A Twelve Step Newsletter For All

December 2004
Volume 6, Issue 12


Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others
who are working a 12 Step program of recovery.


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


SERENDIPITY CONTACTS:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/serendipity/index.html
The Serendipity Archives


THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY





FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM

Dear Serendipity Readers,

Amateur Day is over and the holiday eating orgies are about to begin. We hear so many stories of frustration during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years and hope that most of you are deep in your program and that not even the holidays will take you to that slippery slope.

The Serendipity Team has worked hard the past month to bring you articles and stories about physical recovery. This is not to say that the emotional and spiritual are any less important but there are times when we need to focus on physical recovery equally. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and we are its targets.

Spotlighted in this issue of Serendipity is HOTJ, a support group for morbidly obese men and women. From the Founder's Corner to the Recovery Stories of the members of our community you will read what life is like for those who have hundreds of pounds to lose - or who have had the good fortune to release that amount of weight.

Wishing you all happy and abstinent holidays and hope you enjoy the December issue of Serendipity.

Best wishes to all,
The Serendipity Team





QUOTATION OF THE MONTH



"If we have no peace,
It is because we have forgotten
that we belong to each other."
. . . Mother Teresa



FOUNDER'S CORNER

The Tools of Recovery


The Second Tool of Recovery

Happy Holidays, Loopies ~

OA has eight tools to help us recover and last month I wrote about the first tool, A Plan of Eating. The second tool is Sponsorship. I wish everyone who entered the rooms of OA and/or the Recovery Group could do so with a sponsor. When I came into the rooms, it would have been impossible for me to work the kind of program I needed to work without one. Whether it be to help guide us through the Twelve Steps, to work daily on our plan of eating or to handle the bumps we all find on our journey, a sponsor can make the difference in success or failure.

One of the questions we are asked the most from newcomers is "How do I get a sponsor?" Another question is "How do I become a sponsor?" There are many ways to get a sponsor and they are all listed and available, along with the Sponsor Directory and biographies, by writing to our sponsor coordinators at:
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org. If you have worked the first three Steps, OA tells us that we can sponsor another member up to that level. Sponsoring and being sponsored are both important. More than important ... they're essential in a serious Twelve Step Recovery Program.

Give yourself a wonderful holiday gift ... a Sponsor. Give to others an equally wonderful holiday gift ... Sponsor someone.

Wishing each of you the joys and peace of the season. May the holidays bring you everything your heart desires.

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




THE RECOVERY GROUP
Administrative Highlights

TRG ADMINISTRATION

It has been almost a year since I became an administrator of TRG. How the time has flown by! What I've seen during this year is selfless service -- from loop trusted servants to meeting leaders, other adminstrators, and of course, the founder of TRG.

I am in awe of the way the Traditions teach us to solve problems by using group conscience. I'm grateful that OA has made changes to recognize our meetings. I'm humbled by the Power of the groups -- a form of my Higher Power.

My wish for 2005 is that even more compulsive eaters will be shown a way to live without eating compulsively. My wish is that every meeting will have a leader and every loop will have a full slate of trusted servants in order to help carry the message of OA to those who still suffer.

I also want to express appreciation to Mary and Cody, our two wonderful Administrator Apprentices.

Thank you all for a wonderful year.
Dodee, Administrator

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

ODAT LOOPS DIVISION

The ODAT Loops are for compulsive eaters who are working the program of recovery, but share a special interest with others on that loop.

Are you a homebound person? On the Isolation and Homebound loop you will find others with whom you can discuss your program and your feelings and they will understand. Do you have a loved one suffering from compulsive eating? The members of the OAAnon loop all have a relative or friend who has an eating disorder. Are you a diabetic that has felt the shame of not being able to follow your food plan? Join other diabetics on the DiabeticsODAT loop.

There are 33 Special Focus loops. Each loop offers you a safe place totalk about your program of recovery and how it is affected by your special interests. Join in as others share their experiences, strengths, and hope.

For more information please go to:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/.

