A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


December 2005
Volume 7, Issue 12

Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others who are working a Twelve-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:
The Serendipity Archives

SERENDIPITY, the Recovery Group Newsletter, is available only to members of The Recovery Group and is sent on the first of each month, year-round.

Both SERENITY and SERENDIPITY are sent monthly to all members of The Recovery Group.



Dear Readers,

Season's greetings and welcome to December's holiday season edition of Serendipity. Here at Serendipity, we provide you with information about the latest events taking place in The Recovery Group community. Each month, our TRG administrators, coordinators and other trusted servants report about what's occurring in our various divisions, programs and loops. We always welcome the input of our readers and encourage you to send us your suggestions and articles. Our mission is to get our message of hope and recovery out to as many people as possible. We therefore encourage you to use our newsletter as a personal resource, share it with others, mail it to a loved one, or invite someone to look at Serendipity on the website.

This month, along with our regular TRG articles, Mari reveals what's on the horizon for The Recovery Group including some exciting new changes at our Newcomer's Loop, an upcoming WTS Quarterly Study, and a 1st Quarterly Big Book Study in Founder's Corner. Pam contributes a timely seasonal article entitled "Easy Does It!" Marl provides us with an amusing holiday share entitled, "My Name Is Santa And I Am A Compulsive Overeater." Lanya brings us wisdom from the Big Book in her share entitled "Is My Life a Demonstration of What God Can Do?" and Marilyn will introduce you to Beryn in Newcomer's Corner.

I hope you enjoy reading this month's edition of the Serendipity newsletter. On behalf of the all of us here at the Serendipity Team, we wish you a safe and happy holiday as well as a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Love in recovery,

Rob, Serendipity Editor & The Serendipity Team


"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."
    . . . William Jennings Bryan

I have often wished that life would be easier on me. I have resented the fact that others seemed to have been given a free ride whereas I have had to walk the distance. I have prayed that, on waking one morning, I would find that the shadow I cast the day before had been vastly reduced overnight. Wallowing in self-pity has taken me nowhere and has wasted the time I could have spent reaching my recovery. I could waste my days wishing for something that I obviously don't have and will never have unless I do the legwork to obtain it. I could sit back and expect the world to come to my door, but would find that it passes me by. Often I find myself slipping down the emotional slide into the depths of depression, where walking through life is as easy as walking waist deep through wet tar, where the sun never shines and its warm rays don't land on the skin. Recovery comes from choice.

I choose to use the wisdom, strength and shelter of God, my Higher Power. I choose to follow the Twelve Steps and to use the tools provided in the recovery program. I choose to be guided by the Big Book. In essence ... I choose life.


"You are your choices."

~ Seneca ~

TRG and 2006

Although it seems yesterday was summertime, we are now in the last month of 2005 and the holiday season is here. I don't recall things ever being busier or having so many wonderful and exciting things on the horizon in The Recovery Group. I'd like to mention a few of them and as the weeks go by, you will hear more and more details.

One of the most exciting, thorough and interesting Step Studies will begin January 1st with the First Quarter 2006 WTS Step Study. Shlomo is back again as the first WTS Step Leader of the year. What a treat. Whether you are brand new or just doing a refresher course on the Steps, grab your sponsor and join us.

The Meeting crew keeps adding more and more meetings and our goal for 56 Around the World Around the Clock has long been passed. Now we have added four new Newcomer "Ask It Basket" type Meetings along with our many Special Focus Meetings. What a wonderful way to begin or end our day .... or to do 30 in 30 ... or even 90 in 90. Be sure and add face-to-face meetings and you will have the best of both worlds.

If you could be a fly on the wall of the Newcomer's Loop, you would be overjoyed with these precious people. Such hopes and dreams they have! Old- timers who go there say that they are reminded of themselves when they began their 12-Step Recovery program and it makes them want to give back to them .... and to reminiscence about how things were when they for the very first time "got it."

OA Newcomers 2006 will be divided into four quarterly Orientation sessions led by twelve of the best Speakers imaginable .... Trusted Servants who know how to convey by their words the promises of what is to come for our newcomers. Each week will have a different orientation topic and the highlight of each quarter will be when the newcomers graduate and move on to a home loop. On November 15th, we graduated 400 Newcomers and they are now all settled in their three home loops - - Journey to Recovery, OA Recovery and OA Friends.

