Committee
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Recovery Meditations Calendar
Danny's Corner
The Golden Key
From the Recovery Group Members
Rozanne ~ How OA Began
From the Recovery Meeting Coordinator
Twelve Tips for Successful Meetings
From the Literature
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer


Dear Recovery Members ~

Welcome to the December edition of Serendipity! It's that time of year again that arouses so many emotions in all of us. The Trusted Servants of the Recovery Group want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a safe, abstinent and wonderful holiday and are grateful that you have chosen to be here working your recovery program in our community.

Please remember that if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to see addressed in future months of Serendipity, e-mail us with your suggestions. Or better still, volunteer to write or send an article.

Love in recovery,
The Recovery and ODAT Administrators
The Trusted Servants of the Recovery Loops



Dear Recovery Friends,

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year but it is not without its pitfalls. It's the time of year when the past revisits us and memories seem most poignant. It is also the time of year when many of our members have told me when they lose their abstinence. It is also the time when many members accept this beautiful gift and spend the next year in that wonderful state.

For my message to you this holiday .... I'd like to share with you some teachings of Emmet Fox. Emmet Fox was a metaphysician who enjoyed a very large following, mainly during the 1930's. As you will discover as you read his words, he was a man ahead of his time. It is interesting to me that Mr. Fox would draw tens of thousands of people to his lectures yet is relatively unknown today.

Some of Emmet Fox's teachings were published in a book called "The Golden Key."
Elsewhere in this issue of Serendipity you will find this article.

May you be with those you love during the holidays. And, if you can't ... may you feel their love.

Love in recovery,


Dear Members of The Recovery Group,

As we all prepare to welcome a new year, we find it fitting to pause for a moment of gratitude for all who make up our online recovery community.

  • We would like to thank every member of The Recovery Group for being a part of this online group to help those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating.

  • We want to extend our deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks to all of our trusted servants for their loyalty and dedication to The Recovery Group. Because of your willingness to serve we are able to continue to support and encourage all those who come here with the desire to recover.

  • To all the loop members, we cannot thank you enough for sharing your hearts out to others in this fellowship.

  • To all members who attend our online meetings we are grateful that you show up and share your experience, strength and hope with other members who come.

  • To all the newcomers we hope that you have found the love and understanding that another compulsive eater can offer those who still suffer from this disease. We are grateful you are here!

  • Thanks to our founder, Mari, whose hard work and dedication, continues to keep The Recovery Group available to all those who desire to stop eating compulsively.

  • And finally, we are thankful for the wonderful gifts of this proven, workable method, also known as the 12 Steps of Recovery, that work for all those who are willing to take them.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve each of you and wish you all the Love and Joy that recovery brings into our lives.

Cate, John and Patt
TRG Administration Team



Dear ODAT/TRG Members,

The ODAT loops have been peacefully doing what they do best ... providing a safe place for recovery with a special/specific emphasis. Overall, the loops are growing. Some, of course, have many letters a day while others are more quiet.

If you're not aware of the loops geared to a particular area of recovery, take a look at the TRG website:


There are choices from AAODAT all the way through Weight Loss Surgery ODAT and everything in between. We'd love to have you join us.

With love,
ODAT Committee Chairperson



Dear Recovery Friend,

Strong Recovery ODAT is our newest loop. The mission of this loop is provide a safe place for those who have reached their recovery goals to discuss maintenance issues with others. One may think that Recovery is a destination .... but it is just a journey and the end of the journey is never really reached. So Strong Recovery was created for two purposes: for those who have been blessed with strong recovery to keep it and for those who have this gift to be available to other loop members in various capacities to carry their message.

Janie is the Coordinator of Strong Recovery ODAT and you may write her for further information at:

To join, please send a blank e-mail to:

Happy Holidays
The Trusted Servants of Strong Recovery


December Calendar ~



Dear God,

Good morning, rain and all. It sounds so comforting on the window pane. Reminds me of an Eddie Rabbit Song about rain, which is now blowing in the window.....oops!! That's fixed. Why is it that I have this need in me to rise up for unpopular causes even in program? Have I not been in enough controversies over the last 24 years? You tell me what to do with what I can only see as tradition breaks and others see as "I can say whatever I want".