Submitted by:
Nancy
Chair, ODAT Loops Division

www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/
Please send email to: ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION

Although there are openings for trusted servants on some of the loops in Recovery, sharing has been good. Newcomers continue to find their way to the loop, get their questions answered and join other loops. Anorexia and Bulimia has had renewed sharing. Big Book is studying "To Employers." OA Friends continues to thrive as members share their daily lives. HOTJ has had wonderful discussions about fallacies of our thinking pre-program. Jo Dall is doing the last month of her quarter leading the WTS Step Study and a new study will begin January 1st. Relapse and Recovery sees members willing to begin again. JTR and Recovery are rebounding from a quiet time.

Please consider doing service on your home loop. Service is what makes "the" program "your" program.

Submitted by:
Dodee
Chair ~ TRG's Recovery Loops Division

The Recovery Loops
http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: RecoveryLoopsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION

The groups which are part of the Discovery Loops are continuing to grow and develop under the leadership of Division Leaders Mary W. and Cody.

There are two loops on the kids side of things which Cody coordinates; COKids and Kids & Discovery. Kids & Discovery is a loop only for kids and trusted servants. It is a warm safe place for children with eating disorders to discuss their recovery. There is always adult supervision in the rooms so kids can feel safe to share their innermost fears with fellow compusive eaters. Please join us!!

COKids is a loop for parents, grandparents, or basically anyone who needs help helping a child who eats compulsively. Parents can reach out to each other, and together with Cody, all work together to help our children. All in all it is great that we have these loops for people to discover and find when they are in need! Exercise & Discovery, which is coordinated by Mary W, is a place of 12-Step Recovery where you can check-in with your exercise goals and accomplishments with fellow loopies, as well as make a commitment towhat you plan on doing asfar as exercise goals as well. All are welcome!

Discovery Kitchen is a loop where people can discuss food, recipes, and food plans freely. Since so many loops restrict the discussion of specific foods, this has become a safe haven for open questions and discussions about specific issues. What a wonderful place for creative and fun receipe trading to take place!!

The Yellow Brick Road is a loop where folks can journal, chat, or just have a safe place to talk with each other about ANYTHING. If you need a place to write, vent, or share your story, without any guidelines this is the place for you!

Submitted By:

Cody and Mary W.
Chairs, Discovery Loops Division

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/
Contact: DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

TRG OA ONLINE MEETINGS

WE NEED MORE LEADERS!! There are quite a few meeting timeslots that do not have a designated leader and we need to fill the gaps so that more meetings are available to more people who suffer with our disease.

To be a meeting leader you need to:

  • Belong to at least one TRG loop
  • Be willing to work the steps
  • Be able to commit to leading one meeting per week on a regular basis
  • Be able to commit to, and follow, the protocol and guidelines advised by TRG
  • Attend a short Meeting Leader (On-Line) Training course
  • Be reasonably familiar with your computer and the meeting room environment
Audrey has joined our team and is providing comprehensive training to new leaders and existing leaders who also need help. Some of the training areas that Audrey will cover include understanding the meeting format and protocols, various IRC commands and other handy hints and shortcuts.

Christine provides the necessary protocol files and other information to new leaders, Melody arranges the topics for the meetings, Cindy takes care of the meeting schedule and Barry provides computer support to leaders where necessary.

All it takes from you is one hour a week...please join our group and support others in recovery by emailing:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

If you would like to receive a weekly copy of the OA Recovery Online Meeting Schedule and topics, please send a blank email to: OATRGMtgSchedule-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.

Submitted by:
Terri, Barry, Christine & Audrey
Chairs ~ TRG Meeting Division
http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/

Contact:
TRG Online Meeting Leaders' Group: MeetingTS@yahoogroups.com
TRG Online Meeting Administration: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org




~ REACHING OUR ONLINE MEETINGS ~

GETTING TO THE MEETINGS

The doorway to the meetings is at the top of the page at
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org. All you have to do is click it, and you'll be in the meeting room. The times are 12 noon, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM, 12 midnight 3AM, 6AM, and 9AM. These are Eastern times, and all meetings are held in #Recovery on IRC with a doorway located at: http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

Another way to reach the meeting webpage is directly, at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings/

For AOL members, there is the direct link to #Recovery: #Recovery on StarChat.Network. AOL users need to first go to the Meeting website, and look at the special instructions for AOL users before they can fully participate in the meetings or they can go to: http://www.starchat.net/aol.php

#Recovery is the meeting room for Recovery Group. There is a doorway to #Recovery on the Recovery Group website: http://www.therecoverygroup.org. The meeting room can be directly accessed by going to either of these sites:

http://www.starchat.net/recovery or
http://www.starchat.net/chat/?chan=recovery
You can find other helpful information, including on-line meeting protocols at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html

CAN YOU SPARE AN HOUR A WEEK?

