Happy New Year, Dear Loopies,
As we say goodbye to a significant year for
The Recovery Group, we say hello to an even greater
one in 2006. More and more we are going to
focus on what brings us all here together - the
desire to quit compulsive eating. While there
are programs which are almost akin to fat serenity,
we here at TRG cannot do that if we are to
remain a credible organization. The solutions
to our food problems will be found in the Twelve
steps and it will be these solutions which will
be the main topics of all the loops, meetings
and programs of our community.
Four events begin on Jan 1. It is the first day of
the 2006 WTS Working The Steps study. With a deep
love for the Steps and the Big Book, Shlomo S.
brings us once again a "different" kind of study ...
a workshop. We hope you'll get a sponsor and
join us. It is also the day we are announcing
the 2006 Trusted Servants of the Recovery Group
and you will find the list in your mailboxes as soon
as the Recovery Intergroup votes them in. Our OA
Newcomers Loop begins the first Orientation session
of 2006 today and we welcome 12 Speakers who will
each speak on a different topic for 12 weeks after
which those ready will graduate to a Home Loop. And
finally, the Big Book will launch an exciting new way
of presenting the Big Book Study. Each chapter of the
Big Book will be presented once a week for 12 weeks
and The BB Leader's shares will be highlighted on
The Recovery Website for all to read and enjoy.
You can read more details about all of these
in this issue of Serendipity.
Thank you for being a part of our
Happy New Year To All,
Love in recovery,
~ LISTENING ~
I use certain elements in the environment as
external "chimes" to remind me to reconnect to
reality.... which usually means getting out of
myself and being present for another person or
experience. I first heard of this technique
when I was learning about meditation. A
randomly rung chime or gong reminds those
meditating to focus and not become lost in stray
Some of my favorite "chimes" are autumn trees in
flaming salmon orange (my first chime) and the
act of standing still and taking a breath,
consciously focusing my attention on them. I use
the latter with my staff mostly because I am so
frequently physically and mentally on the go. If
I become aware of a problem or someone comes to me
with the need to talk, I will stop often, touch their
arm, take a deep breath and say, "Tell me, I am
listening!" Some of the staff who are particularly
perceptive have turned the tables on me. They will
ask me to stop and take a deep breath so I can get
into the "Tell me, I am listening" space.
God, reading this, I sound like some kind of
dervish!!! I'm not. Usually, I am very aware of
others and easily available for them, but I do
have a backup plan and this is it!
Of course, we addicts have many issues and I can often
use meeting the needs of others to be reason to avoid
spending time in my own head with my own problems.
Every coin has a flip side and some of our coins have
a third, I think!!! LOL!!!
Happy celebrations to everyone of whatever spiritual
~ TRG ADM ~ The Administrative Hub ~
As the 11th year of The Recovery Group begins, we
would like to look back at a few of the many things
that have taken place this past year.
More lists have been added to our home as they
were requested and a need for them has been
demonstrated. More meetings are now available,
including two a week for OA Newcomers. Meanwhile,
the OA meetings "around the world ~ around the clock"
continue to flourish. OA Newcomers list now has
guest speakers to help newcomers learn about both OA
and the services offered here at TRG while being
supported by others just beginning their journey of
recovery. "Oldtimers" are also there to share their
The year ahead looks to be just as busy. The division
heads have been very busy recruiting and filling the
coordinators positions for all of our lists. "Working
the Steps" (WTS) has all of the leaders positions
filled for 2006...and great leaders they are! More
new lists are being discussed, new service positions
contemplated. It looks as if another exciting year is
on the horizon.
We would like to thank all of you who are a part of
The Recovery Group. You are the reason this home
remains for all of us who need a place of
understanding as we deal daily with our disease of
In loving service to all,
Dodee, Nancy and Audrey, Administrators
~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's
Twelve-step general sharing support groups. Our
common mission is to provide a safe and supportive
space for anyone who wants to recover from the
disease of compulsive eating to share their
experience, strength, and hope with others. We
also have non-12 Step focused loops which include
Anorexia and Bulimia, The Big Book, 200 Plus,
Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA
Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk,
Working the Steps (WTS), and WTS Weekly.
As many of you already know, TRG has been working on
realigning the OA Newcomers loop to its original
mission. Mari is overseeing this process. The OA
Newcomers loop is an orientation loop that anyone
new to a 12 Step program should join for several
weeks and ask questions and informally discuss
program things with "old-timers." It is expected
that, after becoming more familiar with the workings
of OA and the TRG loops that the Newcomer would
then adopt one of our general sharing loops as their
"home"loop. The move to an existing general sharing
loop rather than moving as a group to a new general
sharing loop was confirmed by a group conscience
taken this month.
