~ FROM A TRG VETERAN ~
I would like to share with you today some thoughts about
The Recovery Group, where I have been active for seven and
a half years now. During that time it has been the primary
inspiration of my recovery, which is now a bit over ten
years old itself.
I suppose I could try to summarize all the features to be
found on our web site, and try to translate that into the
many ways TRG has helped people. That would be a good
article, and who knows, maybe even of some use in
advertising us. Instead, I have chosen to offer you some
of the Experience, Strength, and Hope that I have today
as a result of being in The Recovery Group. This is not
The first thing I learned was that all I, or anyone, has
to do to be truly active in TRG is to volunteer to do so.
There seems to be some reticence about volunteering,
despite the fact that volunteering for service is one of
the things the Twelfth Step is about. But nowhere else
is the OA slogan so true as here: Service is slimming.
Another thing that I have learned in TRG is that
sponsoring is really important. It is most important
to have a sponsor, and once one has come to understand
something about program, being a sponsor is a vital tool
of recovery. I cannot say how many friends I have around
the world due to my willingness to be a sponsor. But
even more important, in this dialogue with my fellow
sufferers, I have been stretched and forced to grow and
grow. I have found that apart from the basics of the
program, I have nothing lofty to say. It's a dialogue
in recovery. It's often a bit scary, but as long as
I stick to telling my own story and don't pontificate,
only good things seem to happen.
The most important thing I have learned is that
abstinence and recovery are not exactly the same thing.
Abstinence standing alone is but another name for a diet.
There can be no recovery without abstinence, but there
can be no diet without recovery. Alas, I have known several
people with lots of abstinence and seemingly not one day
of recovery, at least as far as I could see. They had
simply transformed themselves into compulsive non-overeaters.
They were addicted to restricted eating. This is not
recovery. I am so glad that seemingly at all times and in
all places TRG has focused on spiritual recovery. From
the beginning, our founder, Mari, has put the Steps and
Traditions in the center of TRG's efforts. As the Traditions
for face to face meetings needed to evolve for use in
cyberspace, so the Traditions evolved into our Guidelines,
which are just the Traditions modified for use in
cyberspace, but unchanged in any essential feature.
The core of my recovery has come to be a relationship
with my Higher Power as understood by the Steps and
Traditions. They have been my mother's milk, and have
become my meat and drink as my own program matured.
My relationship with my higher power has given me
serenity and great joy. These gifts have come to me
despite my own history of past abuse, and a lifetime of
clinical depression, sometimes serious. It has come to
me and removed my desire to overeat one day at the time.
It will, I am convinced, remove those cravings one day
at the time for the rest of my life, as long as I maintain
my spiritual connection. Seeing the power of this connection
has been one of TRG's greatest gifts, unless daily help in
maintaining it be so. I am so grateful, not only to the God
of my understanding, but to the countless others who have
shared with me so meaningfully about theirs.
There was a time when I was quite certain that my cup was
half empty. When I first came into the rooms, my vital
signs were moving apace toward an early death, and I
utterly despaired of being able to do anything about it.
When I came to program, I found hope. Before very long, I
found that my cup was half full. I am thankful to say that
in TRG, I have come to see that my half full cup also runs
over regularly. I have a life. And the materials with
which I have constructed it have come in such large measure
from the Program, in The Recovery Group.
My prayer for everyone is that you will either find your
recovery, or subsequently the Power to remain in it. This
is what my story is all about. I can only offer my own
experience, strength, and hope. But a mighty source in
giving me this ESH has been The Recovery Group. We have
clasped hands, and the circle is complete. Yet, there is
always room for more in it. It's something like the half
full cup that runs over. It is the paradox of recovery.
May you all have abstinence with great joy and serenity,
just for today. And when tomorrow becomes today, all
will be well.
John S. (TRG Advisor)
~ FROM OUR ODAT ADMINISTRATION ~
We welcome anyone who would like to serve in any
capacity, whether it be coordinator, greeter, or
12th step within. Just send me an
and ask any questions you might have.
Our loops continue to provide a safe place to
work on recovery issues. If you haven't explored
the One Day at a Time and Discovery loops, check
out this URL and see if something looks interesting.
~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP SPONSOR PROGRAM ~
TRG is very proud to be able to offer its members an
extraordinary Online Sponsor Program. The mission of
this program is to ensure that we have enough sponsors,
both permanent and temporary, for any Recovery Group
member who might need one.
Sponsors and Recovery is a general sharing loop we have
for sponsors and sponsees to discuss issues relating to
To join this loop send a blank email to:
and it will reach all the sponsors, who in turn write
back to the potential sponsee. Many matches have been
made in this way.
We also have another list for Temporary Sponsors.
WTS has a "Twelve Steps in Twelve Weeks" Step Study
each quarter, and these temporary sponsors are for
those who sign up for the study and are without a
If you need to contact the Sponsor Coordinators, they are
For more information about our sponsor program and/or to be
sent a copy of the Recovery Sponsor Directory and
Biographies, please write to:
In service to all,
The Recovery Group Sponsor Program Trusted Servants
~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~
Letters to the Editor are encouraged and welcomed.