We need your help for a wonderful line-up of online meetings. We will be working on a schedule of meetings every three hours around the clock every day, and are well on our way to meeting that goal. This will make it possible for those in time zones around the world to participate both as leaders and attendees. Will you help by volunteering an hour or two or three a week? It's easy, it gives you a good feeling by helping others, and it's fun!

Prospective meeting leaders must be actively working the Steps to the best of their ability and belong to at least one Recovery Loop. Although abstinence is not a requirement, many find that being abstinent allows them to better focus on the meetings.

If you are interested in being a meeting leader, please contact MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org,
and you will be given further guidance. We hope as many of you as possible will write us back and let us know you can help. Please don't be shy ... meetings are easy and rewarding to lead.

We will get back to you as quickly as possible.



~ FROM TRG'S SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

A holiday gift for you :)

The AABB page 89 says:
"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from [compulsive eating] as intensive work with other [compulsive eaters]."

TRG Sponsors have shared the following thoughts about their service as a sponsor.

  • "I sponsor so I can recover."
  • "It saves my life by sharing these steps with others who are still suffering."
  • "I think the quality of my recovery would deteriorate if I wasn't sponsoring."
  • "I sponsor because I cannot keep my recovery unless I give it away."
Are you ready to give your recovery a gift?

For information about sharing your recovery through sponsoring, please write to:
TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org



THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS

     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
      / \   / \   / \
One of the most important services of the Recovery Group is the Telephone Angel Program. Members volunteer to make it possible for a member of the Recovery Group who needs help immediately to call them. The telephone angels are from all over the world and a directory is sent out monthly to our members by Cody, who manages this service for our community. For a copy of the Directory, to volunteer or for more information, write Cody at
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org and put Attention: Cody Re: Telephone Angels on the subject line.



SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS



  • December 25 ~ 24 Hour Holiday Marathon
  • December 26-31 ~ Register for 2005 Abstinence
  • January 1, 2005 ~ WTS Study Begins
  • January 1, 2005 ~ TRG Term of Service Begins
Future Announcements should be sent to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com.



~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
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 ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

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




FEATURE ARTICLE
HOLIDAY FOOD FOR COMPULSIVE EATERS



**Warning - Specific Foods Mentioned**

My Saturday morning meeting reads and shares on the book, "Abstinence." Recently, we made a decision to devote the Saturday before Thanksgiving to the topic of Abstinence during the holidays. We would read and discuss the appropriate parts of that book and share our personal stories of getting through the holidays.

I was online recently and saw a link to Holiday Menus so I went there. I found a couple of menus devoted to foods that were NOT terribly fattening, but were filled with healthy and exciting items. I began to print out some of the recipes. Then I got this assignment. Isn't it amazing the way our recovery is filled with concentric circles!

Holiday eating can be filled with pitfalls and dangers. One holiday season I went to my hairdresser. She sat me down in a dryer in front of a table of goodies. Right in front of me was a platter of fudge! Fudge is the ultimate binge food for me. I decided I could safely eat one piece. Six pieces later I was rearranging the pieces on the platter so no one would notice what I had eaten. Before my hair was dry I was off and running on a full-fledgedrelapse. The first bite is what did me in.

The holiday dinners don't have to be filled with binge foods. Here's one of my favorites from the recipes I'm taking to our Holiday Abstinence meeting:

FIELD SALAD WITH TANGERINES, ROASTED BEETS, AND FETA

2 beets (about 1/2 lb.)
1/2 t. grated tangerine rind
6 cups gourmet salad greens
1 cup tangerine sections (about 3 tangerines)
1/4 cup crumbled feta or blue cheese
1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
1/4 t. black pepper
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Leave root and 1 inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets on a baking sheet lined with foil; bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly. Peel beets; cut each into 8 wedges. Combine rind, greens, tangerine sections, and feta in a large bowl. Combine tangerine juice, pepper, lemon juice, oil, salt, and mustard, stir well with a whisk. Pour over salad mixture; toss to combine. Place salad mixture on each of 4 plates and top each with 4 beet wedges.