We have some goals in 2006. We want to begin the year with two Coordinators for each of our support groups. We'd like to finish the Recovery Meditations project and present them to you in book form. We have the goal of making a Big Book Web Site so that the whole Internet will know of our wonderful Big Book Study. We want to see our Strong Recovery, WTS, Big Book and Diabetes loops reach out to those who don't have access to anything like this and we must depend on TRG members to spread the word. We want to do something for and with obese children and know that there is a room in our community where boys and girls share their pain of being obese with their friends just as adults do. We have five new loops on the back burner ready to go.

In 2006 we want every Trusted Servant in the Recovery Group to put aside our differences and focus on our similarities and, as a result of doing this, give back to those who enter our rooms what we have been so generously been given. We want to exemplify principles before personalities and if we can't do that, we may need to start an Orientation Group for Trusted Servants as well as Newcomers. Because we are a diverse group, it may be difficult to honor Tradition One at times ... but honor it we MUST. The OA 12&12 says "We express our own opinions honestly without belittling those who may disagree." In our beloved Recovery Group community this is how it must be. Sometimes there are those who want to reinvent The Recovery Group and have it done "their" way. We listen carefully but we equally as carefully listen to the voice of God in our Group Consciences and to those who are cognizant that the future has to be factored into decisions made in the present.

As I look around each day, I am amazed at finding out what enormous gifts so many of our members have been given. Please don't hide it under a bushel. If you have a special gift, there may be a place at TRG to use it to benefit thousands.

We are approaching one year of being hosted by the most efficient Listserv in the world. While it was a tremendous learning curve for many of us, we did it ... and are still doing it. Upon learning that the birthplace of The Recovery Group is closing down leaving over 700 loops, God blessed us by providing us with a place where our community can grow and thrive and serve others well into the future. How very blessed we are. Thank you, God.

Love in recovery,


To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Dear Serendipity,

Please help. I'm new to this website, and I really like it. But I cannot figure out how to post a message to the Abstinence group. I did join the group, and I get emails at my email address, but I can't figure out how to share.


Dear Rose,

If you're subscribed to regular e-mail you can simply hit reply on your e-mail and respond. If you do not receive posts via e-mail, click on the L-Soft link - http://lists.therecoverygroup.org/archives/index.html. You will see a list of all OA loops there in alphabetical order - click on the name of the loop (Ab Kitchen). This will bring you to the L-soft Ab Kitchen mainpage. From there, on the left hand side you will see a menue which you can access to read daily posts and respond to them. Thank you for your query.

Love in recovery,
Serendipity Editor

Hi, I'm Nicole. I'm an overeater. I love to eat. In fact I get so angry because I have to give up foods that I love - just because I'm fat. Skinny people can eat anything they want, but if I eat it, its like "what are you doing eating that". I even feel bad when we go out and eat with my in-laws, I feel like my mother-in-law is thinking "she shouldn't be eating that". She is a sweet lady, its just me I know. Sometimes I just wish I could get by without eating at all, and if I could I would try it. But I don't think I could. I feel deprived when I think about starting a food plan. I know its bad when I think I can't live without certin foods. Thanks for listing to me and God Bless.


Dear Nicole,

I understand your frustration. In program, we come to understand that we have no power over what other people think about our behaviour - nor over food! But we are forced to deal with other's bad behaviour constantly in our daily affairs and we have to eat in order to survive. Therefore, it's crucial we learn to use the tools of recovery and develop the willingness to turn our lives over to our Higher Power who guides us in our daily affairs. This is the path to serenity and freedom from compulsive eating. Thank you for posting.

Love in recovery,
Serendipity Editor


I was praying today, thanking God for my abstinence, my peace of mind coming into this holiday season and reflected back upon my way of life before abstinence (and recovery). In the the old days at this time of year, I would be crazily cleaning, baking, and planning the "perfect" meal in the "perfect" home. I was a basket-case of nervous energy running around like a chicken with it's head cut off!

Today, I am happily and calmly putting the pieces in place. My house is clean and organized as a general rule, so there is no panic there, and my family likes the simple healthy fare of good, nutritious food, so I no longer have to spend hours in the kitchen making all the things that I actually prepared FOR ME!

