A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

January 2001
Volume 3, Issue 1

ser*en*dip*i*ty ~ (noun) First appeared1754:

the faculty or phenomenon of finding

valuable or agreeable things not sought for.


From Our Editor
Founder's Corner
From Our Administrators
The History of Recovery Meditations
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Tools of Recovery
From the Recovery Group Members
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer
The Closing Prayer


Dear friends in recovery,

Happy New Year! A new year, a new century, a new millennium, so much hope! I wish all of you a year full of peace, serenity, abstinence and recovery from COE. There is no situation so bad that the 12 Steps of recovery cannot improve! In this month's edition, TRG founder Mari shares a wonderful message of hope, and announces the new structure of The Recovery Group.

The new administrators of TRG also offer their message of hope to recovering COEs worldwide. Then comes the history of Recovery Meditations, a project dear to my heart, with information on why this project was started and how to submit your own meditations to the project. What a unique opportunity to share your ESH not only with other members of TRG, but with recovering people around the world!

In our loop spotlight of the month, which this month is Abstinent and Gay/Lesbian Loop, Jeff tells us how valuable this loop can be for those "compulsive overeaters with a sometimes difficult secondary issue." Danny also announces the combination of Abstinent n 50 with the Silver Recovery loop, and describes the joy he finds among "123 silver haired foxes." In the Tools of Recovery, we have included an article from OA's Lifeline about how the writer found that anonymity came only after she learned humility.

We've added a new feature to the newsletter this month, called Danny's Corner. This month, in his conversation with God, Danny writes of his gratitude for the Promises, which have come true in his life. In the section dedicated to shares from Recovery Group members, Anne shares her inspirational poem, Healing Rainbow, Janet H. offers advice for the newcomer, Addy talks about body image, and Lorraine shares her gratitude at this special time of the year. In the Literature section, we have included The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and have also started a new feature, Reflections on the Twelve Steps of Recovery.

This month's edition ends with announcements, a list of on-line meetings, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer. May you all have a blessed and abstinent 2001. And may you all feel inspired to share your experience, strength and hope with Serendipity and with the Recovery Meditations project!

Love in recovery,






Our new millennium! What a wonderful time in history to be alive and to be a part of the universe. Beginnings are always exciting ... a new day... a new week ... a new month ... a new year ... a new decade ... a brand spanking new millennium.

As I look back over the past year, I marvel at all the events that have taken place in our community. We are as much like a real family as anything I've ever known. We fight, make up, love, grump about things, help one another and are always there when someone needs us. And when we need someone, there is always a place to find someone who can help us.

A whole new team of Trusted Servants is being announced today. These 100+ dedicated servants are scattered everywhere from our meetings to our loops to our studies to our services with everything tied together in our website. And leading them all are four of the most trusted trusted servants I know of .... the Recovery Group Administrators, John, Cate, Shlomo and Patt.

What a year 2001 is going to be for the Recovery Group. What a decade! What a beautiful glorious millennium we have before us!

Happy New Year, Loopies.

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


Dear Friends in Recovery,

We send New Years Greetings to each you as we enter into the year 2001 with TRG. As the new TRG administrative team, we are working together with all of you to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer! Please be sure to let us know if we can be of service to you, we welcome your ideas, concerns and questions.

We can be contacted at: trgadm@egroups.com We share so much here ~ from Serendipity, to our loopies, to our meetings, to our Website, to our meditations, to our new photo album ... the list goes on and on!!

Each of us shares a connected space in our chain of recovery, a chain that reaches around the world!! As we enter into this new year, this connection remains strong and ever growing! We are happy to welcome our 2001 Trusted Servants and Meeting Leaders. This group includes many new people, as well as people who have been giving service for several years. We are confident that TRG2001 will continue to be a place where people from around the world can gather to share the miracle of recovery. Wishing each of you peace and serenity in this new year

~ One Day At A Time!!
The Recovery Group ADM


Dear Recovery Family,

Many of you do not know how our book project, "Recovery Meditations," came into being. This is the history of what has turned into a very exciting project.

