~ TRG'S FIRST DECADE ~ A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY ~ 1995-2005 ~
1995-2005 ~ TRG'S FIRST DECADE
It was 10 years ago, in 1995, that a long time dream
began to come true. That was the year the first loop of
what was to become The Recovery Group went on line.
Since that first day the Recovery Group has remained
a safe and welcome place for any person who has the
desire to stop eating compulsively. The 12 Step Program
of Recovery is now available throughout the world through
During the year of 2005 we ask you to join us as we
celebrate this first decade of service.
A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY 1995 ~ 2005
I was looking at our meditations recently. I like
doing that occasionally because I love landscapes
and the beauty of nature. Anticipating that we are now
in January and that our web visitors would be going to
the January calendar page, I followed the link and found
myself gasping. And suddenly there were tears in my
eyes as I looked at the date, 2005 ... and the photo.
As I looked at the photo on the Recovery Website taken
by the dearest friend I have ever had at sunrise one morning,
my memories began to surface. It was 1995 and I sat on
some rocks at that very spot overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
and poured out my grateful heart to my Higher Power. By
then I had experienced the wonderment of Twelve Step recovery
emotionally, physically and spiritually. After I talked with
God, I meditated ... which means I listened to what He had to
say. At that moment, He planted the seeds for the Recovery Group
and it seemed very clear to me how it was to begin.
The rest of 1995 found me going through the machinations of
finding ways to carry the message to as many people who had
suffered from eating disorders in the way that I had.
I was directed to the Internet, more specifically to St. John's
University where I approached the Department Head in charge
of donating state-of-the-art list servers to organizations who
needed their help. I wanted a support group for members of
Overeaters Anonymous to work a Twelve Step program together
.... and WTS ~ Working the Steps was born. A few months later,
we had 12 Step Leaders and hundreds of interested people sign up.
We began a sponsor program. At first I typed in all the members'
names by hand but soon we had our very own L-Soft Listserv.
We were ready to fly.
WTS was followed by Journey to Recovery, then HOTJ ~
Heavyweights on the Journey, then the Recovery Loop,
and COKids and as the months and years went by we grew and
there was OA Friends and Anorexia and Bulimia and dozens and
dozens of support groups. Soon the online meetings began and
one program or service after another.
As we celebrate our decade of service, I think of that special
day, those special rocks and that special conversation with God
and my heart is full today because I saw the miracle that is us
from the moment it began. I am filled with gratitude for the
hundreds of dedicated Trusted Servants who have made the
Recovery Group possible and who have gone out taking what they
learned here and started support groups and meetings and services
and worked in the trenches day in and day out as we have to make
the world we live in a better place for people like us. The
Recovery Group has one commodity ... and that is hope. It is
available to all with only one simple requirement ~ the desire
to quit eating compulsively. There has not been a single penny
during the decade of the Recovery Group either solicited or
spent. There has been rotation of service, honored Traditions,
a history of doing the next right thing and ever and always a
philosophy of keeping it simple.
If you are reading this and have given service in any
way, whether it be sharing with your loop, becoming a sponsor,
attending a meeting, or doing one of the dozens of Trusted
Servants jobs, you have our deepest and heartfelt thanks. And
if you haven't, we have another decade beginning this moment and
I hope you will join us and make your journey to recovery with us.
If you'd like to see the spot where we began ~ please visit the
Love in recovery ~
~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH ~
Consider yourself invited!
To what? You are invited to be part of the
2005 Abstinence ODAT loop; part of a group
of people committed to daily abstinence, and
supporting others also looking forward to
their next 24 hours of recovery.
Many members of this group have found that this
group supports their efforts to put down the food,
just for today. Each commits to his/her chosen
plan of sane eating, and shares at day's end with
a posted"I did it!". Each chooses to be accountable
to others in the group who walk the same walk.
Members share their experience, strength, and hope,
in addition to the rhythm of their daily commitment
If you're looking for a safe, friendly place to commit
(or re-commit) to your recovery, we invite you to join
us in 2005Abstinence.
To read more, visit:
To join, send an empty email to:
~ A LIVING PRAYER FOR RECOVERY ~ Part 1
It was another day like any other day in my
life. What will I eat today? This was the
first thought in my head before my feet even
hit the floor.
My books were all dusted and neat upon their
shelves. My desk was clear, my house clean.
Now if only I could straighten my mind as well.
Everything looked so bright and cheerful outside.
With that old fleeting glimmer-ghost of hope I
stood before my bookshelf, reaching for a diet book.
Health was ever pressing on my mind. I was obsessed
with it, yet couldn't transfer the information from the
written page into my heart.
