A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


July 2006
Volume 8, Issue 7


Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others who are working a Twelve-Step program of recovery.


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


Serendipity CONTACTS:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
The Serendipity Archives





SERENDIPITY, the Recovery Group Newsletter, is sent by email to each member of The Recovery Group on the first of each month, year-round.

Individual subscriptions are also available. See the "CONTACTS" section, below.



THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY




FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM

Dear Readers,

Welcome to July's edition of Serendipity. Here at Serendipity, our team works hard to provide you with information about the latest events taking place in The Recovery Group community. Each month, our TRG administrators, coordinators and other trusted servants report about what's occurring in our various divisions, programs and loops. We always welcome the input of our readers and encourage you to send us your suggestions and articles. Our mission is to get our message of hope and recovery out to as many people as possible. We therefore encourage you to use our newsletter as a personal resource, share it with others, mail it to a loved one, or invite someone to look at Serendipity on the website.

This month, along with our regular articles, you will learn about our new Quarterly Studies beginning in July including our Newcomer's Orientation and our upcoming WTS Quarterly Study. Karen contributes an article entitled "Making Mountains Out of Molehills." Helen provides us with a cautionary share called, "Easy Does It/Love and Respect." Anna K. adds a poetic touch in her piece, "The Girl In My Mirror." Lisa K., our newest TRG Topics Team member provides a timely article on the topic of honesty and Marilyn introduces us to Evelyn G. in Newcomer's Corner.

I hope you enjoy reading this month's edition of the Serendipity newsletter. On behalf of the all of us here at the Serendipity Team, we wish you a safe and happy summer!

Love in recovery,

Rob, Serendipity Editor & The Serendipity Team
Contact:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com





RECOVERY MEDITATION
Joy

"The way to do is to be.

    . . . Lao Tzu

It is not until we can let ourselves be who we really are that we can recognize who we REALLY are!

In recovery I have learned it is by embracing myself as I am today that I will become increasingly aware of my true identity. It is not by denial or pretended "goodness" that the Truth is revealed, but by acceptance and humility. This is one of the many gifts of recovery ... we no longer have to "wait until."

This program tells us we can be happy and free now. HERE AND NOW! But, my ego- mind gives me a different message. It says, "You can be happy, joyous and free when you lose the weight, get your health back, get that job, marry that prince, receive the next degree, and on and on. In other words, "You must wait and wait and wait, and maybe someday you'll be good enough. Then you can be happy." Our ego keeps us in pursuit of the elusive happiness it promises.

ONE DAY AT A TIME ...
I choose to be happy; I choose joy.





QUOTATION OF THE MONTH


"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

~ Mahatma Ghandi ~



FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ TRG QUARTERLY EVENTS ~


It's July and that means the exciting beginnings of many Recovery events that happen only at the start of each quarter. I hope that many of you take advantage of these special resources.

NEWCOMER ORIENTATION

OA Newcomers will begin a new Orientation class on July 1st. Each week an experienced speaker will share on a special topic giving newcomers the opportunity to experience sharing recovery with others.

BIG BOOK STUDY

Each day a Big Book Leader shares on a section of the AABB and members of the study share their experience based on that reading.

WTS ~ WORKING THE STEPS

We just finished a wonderful Step Study with John S. and the a brand new study begins July 1 with Cindi as Step Study Leader. We have approximately 700 members in WTS and WTS Weekly working the Steps together.

RECOVERY MEDITATIONS

We reached our goal of 365 meditations in June but have started another section for those who love to write these special little pieces. We will devote this quarter to this section as we look for a publisher for Recovery Meditations ~ One Day at a Time.

SPEAKERS

If you're in a loop or meeting and would like to have a Speaker at your Meeting, we have them available. It would be a good idea to have one each quarter.

For more information about all these programs, please see the Recovery Website or write
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org.

Happy July, Loopies,

@-}-}-}------
Love in recovery,
Mari



~ LETTERS TO SERENDIPITY ~



To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Help!

It is almost like I am in automatic mode when overindulging. I eat and then I can't remember why I did it an hour later. I start feeling so sick and horrible. Does anyone have any advice to stray from doing it again.

