A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


June 2002
Volume 4, Issue 6



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


FEATURED ARTICLES

From Our Editor
Founders Corner
From the Administrators
Current Service Opportunities
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Confronting the Disease
Danny's Corner
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer



~ FROM OUR EDITOR ~

Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the June edition of Serendipity! We continue with our topic newsletters -- this month it is on the tools of recovery (yes, I skipped PLAN OF EATING!), and we had so many submissions that the tools will carry over into the July edition also. If you don't see your share in this month's Serendipity, wait til next month. The response was both encouraging and exciting -- perhaps we all just needed a direction for our shares! Thanks to all who answered the call. And I think you will find the shares of our members' experience, strength and hope an inspiration in your recovery.

In addition, we received some suggestions from Marjee for future topics, and they were all so good that we will be using all of them in future editions of Serendipity. Thank you, Marjee!

If you have any suggestions of topics you would like to see addressed in future months of Serendipity, please let me know.

All submissions to Serendipity should be sent to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroups.com

Peace, my friends.

Love in recovery,
Suzanne, Editor
SERENDIPITY



SERENDIPITY SUBSCRIPTIONS



~ FOUNDERS CORNER ~


There are times in life as a compulsive eater when someone needs the company of another compulsive eater right then. It may not be an urgent, life or death matter ... but human contact may be needed on an emotional level to keep out of the food. With that in mind we have set a goal of establishing a room which will be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week strictly for the purpose of informal talk with others who share our disease. There are no meetings held in this room and no moderator. It's called #RecoveryTalk and you can reach it in many ways. Those with mIRC will find it easiest by just typing /join #RecoveryTalk. Others can go to http://recovery.hiwaay.net and click on the doorway at the top of the page which says #RecoveryTalk.

If any of you have an hour to spare, please go there and just BE there for others while we make this room widely known. It will be a wonderful way of doing service.

#RecoveryTalk ... StarChat Channel ... IRC ... 24/7 ... Easy to Find.

See you there.

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




~ FROM THE ADMINISTRATORS ~

Dear Members of The Recovery Group,

The administration had a busy month. We all worked together toward the ongoing Unity of The Recovery Group, as we do each month.

We are grateful for all the support shown by TRG members as we go about our task of keeping The Recovery Group a place that will continue to serve all those who wish to recover from compulsive eating.

We suggest that members in recovery bookmark our homepage
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org and revisit it often to renew their own recovery and to see all the many resources available for newcomers and for those who are already members.

Again we want to express our appreciate to all members who support us in our efforts for helping this Online means of support to continue and flourish.

With love and JOY in service to all,

The Recovery Group Administration
Patt, Cate and John
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org




~ CURRENT SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES ~

Today we are sharing our monthly call for service - letting you know of the service opportunities that are currently available to you within the TRG community. Please review these opportunities today, and give yourself a chance to share your recovery with countless others through your service!




~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT ~


~ Relationships and Recovery ~

Dear Recovery Friend,

Thanks for visiting our website. We hope you will come to see us often. We are a Special Interest Loop of the Recovery Group and our mission is to provide a safe and peaceful place for you to share your experience, strength and hope with one another. Most of our members are also members of Overeaters Anonymous and, although we are not officially affiliated with that organization, we are a Twelve Step Loop.

Our group has a very special mission purpose. We provide a place to work our own recovery program and also to carry that message to others. We are here together to build one another up ... to accept each of us as we are ... to support each other ... and not to judge one another. We offer you safety and serenity.

Our loop is a place where 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will have a safe haven where you can interact with others who are suffering. Our loop does not just focus on our physical problems. We focus on our emotional and our spiritual needs as well. Our recovery home is a place where we hope you can experience growth spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Our way of finding recovery is through the Twelve Steps . We have reached a place in our life where this may be the last stop on the bus ~ the last house on the block. And we have come to believe that there is a power greater than ourselves and that we cannot recover alone.

There is only one requirement for membership in our loop ~ the sincere desire to stop eating compulsively. If you have this desire and would like to become part of our recovery family, we welcome you with open arms. Our mission is firm ... our purpose is resolute ... our goal is to ensure a better quality of life for compulsive eaters worldwide. Through the miracle of the Twelve Steps, tools to reach and maintain a state of abstinence, one on one sponsors, online recovery meetings, full service loops, study loops, other special interest loops, dedicated Trusted Servants and many other tools of recovery to offer you, we will accomplish our mission, achieve our purpose and exceed our goals.

