~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~
Dear Recovery Friends,
This is the "Love Month." To love and to be loved is the greatest
gift ever given ... the greatest gift ever received. We can love
all kinds of things ... and one of the "things" I love is this
beautiful community called The Recovery Group. And I love those
of you who over the past decade have turned it from being just a
bunch of e-mail lists into a community. I want to tell you what
has happened as a result of a lot of hard work, caring, sharing and
love! I want to share with you what happens when suffering people
are connected at the heart.
For our Tenth Birthday present, The Recovery Group Community has
been given a wonderful new home. No longer will our support groups
be in more than one place; no longer will we be subjected to
pop-ups, advertising, animations and commercials; no longer will we
have to put up with SPAM, or a technical support system where we
never hear from a live person or even wonder if our anonymity will
I am so very pleased to announce to you that The Recovery Group
lists will all be moved to their very own domain with the largest
and best listserver in the world. In the very near future our new
home will be at lists. TheRecoveryGroup.org and you will each be
sent all the details in the next week. The migration will not
affect you except for a change in the address to which you send
your shares. The benefits will be many and we ask that you have
patience while the best Trusted Servant team on the planet gets to
We are so very blessed. Thanks to all of you for being here,
working your program, sharing with your home loop, participating
as Trusted Servants and letting us know as often as possible that,
as a result of the Twelve Steps, you are receiving the promises.
Happy February, Loopies!
Love in recovery,
~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
Established to help anyone afflicted with an eating disorder,
the Discovery Loops empower men, women and even children. Through
the Discovery Loops we hope to help others learn about OA and
connect with others that suffer the same disease.
For some, isolation has been the only way of life and so for the
first time when they join TRG they see there is hope in Recovery.
The Discovery Loops consist of five loops. Two of them were created
for children and their parents. They are Kids & Discovery, and
COKIDS. Kids & Discovery is a loop where only children can share
and has one adult moderator. CoKids is the loop for parents,
grandparents and teachers. Anyone who needs assistance helping a
child with an eating disorder.
If you like to cook and have some great recipes then Kitchen and
Discovery is for you. This is the place where you can share food
plans, recipes, and food ideas and do not have to worry about
talking about food. We ask you to take what you want and leave
the rest. So come on and join us, it will be fun, all of us
sharing our "secret" recipes with each other.
And after we talk and eat food then we can swing on over to Exercise
and Recovery. This loop is a great place to be when you want to
commit some exercise goals with others, and to just want to hear
what others are doing. It can be run like a discussion group and
services are available like all other loops; sponsors, meetings, Big
Book Studies, etc.
Lastly, we have The Yellow Brick Road. What a way to travel our
journey of recovery and at the same time be able to go back to our
childhood if we have left some unfinished business or wounds there.
In this loop there are no Coordinators, no guidelines, basically
anything goes. It is a spiritual loop, but not religious. You
choose where you want to begin your journey, childhood, teens,
adult and go from there. Wherever, the Yellow Brick Road leads you
remember the important thing is for you to DISCOVER who you really
are and that you are not alone!
~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~
January has been a very busy month with the formation of meetings
designed especially for people new to OA and/or TRG. From January
31st, the meetings will be held once a day during the week in the
#TRGNewcomers meeting room. The format of the meetings will be
informal, with question and answer time and explanations of how the
program works, our meeting protocol, the meaning of abstinence, how
to obtain a sponsor, the tools of recovery, information about food
plans, working the steps and any other information relevant to
These meetings are very much needed in our program and hopefully
will help and encourage newcomers to get started and if there are
any experienced members willing to lead these special meetings,
would be very glad to hear from you!!
Anyone needing times/topics/leader information about these and all
other TRG meetings can subscribe to the weekly meeting schedule and
newsletter by sending an email to:
In loving service,
Terri, Barry, Christine, Audrey and Cindy
On-Line Meeting Coordinators
Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Leaders Loop: MeetingTS@yahoogroups.com
~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~
(\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
/ \ / \ / \
Do you feel HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY, TIRED, or just need a friendly
voice to talk with who understands how you are feeling and has most
likely been there?
Well, we have the answer! PICK UP YOUR PHONE and call a TELEPHONE
If you feel afraid or scared or just do not feel comfortable talking
to a stranger, remember that the Recovery Telephone Angels are
really not strangers after all. We are all together holding hands
and you can just tell yourself "I am making this call to practice."