Thanks,
Emily

*

Dear Emily:

In recovery, we learn to use various tools to help us overcome our compulsive overeating. When I get cravings, there are a number of tools I might use: praying to my Higher Power, phoning my sponsor or Telephone Angel, sharing at an online meeting, going for a walk, writing in my journal or finding "busy" work (ie dishes, vacuuming, laundry), exercise or meditating. You can learn about all these tools and many more right here at The Recovery Group. So don't give up hope! To learn more about The Recovery Group go to: www.therecoverygroup.org.

Love in recovery,
     Rob
Hello,

I am currently living in Shanghai and was wondering if there are any other OA members here.

Bernadette

*

Dear Bernadette:

The nice thing about The Recovery Group is that you have online access to hundreds of fellow TRG members via sharing loops, online meetings around the clock, online chat, message boards, sponsors and telephone angels - 24 hours a day - seven days a week. To learn more about The Recovery Group and what is has to offer, go to our main page at www.therecoverygroup.org.

Love in recovery,
     Rob



~ MAKING MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLEHILLS ~

Today I am struggling with worrying about something that may not, and really should not, be an issue at all. Then why worry about it, you ask? Because it has to do with what someone I care about may, or may not, think about me. I learned that something was said (while intoxicated) about me - and here I am, partaking in gossip, which I shouldn't be doing in the first place! What was said can be taken as a negative or a positive, depending on the person's tone of voice. And since I wasn't there, I don't know. Now, instead of concentrating on my work, I am fixated on what may or may not have been meant.

My next thought, thanks to this program, was that I needed to turn this over to God. Easier said than done, however, especially for me! So how can I start to turn this over? By sharing it with you, my fellow loopies, and asking for your ESH. As problem eaters, we often seem to have a penchant for making mountains out of molehills - and this is one of my biggest problems! I can tell myself to let it go, tell myself to turn it over, but I have to tell myself many, many times, and let time, as they say, heal the wound (because whether or not it was meant as a negative, it's hurting me and therefore endangering my recovery!).

Love and {{{hugs}}} in recovery,

Karen Z.


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
Administrative Highlights



~ TRG ADMINISTRATION ~



From TRG Adminstration (TRGAdm)

The Recovery Group (TRG) has over 60 email loops. They are divided into three divisions. The Recovery Division is chaired by Cheryl. It includes the general-sharing loops of OAFriends, OARecovery and Journey to Recovery, a loop called Anorexia and Bulimia, 200Plus, the Newcomers Orientation loop of OANewcomers, and one for those coming back from Relapse. There are study groups for the Big Book, for the daily meditations (Meditations) and for being a sponsor (Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk) and a quarterly study for working the steps (WTS).

ODAT Division is chaired by Donna. These are special-interest groups for compulsive eaters who have one particular thing in common. They are grouped by other addictions, religious practice, limitations, food plans or practices and other groups. The complete list is at
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/odat/index.html.

The Discovery Division is a little different and chaired by Athena. The Yellow Brick Road has no coordinator and almost no topics are off-limits. The division also includes Exercise, COKids, Kids and Recovery, AbstinentKitchen for discussion of food plans, and the Kitchen Archives.

There is also a foreign language sub-division of Recovery including loops for Italian, Spanish and German. There is a need for a foreign language division chair.

The most frequently asked question to TRGAdm is "How do I get off this loop?"

The answer is on every email that comes from every loop. There is an unsubscribe address on the bottom. Just send a blank email to that address, from the one you used when you subscribed, and you will automatically be unsubscribed.

In loving service to all,
Nancy, Dodee, Rob & Mari
TRG Administration
The Recovery Group

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

The Promise of Service

The promises (Big Book, p.84 Third Edition) bring great joy to my life. Gradually, each one has come true for me since being in recovery. Promise Six, that we will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows, reminds me of the importance of service. Service directly helps keep me abstinent. With service, I give of myself to benefit others (I hope!) and yet, like a boomerang, it comes right back to benefit me too.