My life is different today. I look forward to seeing my family and friends and will enjoy just being with them. I remember the year that I had to smash the imaginary pictures on the walls of my mind - the ones built around the table with all the food! In their place, I erected new ones of family and friends engaged in meaningful conversations and greeting each other with hugs! That was a life-changing action for me. Today, this is my auto-pilot, (my automatic thought process), but it took ten years to get to this point.

Thank you, God, for leading me to the solutions that have set me free. It began with abstinence, then working a serious step study - one day at a time.

Love and peace,

Pam from Auburn, MA

~ TRG ADM ~ The Administrative Hub ~

Gratitude: A popular subject at this time of year. Usually this is written by all of the administrators of The Recovery Group (TRG). This month, I've decided to write about my gratitude.

I've attended face to face (f2f) meetings for over 18 years. As soon as I got a computer, I started searching for contact with other recovering compulsive eaters. I found a few others on AOL and CompuServe, then one of them suggested that I join OAFriends. As with f2f, I started doing service soon after joining. I've been a loop coordinator, a division leader and now am an administrator.

I am eternally grateful to Overeaters Anonymous. I really believe that the program saved my life. The emotional, spiritual and phyical illness I was experiencing before OA would have surely killed me had I not found recovery. I am grateful to all my OA Friends, in person and online.

I'm grateful to Mari for having a vision and being able to carry it out in designing and maintaining TRG. I'm grateful for dedicated Trusted Servants who keep the loops, meetings and special services, such as sponsors and Telephone Angels operating.

And I'm grateful for my co-administrators, Nancy and Audrey. They put in many hours to keep TRG running and are great partners.

Mostly I'm grateful for all of you. I can log on to my email loops any time day or night and find experience, strength and hope of other recovering compulsive eaters.

TRG Administrator

Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



The ODAT groups are for those who are compulsive overeaters, but want to discuss their Program with others who have similar focuses. We have groups for people with a specific religion (LDS, Pagan, Christian, Jewish); groups for those who have other addictions (AA, Spending, DrugAbuse, Sex and Love Addiction); groups for specific ages (Teens, Silver); groups that deal with family issues (Parenting; Pregnancy & Motherhood) and groups for those who follow other food plans (Grey sheet, HOW).

Our relationships group is for those who are having difficulties with their relationships. If you find yourself overeating to deal with a relationship problem, or perhaps practicing bulimic eating in response to a relationship issue, this group may be for you.

Thanks for letting us give service,
ODAT Division Chairperson

Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html


The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's Twelve-step general sharing support groups. Our common mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for anyone who wants to recover from the disease of compulsive eating to share their experience,strength, and hope with others. We also have non-12 Step focused loops which include Anorexia and Bulimia, The Big Book, 200 Plus, Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk, Working the Steps (WTS), and WTS Weekly.

As many of you already know, TRG has been working on realigning the OA Newcomers loop to its original mission. Mari is overseeing this process. The OA Newcomers loop is an orientation loop that anyone new to a 12-Step program should join for several weeks and ask questions and informally discuss program things with "old-timers." It is expected that, after becoming more familiar with the workings of OA and the TRG loops that the Newcomer would then adopt one of our general sharing loops as their "home" loop. The move to an existing general sharing loop rather than moving as a group to a new general sharing loop was confirmed by a group conscience taken this month.

Loops in need of coordinators are Anorexia and Bulimia (1), Relapse (1), Meditations (2), and Sponsor-Sponsee Talk (2). Please send an email to
recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com if you would like to provide service as a coordinator for one of these loops.

Respectfully submitted,

CherylS, Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division
www.therecoverygroup.org Recovery Group Loops Division Chair

More details about these support groups can be found at:
Contact: recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com


As you are preparing menus for the holiday season, come on by and take a look at the thousands of recipes in the Abstinence Kitchen archives. We also have great links to sites such as light and low fat recipes, recipe sites, informational sites (good nutrition, safe weight management, physical fitness), diabetic/heart information, and a link on how to search the recipe archives.

The Ab Kitchen loop is an excellent place to commit food plans each day and to discuss what does and doesn't work in the areas of food, recipes, and food plans.

So visit this great loop if you haven't yet, to investigate all it has to offer. Dar is the Coordinator. The url is shown below:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/discovery/kitchen/index.html Enjoy!

In loving service,
Discovery Loops Division

Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
Email: DiscoveryAdm@yahoo.com
or DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

On-Line Meeting Division

Meetings Around the World ~ Around the Clock

There is a real buzz in the air at TRG!! Mari has plenty of projects on the go and more and more people are volunteering and participating in helping our fellowship grow in loving recovery.