Please send your letter to
with 'Letter to the Editor' in the subject line.
~ SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - OA CONVENTION! ~
HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE IN 2003!
REGISTER TODAY for the upcoming OA Convention!
for more information about the 2003 OA Convention
coming to New Orleans August 7-10, 2003.
News Flash! Hotel rates have just been reduced!!!
See the Convention page
for more information.
~ KIDS' CORNER ~
KIDS AND DISCOVERY
The Kids and Discovery loop is for kids who are aware they
have a problem with food and eating. Hopefully and
prayerfully there will be some new members in the near
Ten copies of "The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: A
Kid's View" (by OA WSO) will be distributed soon to certain
places where kids may be (like libraries and rec centers).
The url of this loop will be added at the top of the
booklet. In this way I will try to spread the word to
generate new interest in this loop.
But you, dear reader, can help, too! If you are aware of
anyone who has, or knows of, a child with an eating problem,
I pray that you would pass along the loop's url:
The booklet to be distributed is available at no cost from
the OA WSO, and can be distributed by everyone who wishes to
do service for this loop in his/her local area!
Please feel free to contact Deborah if you have any
questions or suggestions for spreading the word about
this loop. Or, you can find (and join!) Kids and Discovery at/from:
Please feel free to contact
me if you have any questions
or suggestions for spreading the word about this loop.
Yours in service,
Coordinator, Kids and Discovery
~ THE TWELVE STEPS OF OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS ~
~ A KID'S VIEW ~
STEP 1: We told ourselves that we didn't eat like other boys
and girls and that we could not stop eating when we wanted.
We felt different.
STEP 2: We thought that God could help us stop thinking
about food so much.
STEP 3: We decided to stop worrying about food and let God
help us with our problems. (Some people use the words Higher
Power instead of God.
STEP 4: We wrote down everything we ever did that bothered
STEP 5: We read our list to God (Higher Power), then to a
person who cares about us.
STEP 6: We felt ready for God to take away the sad or
upsetting things we do.
STEP 7: We honestly asked our Higher Power to take away the
sad or upsetting things we do.
STEP 8: We wrote down the names of people we had hurt and
felt ready to say we were sorry.
STEP 9: We told these people that we were sorry, unless it
would hurt them or others. We tried to make up for what we
STEP 10: Every day we thought about how we acted and how we
STEP 11: We asked God what to do and for help to do it.
STEP 12: Because it had helped us, we told people about OA
and the twelve steps when they asked. We kept using the
~ TEENS' CORNER ~
Sometimes as I go through my day, something happens and
I try to fix it or make it better. It doesn't work
out and I get angry. I try again and it doesn't work,
I get really mad. Again and again I try to fix it
myself and get into even worse problems. I didn't
pause; I didn't stop for a bit to see if I got an
inspired thought from my HP which would have shown me
how to relax and let HP sort it. The angel flies by
and I never even noticed. I get exhausted and all I
can think of is going into the food, or drink, or
whatever - anything to make me feel better.
Sometimes I think an Angel (or HP) has to be something
'up there' watching over me, but I just can't feel 'it'
or 'them' and then I really feel alone.
But, an Angel doesn't have to be an ethereal being or
something supernatural, for me; sometimes my angels
have skin on and come to me in the form of a brother
or sister, a friend, or a loop member.
So tonight I will remember: Angels 'with skin on' can
guide me just as surely as any angel in a holy book or
something. Did I meet an angel 'with skin on' today?
Were my eyes open to them being there for me?
[ Editor's note: For information, please see:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/teens.html. To join TeensODAT, send an empty email to:
~ July LOOP SPOTLIGHTS ~
FFOA stands for "Families and Friends of Alcoholics". We
are a group of men and women who have been affected by the
disease of alcoholism in a relative or friend. Although our
loop has been very quiet lately, we are at different times
a sounding board for the frustrated, a listening ear for
those who need to be heard, a cheering audience when the
news is good, and/or a shoulder to cry on in the hard times.
We always try to be a supportive group for those who have
the challenge of having been affected by someone else's
drinking. By sharing with each other, we find that we have
a common bond, and through shared experience, strength and
hope, we can find solutions that we can live with, and
ultimately, peace of mind, whether the alcoholic is still
drinking or not.
We would love to hear from you!
To find out more, please visit
To join, please send a blank email to:
FRENCH AND RECOVERY
One of The Recovery Group's foreign language loops
is "French and Recovery". If you know of a
French-speaking person who might be interested in
the benefits of such an online group (written and
operated entirely in French), please pass
the following links on to him/her.
To read more, please visit the following webpages:
GERMAN AND RECOVERY
Another of The Recovery Group's foreign language loops
is "German and Recovery". As with the French and
Recovery group, the German and Recovery group is
truly a group for the German-speaking COE. If you
know of a person wishing the benefits of a
German-speaking/writing online group, please pass
the following links on to him/her.