When I first came into the rooms in December 1980, I wasn't too pleased by the idea of service. I did too much already. But I started to give service because my sponsor told me to. She said it would contribute to my recovery, to being abstinent. I wanted recovery. I wanted abstinence. So I did service at the local and intergroup level and through articles to Lifeline. Over the years I have come to love and value service. It lifts me up when I'm down. It keeps me from isolating. It reminds me that there are other compulsive overeaters who also want recovery and abstinence.

It's true one can overextend in service. I've done so, and I've soon experienced resentment, irritation, judgmentalism, even bitterness. When that happens, it's time to let go of something. What this has meant is that I take on only what I understand is God's will for me. Sometimes, to learn that, I will discuss with my sponsor whether to take on or let go a service opportunity. I also journal about it, pray about it, and gradually (or quickly) the right course of action will present itself for me.

I know that service, in and out of OA & TRG, will always be part of my life. It enriches and rewards me. It helps keep me sane. I highly recommend this wonderful tool of our program. I have heard people say that attending a meeting is giving service. Initially, this surprised me, as I'd only thought of how much meetings give to me, not whether my being there is an act of service. I've come to see that going to meetings is giving service. We provide an ear, a heart, and our experience, strength, and hope.

For those who have not tried service in program, online or face-to-face, I encourage you to join in. You will be most welcome! It keeps everything going, and it benefits each of us. I'd also like to thank everyone who is giving service in this online community -- what a great and inspiring gift!

In Discovery Division news, we are looking for two coordinators for CoKids, one for Abstinent Kitchen, and an advisor for Kids. Contact me for details.

Things are "hopping" in Exercise; the Yellow Brick Road invites you to join on our walk together, and people are sharing recipes and summer plans on Ab Kitchen.

In loving service,
Athena
Discovery Division Chair

Contact:
Web page:
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
Email: DiscoveryAdm@yahoo.com
or DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~

The ODAT Group Loops

Compulsive overeaters all have a common focus of recovering for overeating. But sometimes, it is good to talk to people who understand special challenges within the context of 12-step recovery. The ODAT groups were created for this reason.

We have many different focus groups within the ODAT division. There are groups which focus on the members' physical challenges, such as diabetes, pain, depression, PMS, and disabilities. There are groups which focus on relationships, such as Divorce, Anger, Grief, Oanon, Isolation, Homebound, Rainbow to Abstinence, FFOA (Alanon), Parenting, Pregnancy & Motherhood, and Relationships. Two groups focus on a food program: HOW and Grey sheet. There are groups whose members share the same faith; such as Latter Day Saints, Pagan, Christian and Jewish. There are groups of the same age, such as Teens and Silver. Some of our groups focus on those members who are addicted to other substances; in addition to overeating. These include Drug Abuse, AA, Spending, and S*xandLove Addiction.

Two very special groups also exist: the Weight Loss Surgery group, and the Creative Group. The Weight Loss Surgery group is for those who have had, or are contemplating, weight loss surgery of any type. The members talk about the road to surgery, the preparation for it, the days afterward, and the lifelong challenge of living with the differences that the surgery brings.

The creative group is for those who are creative: artists, musicians, actors, calligraphers, writers, etc. In this group, the members talk about how their creativity is impacted by their disease; and how the use of their art can help them in their journey to recovery.

If you would like any information about any of our ODAT groups, please contact the division chairperson at the address below.

In service,
Donna
ODAT Division Chairperson

Email:
odatadm@yahoo.com
Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html

~ 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. In addition, some of these loops also have a special focus. The loops that make up this Division are: 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 we begin a new quarter, the current group of Newcomers will be graduating to the general purpose sharing loops. This can be a very big step for them and I'm sure that all of you will make them feel welcome on their new home loops. Along with the graduation, new sessions will be starting up in both the Newcomers loop and WTS. If you have not signed up for a WTS session recently, you might want to check it out.

Several of the Recovery Group Loops are in need of a second coordinator or coordinator-in-training to help balance the workload. I know that giving service by being a coordinator of a loop has added a lot to my own recovery and hope that you will consider this opportunity to give service. If you are interested in becoming a coordinator or coordinator in training for one of the Recovery Group Loops, please contact me at the "recoveryloopsadm" address, below. If you aren't interested in a coordinator service position but would consider sending welcome and/or farewell letters, or posting daily topics, please contact me as well.