There are GREAT things happening with The Telephone Angels Program.
We now have over 35 Angels who come from all over--- California to
New York, to Canada and all way to Denmark. All in all we have 21
Also now the Telephone Angels are arranged according to the
State/Country they live in. This will make it easier if you live in
Idaho and want to talk to someone close by. Just scroll down and see
if you can find someone who lives there.
This is a GREAT Program and continues to grow each day! What a
wonderful tool we have in the telephone! If you would like to
become a Telephone Angel or would like to give service to this group
such as compiling names and sending out Directories, please send the
following information to:
Your Name & Email Address
Your STATE (VERY IMPORTANT)!!
Your Phone Number with area code
Best Time to Call
Is it okay to leave a message?
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org. Please put "Attention:
Cody Re: Telephone Angels" on the subject line.
~ TRG'S FIRST DECADE ~ 1995-2005 ~
1995-2005 ~ TRG'S FIRST DECADE
Once upon a time, when the world wide web was much younger, there
was an email loop for compulsive overeaters called Oasis. This
loop was a wonderful place of recovery for many people. One of the
people who found the miracle of abstinence on the Oasis loop was a
woman named Mari. She began to be a major contributor, writing
letters of encouragement to the newcomers, and letters in general
talking about her feelings and her successes and struggles. She
started calling some of these letters "Journey to Recovery". They
followed a format. They started out with a quotation from someone,
usually someone well-known, then she would write about that
quotation, and she ended her journal with a prayer. Mari
wrote these Journeys daily, and people began talking about them.
As is the case on email loops sometimes, there were a few nay-sayers
who didn't care for the Journeys and began criticizing both the
writings and the author.
One day a friend said to her, "Why don't you start your own email
loop where you can send out your Journey's only to the people who
want them and regain peace in your life?" Mari thought that was a
good idea and Journey to Recovery was born.
WTS was the first loop after Oasis. WTS was and is a Step Study
and Journey to Recovery (JTR) a support group with general sharing.
OA Friends had replaced Oasis and over the months, people came up
with ideas for "specialty" loops such as Anorexia and Bulimia, loops
for obese children, Diabetes and Recovery, and before we knew it, we
were the largest and most comprehensive recovery groups on the
internet. We remain that way today, thanks to countless hours of
volunteer labor done by hundreds of very precious trusted servants.
Who would ever have thought when that first Journey to Recovery went
out to a few dozen people, it would turn into the tremendous recovery
community it has become. Thank you, God. Thank you, Mari.
Yours in recovery,
~ FEATURE ARTICLE ~
Will you be YOUR Valentine?
Imagine this scenario:
Tonight, I have a date with my valentine. My valentine is so
special to me. I have planned a special meal, which is composed
of healthy favorite foods. I will play special music, and lay out
my favorite plates and silverware. I will talk about my
valentine's special qualities. I will dress in a nice dress, and
fix my hair in a special way. I went to the store, and bought
something that would tell my valentine how I feel. I bought
flowers, and a sweet gift. I am looking forward to spending time
with my valentine.
Are you thinking my husband is a lucky man? Well, though I hope he
thinks so, too, I am not talking about him. I am talking about how
I would like to treat myself ... just for today.
How hard is it for us to think of ourselves in the way that we think
of the ones we love? How hard is it for us to find special things to
say; to take the time to prepare a special meal; to buy ourselves
something "just because"? How hard is it for us to take the time
to give ourselves the love that we deserve? I have a problem loving
myself, sometimes. Sometimes, I don't feel very lovable. I think of
my character defects. I think of the failed diets, and of the harsh
words that I say to my family. I think of the many ways that I am
less than what I wish that I could be. And I wonder not only how I
could love myself, but sometimes why my husband and family love me?
Many of us feel very jaded on Valentine Day. Love has betrayed us,
and we find ourselves either alone, or in unfulfilling
relationships. But there is a person inside of each of us who is
worthy of love - especially of our own love. The Program
teaches us that we are all lovable. We are human beings, faulted
and imperfect; yet, each of us has good qualities which we can use
for the good of ourselves and others, when we choose to. I
believe that each of us has a purpose in this world, and that when
we stay connected to our Higher Power, and listen to HP's guidance,
we can find and carry out this purpose.