This wonderful gift You have given us brings with it the responsibility to protect and pass it on as given. Oh sure, we can gussie-up what we say as our life experience and still bring topics to our fellows that can be used improperly, not intentionally, but improper just the same. I would say that the traditions are not merely suggestions to be ignored at our whim, but rules by which we protect the Twelve Steps and our way of life. If I'm out of line here, You will let me know as You have in the past. I wonder if I'll ever be as right as I am wrong. The scale is really tilted. Meanwhile, I can use Your help with me today as I'm going to pick up my OA/AA pal and goof away the day: lunch, a movie and lotsa good conversation. You know I tend to screw up when things are going good. Please watch over and take good care of my family, friends, fellow sufferers, the general population, and the folks I don't like. Allow me to know and do Your will today. Thanks, Big Guy!

And Why Not?


Dear Friends on the Journey,

My name is Mari, and I have a loathsome disease that has plagued me for a lifetime. It affects every area of my being and has accounted for the very best and the very worst of me. Most of you who are reading this, share this disease with me and I am grateful for a support system with you in it. I'm not at all sure what my life would be like without you. Part of my program is to journal my thoughts and feelings and I appreciate your letting me share them with you.

"Beginners often get startling results at the first time of trying, for all that is absolutely essential is to have an open mind, and sufficient faith to try the experiment. Apart from that you may hold any views on religion ... or none.

As for the actual method of working, like all fundamental things, it is simplicity itself. All that you have to do is this: STOP THINKING ABOUT THE DIFFICULTY, WHATEVER IT IS, AND THINK ABOUT GOD INSTEAD. This is the complete rule, and if only you will do this, the trouble, whatever it is, will presently disappear. It makes no difference what kind of trouble it is. It may be a big thing or a little thing ... but whatever it is, just stop thinking about it, and think of God instead. That is all you have to do."
     . . . . Emmet Fox ... From the Golden Key

Many years ago my sponsor gave me a little golden book with the above words. The book was eight pages long and I wasn't ready to hear those words then. In fact I had never heard of Emmet Fox and to make matters even worse, I wasn't that interested in knowing him or who he was. What's more the words didn't make a great deal of sense to me then. I put the book away.

Fast forward several years when I picked up the book again. I was dealing with some unscrupulous people in my life and they were affecting my serenity deeply. I wondered what the Golden Key would say about them and I began to read Emmet Fox ... and take him seriously this time.
"In order to 'Golden Key' a troublesome person or a difficult situation, think, "Now I am going to 'Golden Key' John, or Mary, or that threatened danger" ... then proceed to drive all thought of John, or Mary, or the danger right out of your mind, replacing it by the thought of God."
Shades of the Big Book? Isn't page 552 about resentments saying the very same thing?

We all have troubles. We all have people in our life who make us miserable. Emotional and physical pain is no stranger to many of us. Try Golden Keying some of these issues ... you may be very surprised.

"Do not try to think out in advance what the solution of your difficulty will probably turn out to be. ... Leave the question of ways and means strictly to God. You want to get out of your difficulty - that is sufficient. You do your half and God will never fail to do His."
Love in recovery,



Dear Recovery Friends,

I do my best writing in the wee hours, the nether time, when part of the world is turning in (like I used to do in my crazy days), part is very soundly asleep and part, like me, is up contemplating whatever. This time used to be 'free' eating time, because it neither counted as yesterday and wasn't REALLY the present day (and I have no idea how I came to that conclusion).

I am, and always will be, a COE, and once I admitted this it didn't matter if it was a holiday, if I had a cold or if it was snowing, even though all three happened within weeks of each other. My life pre-OA was unmanageable, eating made it more so, and I had to also admit I was powerless over people, places and things, in addition to turning my will and life and food over to the care of my HP.