Respectfully submitted,

CherylS, Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division

More details about these support groups can be found at:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com

~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~
On-Line Meeting Division

Meetings Around the World ~ Around the Clock


We'd like to introduce a new feature here at the Online Meetings Division. Beginning this month, we would like to give special recognition to those hard working leaders/trusted servants who donate their time and energy to ensure our online meetings run smoothly.

This month, we would like to introduce Sharon S. as our Meeting Leader of the Month. Sharon leads our Sunday meeting 3 am and has been leading online meetings for two and a half years. She has been with The Recovery Group for six years. Sharon has also been busy in OA/TRG giving service as Coordinator of JTR and the Depression loops,writing meditations for TRG and many other aspects of service. She is from South Africa. Our heart filled congratulations and thanks to you, Sharon, from all of us here at the Online Meeting Division. Keep up the great work!

We still need leaders, please contact us at:
MtgAdm@therecoverygroup.org if you have an hour a week you can give to meetings.

In loving service,

Terri and Audrey
(TRG Meeting Division Chairs)
Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/index.html



~ TRG PROGRAMS & SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~



Programs & Special Services Division is an expanding wing of The Recovery Group and contains a diverse number of TRG programs and projects. These include TRG Sponsor Program, TRG Telephone Angels, Serendipity, TRG Topics Team, Recovery Meditations, Recovery Meditations Book Project, Recovery Message Board, Recovery Photo Album, Recovery 12-Step Anniversaries, Recovery Talk Room on the main website, Recovery Guestbooks and Counters, Recovery Bravenet Features, Outreach Programs with other Online Groups, and the Writer's Series.

Once again, we've had a brisk month in our division. Marilyn has been busy organizing the member lists at Telephone Angels and preparing a new web page. She's also recruited a number of new members for TRG Topics Team, has entered two new loops, and is busy gearing up to fully implement the "adopt-a-loop" component of the Program.

Lisa V. and Mari have finished the first TRG Meditations book and are seeking a publisher. If anybody can help us locate one - please contact Mari, Lisa or myself at
tarryrob@yahoo.ca. They have also begun work on a second TRG Meditations book, so we continue to welcome meditation contributions.

Penny has been busy answering your letters and learning the ropes at Serendipity, while Marty and I have been finding new ways to hone the monthly newsletter publishing process. Cate, Patt and Shlomo have been busy trying to get new sponsor recruits to aid with the upcoming WTS Step Study.

We are currently looking for creative, energetic people for a number of our programs. If you are interested in giving service - please contact me at: tarryrob@yahoo.ca for further information.

Love in Recovery,
Rob R.

TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group
(tarryrob@yahoo.ca)



~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

WHY HAVE A SPONSOR?

My name is Marilyn and I am one of the Newcomers meeting leader's here at TRG.

Many times I am asked the question, "Do we really have to have a sponsor?"

As compulsive overeaters, we have a tendency to try to isolate ourselves from others, and re-write the rules. We may even feel a little bit nervous about having a sponsor, for fear of letting someone get "that close" to us.

It is that very closeness, however, that makes the relationship between sponsor and sponsee so special. A sponsor is "technically" neither family nor "friend". And though we may like, rely, and feel close to our sponsor, our sponsor is the one person that we do not have to "put on a face" for. A sponsor is someone who has taken the time to get to know your story, your situation, and can take the time to listen to you, and share their own story and wisdom with you.

A sponsor helps define our abstinence. A sponsor holds your feet to the fire when you want to quit. A sponsor can help us from feeling alone and isolated. A sponsor cheers you on when you succeed. A sponsor cares when you are sick. A sponsor lends an ear or strong shoulder when needed. A sponsor gives us a kick in the pants when we are procrastinating and being lazy. And, perhaps most importantly, a sponsor meets with you as an equal, under- standing instead of insulting, guiding instead of judging, providing us with a walking, talking example of how abstinence is possible, and sanity can prevail.