Our meetings are happening like clockwork. Our amazing meeting leaders show the true spirit of recovery in all their meetings and 12 step healing flows in abundance with every share.

Thanks to all our meeting leaders who have begun to help train our newest leaders, especially Michael and his pop-ups!! Lee Anne has taken over the role of coordinating the training. The assistance of the other leaders is also most appreciated.

We still have a few meeting spots available for a anyone wishing to lead a regular meeting so if you would like to join our great team, please write to
mtgadm@lists.therecoverygroup.org... We would love to hear from you!!

In loving service,
Terri and Christine
On-Line Meeting Co-Coordinators

Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org


Programs & Special Services Division is an expanding wing of The Recovery Group and contains a diverse number of TRG programs and projects. These include TRG Sponsor Program, TRG Telephone Angels, Serendipity, Serenity, TRG Topics Team, Recovery Meditations, Recovery Meditations Book Project, Recovery Message Board, Recovery Photo Album, Recovery 12-Step Anniversaries, Recovery Talk Room on Main Website, Recovery Guestbooks and Counters, Recovery Bravenet Features, Outreach Programs with other Online Groups, and the Writer's Series.

We are currently looking for creative energetic people to administor a number of our programs. We also are currently looking for new submissions for Recovery Meditations for our upcoming year and for writers to help with the TRG Topic Team. If you interested in giving service in these areas - or are interested in ANY of our programs, please contact me for further information.

Love in Recovery,
Rob R

TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group


In many countries of our world, the month of December is marked by times of celebration and holiday. These celebrations are often marked by gatherings including sharing with others and the giving of gifts.

Why not celebrate your recovery this month by gathering with others, sharing and the giving of gift?

Becoming a sponsor is the perfect way to do this! Sharing your recovery with new members through sponsoring is a gift to your own recovery, the sponsee, and the recovery community!!!

Recovery really grows through the simple one-to-one sharing that occurs between a sponsor and a sponsee.

Why not give and receive this gift this holiday season?

For information on becoming a TRG sponsor, please write to:

Happy Holidays!
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

Contact: Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org


     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
     / \   / \   / \


Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1847, originally intended for his first two inventions: the microphone and "speech machine" to be an educational tool for the deaf.

Bell had high hopes for his invention though I would bet that he never dreamed that their development would eventually reach out to help those in isolation who are often silently clutched in grip of a cunning, baffling, disease.

Today, the compulsive overeater is coming out of INTENSE ISOLATION by use of the telephone!

Won't you consider becoming a part of our Recovery Telephone Angels today? Help someone to reinvent their health and life one day at a time by accepting phone calls from those who understand their struggle. Carry the message of recovery by sharing one-on- one over the phone.

The Telephone Angel Directory publishes upon the first of each month. There is no lengthy commitment required. You may cancel at any time or join again at another time.

Email Telephoneangels@yahoo.com. You set the terms for accepting calls by providing the following information for your personal "Telephone Angel" listing:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • What State you live in (this way people can find someone closer to them)
  • Your phone number ~ area code and number
  • Your time zone (like Eastern Standard)
  • Best times to call?
  • Should folks leave a message or not?
  • And, any other info you want callers to know
  • We do not publish website mentions.
  • No advertisements or spam is allowed.
  • The Telephone Angel Directory is published as an outreach tool for our
    TRG Recovery Loop members ONLY and is PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL!
  • Phone numbers should never be shared under any circumstances.
Thank you for considering performing this service for those who still suffer.

Yours in recovery, and for the TRG Administration,
January K.
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program


Dear Family:

Doing service, is not always fun... in fact sometimes it can be a downright pain in the . . . well you know.

But I can attest to the fact that performing service, no matter how large or how small, can be absolutely instrumental in keeping one's focus on his or her Recovery.

At present, we have several loops requiring Coordinators and Co-coordinators. We need you if we are going to continue carrying the message.

Please consider giving of your time! We need you, and where would you be, if people hadn't been there for you?

TRG Trusted Servants Coordinator


Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday 8 pm EST & Thursday 10 pm EST


Beryn comes to us from the isle of the UK. You may have seen her in our recovery meetings going by the wonderful nickname of "Destinie Waits".