To join, please send a blank e-mail to:
RelationshipsandRecovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org or visit our website located at: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/relationships.html





~ CONFRONTING THE DISEASE ~



Letting Go

  1. To let go doesn't mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
  2. To let go is not to cut myself off, it is the realization that I can't control another.
  3. To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
  4. To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
  5. To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself.
  6. To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
  7. To let go is not to fix but to be supportive.
  8. To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
  9. To let go is not to be in the middle, arranging outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
  10. To let go is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.
  11. To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
  12. To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes, and to cherish the moment.
  13. To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
  14. To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
  15. To let go is to fear less and love more.


~ DANNY'S CORNER ~

~ NOT STUFFING IT ~

Dear God,

Good morning and thanks for another day to seek and do Your will. It is of course as always brought to my attention that when my eyes first opened today I was abstinent, free of fear, all fear and given yet another chance to be of assistance to another human being, thanks.

In less than one hour I'm to call the folks to come and install the kitchen counter top which has been the big hold up and then on Monday the water will be hooked up. My home is a filthy mess and will remain so until the last ass has done its work and disappeared from my life. Now You know how much my attitude suffers at the first appearance of change. I'm talking about things being changed just because "it is time to change this, I'm tired of looking at it" type of change. I can't find a damn thing in this place I used to call home.

So, where is the woman You sent to run my life, hiding out somewhere in New Jersey with her women's circle stuff. Who will feel sorry for me and or tell me what to do, how to do it, when to do it, whatever it is? Is all this a cruel joke or some sort of dream from which I am not allowed to wake? I know by the time this is written at least I will have a better attitude for the rest of today. Thanks. I figure as dumb as my complaints are they are mine and to stuff them would cost me at least ten pounds, and I cannot afford them, so You have them.

So God of mine, here I am, waiting to see what or who You will send my way today for some sort of assistance. Please gift me with the wisdom and power to do so. Watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies, those who still pray to food plans, and the folks I could do without.

AND WHY NOT......Danny





~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~


~ A NEWCOMER'S VIEW OF THE TOOLS ~


My name is Rebecca and I am a compulsive overeater...... Just a few simple words, but this is probably one of the first tools that we learn to use because it reminds us of who we are and why we are doing what we are doing. It is impossible to comment on any one tool being better or more "usable" than another... here are my observations about the tools as I am coming to know them as a newcomer, after two months in program.

Food Plan ---> This tool is essential to our recovery. A slogan I learned says it all - "IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL!"

Sponsorship ---> This is a hard tool for me to use. Finding the right sponsor seems like a very difficult choice to make. The one thing I have learned is that this is MY recovery and MY program... if I want to succeed, I cannot be afraid to continue seeking out the right sponsor until I find him or her.

Meetings ---> Attending atleast one meeting a week is the best thing I can possibly do for myself. Where else can I connect with other people that totally understand where I am coming from and how I feel and will never pass judgment on me?

Telephone ---> Picking up the phone and calling someone has meant the difference between bingeing and abstinence for me. If I feel an urge coming on to eat something that I know I shouldn't be eating, I can pick up the phone and call someone who will always talk me out of it. And by the time our conversation has ended, usually the urge to binge has subsided.

Writing ---> Many of us find it very difficult to share at meetings, especially as newcomers, because we never know what to say or how to say it and we often feel silly or stupid. Writing is a way to share our thoughts and feelings, and then we can decide if we want to share or not. If you let yourself be free and honest, it is amazing to read the thoughts that can come out of you.

Anonymity ---> Going to OA meetings and sharing your deepest, darkest thoughts can be very heart wrenching. Knowing that those thoughts remain in the room that you shared them in is probably the only way most of us allow ourselves to say some of the things we say in meetings. I realize now how key this tool is.

Service ---> Doing service can mean many things for many people. As a newcomer, I feel that I am not ready to do service because I feel that I have nothing to offer besides helping stack chairs at a meeting. I realize now that although I may not feel ready, there are many ways that I can do service, and doing service will make me feel that much more connected to my Higher Power.