I believe that each of us can make a difference in the world: one
person at a time. We see in the eyes of each person whose lives we
touch, another person who is just as faulty and imperfect as we are
-yet, just as deserving of love.
Those of us fortunate to be involved in happy, supportive
relationships know the trouble that we sometimes go to when we
select our Valentine Day gifts. The card must say just what we want
it to say. The flowers must be just the right kind. The gift
must show the way we feel. The time we spend with that person is
charged with excitement, passion and joy. So why CAN'T we resolve
to care for ourselves in some of those same ways:
Today is the day you can give these gifts to yourself. I don't
believe this will make us selfish, if we do it right. If we do it
right, it will make us special - in our own eyes. And that is all
the Valentine we need, for today. Make a date. Make it with
yourself. You'll be glad you did!
Flowers - why NOT buy yourself a bouquet of flowers? It will
brighten up your room, and your mood. If flowers aren't your thing,
how about an aromatherapy candle, or a bright new scarf, or a new
picture for your room? Make the picture yourself, if funds are
limited. Or take a walk to see something that will brighten your own
day, in the way that flowers can.
Sweet treats - now, I am NOT talking the "C" word here. Not in these
rooms. But that is not the only sweet treat we can buy for others or
ourselves. Buy some fresh fruit, instead of canned. Buy a new
package of sugarless gum. Buy some of that flavored water. Put
some fruit-flavored extract into something that is ordinarily
Spending time - we all deserve some "me time". Some time with
ourselves. Some time to think; to reflect; to reach inside of our
hearts and souls; to discover who we are. Carve out some quiet time
each week. It can be a refreshing experience.
Go out on a "date" - OK, you can't really take yourself to the
movies... or can you? Find a special activity that you really enjoy,
and give it to yourself as a gift. Go to a movie, a concert, a play,
the mall, a game, a museum, an exhibit or just to the park. Savor
your own company, and enjoy the sensation of enjoying whatever it is
that you enjoy.
A card/special words - OK, so you don't have to buy yourself a card.
But find some special words to say to yourself. "You can make it,
one day at a time. You are doing well. You are doing the best you
can. Take it easy. Progress, not perfection. You
are loved, just the way you are. This setback is only temporary.
You made a mistake, but you can learn from it. You resisted the urge
to ____; great going!" Self-talk is not just for phony gurus. It
is a powerful way to reframe your existence.
Special meals - when I have company, I turn off the TV, put away the
novel that I am reading, and get out the fancy plates and
silverware. Why not treat yourself like company? Why not lay out
those plates for yourself? Enjoy them! They're yours! Who has a
better right to eat on them? Turn off the TV and listen to some
soothing music. Why not dress up? Because no one is there? YOU are
there! You deserve the best of yourself, and you can make this
happen with just a little effort.
Love - to me, this is the most important thing of all. Do whatever
it takes to love yourself. All of the things that you have to do; to
preserve your relationships with those you love; do these things to
the best of your ability, to and for yourself. Acceptance,
forgiveness, patience, appreciation, encouragement, devotion,
honesty, perseverance,faithfulness, communication... all these
things are what we do each day, with and for the people we love.
Submitted by :
Donna ~ ODAT Loops Division Leader
~ The Story of Piera ~ A Member From Italy ~
My name is Piera and I am a COE. I think I have always been a food
addict. I grew up in a family where everyone had and still has one
or several drugs of choice. Until I was 18 I didn't have problems
with food and my weight. It was my last year of my High School and
I had my final exams. I started eating more than usual and gained
about ten pounds. And so I started my career as a Compulsive
I have never been "really" overweight but my mind was fat and I was
convinced to be a big eater. To make a long story short, it took me
17 years to acknowledge and accept I had a problem with food. The
good thing, however, is as soon as I became aware of it, I
immediately called the Italian OA Information Office. They gave me
an address and a meeting time. It was December 1999. When I attended
my first meeting I didn't understand much of what the other members
were saying but I felt I was in the right place. I was peaceful and
relieved: I finally knew what my problem was, I finally heard I
suffered from a serious and incurable illness. In a certain way I
was glad to discover I had a disease. I thought: "Thanks, Go;, now I
know where I can start from!" By thinking that, I had taken
Within a couple of months I started my abstinence, following a
simple food plan. After three months I had already lost the pounds I
had gained. But I was still convinced my only problem was the
overeating. I hadn't accepted yet I had another food problem.
