A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

January 2002
Volume 4, Issue 1

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


From Our Editor
Founders Corner
From Our Administrators
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Recovery Meditations
Working the Steps
Danny's Corner
Tools of Recovery
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
Letters to the Editor
Online Meeting Information
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer


Dear friends in recovery,

Happy 2002, and welcome to the January edition of Serendipity!

In this edition of Serendipity, Mari thanks everyone for their service to The Recovery Group in 2001, and encourages service to the group in 2002. Patt, writing for TRG's Administrators, expresses appreciation for members' service and emphasizes the importance of unity. Our loop spotlight of the month is Food for Recovery, which is a loop for those who want to discuss their abstinent food plans. We have included an invitation to participate in the Meditations Project, and encourage all of you to contribute at least one meditation to this wonderful project. Next is an invitation to participate in Working the Steps during January, February and March with Shlomo as the leader. The Letters to the Editor section is next, although unfortunately we have none to share this month. In Tools of Recovery, we invite everyone to attend an on-line meeting through The Recovery Group.

In Danny's Corner, in his conversation with God, Danny writes about not being God, and acceptance. In shares from TRG members, Jeff submitted an anonymous poem on how to plant a recovery garden, and Lorraine talks about serendipity! We've also included Mari's advice Before You Take That First Compulsive Bite! In the Literature section, you will find the first step and the first tradition, the First Step Prayer, and a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. This month's edition ends with directions to on-line meetings and a current list of the meetings, as well as contact information for the latest changes to the meetings list, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer.

I would like to thank all of you who have contributed your shares, and ask all of you to consider doing service to The Recovery Group and to Serendipity by submitting a share -- because without your help we can't have this newsletter! So keep those shares coming - send them to
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroups.com. As I have said repeatedly, we have thousands of members with so much ESH to share - if each of you would send just one share, on a topic of your choice, we would have enough ESH to last for a long time to come!

Peace, my dear friends.

Love in recovery,
Suzanne, Editor



Dear Recovery Friends,

As we begin the new year, I want to thank all of you for your support of our recovery community this year. Whether you gave service by sharing regularly on your loop, leading a meeting, sponsoring another COE, working on the web, coordinating a loop, leading a BB or Step Study or being a Trusted Servant .... we couldn't have done it without you. I also want to express deep appreciation to the Recovery Administrators ~ Cate, Patt and John ~ as well as the General Coordinators who have worked day in and day out to make our recovery home the best it can be.

The year 2002 holds many good things for us. Significant projects are underway and whether those projects be web-oriented, have to do with the meetings or the loops or something brand new as upgrading our list servers everything we do makes our organization better. I would like to urge each of you to participate in some of these projects. Write a meditation. Lead a Step Study. Volunteer to do a writing series. Sponsor a COE. Lead a loop. Work the Steps with WTS. Attend a meeting. Write a letter to the editor of Serendipity. Make suggestions to the Administrators. When your coordinator asks for help, raise your hand. Even when you're not asked, let someone know when you have extra time because there's always something to do in The Recovery Group.

Thanks for being here. It is my hope that 2002 holds many blessings for you and those you love. May your recovery program result in the best YOU that has ever been. And please always remember that what we could never do alone we can do together.

One day at a time.

One Step at a time.

Happy New Year, Loopies.

Love in recovery,


Dear Members of The Recovery Group,

First of all we want to extend our gratitude to all the Trusted Servants who have given and continue to give service so that those who still suffer from this disease can recover and go on to live lives of sane and happy usefulness. :)

Every member who attends one of the online meetings or shares their ESH on their loop are is a vital part of each and everyone's recovery.

As each member works the 12 Steps and awakens spiritually the Light of Recovery shines ever brighter for The Recovery Group as a whole.

It is the Unity of this fellowship that makes it possible for every person who comes with the desire to stop eating compulsively, to recover one day at a time.