Loops in need of coordinators are Anorexia
and Bulimia (1), Relapse (1), Meditations (2), and
Sponsor-Sponsee Talk (2). Please send an email to:
if you would like to provide service as a coordinator for one of these
The Recovery Group Loops Division
More details about these support groups can be found at:
~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
This month we're featuring the Exercise loop.
Especially during holidays, things may
seem rushed and frenzied, and that can
easily become a downer. On the Exercise
loop, you can let off steam, feel good
about your exercise efforts, and benefit
from others' ESH while others, in turn, can
benefit from yours.
Several of us post daily on our exercise
goals or we list what we've done for our
exercise that day, or do both. For me,
it's been excellent accountability to
know I will post each day. We share
tips on types of exercise, on how to
avoid and/or deal with injury, and what
exercise videos or machines are
Exercise is a very caring and
friendly loop. I look forward to reading
others' shares, seeing if each
person made their goal, celebrating
when they do and providing encouragement
if they are discouraged about a setback.
In turn, I appreciate their encouragement
when I have my own setbacks.
Exercise can be a valuable part of our
self-care and recovery efforts. Many of
us have medical conditions in addition to
being COE's and exercise can really be
helpful here. For some of us it can be
a tool in relieving depression or in
managing diabetes, for example.
We also have links to running and walking organizations,
and to compulsive exercising.
So try out this loop. We'd love to see you there.
Love and hugs,
Discovery Division Chair
Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
~ TRG PROGRAMS & SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~
Programs & Special Services Division is a
rapidly growing area of The Recovery Group and
contains a variety of TRG programs and projects
including TRG Sponsor Program, TRG Telephone
Angels, Serendipity, Serenity, TRG Topics Team,
Recovery Meditations, Recovery Meditations Book
Project, Recovery Message Board, Recovery Photo
Album, Recovery 12 Step Anniversaries, Recovery
Talk Room on Main Website, Recovery Guestbooks and
Counters, Recovery Bravenet Features, Outreach
Programs with other Online Groups, and the Writer's
We need creative energetic people to serve in a
number of areas. With a new WTS Quarterly coming
up, TRG Sponsor Program requires an influx of
new sponsors. Telephone Angels also has need
of volunteers willing to give a few hours a week
of their time to take phone calls from those in
need. We also are currently looking for new
submissions for Recovery Meditations for 2006
and for writers to help with the TRG Topic Team.
If you interested in giving service in these areas -
or are interested in ANY of our programs, please
contact me at the address below.
Love in Recovery,
TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group
~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~
(\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
/ \ / \ / \
THE RECOVERY GROUP TELEPHONE ANGELS PROGRAM
Ever feel alone? Has the sound of
silence ever been too loud? Here
is an opportunity to change this
for someone else, and give service
at the same time!
If you have a telephone number and
are willing to accept calls from
TRG Members (only), you can "carry
the message" to those who are in
A life will be touched and changed
for the better just because a TRG
Member saw your listing in the
Telephone Angel Directory!
I was once 386 pounds of isolation.
To me, this was normal and a part
of my condition. Isolation was what
I got, and talking with someone or
making a friend were for those other
fortunate "normies." After all, no
one would understand what I was
going through, or so I believed.
Just listening to someone who is
hurting can ease the pain and
lift the spirit.
Please consider becoming a Telephone
Angel. It is such an amazing
way to give back and serve at the same
To become a Telephone Angel, please
and provide us with the following
- Your name
- Email address
- Publish your email address? (Yes or No)
- What State you live in (this way people
can find someone closer to them)
- Your phone number ~ area code and
- Your time zone (like Eastern Standard)
- Best times to call?
- Should folks leave a message or not?
- And, any other info you want callers to know
Thank you for considering performing this
service for those who still suffer.
- We do not publish website mentions.
- No advertisements or spam is allowed.
- The Telephone Angel Directory is
published as an outreach tool for our
TRG Recovery Loop members ONLY
and is PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL!
- Phone numbers should never be
shared under any circumstances.
Yours in recovery, and for the TRG
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
~ THE RECOVERY GROUP TRUSTED SERVANTS ~
Today we will announce the 2006 Trusted Servants of
the Recovery Group and you will find the list in
your mailboxes as soon as the Recovery Intergroup
votes them in. Our Trusted Servants are the special
people at TRG who provide their time, energy and
talents to keep the various loops, programs and
service of THE RECOVERY GROUP running ship shape.