Thanks to OA and the Program I kept on working on myself and
my disease. After a couple of years of attendance, continuing
abstinence and usage of the recovery tools I eventually realized
I was anorexic too. My Fourth Step clearly showed me I had
always alternated overeating with starving: this was
one of the reasons why I had never really been overweight. Now I
know I do need to be very careful with my meals. I can't afford for
my body to eat too much or not enough. I can't afford for my soul to
be without the Program.
I work the 12&12 every day, even if I am very tired or busy. This is
the only way I have to live my life on life's terms. Nowadays my
life is much better than it was before I joined OA. I have a nice
family and most of the days I am free from the compulsion. I know
this is the best life I have ever had and know joy and sorrow belong
both in my existence. They are just two sides of the same coin and
one can't exist without the other. Everyday I pray to God to help me
and give me the strength to face the challenges of the hours
standing before me ... then I thank Him for everything I have now
and for my life. I have been abstinent for 4 years and 10 months and
for this 24 hours my kitchen is closed.
Just another couple of lines before I finish my story: God led me to
OA and to the Program but it's up to me to make the Program work.
Service helps me to stay connected: I do use this tool a lot,
because it helps me to reach out, read the Literature, think about
the Program,take action and stay committed to the Steps. This
disease is baffling, cunning and powerful: I have accepted it is
stronger than I am. This is the reason why I rarely think I can
leave the Program for even a couple of days. But, if this happens,
and sometimes happens, then service is my lifeline, because there's
always something I "have" to do for servicing, something which
involves not only men and my self-centered person but also other
COEs who need me to take action.
I want to thank the people who asked me to write my story down and
all the Trusted Servants who make it possible to maintain the
Recovery Site, the Loops and the Online meetings.
Love in Recovery and Service,
~ A Living Prayer for Recovery ~ Part Two
(Continued from Serendipity, January 2005)
I began my journey in darkness, without any knowledge of the OA
Program or the 12 steps.
Once a very athletic person, always challenged by issues of
weight control, in 1986 I found myself diagnosed with polycystic
ovarian disease, a common hormonal ailment--also a precursor to
Diabetes type II.
As my hormonal problems progressed, noticed as absence of
menses, I discovered and felt the presence of a tumor.
IN 1988 . . .
IN 1993 . . .
The tumor was growing as I regressed. Along with this came great
pain along with loss of income. I was served divorce papers upon my
wedding anniversary. I had loss of mobility, fear, isolation, and
difficulty clothing myself because my apparel had to become outsized
in the extreme to accommodate the fast-growing abdominal area of my
In grocery stores, malls and on streets I suffered stares and
whispers from children and adults who starred curiously at the tall,
large girl with the pretty face. Corporate women and svelte
housewives would turn their faces away from me in disgust as I
pushed a grocery cart down the aisle.
My life became hours long, multiple clinic visits. Since the
doctors believed that my condition was worsening solely for the
reason that they believed I was merely a CLOSET EATER, I was not
ever granted lab tests or a sonogram test during 7 1/2 years! My
diagnosis of Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease had never been acknowledged
or documented that I knew of.
I had suggested to doctors that I had a growing tumor. They seemed
insulted and ignored me while exchanging whispered consultations
with each other.
After talking with a nurse practioner, she suggested I transfer to a
new team of doctors, which I did.
I began to receive slightly better care, but the tumor was still
undiagnosed. My waist measurement increased from 48 to 66 inches,
weight from 276 to 358 pounds. The pain began to be quite incredible
so that I was often more comfortable staying up in a lounge chair
at night than sleeping in a bed.
In the coming weeks, the pain would not allow sleep to come unless I
had been up 72 hours.
Eventually my new physician gave me a sonogram test though his
superiors were very grudging, acting as though the test would be a
waste of time.
When the results came back POSITIVE with the presence of a very
large fibroid tumor CONFIRMED, this was my validation as a human
being with a routine problem that should have been solved. Surely
now they will give me surgery! I assumed.
IN 1995 . . .
My condition had worsened. My waist measurement was now exactly 70
inches, my weight topped at 386. How could this situation have
occurred when my country has the best medical care? The answers
involved areas of human prejudice and errant human thinking.