Nearly a year ago, Overeaters Anonymous informed the Recovery Group that the use of any OA-approved literature, such as from "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous," "For Today," and certain slogans identified with OA, were forbidden to us to use. We petitioned OA on several occasions for permission to quote from these sources, and were repeatedly turned down.

Because our loops and meetings didn't have access to any program literature other than the Big Book of AA, we decided that we would make our own daily meditation book, and call it "Recovery Meditations--One Day At A Time."

The idea behind Recovery Meditations is that it is written by the very people who will use it: the members of The Recovery Group community. However, we have decided that we will take a different track than OA. The Recovery Group has decided to maintain a very liberal use policy concerning our meditations. We will own the copyright, but will allow anyone to use, quote, or cite our project, so long as the work is to be used by individuals or members of any recovery-related group.

We have definite plans to have this published as an actual book, and maybe even a calendar.

Thus far, we have over 6 months' worth of meditations, and continue to strive for a full year of Experience, Strength and Hope. These meditations are written by people just like you or me. They are recovering compulsive overeaters. They come from all walks of life, all cultures, from all over the world.

We'd love to have your Experience, Strength and Hope to add to our project. If you haven't written a meditation for us, please consider it. Here's what to do:

1. Start with a quote from a WELL-KNOWN individual. 2. Write your ESH related to that quote. Please try to keep to 300 words or less. 3. Write your own meditation...just a sentence or two, and begin it "One day at a time..." 4. Then, "sign" your meditation with either your name or initials, or an assumed name, if you wish. 5. Send it to recoverymeditations@egroups.com

That's all there is to it! It's easy, and it's a great way to do service and spread the message of hope to other compulsive overeaters. You don't have to be a "writer" to contribute, so please don't let that stop you. If you'd like to see some examples of meditations already received, you can go to
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/meditations/december.html. If enough of you will write a meditation for us, not only could we finish up this book, but we might even have enough for a second!

So there you have it, the history of Recovery Meditations, and what you can do to help us finish up our project. We sure hope to hear from you soon! And if you need ideas to write about, just drop us a line at the above address...we'll be happy to give you some topic ideas!

Love in recovery,
The Editors of Recovery Meditations



Hi Recovery Family,

The Recovery Group has always striven to be as inclusive as possible. We have loop members from all over the world, from all cultures, backgrounds and faiths. We also do our best to make our loops as safe as possible for everyone.

I'd like to introduce you to a very special loop which provides a safe haven for compulsive overeaters with a sometimes difficult secondary issue. I'd like to tell you about our Abstinent and Gay/Lesbian loop.

AGL is just over a year old, and was founded as a safe place for compulsive overeaters who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered, although no compulsive overeater is ever turned away because they don't fit the sexual orientation criteria! :-) To my knowledge, there is no other support system quite like this one on the internet for this community of compulsive overeaters.

AGL is still a relatively small loop, with 28 members. We have a relatively small mail volume. We discuss issues that affect us, not only as compulsive overeaters, but as members of a sexual minority. We have learned that we cannot separate our orientation from our identity as compulsive overeaters, and so we have not limited our discussions to only our disease, as another loop might do. As Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered individuals, many of us have had to endure oppression and bigotry, just as we've endured abuse as people with an eating disorder. So, for us, it's a very liberating thing to be able to express ourselves freely.

For many, this is the only support they have ... several of our loopies live in rural areas, far from any recovery-related groups or like-minded individuals. We are a family of choice, and we are supportive of our fellow loopies, and accepting of each other's differences. We celebrate our diversity, as we work our plans of recovery from compulsive overeating.

If AGL sounds like what you need, or if you know someone who might benefit from an association with us, you can subscribe to AGL loop by sending a blank e-mail to AbstAndGayLesbian-subscribe@egroups.com. I can assure you that you'll be met with love, acceptance and openness.

Love in recovery, Jeff, Coordinator Abstinent and Gay/Lesbian


Dear Fellows,

A marvelous combining of Abstinent n 50 with the Silver loop took place in this month of December, and as it looks from the coordinator's keypad, this is one large Christmas present. Just seeing the membership rise to a current 123 silver haired foxes is enough, however God has seen fit to grant us some of the best sharing on topics as varied as those who shared them. My favorite was on body image as I have loads of that, body that is.