Just as many newcomers may find themselves still purchasing and storing foods away for a time when they feel that they might "need" it, by the same token, a person can say "I don't need a sponsor". Both are a way our mind tries to give us license to not have to truly commit to our program.

We sincerely hope that you take advantage of finding an available sponsor. Trying to rewrite the rules is just another way of cheating yourself.

TRG Sponsor Coordinators
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html
Contact: Sponsorsadm@yahoo.com



~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~

     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
     / \   / \   / \

Angels Have A New Home!

  • Help Me Make It Through The Night
  • Hooked On A Feeling
  • I'm A Believer
  • HELP! I Need Somebody!
  • If You Wanna Be Happy
  • My Special Angel
  • Oh, Lonesome Me
  • We Can Work It Out
These are more than just names of songs on the oldies station; they are reasons why people are reaching out, and calling the Recovery Telephone Angels.

In response, Recovery Telephone Angels are happy to announce the completion of their new Recovery Telephone Angels web page here at TRG.

Now that we have a home on the web, it has never been easier to find out more about how our program works, or how you can contact a Recovery Telephone Angel.

Whether you are just beginning the steps, suffering relapse, or want to talk about maintenance after reaching your goal, there is a Recovery Angel who is just right for you. Our disease is a disease of isolation, and our mission is to provide a place where you can reach out, and connect with someone who truly understands.

For more information about Recovery Telephone Angels, please visit us on our new TRG web page at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/telephoneangels/index.html.

If you need a copy of the Directory, please contact our administrative office at the address, below. Please be sure to tell us which loop you are a member of, as this service is open to TRG members only!

Love in recovery,
Marilyn (Marils)
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory

The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
Email: Telephoneangels@yahoo.com.



~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER - Meet Evelyn G. ~

Evelyn G. comes to us from New Mexico, and is the mother of 4 boys, ages 7, 5, and twin 3 year olds.

Evelyn, please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be here at The Recovery Group.

"I am one of those people who likes country life. Our house is in what you would call "the boonies", and we do not have the resources that a more populated area would have, including OA meetings.

I had heard of OA through a friend, and went searching for OA Literature on the OA site. I was delighted when I saw The Recovery Group listed as a source of online meetings.

I am not one for gimmicks, buying diet pills, or lots of books on dieting." I was looking for something that would educate and inspire me... something that had the power to change my actions and thus change my life.

From my first meeting, I felt as though I belonged here, a feeling that is something I almost never felt anywhere else. Also, the meetings calm me, they center my thinking, and help me stop feeling sorry for myself. I find myself thinking about the good things I have, rather than the things I do not or cannot have.

I am still working on a food plan, but I really like the fact that I have choices, the kinds of choices I can live with.

I have not found abstinence yet, but I find that I am much more aware, and taking better care of myself. Before, it was all about taking care of other people, and seeing to their needs. Now, I am going for walks with the kids, playing frisbee with our two dogs, Boomer and Ziggy, making sure that I do not let myself get cabin fever by staying in the house too long, and taking some 'ME' time."
Thank you so much, Evelyn, for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. We are glad to have you as a member of our community.

Love in recovery,

Marilyn (TRGMarils)
Newcomer's Meeting Leader

Email:
mtgadm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Note: Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST



~ OA THIRD QUARTER NEWCOMERS' ORIENTATION ~


Our TRG Newcomer's Orientation is divided into four quarterly Orientation sessions led by twelve of TRG's most experienced Speakers - Trusted Servants who know how to convey in words the promises of what is to come for our newcomers. Each week will have a different orientation topic and the highlight of each quarter will be when the Newcomer's graduate and move on to a home loop - Journey to Recovery, OA Recovery and OA Friends.

To join the next orientation beginning July 1, send a blank e-mail to:
OANewcomers-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

NEWCOMERS' WEBSITE: http://www.therecoverygroup.org/newcomers/index.html



~ EASY DOES IT / LOVE AND RESPECT ~

Last night, two family members of one of the residents at our nursing home came in with some requests and some concerns. As is our habit, every attempt was made to answer their needs. Later on, one of the ladies expressed appreciation for the way their inquiries were handled: not only what we did, but how we received their input. I laughed and told her a little secret. We aren't angels; it's just easier to be kind than it is to be grumpy, and it's easier on our lives when our residents and families are happy.