Face it! I was without hope. I'd never thought about
God being concerned about my issues with food. I am a
seminary graduate who once believed that God doesn't
mess with the "small stuff."
Maybe this book would have the answer! Ah, who was I
kidding! I pushed the book back into place. This is just
too hard. I've come too far. It's too late. If I cannot
be perfect I might as well not even start reading a book.
I know I can't follow this. For crying out loud,
they had to write a book about it!!! How could anyone
memorize a BOOK?
A familiar and consuming fear surged within me.
Typically, almost automatically, I felt drawn to the
kitchen. But for just a moment I paused. I heard bird song
and chatter outside my window. That momentary pause was
all that God needed.
A small bird had built her nest atop my fence line.
What an odd place to build a nest. Couldn't she find a
better place? And then I remembered the neighbor's cat
from two doors down. Likely the mother bird had not had
much time to decide the best place to start building a nest.
She just started with a will and let God do the rest.
--- Humm! Doing something was better than nothing. I
was easily discouraged these days. This little bird seemed
to be a lot smarter than I'd been. She was willing to start
where she was with what she had, and like me, she had started
to build from nothing.
There was a time when I had something, though. I grieved for
the young woman I had been, the time that had been lost.
FROM 1985 AND ON . . .
I was one of the folks that never made the news--a
person whose health had been radically and inhumanely
medically discounted because I did not look as though
I took "good care" of myself.
My abdomen was grotesquely distended, I appeared
swollen,overblown, and yes -- by the time I began my
petitions for help from medical staff, I was obese.
* Part Two Continued in February Serendipity
~ SILENT SCREAMS ~
She sits squeezed in a booth with her friends
smiling, smiling, smiling ...
They order their lunch with abandon as she quietly says
"salad .. dressing on the side, please."
Hours later she's free from the world
the world which judges her by her girth ...
And she can make up for the luncheon salad
with the dressing on the side which she only dribbled.
The clothes are removed as she prepares for bed
and catches a glimpse of her body in a mirror ...
Spellbound she looks intently at her thighs, her pendulous
and gasps at the food filled enormity of her stomach.
Her husband does not hear her silent screams
as he awaits her arrival to their marriage bed ...
He does not see the eyes full of tears ...
nor will she describe the pain she's in.
She quietly slides into bed praying that he is asleep
So that he doesn't touch the grotesque rolls that
engulf her ...
She turns off the light as he reaches for her
And begins to rub her in places she chooses not
He turns on the dim light so he can look at her
And she is smiling, smiling, smiling,
As he removes her gown
She closes her eyes and begins to satisfy him.
Knowing that when it's over, he will sleep
And she will quietly slide out of bed ...
And pass the mirror without looking
As soon will begin to satisfy her needs in the
~ POWERLESSNESS ~
I give up. I am at the bottom of my rope and having
strong suicidal feelings. This is not who I am and I hate
this person inside of my head. This is it, this is bottom.
I feel like a little blind child feeling my way around a
cave. There are so many twists and turns and I have been
wandering aimlessly for years. So, exhausted, I am going to
sit down and rest. Whatever monsters are out there will
have to come get me because I am through with this pointless
meandering through my life. I have no will to go on.
So, HP, I'm here waiting. I can't make my own decisions
right now so you'll have to help me. I'm totally miserable
and I've made a mess of my life and I've been working on
making a mess of my family's life. Help me, HP, for them
and for me. I'm NOT STRONG, I'm just a great actress.
I'll be here at my desk, bawling my eyes out for as long as
is needed. I will do my work and go through the motions for
as long as is needed, but I am listening and willing and
~ FEATURE ARTICLE ~
USING THE **RIGHT TOOLS**
When someone tries to build a house, they need tools.
They need hammers, and saws, and paintbrushes, and many
other tools. The houses don't build themselves. And, no
matter how skilled a carpenter may be, they need these
tools. The carpenter and the tools are both indispensible
for the job.
For those of us in OA who want to lose weight, or even
just to control certain unhealthy eating patterns, we need
both the "carpenter" (ourselves) and the "tools". Most of
us have tried many tools, before and since coming to OA.
Let's review some of these:
a) FAD DIETS - A food plan which emphasizes certain
food groups or types, and excludes others. Some of these
are healthy, and some are not. This is kind of like building
the entire house just using a saw. Not really easy, and who
can keep that up on an everyday basis?
None of these tools is completely bad for you. But none is
going to be your complete solution. The solution to the
problem inside of you is to seek help from Outside of you. You
need a Power greater than yourself; something that uses the right
"tool", and begins to radically change the "carpenter".