The word "recovery" and "abstinence" were about to enter my world.
When I was very ill, I'd found a "virtual world" on the internet. I
found friends, supporters,words of encouragement that kept me
literally fighting for my life.
My tumor was removed.
IN 1997 . . .
I was healing from the second surgery of a tummy tuck that had given
me a new and normal appearance, plus a new custom belly button! My
deformed pouch had been removed.
My physical rehabilitation was ongoing. It was during this time that
I met someone who introduced me to the OA Program of Recovery.
It took an operation(s) to save and rebuild my body, yet God would
use the internet and one person working the OA Program at just the
right time to help me in the area of food addiction---something that
I'd never thought about before since I'd always been lead to
believe that it was "my lack of will power..."
The Steps remind me daily that lasting healing must come from the
inside-out! My surgical procedures are permanent if I take care of
my body, however, the disease of compulsive overeating is a lifelong
The tools were created to prevent my further isolation and my
involvement with life and living in healthy solutions..
By my experience in "earth-school" I now "qualify" to help others
at meetings and on the HOTJ loop. My life remains even now "under
construction" by my Higher power so that it has now become, in
essence, a living prayer for recovery.
~ January K.
~ WRITERS' SERIES ~ TEN WAYS TO LOVE OURSELVES ~
~ Reflections on Louise Hay's Inspiring Book, "The Power Is Within
Dear Friends on our Journey ~
My name is Mari and I am a grateful compulsive overeater in
recovery. I am compulsive in other ways also. Many times we who
have this disease will give up one addiction and quickly replace
it with another. I don't like this disease. Aside from the fact
that it is complex, aside from the fact that it can make one's
life pretty miserable, aside from the fact that it is cunning,
baffling and many, many other things I believe this disease stems
from the fact that we simply do not love ourselves enough. We
need so very much to love and to be loved.
"Infantile love follows the principle:
I love because I am loved.
Mature love follows the principle:
I am loved because I love. "
~ Erich Fromm
There was a period of my life when I closed off my emotions and
could not love nor could I receive love. I'm not sure I would have
ever been able to do that again had I not found my program of
recovery ~ The Twelve Steps. Since God allowed me to feel again, I
have had a problem only once with coming close to shutting off my
emotions ... and, although I came perilously close to doing that
again, because of my hope that this program works, I was able to
keep it from happening.
In the quote above, it speaks of "infantile" love. An immature
love. A love that "happens" when someone loves us. Doesn't work
that way, does it? We might think it does ... and it may be a
type of love ... but Fromm is right when he speaks of it as
"infantile." If someone came to me tomorrow morning and said to
me, "I love you", I could not begin to love that person simply
because he/she loved me. I could go through the machinations of
doing so ... but it would not be the kind of love I would be
looking for. And it would not be the kind of love I want to give
As complicated as it is, as inexplicable as it is .... mature love
comes only with the giving of it. We all know that unconditional
acceptance is found in the rooms of OA. And once we experience
that ... we can move on to self acceptance. And from there
we find the ability to accept and love others WITHOUT CONDITIONS
I'd like you to think about something as we go through these ten
days of trying to learn to love ourselves more. Think about those we
love and those who love us and let us ask ourselves if that
is the "infantile" love or the "mature" love.
And my last thought is something that I have said so many times to
others ... something an OA speaker once said:
"I love you; whether you love me is beside the point."
ONE ~ ~ STOP ALL CRITICISM ~ ~
As I continue on this journey
to recovery with my friends, please
help us all to learn to love ourselves more
so that we can give unconditional love as well
as experience it ourselves
CRITICISM NEVER CHANGES A THING.
TWO ~ ~ DON'T SCARE YOURSELF ~ ~
REFUSE TO CRITICIZE YOURSELF.
ACCEPT YOURSELF EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.
WHEN YOU CRITICIZE YOURSELF,
YOUR CHANGES ARE NEGATIVE.
WHEN YOU APPROVE OF YOURSELF,
YOUR CHANGES ARE POSITIVE
DON'T SCARE YOURSELF.
THREE ~ ~ BE GENTLE AND KIND AND PATIENT ~ ~
STOP TERRORIZING YOURSELF
WITH YOUR THOUGHTS.
IT'S A DREADFUL WAY TO LIVE!