Each and every service position is equally important and once again, our deepest appreciation to all of you who serve with Joy and Love and Happiness as we continue to trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

With love and great JOY,

Patt, John and Cate
~ The Recovery Group Administrators ~



Dear Recovery Friends,

Thank you for visiting the website of the Food for Recovery Loop. Here you will find a place for compulsive eaters in Twelve Step recovery to discuss their abstinent food plans. Sharing should focus on what is working with the food plan and how to plan abstinent meals and not on binge reports, repeated slips and relapses. There are other e-mail lists which address these aspects of recovery. Our emphasis in the FFR Loop is on what can be done to achieve continuous abstinence with one's food plan. Unlike other recovery loops where food is not mentioned, here it is mentioned openly in the context of food plans and abstinent living. How individuals remain abstinent by working the Twelve steps is also an appropriate topic for discussion on Food for Recovery.

Abstinence is defined as the "action of refraining from compulsive eating" by individuals in recovery. Recovery is physical, emotional and spiritual and all are equally important. Everyone's health is different; therefore, NO one food plan is endorsed or recommended by our loop. ALL discussion of suggested food plans are welcome on this list and should be viewed as a resource only ... not as a suggested plan of eating.

Each member should consult with his/her doctor when planning what is nutritionally correct for their individual needs. No flames, put-downs or criticism will be allowed on this list. Each of our members is encouraged to share openly in an atmosphere of loving acceptance. Questions are encouraged by members and all list members are welcome to answer any queries. No one person is in charge of answering questions and responses should be taken as suggestions only. Please share what works for you so that others may be helped to attain lasting abstinence. Food for Recovery is part of the Twelve Step Recovery community of the Recovery Group. Our members are welcome to use all the extensive services and resources of Recovery as reflected on the Recovery website at

This list is not affiliated with Overeaters Anonymous, but many of our members belong to that organization. Thank you for visiting our website, and we look forward to having you join us.

The Trusted Servants of Food for Recovery

To Join, send a blank e-mail to: Food-for-Recovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Food-for-Recovery/join



If you enjoy the daily meditations sent to the loops each day, get into the act!! Send your original meditation, in the format of those sent to the loops, to

If every member of TRG submits just one meditation, we will have enough to complete our work in progress and move on to a second volume of love, experience, strength and hope ........


Dear Recovery Friends,

If you would be interested in working the Twelve Steps during January, February and March, please get a sponsor and come join us. Shlomo S. (
Shlomosh@actcom.co.il) will be leading the group starting on January 1st when we will "admit that we are powerless over food ... and that our lives have become unmanageable." Those of you who know Shlomo are already aware of his dedication and love of program and those who don't are in for a treat. By the end of March we will have had a "spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps. Also by the end of March, you will be ready to sponsor newcomers yourself ... and sponsoring and being sponsored are two of the great joys of life.

To participate, do this:

  1. Sign up for WTS by sending e-mail to: listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu
       no subject
       Message text: "subscribe WTS firstname lastinitial"
  2. Get a sponsor. If you need help with this, write Maureen, the Recovery Sponsor Coordinator at sarkar@cableonda.net and she will send you the Sponsor Directory and biographies. If you would like a temporary Step Sponsor for the duration of the 12-week-study, she will also put you in touch with the WTS Step Sponsor. Your Sponsor can be face-to-face or online. One of the best ways to get a sponsor is to write someone in your home loop whose shares reflect they have what you want.
One day at a time.

One step at a time.

2002. Let's do it!!!

WTS ~ Working the Steps for
The Trusted Servants of WTS
The Recovery Group


~ Not Having Been Appointed God ~

Dear God,

Good morning and an abstinent beginning to go along with a major change in attitude from my whining childish thinking yesterday, thanks. I find that if I just do the next right thing good things happen. Sometimes when I ask You for something You tell me to wait and of all three replies wait is the one that I really don't like. Just thought You would like to know.

As I sit here this morning all showered, shaved and coffee mug filled the world seems to be in order at least for me. Yesterday my thoughts were of poor me and why this and why that. The noise You heard was Danny stamping his feet all over Your earth mainly because You are in charge and not him. The entire world should rejoice that God is alive and well and He isn't me!! Today all I ask for is the knowledge of and strength to do Your will. Well, it might be a nice gesture if You would watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies, those who still suffer and the people I don't like.

I'm off to my Saturday f2f meeting and step one is to be discussed today, then on to lunch and a drive to help one of the fellowship. What a nice way to spend this wonderful day, in Your service.