Right after the holidays I will be asking for people who are computer literate to fix up our home page, reach out to other senior cyber folks, and generally do 12th step work as it is our responsibility to do so. Of all the loops I belong to, this one gives me the most comfort and has the most recovery. Just a biased opinion. None of this could have happened without Suzanne or what's her face, you know, oh yeah, that dame who has the funny name, Mari. It rhymes with something but my age forces me to forget.

I truly hope all of you, my cyber family, have enjoyed the holiday season and I look forward to a terrific new year.

AND WHY NOT....Santa


Anonymity Follows Humility

Anonymity is an important issue, and the word has many meanings. For me, anonymity is an extension of humility, reminding me that I am the same as everyone else in the room - no better, no worse.

When I was in program 25 or 30 years ago, speakers' meetings were popular. If you had pep and had some abstinence behind you - as little as two months - you might be invited to join the speakers' circuit. Those of us on the circuit thought we "got" the program and could do no wrong. Other phrases from that period were "living on a pink cloud" (thinking you had a personal blessing and special compensations) and "the rise and fall of the OA superstar." My pink cloud glowed - until relapse.

I had several years of relapse before returning to OA. I struggled with the program until I finally understood humility. Until I could accept my common humanity and leave being a god to God, until I could leave my pink cloud and walk with my fellows on earth, I did not have humility. Once I found humility, anonymity followed. My serenity and abstinence became more constant and stronger in my life.

Reprinted from OA's Lifeline, January 2000, Volume 28, No. 1 (Anonymous, Sharpsburg, Georgia USA)


Healing Rainbow

The candle flickers in the room
The flame dancing widely to dispel the gloom
That lurks within the darkened walls
As that fatal cloud begins to fall

The colours emerge from the dancing light
Creating a rainbow, a beautiful sight
The yellows and reds create a bright ray
The start of the rainbow for the new day

As the eyes pry open to spy a new day
From beneath the warm quilt, I see the display
A beautiful rainbow rising up to the sky
As the last drops of rain fall on the land so dry

The sadness and gloom are quickly dispelled
As the rainbow shines right into the bed
My body is filled with the warm gentle hues
Filled with peace and wisdom I can start anew


For the Newcomer

Dear Newcomer,

Congratulations! You have already gotten Started in recovery! You realized you have a problem, you realized you needed and could ask for help, and you did it!

So, take a breath. The hard part is over. Or maybe just beginning. Just keep breathing and moving, breathing and moving. How do you get recovery? There is a plan. It includes the twelve steps. It involves the twelve traditions. It uses a set of tools of recovery including: a plan of eating, meetings, literature, sponsorship, writing, service, the telephone and anonymity.

You develop a plan of eating and follow it. You may do this with the help of a professional or a sponsor. You go to meetings to meet and share with others about recovery and what works. There you learn more about the steps, the traditions, and using the tools. Also at meetings, you may meet the person who inspires you, who has something you want, and ask them to be your sponsor. Your sponsor is your personal guide through the OA program. He or she will work one on one with you and help you in understanding and practicing the steps and traditions and using the tools. Along the way you will be asked to read OA literature and to write about what you read and what happens in your life and how you feel to gain understanding of yourself. You will be encouraged to phone others who are traveling the path of recovery from compulsive overeating, both to learn from them and to gain encouragement for yourself. This is one way to be doing service; you will be asked to do what you are willing to do to help others. And you get to do all of this practicing anonymity, respecting each others process.

Newcomer, you have started. I have done a great deal of my recovery work through sharing on this loop with others and with a sponsor on the loop. I have just this past week hooked up with someone from my face to face meetings who is now sponsoring me. So, don't despair if there are no meetings in your area, YET. :o) If there are local meetings or meetings within driving distance {I determine driving distance for a meeting by asking myself what was the furthest I drove to get my favorite junk food} do go. Go to more than one to learn as much as you can. See if one group fits you better than another. Meanwhile, connect on the loop. At least once a day, tap into the experience, strength and hope that is here. Sometimes, when one is struggling or concerned, one will ask for help on the loop. {And I ALWAYS get what I need, maybe not what I want :o) when I ask for it. } You may even decide to ask someone online to be your sponsor. There is a list, but don't limit yourself to the list if someone else really attracts you, let them know and ask if they would be willing to work with you. You may be doing them a service just by asking.