As a wise sponsor once told me, it isn't easy, but it's simple.
b) DIET PILLS - Taking medication to control your
appetite. I have tried many types of these pills, and all
they seem to do is to make me broke! This is like putting
up a frame which will build a big house, but then building
with pieces which are too small. You will never be able to
make the pieces fit your planned house.
c) WILLPOWER - Trying to control your food choices
with your own power. This would be building the house
by wishing it into existence. That WOULD be nice,
d) HYPNOSIS - Another way that people try to control
their appetites. I have heard some say that it works for
them, but to me this would be like telling the house to
build itself. Nice try, carpenter, but I don't think it
brings much in the way of results.
e) GASTRIC BYPASS - Some people have surgery, to
control the size of their stomachs. This is effective,
but only when the participants realize that the surgery
doesn't ever cut out our addiction. To get the surgery
and think you have a permanant solution to your problem
is like showing up at the construction site, with a brand
new tool belt, and thinking the tool belt is going to do
the work for you.
f) EXERCISE - It does help your body use up calories,
but by itself it cannot help control your weight. Many find
this method to be ineffective, as we seldom can exercise enough
to erase our poor food choices. Using only exercise would be
like swinging the hammer and wielding the saw with all your might;
but finding our construction materials are just won't change,
when the tools impact on them.
g) PSYCHOTHERAPY - This is somewhat like hypnotism, because
someone is trying to help you get your mind to control your
food intake. This can help us with some of the problems which
lead us to choose food as a substance, but therapy alone won't
cure your addiction. This is like building that house in your
mind, and just leaving it there as a dream. The dream may get
us through some very tough times, but it falls short of a total
Overeaters Anonymous offers a different set of tools. Here they are:
(from http://www.oa.org/tools_of_recovery.html ):
a) A PLAN OF EATING - As individual as each member, it
is a plan which you make, with your sponsor; and which
becomes the basis of your abstinence from compulsive
overeating. This makes sure that you have the right tools,
in your belt. It will be up to you to use them in the way
that you agree to.
Each of us has a road to travel; a plan to follow; a
"building" to "construct."
b) SPONSORSHIP - Everyone needs advice and support
from someone else, who has "been there." Sponsors offer
their listening ears, and help you become accountable
for your food choices. They guide you through the steps.
Like a master craftsman mentoring an apprentice, they are
your guide and companion, on the Road to Recovery.
c) MEETINGS - We gather to listen; to share; to do
service. We gather both to learn and to teach. "Together
we can do what we could not do; alone" This is like a
carpenter joining a guild; they band together, for the
common good. So do we! Keep coming back!
d) TELEPHONE - Our "meetings between meetings". We
reach out to give support, ask questions, and just greet
and be there for each other. This is like craftsmen who
socialize on the worksite; sharing the task in a comaraderie
which speeds and eases the job for all.
e) WRITING - While we work the steps, and/or grow from
the changes which come during recovery, writing is a
valuable tool to help us express our inner journey.
In a similar way, carpenters often record statistics and
details of their progress; it helps them see how each
challenge was met, and serves as a resource for future jobs,
and/or for other craftsmen.
f) LITERATURE - OA members find inspiration, support and
instruction in the Big Book of AA, and in OA literature.
These resources are a valuable tool for our Program. As
a resource, carpenters need blueprints, and often refer to
their own manuals, when facing a construction problem.
g) ANONYMITY - One of the founding principles of OA.
It ensures us that what we share stays private, and that
we respect each member's right to keep their personal
business to themselves. Although craftsmen at a building
site do not insist on anonymity, they often work side by
side with workers that they don't know well; and only need
to know each other's construction skillset, rather than the
more personal details of their family lives.
h) SERVICE - I once heard this defined as "anything we
can do to help the meeting run smoothly". To me,
service is reaching out a hand to another OAer. No matter
who we are, we have a skill that can be offered for service.
When a building is being constructed, there are many tasks
to do, and people of all skills and personalities can all
be a valued part of the team. Each one is needed; each is
Will we choose the right tools?
~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~
~~ FROM THE BIG BOOK ~~
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems
today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find
some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact
of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no
serenity until I accept that person, place, thing,
or situation as being exactly the way it is
supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely
nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until
I could accept my alcoholism I could not stay sober;
unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I
cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much
on what needs to be changed in the world as on what
needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes".
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 449
At least several times during the year I find myself
going back over some issue in my life and wishing I
had done it differently and then such and such wouldn't
be this way! It is then that I have to go back over
this page in the Big Book and read that there are NO
mistakes in God's world; that everything that happened
was supposed to be for whatever plan God had for me.
It is such a stress reliever!! I wanted to pass this
on to those who are new also. I must accept "life on
life's terms." That is not easy to do sometimes, but I
am not the Maker of this world and I will surrender
myself to a Higher Power who does know All the
Love in Recovery,
Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)