A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


December 1999
Volume 1, Issue 1


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


FEATURED ARTICLES

Editorial
The Founder's Corner
Online Meeting News
ESH From an I/G Member
ESH From a Loopie
The Promises
IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meeting Schedule
Overeaters Anonymous
Recovery Group Contacts
The Serenity Prayer



FROM OUR EDITOR


Dear Friends in Recovery,

Welcome to the inaugural edition of SERENDIPITY, OA Members in Recovery, a Wellspring of Hope. SERENDIPITY is another step in the evolution of the Recovery Groups, and is available to anyone who requests a subscription. The newsletter is also available on the loops’ web sites, as well as on the Recovery Groups web site.

Our first edition is a prototype for those to follow. Our beloved founder, Mari, has agreed to contribute a monthly column, The Founder’s Corner, in which she will share her recovery and wisdom on a variety of topics. This month, Mari addresses the origins and meaning of the word SERENDIPITY, and what it has meant in her recovery. Our trusted servant, Shana, has also contributed an article, sharing her experience, strength and hope in acceptance of self. Our trusted servant and coordinator of the Anorexia and Bulimia loop, Sande, provides an overview of the loop and of the general topics discussed on the loop. And finally, the Meetings Co-Coordinators, Anne and Cheryl, who are also co-editors of the newsletter, have provided an update of online meeting activity, and have set out the schedule of online Recovery and AOL meetings for the month of December. In future editions, we anticipate expanding the newsletter to provide more articles, announcements and information about the Recovery and AOL meetings and other activities of interest to our readers.

We are excited that our newsletter has finally been launched and hope that it will be a useful tool in your recovery from the disease of compulsive overeating. We look forward to watching SERENDIPITY evolve over the next months, and encourage all of you to become actively involved in that evolution by submitting shares, articles and stories of ESH. I have learned that we all have something to share that will encourage and inspire others in their recovery, and the newsletter will be a monthly forum for sharing that ESH. Remember, this is your newsletter!

Love in recovery,

Suzanne,
Editor
SERENDIPITY


SERENDIPITY SUBSCRIPTIONS



FOUNDER'S CORNER




Dear Recovery Friends,

Serendipity!! There is a Persian fairy tale written almost three hundred years ago that inspired this word ... and it has become one of my favorite words. I believe that is because my recovery life has personified that word. And so has the Recovery Group. When serendipity occurs, things just happen. It's a phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for ~ things not planned for ~ wonderful things not at all expected. It's as though God as we understand Him looks down upon us and creates a set of dominos and flicks His two fingers together and blessing after blessing finds us. Our recovery home is because of serendipity. Our loops. Our meetings. Our website. Our studies. Our writers' series. And now our very first newsletter. This is truly serendipity.

I'm honored to have a part in this first regular publication ... our very own monthly newsletter. I've had the opportunity recently to sort of sit back and watch some very dedicated and creative people start some wonderful projects for our Recovery Group. This newsletter is one of those projects.

Like our loops, our meetings, our website, our studies, etc. we will begin slowly. This newsletter will be a little different from other things we've done in the past ~ things that pretty well confine themselves to our group alone and require membership to participate. Our newsletter will not be limited to just loop members and meeting attendees ~ it will be by subscription to anyone who wishes to be sent a copy. And it will be just another way we intend to honor the mission of anything we do ... and that mission, of course, is to carry the message of the Twelve Steps to those who suffer from compulsive eating.

As I write this, I do not yet know what our newsletter will be called. It's a new baby and will have to have a name. I do know that it is for our meetings, basically, and that Anne, Cheryl and Suzanne have laid the groundwork. And I know that it's going to be informative and good because those three don't settle for things that aren't. And I know that the meeting hosts are sending invitations to subscribe to those who attend their meetings and that each issue will be sent automatically to each of our 60 loops. And I also know that we will maintain an archive on our website and that one day we will have a plethora of information at our fingertips. Beyond that, I'm not sure exactly how this will evolve ~ I just know that it will ~ and that this will be just another way God is smiling down on us as we hold each others' hands on our journey to recovery.