FIND A MENTAL IMAGE THAT GIVES YOU PLEASURE
( MINE IS A WATERFALL),
AND IMMEDIATLEY SWITCH YOUR SCARY THOUGHT
TO A PLEASURABLE THOUGHT.
BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.
FOUR ~ ~ BE KIND TO YOUR MIND ~ ~
BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
AS YOU LEARN THE NEW WAYS OF THINKING.
TREAT YOURSELF AS YOU WOULD
SOMEONE YOU REALLY, REALLY LOVED.
SELF HATRED IS ONLY HATING
FIVE ~ ~ PRAISE YOURSELF ~ ~
YOUR OWN THOUGHTS.
DON'T HATE YOURSELF
FOR HAVING BAD THOUGHTS.
GENTLY CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS.
CRITICISM BREAKS DOWN THE INNER SPIRIT.
SIX ~ ~ SUPPORT YOURSELF ~ ~
PRAISE BUILDS IT UP.
PRAISE YOURSELF AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
TELL YOURSELF HOW WELL YOU ARE DOING
WITH EACH AND EVERY LITTLE THING.
FIND WAYS TO SUPPORT YOURSELF.
SEVEN ~ ~ BE LOVING TO YOUR NEGATIVES ~ ~
REACH OUT TO FRIENDS AND
ALLOW THEM TO HELP YOU.
IT IS BEING STRONG
TO ASK FOR HELP
WHEN YOU NEED IT.
YOU CREATED THEM
EIGHT ~ ~ TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY ~ ~
TO FULFILL A NEED.
NOW YOU ARE FINDING NEW,
TO FULFILL THOSE NEEDS.
SO, LOVINGLY RELEASE
THE OLD NEGATIVE PATTERNS.
LEARN ABOUT NUTRITION.
NINE ~ ~ MIRROR WORK ~ ~
WHAT KIND OF FUEL DOES
YOUR BODY NEED TO HAVE FOR
OPTIMUM ENERGY AND VITALITY?
LEARN ABOUT EXERCISE.
WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE CAN YOU ENJOY
AND TOLERATE ACCORDING TO YOUR ILLNESS?
CHERISH AND REVERE THE TEMPLE YOU LIVE IN.
LOOK INTO YOUR EYES OFTEN.
TEN ~ ~ LOVE YOURSELF ~ ~
EXPRESS THIS GROWING SENSE OF LOVE
YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELF.
LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR.
TALK TO YOUR PARENTS AND LOVED ONES,
LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR.
FORGIVE THEM TOO.
AT LEAST ONCE A DAY SAY:
"I LOVE YOU.
I REALLY LOVE YOU"
DON'T WAIT UNTIL YOU GET WELL,
OR LOSE THE WEIGHT,
OR GET THE NEW JOB,
OR THE NEW RELATIONSHIP.
AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN!
I'd like you to scroll back up now if you would ... and read
the titles to each step over ... and see if you, like me,
have taken one baby step more to that one-day-at-a-time place
we know as recovery. I hope so. Loving oneself is something
many of us just simply never learned to do. And loving ourself
is not an option. Because if we don't love ourselves, we will
hate ourselves. And, if we hate ourselves, our disease will
take over .... it will quit doing those push-ups .. and pounce
on us ... it will start the "stinking thinking" all over
again ... it will tell us how rotten we are ... it will seduce
us with our drug of choice ... and it will grin while doing so.
Please help me to be kind to myself.
To be gentle with my thoughts and feelings.
I know that the more I can love myself ...
And the more honest I can be
With my own emotions ...
The freer I can be
To love and give joy to others.
~ Promise Two ~
The words of the Second Promise are:
"We will not regret the past
nor wish to shut the door on it."
In the last part of this series on the Promises, I talked about how
they begin to come true after doing Step 7. Although it's true that
they begin to come true then, they blossom forth after the
completion of step 9. What comes before that is just a sample of
what will happen after Step 9:
"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except
when to do so would injure them or others." Like Steps 4-7,
this sounds much harder than it really is. It must be done
carefully, however, with help from a sponsor and a lot of
In doing steps 8 & 9, I uncovered a lot of guilt about things I had
done in the past; things I had forgotten about, but which were
causes of a vague sense of guilt. I had been feeling this guilt so
long that it was like a natural part of me. I felt like there was
something basically wrong with me that made me feel so much guilt. I
actually felt guilty about existing in this world, since I wasn't
really aware of what the cause of this vague sense of guilt was.