Recovery is available for you. This program works, but you get to work the program. When you do work the program, to the best of your ability, you will be amazed at what happens. GO FOR IT!!!

Love, Janet H.

Body Image

As I was reading about body image, and I admit in the past I was one with no satisfaction with what God chose to create . . . me. Me legs too short me butt too wide me freckles bothering me. So I know today God chose a path where I needed to see .. He opened my eyes.

In 1971 while yet a young and pretty nurse, albeit one with dissatisfaction with my mortal image, I found myself assigned by our government to care for my fellow man/woman who could not care for themselves. I entered this large institution which was home for 300 adults who at the time were labeled profoundly mentally and physically retarded. Today we are kinder with using the label challenged here. I found people who were crippled . . . who needed help to eat and dress. Many had cerebral palsy and were in wheelchairs. Most of them required staff to help them attain their basic God given needs for life. I stayed for 10 years in work there, and some of my fellow nurses outside this home would offer slanted remarks at lunch to me about where I work as opposed to their work. Those without empathy and faith, and there are all kinds of people. In 1984 I had to leave these saints who had so little physically and intelligently compared to me . . . since my husband was transferred here. But today I know they were the ultimate teacher for me to appreciate what is the simplicity of life and gratitude for how I look today. I miss these people, and I hope some day when I close my eyes in death as some of them already have, they will be there to greet me as I'm sure their spirit will be more beautiful than mine. And to me that is what really counts! Since there was a time when I had more to live with and I was blind . . . and yet could see. Coming into the rooms of recovery has opened my eyes more profoundly each day as I learn the Spiritual Life process has no levels of beauty.

And I publicly thank my God for teaching me this through them . . . and here online . . . through you.

When I settled here, I found myself working still for our government . . . this time in a jail for incarcerated men. But that's another lesson God chose to teach me.

In Harmony, Addy


This is my husband's and my first Christmas in the States, and for the first time in both our lives we are away from friends and family, and all that we have come to love and know. And recently, we found out that my husband is going to have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Well, before recovery, I am sure I would have been thrown for a loop about the fact that I'll be spending Christmas alone for the very first time ever -- and I surely would have been well on my way by now to probably one of the biggest pity parties ever! However, I am feeling a sense of calm.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am choosing to remember the last three Christmases when we were fortunate enough to have both of our families in our home to celebrate. How wonderful that was!

So -- through recovery, I am learning to appreciate the things I have in my life and not worry about the things I don't. For instance, I am grateful for my family and friends from back "home," and I am grateful for the new friends I am making in this new one. I am grateful for the abstinent turkey dinner I will be enjoying with my husband -- whatever day we can have it on (because at least we get to eat and we have a decent roof over our heads. We do volunteer work at a soup kitchen, so we are constantly reminded of the wonderful things we get to enjoy, while others are not so fortunate.) I am grateful for my loop friends -- who I know I can reach out to at any time I need to and I am grateful for my wonderful sponsor who believes in me even when I don't.

So -- I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that -- but more than that, I wish that you all can remember to be grateful at this time of year ... and in the New Year!

Take care all,
Happy Everything,
and much luv,

Reflections on The Twelve Steps of Recovery

"We admitted we were powerless over food ~
that our lives had become unmanageable."


Once upon a time I used to be "Ruler of the World." Honestly! I truly was "Queen of the Universe" .... the CEO of Planet Earth. The world would have stopped spinning if I had stepped off. Who else would see to it that everything ran as it was supposed to run if I didn't do it? Who would make all the decisions? No one but me. Or so I thought!!!

As I got deeper into recovery ... and especially after I worked the first three steps of my recovery program ... I began to see that the world would get along quite well if I became an observer rather than a participator. How was this possible? It was shocking to know that my children could function as well or even better without my guiding their every step. It was a revelation to know that my husband could take out the garbage without my telling him where the bags were. And my friends and associates could even manage without my writing down everything for them and giving them a list of instructions.