And Why Not?




There are many tools we can use as we work our recovery program. Meetings with other compulsive eaters is one of these tools. The fellowship COEs have with one another is one of the most important aspects of a good recovery program. Meeting with each other makes it possible to share our experience, strength and hope in real time with others who understand what we are talking about. When we hold one another's hands in our private meeting room, we affirm that what we could never do alone, we can do together. One day at a time.

The Recovery Group hosts online recovery meetings several times day on IRC. Many of these meetings are topic meetings, some are "For Today" meetings, others are Twelve Step or Big Book study meetings. We also have Newcomer Meetings and Special Interests meetings. If you have never gone to an online meeting, and need help learning to use IRC chat, go to


How To Plant A Garden

Plant three rows of peas:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul.

Plant four rows of squash:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness.

Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be obedient
Lettuce really love one another.

No garden is without turnips:
Turnip for meetings
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another.

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.

There is much fruit in your garden
Because you reap what you sow.

To conclude our garden we must have thyme:
Thyme for reflection
Thyme for study
Thyme for prayer

-- Anonymous (submitted by Jeff)


Congratulations on two years of Serendipity! And thanks for continuing to bring us the latest news and shares from our 'local' recovery community! I wanted to contribute something to this month's issue but I couldn't think of what to write about at first. Of course, as soon as I put that out there, I realized that the name of this newsletter is perfectly reflecting some things that I am becoming aware of in my own life lately. (How like the Universe to be so ... serendipitous! LOL!)

The word "serendipity" has been presented to me over and over this past month, so much so, that here, I find myself writing about it! A dear friend of mine always talks about how serendipity plays a large role in his life. If he can't find something, for example, he thinks that perhaps he needs to be doing something else at that time, so instead of freaking out (like I might do!), he calmly goes about his business until the lost item returns itself. Or something might be going on in his life that needs attention so he prays about it and the next thing he knows, he excitedly relates the story about how the answer came to him over the radio one day in the form of a special song.

Well, at first I have to tell you that I was very skeptical about such things, but as I love my friend, I still listened to his stories. However, more and more I am learning to see things that no longer seem so much coincidental as they might have appeared to me even a few months ago! For example, I too am seeing new significance in songs that play on the radio at certain times that seem important. I am learning to trust and believe that when things happen, they are happening for the greater good, even though at the time they might not seem so.

Our landlords recently put our house up for sale (and believe me, that was a total shock to us!), and at first we were angry, sad, frightened -- you name it. In the 'old' days, I might have reacted by stuffing my whole self into the fridge so I wouldn't have to feel those negative feelings. However, I find that I am waiting now for the Universe/HP to guide us to the right situation, and that helps me to relax and remain abstinent. It no longer seems like it is a coincidence that this is happening because in the overall scheme of things, I remember that we were led here in the first place.

I was led to the loops and OA. I continue to be guided by a Power Greater Than Myself and I continue to be awed by the forces of serendipity in my life! And lately, my anger, fear and frustration about the 9-11 tragedies has been leading me to realize that love -- not war -- will prevail (indeed MUST prevail because it's obvious that violence has never been an answer in the past!) A book just fell open yesterday to a page that said words to that effect; a good friend of mine said it as well; a new magazine that was brought to my attention out of the blue stated pretty much the same thing. Coincidence? I think not! I prefer to call it serendipity -- and now I think that serendipity is God's way of providing lovely clues to us to follow our right path. We just need to be open enough to acknowledge them and trust enough to follow them!



We CAN live our lives without compulsively overeating!

Recovery from compulsive eating is THE most important thing in your life, without exception!

By working the 12 Steps of Recovery we can develop a way of thinking and acting which allows us to live "One Day At A Time" without eating compulsively. When we are confronted with the urge to eat compulsively and learn what we call our trigger foods are, we have ALTERNATIVES.

WE CAN ......