That doesn't mean that every request is approved. Several of the requests last night were for things we can't do under state and federal laws or because they would just be bad medicine. But that was explained in a way that was respectful and allowed the family access to that same information elsewhere, so they could also check the validity of our response.

Driving home later, I could see how closely that paralleled Program. "Easy does it" is more than a bland bumper sticker. Sharing genuine love and respect for others gets that same thing thrown back at us (most of the time, LOL!!) Showing pride and selfishness, resisting change, defending the indefensible gets those attitudes thrown back at us. I am very clear about what I'd like to be catching in my life and I know my staff has had many conversations in recognition of the benefits of following the "Golden Rule" in our practice. When I am serene, I am able to work a more effective program because my energy is not going into resistance, it is going into recovery!

This year, I am privileged to sponsor two beautiful people. We have our differences from time to time, but the bottom line has always been to seek the way that meets the needs of the day. Sometimes that gets scary, but the hard line days are always followed by relaxing into the recovery that came as the result of gently but staunchly standing on the program.

When Bill W. and the other 100 or so alcoholics were putting the Big Book and the "12 Steps and 12 Traditions" together, they quickly learned to act with reverence to each others' needs while presenting a united front against the disease. It is no different today. I don't argue about program anymore, I ask, "Where do you find that in the Big Book?" Often that question leads me to a more rounded understanding, as well as gets the others involved in the discussion. It all works out..and it WILL work out as long as we stay on the path.

Love and peace,
Helen



~ GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS ~

TO SUBMIT AN ANNOUNCEMENT:
To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to:
serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com



~ 3RD QUARTER WTS (WORKING THE STEPS ~ 12 STEPS IN 12 WEEKS) ~



On July 1st, we will begin the Third Quarter 2006 WTS Step Study. Everyone who is interested in working the Twelve teps is invited to register and spend the next three months with us as we explore the Twelve Steps together.

The next study will be led by Cindi L., and everyone is looking forward to having her as our Step Leader. Cindi is very active as a Trusted Servant for the Recovery Group and is also one of the newest Recovery Speakers.

We encourage everyone working the Steps to do so with a sponsor. If you do not have one, please go to the following URL which will describe ways of getting a sponsor:
www.therecoverygroup.org/sponsors.html

There is no crosstalk in WTS. Members share only on the Twelve Steps and in response to the Step Leader's Questions. If you need help with your subscription or anything else, the address to write is:
WTSAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

To register for the upcoming WTS Step Study, please send a blank email to the address below, from the address you wish to use during the study: WTS-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org



~ THE GIRL IN MY MIRROR ~


As I looked at my present,
I hardly recognized myself.
It was quite hard to imagine,
Me with a unique sort of wealth.
I tried to remember my past,
It eluded me even as I tried.
I couldn't remember my face,
But I did know that I had cried.

At last I slipped into the past,
And I saw a frightened young girl.
I saw a lot of pain and sorrow,
And a mean and cruel world.
The girl I envisioned looked tired.
She was hateful and mean to all.
Then I saw the miracle of God,
Take hold of her and saw her fall.

She was on her knees in the bedroom,
Crying with all of her might.
I felt her mixed emotions, as she
As she finally saw the Pure Light.
It was wonderful and also quite scary.
She felt secure which for her was odd.
The peace and grace that enveloped her,
Was the free gift from her God.

Now I flashed back to the present.
It was full of comfort, joy and peace.
No wonder I hadn't recognized me,
All my fears had been put at ease.
Next I saw into my future.
There was a large crowd gathering near.
They seemd to be moving closer,
In an attempt my message to hear.

God and my Program are the answer,
To the dreams and longings of the past.
This time my changes are many,
And no doubt they will this time last.
God brought me a friend and sponsor.
He tailored them just to fit my need.
He gave me the steps to move up,
And my hunger He really did feed.