That recipe is low in fat, high in nutrition and really colorful. Happy holidays!



LOOP SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH
HOTJ ~ HEAVYWEIGHTS ON THE JOURNEY



A 12-Step Support Group For The Morbidly Obese

Note: HotJ members in some cases weigh or have weighed as much as 600-900 pounds. Men and women in this special loop are dedicated to making not only their own lives better, but also the lives of others.

HOTJ is the home of many who have or have had 200 Plus pounds to lose. Working recovery one day at a time for us is often a tedious and long, drawn-out process as we sometimes face health issues and other setbacks which can impede our progress.

Here is a place of recovery encouragement; a safe place where we can discuss the often graphic day-to-day issues of living, such as special skin discomforts caused by the extra amounts of weight carried. In isolation we have suffered these things silently. HOTJ is a medium that has worked to bring many of us out of hiding, and with ANSWERS to these special problems couched in common sense suggestions by other members who share this level of experience.

As a HOTJ Coordinator I strive to keep the recovery talk flowing around upbeat answers to daily recovery problems. Yes, we get down sometimes and do express these things on the loop and to one another, but always there is an injection of positive recovery.

We don't have many of the answers, but there is a program that does. There is literature available, meetings online and our face-to-face meetings, and we are convinced daily that a Higher Power reaches out to others through these vital, often touching, emails.

Once upon a time I was just an anonymous loop member on one of the first loops.. Never did I dream that one day my recovery would progress to where it could be useful to another person-- for you see, I was at a place in recovery where I had physical recovery but was still experiencing the negative fall-out from skipping Step 4 and not being sponsored. Physical recovery, contrary to the belief of some, does not always mean that a person is achieving recovery Nirvana. :)) The disease still remains threefold in spite of my attempts to be the first to heal each part of myself separately and upon my own schedule.

My recovery has been greatly and seriously affected for the better by doing service on the HOTJ loop. Daily I am reminded of the disease of compulsive overeating, of its intrusiveness into all areas of my life, of its slyness that would suggest reprieve and a return to "normal eating."There are many members upon the loop to keep one focused on recovery. Some of the members have more years of program groundwork than I do and have given me honest feedback which has helped me to grow while improvising my (sometimes) electric writings to bring on light bulb/ah hah recovery understanding. Occasionally the light bulb understanding has electrically jolted the coordinator, but always kindly and to my betterment.

With the age of technology reaching so far and wide across the world, I cannot help but believe that HOTJ and our many recovery loops will one day be a crucial part of treating compulsive overeating. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how this dread disease GROWS in isolation, shame, and secrecy. I am just very grateful to be a part of an HP-POWERED PC cure--internet at its most intelligent and life-affirming!

If you would like to join the HOTJ Loop, or have any questions, please let me know.

Submitted by: January K.
HOTJ Coordinator
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/hotj/index.html



~ From our Members ~



Each month, Serendipity readers are asked to send their recovery stories. If you would like to contribute your story, please send to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com. Please try to make it about 500 words.

~ I AM NOT STUPID ~

I am not a stupid, undisciplined, lazy, uncaring and selfish people person. I am a good person who happens to have a disease that, even withconstant attention, often gets the best of me.

I am a public high school teacher in Florida and know that the problem weface as COEs is not a respecter of persons. Some of those who are facedwith the same problem, but have not had the privilege of a formal education, need to realize that being smarter is not a cure for our problem. Everyday we work on what ails us. We work hard! People don't know how hard we work! But work hard we must. This disease will not go away, we can only learn to live with it and bask in the few victories we have.

I inherited a set of genes from my mother's side of the family that I've just had to learn to accept. That does not make me (or my mother) a "bad" person. There are many uncaring people who are slender, and they neverhave had to contend with what we have had to deal with. Small or large - we've all got to cultivate the caring, loving, giving side that God has so richly blessed us with.