How did it all happen so fast? How in the blink of an eye did we suddenly have meetings morning, noon and night every day of the week? How are we able to come to this medium 24 hours a day 7 days a week and find another compulsive eater to share with in every possible way? How in such a short time have we become able to have E-mail, telephones, ICQ, IRC, AOL, the web ~ all to help us fight our common illness? How is it possible that so many have joined together to work toward a common goal and that literally everything this group touches seems to have a ripple effect and goes around the world gathering up some of the most wonderful people on the planet to come join us.

I'm reminded of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. One little loop begets another .. and another ... and another. And that loop inspires a study group. And the study group inspires web pages. And visitors to the web join us and want meetings. And the meetings take on a life of their own as does our community and we are all better for having been here. The Pied Piper has now led us to our monthly newsletter. I can hardly wait to see what this brand new sparkling first issue holds.

Another little bit of serendipity? Absolutely.

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

FROM OUR MEETING COORDINATORS


Dear Friends,

Each week in IRC we have miracles happening ~ in a channel called #Recovery, we have a team of dedicated Trusted Servants who translate the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions to bring OA to life to many Loopies. I was always told in OA not to leave until the miracle happened; well ... that miracle for me happened when I stumbled upon the Recovery Group Online meetings.

Late one night in April of this year, while surfing the net I stumbled across this amazing webpage called the Recovery Group and I sat in awe as I read all about compulsive overeating and OA. The more I read, the more thirsty I was to search out the peace and serenity that I was reading about, so I logged onto IRC StarChat and nervously clicked the button to enter #Recovery. I just happened to enter a channel while the For Today meeting was on ~ the channel was full, Audrey was leading, and I sat back and soaked it all up. Finally, I knew that I not only needed to be there, I wanted to be there. I was home.

Over the next few days, I joined a few loops and went to as many online meetings as I could ~ here I found the most amazing men and women who welcomed me with open arms, answered all my questions and guided me into OA. The more I heard, the more I knew OA was for me. I became a regular at these meetings, going to as many as my Australian time zone would allow. I connected with individuals, thirsty for their knowledge and support, craving their recovery. I absorbed the program through these individuals as they led me around the net, to download the 12 Steps, The Promises, the Big Book and encouraged and supported me to walk through the door and go to a face to face OA meeting. I can honestly say my abstinence today would never have happened if my Higher Power hadn't taken me by the hand and led me into #Recovery that night. Once there, I wouldn't have stayed unless I felt at home ~ and that is how I felt. From those early days, I knew that one of my tools of recovery was online meetings ~ for me online meetings are just as important as f2f meetings in my recovery as they occur at all times night and day and are always there just when I need them.

Each week in the #Recovery channel, there are 49 scheduled online OA Topic meetings and Recovery Talks which cover all areas from For Today meetings, 12 Step meetings, Newcomers meetings and special topic meetings such as Abuse and Recovery, AlAnon and Christian meetings. The meeting schedule continues to grow each month and November saw another first for The Recovery Group meetings with addition of a Spanish Recovery meeting ~ an OA Topic meeting in Spanish. Next month will see an Italian meeting starting. The meetings continue to grow and develop to meet the needs of the individuals within The Recovery Group. This couldn’t occur without the dedication of the Trusted Servants, who spend time doing service in #Recovery and without the dedication of my Meetings CoCordinator Cheryl, who works hand in hand with me to support the meetings and the loopies to get to these meetings.

The full weekly meeting schedule is below ~ come along and join us in #Recovery.

Love in recovery

Anne
Meeting CoCoordinator
The Recovery Group


FROM OUR INTERGROUP


Dear Friends,

In reflecting over this year of abstinence, I am reminded of something that I wrote to the Journey to Recovery loop sometime back. I'd like to share it with you; it is something that never gets stale and is always, in my mind, appropriate and timely to share.

Over the past 25 years, I have been up and down the scales in OA; loving myself when I looked thin and hating myself unmercifully when I gained the weight back. Four years ago, when I started climbing up the scale again I was angry, hateful, and tired of it all. Oh, how I hated to look into the mirror. And, everyone's eyes were a reflection of what I was sure they were thinking of me. The fact that I am still the same person inside, the fact that I am an honest, loving person meant nothing. What mattered was how I looked.