No longer do I stuff myself to numb me.
I don't have to live to eat.
God has delivered me from gorging,
And my fears He has beat.
My defects of character are many,
But He knows how to rid me of them.
He can change my attitude of self,
And has given me a hunger for HIM!

Love, Annie K...odat



~ HONESTY ~



I never thought much about honesty being a "hot button" issue in my life. Perhaps it is because I consider myself an honest person. But then, I rethought the concept. I would define myself as a person of integrity, but am I really honest?

After being married, honesty came up as a relationship issue. I stressed to my husband that I wanted to know the truth about anything, no matter how hurtful or traumatic. One of my mantras: is "If I ever find out that, all these years, you have been keeping a secret from me, (one that could potentially change the dynamic of the relationship, not the flat tire you got last week and forgot to tell me!), the lie would be worse than whatever the action was, because then I would be made out to be a 'chump', and my love and trust would have all been in vain." I trust my mate, and I trust he is honest with me. At least, I hope so!

However, at times in my life, I have seen how much "I could get away with" in certain situations. This could loosely be defined as dishonesty, but maybe it's not so loose! Sometimes, consequences have caught up to me. At times I have held steadfast to my original ruse; at other times, I have "given up", feigning ignorance or lack of clarity. It's funny how I am so proud of my intellectual abilities, but that I can feign ignorance when the situation suits me!

As it stands, I am a compulsive overeater who eats alone. For the most part, I eat in secret, out of shame and embarrassment. I always have an excuse in mind in case I am ever caught - which is rare! I think these excuses are thin veils, and those close to me who may "come upon a binge" would know right away what I was really up to. It has been said to me that I have intellectualized being a compulsive overeater, but that I have not accepted this as fact. This keeps me stuck in my willful thinking. Inside of this is honesty. It is the velvet lining in the box called compulsive overeating. If that box ever got opened, it's worth and value would exist because of the beautiful lining inside the gnarled box. My box is rarely opened.

Today, I repeated in my mind what I have felt many times before. Who could understand the longing when all you want in the world is to be thin, yet it seems to be the one thing I cannot have. And when people asked me how I was today, I wanted to scream out "you could never know the pain of walking through your day feeling less than!" I am often dishonest in the face I put to the world. A million times a day I want to confide in someone how painful it is to be me. I want to be a healthy, normal sized person; someone who can be happy and even-tempered. I have lived the secret life of a COE. Abstinent and recovering moments that unfurled into days and days that slithered into weeks allowed me to see the honest life of a recovering COE. The unadulterated joy of not having to lie, especially to ourselves, about what we ate or how we feel; this is nirvana for the still suffering! When I think about honesty as OA espouses it, I realize that it is much more how we live in the light than contrive in the darkness.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa K.



~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~




~~ AN AA BIG BOOK READING~~

Dear Readers,

As you may know, sadly, Myrlene, our Big Book Coordinator, passed away last month. She was a longtime contributor of Serendipity and Trusted Servant of The Recovery Group. Her experience, strength and hope will live on in the hearts of those whose lives she touched, and will reach future generations of compulsive overeaters through the backpages of Serendipity. We post this article as a fond farewell to our beloved Birdlady in Michigan.

Love in recovery,

Rob and the Serendipity Team



HONESTY

"Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous/Overeaters Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you." (AABB, c. 2001, page 152)

    With permission, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

MY SHARE...

"Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous/Overeaters Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you."

Many Blessings on your Path,
    Myrlene



~ THE SERENITY PRAYER ~

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.



~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.html
E-Mail Address ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

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



RECOVERY MEDITATIONS

~ Visit our beautiful scene for July ~
(
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/july.html)

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
recoverymeditations-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Serendipity Subscriptions (non-TRG members) ~ SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Group Adminstrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@TheRecoveryGroup.org




"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."

Disclaimer


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 Recovery Group Members receive Serendipity monthly.
Individual subscriptions to Serendipity may be requested by sending a blank email to:
SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Yours in service,
The Serendipity Team
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/Serendipity/index.html
CONTACT: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

Volume 8 Issue 7 © Copyright 2006 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.