  • USE THE TOOLS that are available to us: meetings, sponsors, telephone, loops, writing, reading OA literature, and volunteering to do service.
  • ACCEPT...we may repeatedly have cravings to eat compulsively ... but experience has shown us that those feelings will pass.
  • REMEMBER...that each time we face a situation without compulsively overeating, it will get easier for us to abstain the next time.
  • DEVELOP...a plan for yourself, of thinking and acting by which to live One Day At A Time without eating compulsively.
  • AVOID...thinking and dwelling on any real or imagined pleasure once derived from compulsive overeating.
  • ACCEPT....that one bite or two will not make a bad situation better. Remember the pain it brought the last time you had a bout with uncontrolled eating.
  • FOCUS...on the idea that we can enjoy our abstinent meals without having the anxiety that food once created. Abstaining from compulsive overeating allows us freedom from guilt, remorse and self-loathing about the food we used to eat.
  • BE GRATEFUL...that we have a disease that can be arrested on a daily basis. We suffer from an illness; we are not morally weak people who lack willpower.
  • SHARE...our program of recovery with another compulsive eater.
  • MAKE A CHOICE...to work the 12 steps of recovery as a solution.
  • REMEMBER...that when our resistance is low and we feel troubled and confused, there is comfort in a true and understanding friend. You have that friend in recovery.



We admitted we were powerless over our compulsive behavior with food - that our lives had become unmanageable.


Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon the unity of Overeaters Online Recovery.


Today, I ask for help with my compulsive eating.
Denial has kept me from seeing how
powerless I am and how my life is unmanageable.

I need to learn and remember that
I have an incurable illness and that
abstinence is the only way to deal with it.


"We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve."

Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, The Doctor's Opinion, pg. xxvi


*PLEASE* send your letters to the editor of Serendipity to SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroups.com

Without your input, we have no gauge of how we are doing here at SERENDIPITY -- Newsletter of The Recovery Group!


We invite all of you to attend our online meetings. (Note: If you are on AOL, you may want to look at AOL-specific meeting information, below.) We have many dedicated meeting leaders and we have several meetings each day. The simplest way to enter the #Recovery Room is to go to: http://www.starchat.net/recovery. Be patient! It takes several minutes for the page to download because of the chat software (called an applet). If a screen comes up asking you if you want to accept the Java Link, click YES. (Not all computers get this message.)

  • -- On the Nick Name line, type in a nickname you want to use, or your first name. (Just type right over the word "Recovery" )
  • -- Click on the Connect button at the bottom.
  • -- Wait a few minutes without doing anything, and you go right into our chatroom. Type on the line across the bottom and hit enter (or return) to send what you wrote to the chat room.
There are other ways to enter the room depending on your server....so go to this page and you will see the instructions: http://www.therecoverygroup.org/support/meetings.html

Here is a copy of our latest Meeting Schedule:


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 OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC Christian & Recovery
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Big Book Study
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
**10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations - Leader Needed!
2:30 PM IRC Humbly Asking God to Remove Our Character Defects
7:00 PM IRC Step Meeting
8:00 PM IRC #Christian&Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC #CCA
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC #CCA
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC #Christian&Recovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC #Christian&Recovery
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Step Meeting
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC Newcomers
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
10:30 AM IRC OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Talk #Christian&Recovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic-Leader Needed!
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
11:30 AM IRC #CCA
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:30 PM IRC #ItalianRecovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic

All Meetings US Eastern Time
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL (A & R Forum)
1:00 PM AOL How It Works
9:00 PM AOL Open Topic
10:30 PM AOL Recovery Chat
12:00 PM AOL OA Topic
10:00 PM AOL Relapse & Recovery
11:59 PM AOL OA Topic
9:30 PM AOL 100 Pounders
9:00 PM AOL OA Topic
10:30 PM AOL Recovery Chat
8:00 PM AOL Beginners/Step One Study
11:00 PM AOL 12 Step
8:00 PM AOL OA Topic
11:59 PM AOL OA Topic
3:00 PM AOL Anorexic/Bulimia
9:00 PM AOL 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 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 RMTalia@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
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Sponsor Directory ~ sarkar@cableonda.net ~ Maureen
Telephone Angel Directory ~ jlevine19@nyc.rr.com ~ Jessica
IM Directory ~ a_birkhead@hotmail.com ~ Andy
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@egroups.com ~ John, Cate and Patt
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.



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 2002 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.