To read more, please visit our webpages:
HOTJ: HEAVYWEIGHTS ON THE JOURNEY
The "Heavyweights on the Journey" group is more than just a
meeting and a website in cyberspace. It is a place where
thoses with compulsions can meet with others who suffer
and share their experience, strength and hope with one another.
It is a place where the members can feel at home. It can
become their recovery family and a place where they know
that they will be heard and not judged; a place where their
anonymity is important, and also a home, as the poet said,
"where, when we have to go there, they have to take us in."
The HOTJ Loop focuses on compulsions and addictions relating
to food. Many of the members weigh over 400 pounds... some
of them considerably over that.... and this is the place to
discuss the problems that come about with the disease from
which we suffer. The members have dreams and goals, and
through the process of working towards these dreams and goals
we hope to reach them. Although many of our members are also
members of Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and other world-wide
groups, the only requirement for being a member of HOTJ is
to have the desire to quit compulsively overeating.
To read more, please visit our webpage:
Or, if you are interested
in joining this loop, please proceed to
~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
Dear GOMU (God of My Understanding),
Whom I know as God,
You have been leading me in a study of myself, in my
'feelings' and as has already been shared in our group this
morning, 'fear' is a big part of my feelings. Thank You
for sharing!!!! There are a lot of 'fears' in my life,
a life-long list of fears, a 70-ish number of years on that
list, that's a looonngg list. :(
All I can do is, with Your help, direction and wisdom, face
those fears as they pop up, one fear at a time. I am
finding that at the base of all my fears is the root of
'frozen feelings' developed early in my childhood,
imitating my 'dear sweet mother' as she lived a life of
an invalid with MS. The strength andcontrol that mom had,
I have copied in my life to the best of my ability,
carrying it farther than needed. And in that, I have
developed early on a demeanor, an ability of hiding my
feelings, in expressions, actions and reactions, etc.
(even repress them entirely) for my survival. Today,
God of mine, I admit I do have feelings, and they do run
deep, even in a frozen state!!! As an adult I carried my
stored feelings of pain, guilt, shame and rage deep within
myself, frozen and unaware of their existence and intensity.
Oh my, and I could only allow myself to have 'acceptable'
feelings in order to feel 'safe'. The way I learned to
respond to life was distorted in order to protect myself
from reality of what I was actually feeling. When I have
'frozen feelings' I may:
As I recover from my frozen feelings, get in touch with my
feelings and learn to express them, exciting things can
happen. My stress level decreases as I express my feelings,
which helps lower my blood sugar levels. I'm learning that
expressing my true feelings is a healthy way to communicate.
As I release my stored feelings, I admit, it is a painful
process, but as my willingness to allow my feelings surface
increases, the pain lessens and I find myself less
frightened and overwhelmed by my feelings and my fears.
The more willing I become to release my emotions, I am more
capable of having a relationship with You, God of mine, as
well as others.
- Be aware of my feelings;
- Have distorted feelings;
- Repress my feelings;
- Experience depression;
- Develop physical illness;
- Have shallow relationships.
As I experience and express my feelings, I
Dear God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I
cannot change, the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
- Identify my feelings;
- Openly express my feelings;
- Experience my true self;
- Express my needs to others.
Living life One Day At a Time,
Somedays One Moment At A Time.
~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~
~ Danny's Letters to God ~
In this column we bring you shares from Recovery Meditations,
Odyssey, Danny's Letters To God, Journey to Recovery,
Reflections, The Promises and many others. For the
next three months we want to highlight the series,
"Danny's Letters to God". The first letter is called
"Tell me again, who is in charge?".~~~~~
My day went exactly as You planned it, however, it in no way
resembled my plans, which were to sit and watch all the
sporting events taped on three VCR's these past few days.
Ha!! Danny plans and God giggles; will I ever learn?
Although the major redecorating has been done, it seems
certain doors will not function as the new carpeting is
much thicker than the old. Which, by the way, I was content
with. But, hey, who is complaining? The old doors are eight
feet high, and because of the peculiar construction need
special tools for cutting. Well, why not?. SIGH!!!!
Then good Aunt Mae calls to ask me if she did the right
thing when she threw away stock certificates because the
company went off the board. Of course, this happened
fifteen years ago, and I'm still searching.
Three grand nieces have come down with chickenpox, and guess
who got stuck driving them to the doctor? HA!!! Oh, let us
not forget the last minute phone call from Tommy and Barbara
asking me to go with them to a mortgage refinance closing.
Now, here I settle in for the Yankee playoff game, and my
cable goes out. You are trying my patience today, and, oh
yes, my meat loaf got burned because of my CRS.
All in all, this has been one great day, and this fool is
quite happy, thanks. Tomorrow I plan to go to Brooklyn
and ask only for knowledge of and the power to do Your
will, just for tomorrow.
Please watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies, those
whose lives seem harsh and the folks I just don't like.
Thy will, not mine, be done.
And Why Not?