I used to be a sneak eater, hiding food so no one would see me eat yet never, EVER, overeating in front of company or with friends. Food is my drug of choice, always was and always will be, and denying this about myself is the same as thinking anything I ate before midnight on New Year's Eve didn't count once the clock struck midnight.

About a week after Thanksgiving I was thinking about how I'd gotten through that holiday at my favorite cousins' house. Pre-OA, I loved the holidays for the sheer reason that the day AFTER each would give me a 'fresh start' on my diet, food plan, etc. My mind can play tricks and can rationalize any bad decision into an intelligent one.

These cousins are easy going, and while they would never understand why I eat the way I do they never question it. We also visited them July 4; that day I simply committed 'an abstinent meal' to my sponsor. (HP must have planned it so there were specific abstinent foods I could eat.) On Thanksgiving I ate the abstinent meal I'd committed - I knew the foods being served and committed the abstinent ones - and afterwards I thought about the former me, the one who used to 'sneak eat' BEFORE the meal so there was no room in me FOR the meal, but lots of room to stuff dessert AFTER the meal.

I won't deny I felt a twinge of guilt because I didn't taste what was prepared, and I was very aware that I might get caught 'not eating' although there were plenty of hearty types to take up the slack for me. The former me would have eaten over feeling guilty for both not eating the meal AND for overeating before and after the meal.

However, I chose to busy myself in the kitchen with my cousin, which gave me quality time with him as I cleared the dishes and put away the leftovers. This to me was just as good as eating because it made my eyes and nose happy. The former me would have secretly eaten during this time, too, but being around the food didn't faze me one bit.

I took care of myself by typing notes and posts before we left for the day, making a phone call from the hotel room before my cousin picked us up and took us to his house, and saying a little prayer that what I ate didn't matter as much as my being there did. Since HP was taking care of my needs, after we got back to the hotel (the leftovers called my name since we'd eaten early dinner) I went downstairs to use the hotel's computer and typed more notes, one to my sponsor. Yes, it was a long night, and I got hungry, but it was far better to be hungry than to be overfed and bloated.

The following week my parents and I went to my brother and sister-in- law's house for a belated holiday and birthday celebration for my dad. The last time we were there for lunch my sister-in-law had very little protein, and what was there contained what I could not eat. She is not like the cousins I visited recently, who would have made me a whole other meal had I asked for it. My sister-in-law is the person I refer to when I say I mended a broken relationship in the past year, and boy, do I mean it! There was a huge fight, and I thought she'd never speak to me, even after I made amends.

Thus I am now careful not to make a fuss when we eat at her house and to be gracious about whatever she prepares, even though I think our relationship is still in 'infancy'. So when we asked what we could bring I decided to bring the one thing she never serves, salad. Sure enough, she forgot to buy it that day, and mine was enough for everyone so at least there was one food I could eat.

For me it's choosing carefully from what is served and/or bringing what I need - and enough for everyone. This is how I take care of myself for one meal of one day of the holiday season. Whereas I once dreaded this time of year I now love it, more so because I'm abstinent and able to enjoy it fully.

And when the clock strikes midnight, instead of looking forward to a new diet, I'll anticipate a New Year.



In 1958, Rozanne took a friend to a Gambler's Anonymous (GA) meeting. As the members shared their stories, Rozanne heard her story - not of gambling , but compulsive overeating. A year later, desperate at 161 pounds, she returned to GA to see if they had an answer to her eating problem. She knew that they had what she wanted, that the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions founded by Alcoholics Anonymous and modeled by GA offered her a chance to change her life, but it was the wrong compulsion.

One day in 1960, while talking to her neighbor, Jo S., she admitted, "I'm a compulsive overeater and I'm having a terrible time." She went on to describe an idea she had for a group called "Overeaters Anonymous". Jo admitted that she, too, had a problem and would like to join her group. At that moment the Fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous was born.

Rozanne and Jo, along with Bernice K., held the first meeting in a living room in Los Angeles, California. Since then, thousands of OA groups have started all over the USA, Canada and other countries around the world.