~ Anonymous

~ NANCY'S STORY ~

My name is Nancy, and I am a compulsive overeater. I returned to OA after a four-year relapse a little over a year ago. I was at my bottom. I was depressed, angry, fearful, hopeless, spiritually dead. I did not want to die, but I did not want to live the way I was. My eating was so out of control that I thought of little more than what my next meal would be. I had four orthopedic surgeries in an 18-month period of time, all related to my obesity. I did not want to see people. I was ashamed of having gained all that weight back. At this time, I topped the scales at 372 pounds. The thought of needing to lose 200 pounds was overwhelming to me. I failed at everything I tried, and believe me when I say I tried EVERYTHING!

On October 11, 2003, I contacted the pastor of my church and asked for a special prayer. It would surely take an act of God to help me out of this hole I had crawled into. I thought I had been cured. God had come down and removed this obsession of mine! However, I soon found out that there were things I had to do on my part too if I wanted this recovery. I realized I needed to go back to OA where I had some success before.

When I returned to OA, I came in the doors with a different attitude. I was willing to do ANYTHING to get the help I needed. I got a sponsor. I worked the steps. I went to meetings. I used all of the 8 Tools of OA. Slowly my life began to change. At first I noticed that my attitude was different, more positive. Soon I began to experience the weight loss. I once again felt hopeful that there was a solution!

After about nine months, I began to slip and slide with my food again. My sponsor was relocating to another state, and I would need to find another one. I was terrified because I knew what could happen in short order. I struggled to find more recovery. In my home town, there was only one OA meeting per week, and we were small in number. I knew this was not enough for me. Soon, I learned that there were online OA meetings. I was doubtful at first, but I had nothing to lose by checking it out.

I attended my first meeting and knew I was home. I quickly connected with a wonderful woman who agreed to sponsor me. My sponsor has been a God send. She has extended herself above and beyond the call of duty to help me. We began to work the steps. She taught me how to use the tools of OA whenever I was in trouble. We talk on a daily basis through Instant Messaging. We have become more than sponsor/sponsee. We are good friends.

To date, I have lost 105 pounds. I attend meetings regularly. I lead meetings on a regular basis. I work the steps. I use the tools of OA daily. I sponsor other compulsive overeaters. Whenever a new problem arises, I am not afraid to talk about it with my sponsor and share at the meetings. I turn it over to my HP, and almost always find a solution. Today I am truly grateful for the program of Overeater's Anonymous. It has literally saved my life. Today I have hope, peace, serenity, joy and true happiness that comes from within. My recovery today is more than just a diet. It is a new way of life. Thank you, OA, for helping me to get my life back and become the person God always meant for me to be.

~ Nancy T.

~ HUMILIATION ~

I have been to so many places that didn't have a chair for me to sit in that I just quit going places if I could get out of it, I remember once going to Kentucky Fried Chicken in another town to meet my parents for lunch and I couldn't sit in the chairs. There weren't many people there and I pretended it didn't matter and I could just stand! I was so embarrassed!

Some of the staff at school are going out to eat tomorrow night but I gave them the excuse that I had to babysit my grandchildren. My son is graduating from high school this year and he has asked me to please lose some weight so I will feel like going to his graduation. This is six months from now and I can't even go one day without overeating. The idea of going anywhere always gives me a feeling of dread and fear.

~ Anonymous

~ MY SEXUALITY AND NEED TO BE TOUCHED ~

I have been an overweight since I was a teenager. My compulsive overeating kicked into full swing when I was in college, but the pattern existed long before then. I can remember, as a child, how my eating was never quite the same as other children my age. But there was also something deeper that I didn't touch on until I was an adult. I had a very strong need for touch. Even with my high school boyfriends and crushes, I was needing to be touched. To be satisfied. I don't know if I will ever be completely satisfied.

A long time has passed since those childhood days, and I have since married and have had two children. There is a fire within me that burns constantly. I used to think there was something wrong with me...that normal women didn't have the needs that I had. Normal women pushed their husbands away at night. They didn't have affairs. They didn't constantly have a yearning for sex. I also thought that my sexual feelings were so strong because sex had been a missing link in my life.

My husband was/is not enamoured with the fuller figure I carry. He instead prefers a woman of a smaller build. He has made these feelings known. To me, sexuality is acceptance and having a partner who wants to touch your body, even if that body isn't perfect. It is the ultimate in acceptance. And the touch, when it is right, replaces the negative self image with a positive loving self image. My relationship with my husband has never been based on touch. It's always been a struggle and has always been painful. I often thought that if our sex life was better, our marriage might be better. I am a loving, sensual person... and that is whether I am overweight or normal. So the problem might not stem in the fact that I am overweight.... but more so in the fact that my husband seems to have the problem with my body. I am still the same person, thin or heavy.