In 2006, there have been some changes to the TRG
Trusted Servants policy. We have an established
protocol for appointing new Coordinators and
Coordinators-in-Training. All new appointees by
the Division Chairs will be known as Coordinators
-in-Training for a period of three months while
they receive training. A Trusted Servant training
website has been created to help ensure the that
all new Coordinators have access to the information
they will need to handle all situations they may
encounter as a Trusted Servant. The Coordinator-
in-Training will work closely with their Division
Chair, TRGAdm and TRG's Founder in becoming
comfortable with the job. Coordinators are appointed
and announced only after it's assured that the new
Coordinator has thoroughly read the Coordinator's
website, read and committed to the Recovery Guidelines
and Traditions and understands and has committed to
the terms of Service.
TRG's goal is to have two Coordinators for every loop
by 2007. To be trained to be a Trusted Servant, send a
blank email addressed to:
We are most grateful to all our Trusted Servants at
The Recovery Group - they are our most precious
~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER ~
Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST
~ MEET Karen G. ~
Karen G comes to us from NY state and tells
me that it was the cold weather, in part, that
drove her to the internet in search of a way to
keep those pesky, winter pounds from
"creeping-up" on her.
Thank you so much for sharing your
experience with us, Karen. It is a pleasure to
have you as a member of our group.
"During the warm months I get a lot of exercise
from being outside. During winter, however, I
have a tendency to burrow into my home and
not even go to the gym. Before I know it, I
have gained 10, maybe even an extra 20 lbs.
through the winter months in addition to my
regular extra pounds."
"For years I tried lots of diets, lots of exercise,
and even a couple of diet centers, but my
success never lasted very long. Finding this
site was totally a new experience for me. I
came, looking for a diet. What I found was
much more. For the first time, I was thinking
about non-food issues, and realized that there
was much more behind my eating than what I
had suspected. Suddenly, it all started to
make sense, and I was looking at fixing the
problem in a whole new way, and with a whole
"I have a tendency to be very willful. I did not
know that when I started. Since coming to
meetings, however, I have seen how I created
a lot of the problems associated with my
compulsive eating, and have made strides in
paying more attention to my needs, and my
family's needs on a physical level. I have also
begun to come out of my shell and realize that
talking about it helps a lot, as does finding
people who understand. It is now something
that I can talk about with my children (ages 9
and 14) and husband. (Something that I was
always too ashamed to do, before.)
"It is so wonderful to be able to sit down with
my family and discuss what our food choices
are. I do not want my children to go through
what I have gone through with excess weight
and a lack of self-esteem because of it."
Love in recovery,
Newcomer's Meeting Leader
~ HONESTY ~
"Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant?
Who wants to confess his faults to another and make
restitution for harms done? Who cares anything about
a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?
Who wants to sacrifice time and energy trying to
carry A.A.'s message to the next sufferer? No,
the average alcoholic, self centered in the extreme,
doesn't care for this prospect - unless he has to do
these things on order to stay alive himself."
12&12 p. 24
WOW! That sure sums up the program and where honesty
fits in, doesn't it?
That pesky honesty proposition. I was at the bank the
other day and I am ashamed to tell you that my pen was
starting to run out of ink and I wanted to take the
pen the bank sent me in the tube at the drive through!
I really wanted that pen and wanted to take it! I said
so to my husband. He said it wasn't worth it and he
was so right. I am ashamed to say that I really was
considering taking the pen.
The wonderful thing is that God moved my lips and I
said it out loud, which was a defense against the
There are a thousand little places where I can lie or
be dishonest each day and the measure of how much I do
so is the extent of the health of my spiritual
condition. If I believe that I can tolerate even an
iota of dishonesty - I am fooling myself! If I
believe that I can present one picture to the world
while knowing that I am someone different on the
inside I am in trouble.
My entire recovery has been spent trying to sync this
up...inside and outside matching. I am not talking
about sharing things that are best left unsaid or
about having to share everything with everyone. I
am talking about my motives and whether fear is my
counsel in general.
If I want to be abstinent, which I believe is another
word for removing that which blocks me from myself and
God, then I must be honest - rigorously so. And it is
SUCH A WONDERFUL relief and release. Talk about waking
up a new "man" and being rocketed into a 4th dimension
of existence! Woohoo....!
Thank God, I did not take the pen.
~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~
~~ FROM THE AA BIG BOOK ~~
THE TWELVE PROMISES
"We are going to know a new freedom and a new
happiness. We will not regret the past nor
wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend
the word serenity. And we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone,
we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will
disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things
and gain insight in our fellows. Self-seeking will
slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook will change.
Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations
which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that
God is doing for us what we could not do for
c. 2001, AABB, page 53
I decided to do the PROMISES as the last Big Book
article for the newsletter this YEAR! (Unbelievable
already!) These are the promises given us by years
of constant recovery from thousands of people. All
we have to do is a Simple Program, but NOT Easy.
It is TOO easy for us to slip back into our old
habits and I know all too well how that goes.!! It
takes study every day, praying and meditation to
LISTEN to our Higher Power/G-d's Will for us.
I have the bad habit of feeling very serene and
self-confident and then slacking on the study and
meetings that brought me to that point! I say this
as an awareness for others following in my
footsteps. I am presently starting again what
we call the Waltz Step. Going back to Steps 1 -2 -3.
I "know" this program works. I've already been there
and felt the effects of some of the Promises. But
I have to keep reminding myself again that I am NOT
G-d, and that I have to quit taking Control of
It is a constant process, ODAT (One Day At a Time)!
It is my promise to you that you will feel the
wonderful new effects as you work through the Steps.
You have to remember that weight loss is not the main
part of this Study. It is Mental as well. Trying to
Change the bad habits of a lifetime, but this time
with a Higher Power's help. Also with the help of all
the ones in the The Recovery Group.
Our slogan speaks well - it says, "Together we can do
what we could Never do alone!! "
Many Blessings on your Path To Recovery,
Much Love in Recovery,
Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)
~ MEET OUR NEW STEP STUDY LEADER ~ SHLOMO ~
"I joined the program 10 years ago and have been
active in OA ever since working the steps, giving
service, leading step work shops and sponsoring.
In all my time at OA, I was never without a sponsor
and always gave service which I will continue to
do for the rest of my life. I was also active in
TRG, gave service and led a step study in 2002.
This program literally saved my life since I was
very obese and had all kinds of diseases as a result
of my constant binging.
The Doctors didn't give me much time to live
unless I lost the excess weight and I tried but
could not. I tried dieticians, physicians,
psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnosis and self
hypnosis pills, alternative medicine like
acupuncture, homeopathy, all kinds of energy
healings, spiritual groups, whatever. You
name it I tried it. All except surgery. I knew it
would not work for me since I already
understood that for surgery to work it should
be done on my mind and no one knew how to
do it, not even all kinds of spiritual groups and
classes, and self help methods. Nothing
The only thing that worked at last was the 12
step program. So here I am to share how it works
Marilyn: "Shlomo, how do you see the WTS Study
facilitating recovery? (Especially for those who
are relatively new to the program)"
"The earlier one begins working the steps the
Marilyn: Can you describe briefly what the
WTS study is and how it works?
WTS gives a time frame for the work and this is
important since procrastination is one of the
most prevalent character defects.
One is encouraged to work with a sponsor,
which is essential since one cannot work the
steps alone. Participating and sharing with
others gives encouragement to carry on."
"It will be a workshop:
In this workshop one will be given action
instructions for each step in addition to the
information needed to carry out the actions
and will share about his carrying out the
actions in the present and the results of the
Marilyn: Is there anything you would like to
say to those who are signed up for the study?
The participants will be encouraged to ask me
questions ask for clarifications and for
explanations of unclear points or untouched
points. This part is very important for the
better understanding of the workshop and the
carrying out of the action instructions.
One can generally group the participants into
two groups, those who worked all twelve
steps at least once and are continuing to
work them, and those who have not worked
the steps yet or have not worked all the 12
Parts of the work assignments to the two
groups will be different. So that part of the
work will be divided into two levels.
For example: When one has worked all the
steps and is abstinent and free of food
obsession for some time, his current
connection to step one is different than for
one who just begins the work.
The only 12 step text book that will be used in
this workshop is the book ALCOHOLICS
ANONYMOUS (the BIG BOOK), with the
needed adaptations to food.
This is the only book that really works for me
and it simplifies matters if there is only one
book to study in the workshop."
"What we have is recovery from the addiction
to food via a spiritual awakening as the result
of working all 12 steps.
The first requirement for recovery is the
willingness to go to any length which means
the firm commitment to do all actions that are
needed to work all twelve steps.
There is also a clear explanation that half
measures avail us nothing which means that
doing just part of the work does not result in
partial recovery. It results in no recovery at all.
This is an all or nothing package deal.
So to all of us, who are sick and tired of being
sick and tired, just commit to work all the 12
steps and do it no matter what.
The results are beyond our wildest dreams."