"Hmmmm," I said. "This is a pretty good deal. I'm not working as hard. I rather like this." The flip side of that, however, was that, after years and years of doing things "my way," I had to relinquish that right and let others do it "their way." Jeez! Surely someone is going to mess things up. So I became a little anxious. But it got easier. The kids got to school on time. My husband found the garbage bags. And the list of instructions became shorter and finally no list was required at all.

I began to look at myself. To "go within." To see the place that my addiction had taken in my life. I now had time to see just how unmanageable my compulsive overeating had caused certain areas of my life to be. I believe that I filled my life with so many other things ... that I became the "Ruler of the Universe" just so that I wouldn't have to look at MYSELF and face my own problems. I admitted that I was powerless over my addiction (food) ... and that my life in this regard had become unmanageable. I had never done that before.

But IF I wasn't going to continue being "Queen of the World" .... IF I was "powerless" ... IF my life was unmanageable .... how was I going to survive? What was going to restore me to sanity?

Dear God,
Each day help me to realize
That it is not left up to me
To decide everyone else's path
In this lifetime. Help me to know
that I am only responsible for ME.
And that there is even a greater power than I.


All day OA Workshop in Fort Worth on Saturday, January 13th

Write Jenna for more information at JennaFTW@aol.

All Meetings US Eastern Time
All IRC meetings on Starchat Channel
All IRC meetings in #Recovery with the exception of the Spanish meetings which are held in #SpanishRecovery and Christian meetings held in #Christian&Recovery
7:00 AM IRC Informal
3:00 PM IRC Swedish Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Italian & Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Christian Step
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:00 PM IRC Christian Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
1:00 AM IRC Nightowls
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:00 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Talk
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Recovery
7:00 PM IRC Informal
8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal
1:00 AM IRC Nightowls
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
10:00 PM IRC Christian Talk
11:00 PM IRC Newcomers
12:00 AM IRC Informal
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
11:30 PM IRC Spanish OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Talk ~ Informal
7:00 PM IRC Informal
7:00 PM IRC Abuse & Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Informal


All AOL meetings eld in Stepping Stones on AOL

Monday 1:00 PM
9:00 PM
How It Works
Open Topic
10:30 PM 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 Recovery Chat
Friday 11:00 PM Twelve Steps
Saturday 12:00 AM OA Topic
Sunday 3:00 PM Anorexic/Bulimic Focus
9:00 PM How It Works

All Recovery meetings held in #Recovery Room on IRC
All Spanish Meetings are held in #SpanishRecovery Room on IRC
All Christian Meetings are held in #Christian&Recovery Room on IRC
All Abuse Meetings are held in #RecoverySafeHaven Room on IRC
All Swedish Meetings are held in #SwedishRecovery Room on IRC
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL
All times Eastern Daylight Time

Meetings Information ~ The Recovery Group
or RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com

To volunteer as a meeting leader or substitute leader, please contact us at

Meetings Information ~ AOL
or HOSTAnRUnity@aol.com
or HOSTAnRTalia@aol.com


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

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax 505-891-4320
E-Mail Address ~ overeatr@technet.nm.org

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


Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Meetings ~ RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com ~ Anne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ sophie@coiinc.com ~ Cate
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ hopeful@teleport.net ~ Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ bingebuster@hotmail.com ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com ~ Cindy
Recovery Group Administrator ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari
Recovery Group Founder & List Owner ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari

"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."
~ Mari, Recovery Group Founder ~

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.

Closing Prayer

I reach out to you in cyberspace,
Joining heart to heart,
Feeling here your presence,
Though we're miles apart.

We've found love and understanding
Which no food could ever fill,
As we seek to find recovery,
Day by day in HP's will.

To our keyboards and computers
We are sending blessings, too.
And we thank our Higher Power,
As the miracles come through.

Our phone lines are all singing
With the joy and strength we share.
Not alone now, but together,
As we're closing with our prayer.

God grant us faith and freedom,
Breaking bonds of self-will and fear,
And to those who still suffer,
An open door to find us here.


-- Lynne



TheRecovery 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 1999-2000 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.