~ Anonymous


~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~

~ ODYSSEY ~

Note: Odyssey is written by a member of the Recovery Group and this is one of 90 journals he has submitted to the Recovery Website. Our beloved longtime member has been generous over the years in giving service, sponsoring, sharing his hopes and dreams with us and giving others courage. When he began this journal on that April day in 2001, we didn't know how long he would be writing it. Receiving the promises of the 12-Step program, a new spirit, the release of 350 pounds and a renewed outlook on life, he is still going strong. You can read more of his Odyssey at:
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/odyssey/index.html.

Dear Journal ~

Today's reading in the OA "For Today" book, was especially poignant to me. It says: "It took the twelve step program to teach me to simply 'endure', to go straight through a difficult, discordant time without yielding to the urge to escape into the food or to yell for somebody to "fix" it.

My rewards are many: new strengths and capabilities, the peace that comes with acceptance of what is, and the joy of knowing I am free."

I sit here in amazement and gratefulness at not having food be any thought for me except as nourishment, I have had some anxiety in the past months, but have simply 'endured' and amazingly those feelings were dispelled, and new ones took their place.

I am currently feeling very sad about the loss of a friend who committed suicide a few days ago. I did not know her well, we weren't all that close, but we did share some time together, and we had this disease in common, and I am feeling a definite loss. I am sad for her friends and family who must now deal with the devastation of her losing all hope. Having been to the brink myself I can only say, "there but for the grace of God ......." What was it that made me decide to stay? Guilt for those I would leave behind? Hope that I could recovery from this terrible disease? I think a little of both, but mostly the guilt for leaving my wife and children.

Honestly, I let the guilt of leaving my family sway me, but it soon became 'MY' desire to stay alive and give myself a little more time here.

To say that my feelings are confused and ambivalent would be an understatement, but I must press on, doing what I need to do each day, following my plan, and hopefully God will reveal to me some greater purpose he has for me, some reason why it was important I stay here. For now, it is enough that I 'am', that my daughter loves me, that my wife loves me, and is still willing to put up with me.

May I someday 'be' what she sees in me.

I feel extremely blessed to be alive, to have been given more time to become a better human being. I guess 'that' would be the ultimate purpose here, just to become the best I can be. I have a challenge separating the 'best I can be', and 'perfect', but I'm working on it... getting better as I practice with the help of the 12 Step Program.

Stay strong!

Love and hugs,
me



~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~




~~ FROM THE BIG BOOK ~~

"You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics/COES are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous/OA. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.'"

~ Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, A Vision For You, pg. 152~


MY SHARE...(From Myrlene, Big Book and Recovery Group)

This speaks alot about how my life has been both before and after I found OA and the Recovery Group. All around me people were struggling with the disease of overeating and not finding a treatment plan that worked. They are still out there, unknown to us and sadly deteriorating.

Since I have found OA I am so much happier and feel a calmness and serenity in my soul that I never before had. I wanted to help those who are still in the throes of the disease so I became a Trusted Servant on the Big Book Loop. I believe it is a Bible to most of us. Thousands have been saved in every realm of addiction with these methods of recovery. Along this path I have found many cyber friends whom I feel I have known forever even though we have never met. We are bound by the same threads of disease and recovery.

I can only pray that more will continue to find this Path and be led to Hope once again.

With Love in Recovery,
    Myrlene


~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~

~ Visit our beautiful falling snow scene for December ~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/december.html)

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
RecoveryMeditationsList-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com[Subject=Request Subscription(web)]
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
ODAT Administrators ~ ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Sponsor Coordinators ~ Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery OA Online Meetings Coordinators ~ MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
TRG Webmaster ~ Mari@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery Group Founder ~ Mari@TheRecoveryGroup.org




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


Happy Holidays to All!
~ From the Serendipity Team, The Recovery Administrations, the Meeting Leaders and the Trusted Servants of Our Community.




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

Volume 6 Issue 12 © Copyright 2004 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.