Our Recovery Group On-Line Meetings are the very BEST! I am firmly convinced that we have the best meetings in cyberspace! Members, new and not quite so new are accepted, respected and loved. Recovery is spoken. Meetings are consistent in format and start and end on time. Leaders are well prepared and in the meeting room early to welcome members as they arrive and talk with newcomers. They are available to answer questions both before and after the meetings.

It is awesome to think that the members attending our meetings are from all over the world. from all different walks of life. from all different stages of recovery. and yet, we are all united, in one place at one time to share what our Higher Power has done for us.

If you have not yet visited one of our meetings, I would like to invite you to do so. They are held at 9:30 pm Eastern time every day.

The Recovery Group web site has a lot of helpful information on our on-line community and our on-line meetings. The web site is located at...

You can find other helpful information, including online meeting protocols at

#Recovery is the meeting room for Recovery Group. To get to #Recovery, go to

All AOL users are invisible until after they register their nicks. Before an AOL user has registered his or her nickname, he or she is able to enter #Recovery, but cannot share or respond to private messages. If you are an AOL user, you will want to visit this website ( http://www.starchat.net/aol.php) before you attend your first meeting. The instructions for registering your nickname and sharing in the meeting room are found there.

When you log onto site for #Recovery, you will first see a security screen asking if you want to install and run applet. Say "yes."

Next you will see a pink screen. At the top of the screen, you will see "NickName" and next to it is the word "Recovery." Erase the word "Recovery" and type in the screen name that you want to use. Some of us use our real life names and some use made up screen names... it's up to you.

You do not have to change anything else.

Click on the word "Connect" at the bottom of the page.

A lot of information will scroll across the screen very quickly. When it gets done, you will be in the meeting room.

If you have any further questions, or if I can help you in any way, please write MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.


  1. Atmosphere: Offer unconditional support, love and acceptance; talk to newcomers.
  2. Structure: Begin and end the meeting on time; adhere to traditional format.
  3. Focus: Honestly and consistently share experience, strength and hope.
  4. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: Practice the Steps and Traditions; show commitment to the program.
  5. Sponsors: Have them available and willing to help others.
  6. Abstinent members: Show commitment to abstinence and physical recovery; qualify when sharing; show enthusiasm for program.
  7. Program spoken here: Focus on program basics and solutions; practice principles before personalities; don't allow cross talk.
  8. Literature: Use and display only Conference- approved literature.
  9. Service: Show enthusiasm, encouragement and support.
  10. Rotation of service: Have reliable, responsible and committed members in service positions; honor abstinence requirements; hold regular group conscience meetings.
  11. Service above the group level: Promote participation at intergroup and other service body activities.
  12. Fellowship: Come early and stay late; reach out to members between meetings; socialize with members outside the meeting.
Reprinted from Lifeline Magazine, March 2000



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.


Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


The Promises
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. 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 interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of 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.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Chapter Six ~ Into Action The AABB


Each day at 9:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, an OA Topic Meeting will take place in the Recovery Meeting Room on the Starchat Channel on IRC. These meetings are hosted by dedicated Trusted Servants of the Recovery Group who are experienced, loyal and caring meeting leaders. As time goes on we will be adding additional meetings and if you would like more details about being a Recovery Meeting Leader, please let us know by writing to TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org. The doorway for #Recovery meetings is also on the main page of the Recovery Website about halfway down.

For AOL members, here is the direct link to #Recovery:
#Recovery on StarChat.Network


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

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
E-Mail Address ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

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


Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Sponsor Coordinator ~ sponsors@therecoverygroup.org
IM Directory ~ andybirkhead@mac.com ~ Andy
Telephone Angel Directory ~ vine19@nyc.rr.com ~ Jessica
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ vickiw@gci.net ~ Vicki
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org ~ John, Cate and Patt
Recovery Group Founder ~ 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."

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.


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

Volume 4 Issue 12 © Copyright 2002 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.