Literature ---> Pick up any of the OA literature and read a few lines... I guarantee you will find something that pertains to your life!

~ Rebecca





~ THE TELEPHONE ~


I drive half an hour three times a week in the evening. I finally became willing to use the telephone tool during my drive. I got a headset and loaded my OA friends' numbers into the memory of my phone.

Last Wednesday I had a feeling of anxiety and decided that instead of a call that seemed like a service to others, I would call someone for me. (I felt needy.) I made two calls to people whom I trusted to help. I had the wrong numbers for both of them. So I gave up and called one of the ones that seemed like a service. He wasn't home so I left a message. When I hung up, the anxiety was gone.

The experience validated the mystery of the telephone tool, coupled with the service tool. I reached out for someone else and I benefitted.

dd, Minneapolis




~ WRITING A GRATITUDE LIST ~


When I start feeling like I am not connected with God/Higher Power, I make a gratitude list. I need to see what I do have today around me that I take for granted. Just saying the words to myself as I write the list helps me. To some people they might just be words on a piece of paper, but to me it is how I feel about all God has given me. I can take the time to say I am thankful to God for what I have today. Those words on that piece of paper I feel go directly to God.

My chip is something else I really use as tool when I know I am going to be in a situation where others will be using. I learned to use it as a tool because I heard so many different comments made by old timers about what to do with that chip. At meetings they would say things like, "if you feel you want a drink, put the chip in your mouth and if it dissolves you can take the drink." Or "if you can see your face in the silver chip, then you can drink." I no longer see me in the back of that chip, so I guess I won't take that drink today. I do carry it in my wallet and if I feel I need it in those sticky situations, I put it in my pocket where I can hold it in my hand as a reminder of who I am and what it took to get here and what keeps me here.

There are so many tools a person can use. They all work, but you have to use them. I can sit here and tell you how reading the BB or Sermon on Mount is a great tool to help you through difficult times. Doing Step One each day or a tenth step when you go to bed. Unless you use them, it ain't going to work. So work it for yourself. Create a special tool for you today, this minute, and make it your own. Tell others about it, pass the word on. Lend your powertool out to a friend today.

God, I love this program!

Blessings and I hope you get another day,

Mamtmouse Monica





~ SPONSORING ~

I read in the Big Book about a psychiatrist who asked a friend that had been in the A.A. program for a while how he stopped drinking. This friend gave him some pamphlets to read. After reading the pamphlets, he hoped that one day he could stop drinking. The psychiatrist shared the pamphlet information with another friend who also was alcoholic.

On reflection, he realized that he had done his first twelfth step work even though he was not in program yet.

This reminded me of the different types of sponsorship available in O.A. Anyone who is in a program for only one day has something to offer someone who has not been in program at all. Someone who talks with a newcomer on the phone or at breaks or in a parking lot is sponsoring because they are sharing their program with the newcomer.

There are other kinds of sponsoring that are very important also. E-mail and writing sponsors help to work the tool of writing as well. A vacation sponsor is a real gift because it helps us to stay very close to the program when we are away. Besides these, there is the usual telephone sponsoring.

Any of the afore-mentioned methods provides us with a way to be consistent in working the program with the help that the program promises us.

The fifth tradition reminds us that we must extend our hand and heart to all who still suffer. Sponsoring is a wonderful way to carry the message and to apply the traditions to our own program.

Peggy B.





~ SPONSORS ~

I have had sponsors that lasted maybe 2-3 months and they're gone. I found myself one day without one and I found a name from a different list. There was some talk that he could handle the rough and tough new members. Something said to give him a try. I had never had a male sponsor but I could try. I sent a note to him and did not even expect a reply, but I got not only a reply -- he said he would be my sponsor. No matter what I talked about, he answered with good information. I recently had neck surgery where they took out a disc, and I was wound up like a top. He gave me his phone number, and he and I have talked several times to keep me on track like I was on line, since it was two weeks before I could do my computer stuff. My favorite sponsor of the year is John (jomarst1@aol.com).

I would like to thank all those who have come forward and help those who need help learning the ropes and getting on with their recovery.