These feelings of guilt and worthlessness affected all areas of my
life, especially those concerning people.
But, as soon as I began to make my amends in Step 9, I felt the
release of the guilt. I felt SO much more comfortable. I could be
more open with my fellows, both in and out of OA. I had nothing to
hide any more.
The second promise is: "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut
the door on it." Like a lot of us, I had many feelings of guilt and
anger about things that had happened in my past. This anger was
eating away at the inside of me. The person I was the most angry
with was my mother.
I had to forgive her for the many times she showered me with verbal
abuse. That was the most difficult amends of all. Why had she felt
the necessity of treating me this way? What was my part in it? Where
had this pattern of abuse come from? I had to learn a lot about my
mother's past in order to forgive her. I learned that she had many
of the same feelings of inadequacy that I was carrying around. She
had learned it from her parents, who had learned it from their
parents. Part of my amends has been to put an end to this chain of
abuse. I think that having gone through this abuse, although it
hurt me a lot, also helped me to be sensitive to verbal abuse in
That was the biggest amends I had to make. I didn't make it
directly, by discussing it in detail. I just told her several times,
that she had been the best parent she was able to be.
Other amends were much easier - things like clearing up debts,
changing my behavior towards others, returning things I had
borrowed, apologizing for things I had done, etc. Doing these things
set me free from the guilt that had been keeping me chained and had
affected all of my interactions with other people for most of my
life. It had mostly affected my relationship with myself.
Miraculously, the second promise began to come true - I could think
about my past in more positive terms. I could use the past to make
my present life more positive towards both myself and others. I
could use it as a tool to make my present relationships more
satisfying. I know now that the way others treated me, or didn't
treat me, had more to do with them than with me. They had their own
burdens to carry.
~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~
~~ FROM THE BIG BOOK ~~
"Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous/Overeaters Anonymous
will help the public to a better realization of the gravity of the
alcoholic problem but we shall be of little use if our attitude is
one of bitterness or hostility. Drinkers/overeaters will not stand
After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles/excess food
were only a symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or
anything. We have to.!!"
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 103
As we are just studying about the beginnings of the Big Book and
how the word was spread and the men writing the book were trying to
help as many alcoholics as they could find, I thought this was a
good paragraph to put in Serendipity today.
OA has also become popular by word of mouth as well as our newest
technology, mentioned in the BB 4th Edition, the computer. Our
groups are being put online to help those seeking a way to ease their
torment with the compulsive overeating problem. It is still hard for
some people outside our groups to realize the gravity of this
The problems were of our own making, but the answers must come from
a realization that this is a disease and needs the gravest attention
and help!! Word spreading about a group that can help the COE find
abstinence is a wonderful tool. As we all suffer the same disease,
we empathize with how the other member feels. Only by finding a
group who understands and a Higher Power for sustenance, will
anyone find any lasting success in treating this enemy. We are
growing in numbers and this is encouraging. Hopefully, someday, it
will be an accepted cure for our disease!!
Love in Recovery,
Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)
~ Closing Recovery Meditation ~ Love ~
Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.
- Lucille Ball
It took me a long time to learn what loving myself truly meant. I
thought love was so many things: pleasing others, saying yes when I
meant no, swallowing my true feelings, putting myself last. What I
didn't know is that I was practicing resentment, anger, fear,
jealousy and everything BUT love. I did not love others because I
did not love myself.
Then I decided to take care of me first. I considered no one but me,
took care of me, or so I thought, while alienating myself from those
close to me. I ate compulsively to tame the self-loathing I felt
inside. And I loathed myself because I did not treat myself
with love and kindness.
Today I know that loving myself must come first. If I love myself,
I am better to everyone in my life because I do things from a place
of honesty. If I treat myself with respect, I treat others with
respect. Everyone wins when I love myself enough to accept myself
... flaws and all.
One day at a time ...
I will ask my Higher Power for the ability to accept and love
myself for where I am at this day, knowing I am a work in progress,
a tree that grows from self-care and nurturing.
~ Melissa ~
~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~
~ Visit our beautiful scene for February. ~
To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~
"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."
The Trusted Servants of Recovery
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.
Volume 7 Issue 2 ©
Copyright 2005 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.