Anyhow, I made a decision about a year ago. It was that I was going to learn to love myself exactly how I was ~ heavy as I was ~ before I would begin a journey to recovery again. I knew in my heart that I had to learn to love me unconditionally if I was going to make it. I don't remember right now exactly what set this thinking off, but it was so important to me and I felt that without this acceptance, how could I expect anyone else to love me this way? I thought how nice it would be to feel loving of me, look at me in the mirror, not hate what I saw, respect me for me ~ like I always lamented that I wanted this from others.

It included, believe it or not, hugging me and looking in the mirror while I did this. Dressed, or undressed, I would look at my reflection and say, "I love you just for who you are." I would pick a feature, or body part, and comment aloud how nice it was, like, "You have beautiful eyes, Shana." And even my not so nice body parts, like, "Shana, you have nice legs, and you are so lucky that they get you around so well!" I would even just get up in the morning and look in the bathroom mirror and say, "I love you."

I also stopped looking for others to say things that I wasn't willing to say to myself. I would always set myself up and ask my husband, for instance, how I looked and knowing deep down that he would say "fine" but his eyes told me he was lying! I stopped asking him, and asked me instead.

When I really and truly felt that I had come to love myself more and accept me for who I was, then I knew that I could begin to heal myself from the outside. For whatever reason, I felt so strongly that I had to care about myself, to not look to others for my reflection, and to be willing to stand by me...for better or worse.

Today, I love myself as a growing human being. I work on my program of recovery through the 12-steps, ask my Higher Power for guidance, and help others to recover, one day at a time, through sponsorsing and being sponsored. I'm worth it! I really am.

Live and Be Well,

Shana
Trusted Servant
The Recovery Group

FROM OUR LOOPS


Dear Friends,

Hi, my name is Sande, aka Hopeful, and I'm the coordinator of the Anorexia and Bulimia loop. Our membership is hovering around the 100 mark. It hasn't made it quite yet but we're getting really close. The thrust of our sharing is how we're doing in our recovery or lack of recovery with our eating disorders. A lot of our sharing is about what triggers the eating disorder, or problems with medications, namely anti-depressants, or how therapy is going. The loop was very quiet for a long time. Sometimes nobody shared for several days. I couldn't stand that, and decided to become a mother hen. Things are a bit better now. Of course, what I desire for my little loop is for it to be a place of sharing, safety and healing. Anorexia and bulimia are such secret diseases sometime, especially bulimia. Finding a place where others understand and accept us unconditionally is healing in itself. Thankfully, the Recovery loops and online meetings are places like that.

My future plans include learning how to add a link to the Recovery website on other eating disorder websites, and to have some sort of letters always available for the members to access… things like frequently asked questions about anorexia and bulimia.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve and spread the message of recovery.

With love from

Sande


FROM THE LITERATURE


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.

. . . . . . . . The Promises From the Big Book



RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS
All Meetings Eastern Time
All IRC meetings on Starchat Channel
All IRC meetings in private room, #Recovery with the exception of the Spanish meetings which are held in private room #SpanishRecovery
SUNDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC For Today
11:30 AM IRC Spanish OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:30 PM IRC Italian Recovery
7:00 PM IRC AlAnon/OA Meeting
8:00 PM IRC Newcomers Meeting
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
MONDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PMIRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
TUESDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
WEDNESDAY:
7:00 AMIRC OA Topic
10:30 AMIRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
THURSDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Recovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
8:00 PM IRC Newcomers
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
FRIDAY:
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PMIRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
SATURDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Spanish OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
5:00 PM IRC Abuse & Recovery
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal


AOL Online Meeting Schedule

All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL

Monday 10:30 AM Recovery Chat
Tuesday 12:00 PM OA Topic
12:00 AM OA Topic
Wednesday 9:30 PM 100 Pounders
Thursday 9:00 PM OA Topic
10:30 PM OA Topic
Friday 11:00 PM Twelve Steps
Saturday 12:00 AM OA Topic


FROM OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS

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

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.htm
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 ~ ~ srauer1@home.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@mail.com ~ Suzanne
Meetings ~ RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com ~ Cheryl and Anne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ Pamela969@aol.com ~ Pamela
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ SILoops@mail.com ~ Anne and Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ recoveryicq@yahoo.com ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ dansm@gorge.net ~ Cindy
Recovery Group Administrator ~ jomarst1@aol.com ~ John
Recovery Group Founder ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari


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



Disclaimer

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 1995-2000 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.