Beryn went to an NA meeting to support a friend, and somehow felt that she belonged because of her addiction to food. Then, she decided to explore recovery for COE... and that is how she came to find TRG about a month ago.

"I felt as though I came home", says Beryn.

What has she most enjoyed? ".. the support, the friendship, and finding out that I am not abnormal", she says.

Even so, Beryn admits that she can be a little shy about sharing. Like most of us starting out, Beryn just wants "to get to a normal weight and stay there, and not have food on the mind all the time".

Beryn is a busy mother of 3. She admits, however, that despite having 3 teens (ages 18, 15, and 13) and 2 dogs, it is her hubby that is sometimes her biggest challenge. LOL (I am sure many of you ladies are smiling right now)

When not attending meetings, you might find Beryn off for a walk, or camping with her family in their camper/trailer.
Thank you for sharing with us, Beryn, and being a wonderful member of our fellowship.

Love in recovery,
Marilyn (TRGMarils)
Newcomer's Meeting Leader



To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to:



"When we became alcoholics or compulsive overeaters, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be?

Arrived at this point, we were squarely confronted with the question of faith. We couldn't duck the issues, and the promise of the New Land had brought lustre to tired eyes and fresh courage to flagging spirits. Friendly hands had stretched out in welcome. We were grateful that Reason had brought us so far. But, somehow, we couldn't quite step ashore. Perhaps we had been leaning too heavily on reason that last mile and we did not like to lose our support."
c. 2001, AABB, page 53


How well I remember this day! I had given up the punitive and punishing God of my childhood long before and it was hard for me to start believing anything again though I'd studied other religions for many years. But like most of us, I arrived at these doors desperate for a change in my life. As I went to the first meeting, I was just amazed and awed at the shares of the members there. I could tell their spirits were lighter and happier and it seemed that most of them there were the same way. As I listened further, I found out that they were studying and learning the 12 Steps as well as the passages of this wonderful Big Book. All I had to do was follow in the footsteps of those before me.

I'm so much happier these days - calmer, more peaceful and not anxious to control the world like I used to be. What a concept! Rest and let a new Higher Power/God who is loving and kind - take over. I found many outstretched hands welcoming me and connected with cyberfriends from all over the world.

God either is or He is isn't! I choose to believe He Is!! I have a much better life now than I ever had before!!

Many blessings on your Path To Recovery and Happiness

Much Love in Recovery,
    Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)


My name is Santa and I'm a compulsive overeater. I don't suppose this will come as a surprise to anyone especially when you consider all those mince pies I eat my way through every Christmas Eve. But I suppose the real give-away are my poor 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 he 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.

Then 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 for lightening that lit up his inner spiritual awareness as I found I had finally come home.

The first 4 reindeer are earth-orientated steeds and remind me to keep my feet firmly on the ground as I work this program.

And the last 4 reindeer are sky-orientated and tell me that while my body is earthbound, my spiritual self can soar to unknown heights.

Written by Marl (so Santa's anonymity hasn't really been compromised - in case you were worried)

May you have a joyfilled abstinent holiday season.

YOU have given my life meaning, and have given me a life worth living. Thank YOU!
Much love and in fellowship -


The Big Book tells me that "..we let God demonstrate, through us, what He can do." (P.68)

I would be complaining to my sponsor "I can't do it." I was looking for sympathy. I was feeling sorry for myself. My pride was bruised. I was feeling ashamed. I was beating myself up. After all, didn't I deserve that? I had a very strong internal message telling me that was what I deserved.

She would listen patiently and then tell me, "You're right. You cannot do it." There would be a pregnant pause and I was filled with rage. Here was someone else telling me I was hopeless! And then she would say, "God can." She would refer me to this entire page on how to deal with fear in relation to self reliance and the role that HP is to play in my life.

I would deflate like a balloon. Then peace would wash over me and I would be reminded that it is God's will I am trying to live, not Lanaya's will! There would be so much relief in knowing I could rely on infinite HP rather than my finite self.



God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA

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 ~


~ Visit our beautiful snowy scene for December ~

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:


Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTechTheRecoveryGroup.org

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


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 Recovery Group Members receive Serendipity monthly.
Individual subscriptions to Serendipity may be requested by sending a blank email to:

Yours in service,
The Serendipity Team
CONTACT: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

Volume 7 Issue 12 © Copyright 2005 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.