~ Mickie





~ ABSTINENCE (A PLAN OF EATING) ~


I am Tricia, COE, and I wanted to share about the tool of abstinence. I have seen a lot of criticism of 12 step, saying that it only "cures" 12 percent of people. By "cured," critics mean that people stay sober/abstinent. This struck me as highly ironic because the 12 Steps do not strive to produce abstinence. It begins with abstinence. I struggled a lot with the concept of abstinence at my first new beginning in May of 2001. It sounded so harsh, on the one hand, but then no one wanted to tell me exactly what my abstinence should be. I thought I was looking for a food plan, which seemed simple enough. But I would still keep bumping up against what everyone else seemed to understand as abstinence, that I just didn't see.

Looking back, I think part of my problem was I had never really dieted before. So the idea of just a food plan was hard enough for me to grasp. I actually drifted pretty far from the 12 Steps by May of 2002. I seemed to be dieting successfully, but then I allowed circumstances to lead me back into complete relapse.

I found myself standing on the scale, dumbfounded by my first five pound gain in six months. For a moment I despaired. Why not just let it all go, if what I worked so hard to achieve is so quickly reversed? And then I relived the first step - because there is no limit to how much weight I can gain, and if I keep eating this way I will die early.

With this realization came a newfound freedom. Abstinence isn't about achieving the result of weight loss. It is about surrendering my desires to God. Abstinence is not EATING in a certain WAY. Abstinence is eating in a CERTAIN way.

The 12 Steps never have and never will "cure" anyone, for our only remedy is in remembering there is no cure, and that depending on God is freedom.

~ Tricia




~ SERVICE ~


So many times I have read notices from OA requesting articles for either newsletters or Lifeline etc. My thought has always been that I am not a very good writer and that I will leave this to someone else to do. Wrong attitude for a 12 Step program. If I want to recover I need to do service. This is a fact that can not be denied. There are some parts of service that are easier for me to do than others. I am a dependable person so getting to a meeting on time, unlocking the door and setting up is no big deal. I am good at this. Getting up in front of a room and speaking leaves me weak.

What is so great about doing service in OA, is that there are enough types of jobs that everyone can find something to do that they can handle comfortably. It does not matter what you do. Every job is just as important as the other. The key is to do something. Service seems to be the forgotten tool yet it is just as important as all the others.

Thank you for letting me share.

~ Les




~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~




~~STEP SIX~~

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

~~ TRADITION SIX ~~

The Recovery Group ought never endorse, finance, or lend its name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us fom our primary purpose.

~~ SIXTH STEP PRAYER ~~

Dear God,

I am ready for Your help in removing from me the defects of character which I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself and guide me toward spiritual & mental health.

~~ Big Book Quote ~~

"There is action and more action. 'Faith without works is dead.'"
   (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 88)






~ THE RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS ~


1. #RECOVERYTALK

This room on the Starchat Channel on IRC will be open 24 hours a day seven days a week for informal talk. We have a direct doorway to this room on the main page of our website and many will be using it. The #RecoveryTalk doorway is located close to the top of the main page of the Recovery Website at
http://www.therecoverygroup.org.

And here is the direct link to #RecoveryTalk:
#RecoveryTalk on StarChat.Network



2. #RECOVERY

Each day at 9:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, an OA Topic Meeting will take place in the Recovery Meeting Room on the Starchat Channel on IRC. These meetings are hosted by dedicated Trusted Servants of the Recovery Group who are experienced, loyal and caring meeting leaders. As time goes on we will be adding additional meetings and if you would like more details about being a Recovery Meeting Leader, please let us know by writing to TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org. The doorway for #Recovery meetings is also on the main page of the Recovery Website about half way down.

Here is the direct link to #Recovery:
#Recovery on StarChat.Network



~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
6075 Zenith Ct. NE
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.htm
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 ~





~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~



Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Sponsor Directory ~ sarkar@cableonda.net ~ Maureen
IM Directory ~ andybirkhead@mac.com ~ Andy
Telephone Angel Directory ~ vine19@nyc.rr.com ~ Jessica
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ vickiw@gci.net ~ Vicki
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@egroups.com ~ John, Cate and Patt
Recovery Group Founder ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari


"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."
~ Mari, Recovery Group Founder ~


Grant us the SERENITY to accept the things we cannot change;
The COURAGE to change the things we can;
And the WISDOM to know the difference.

What we could never do alone ~
We can do together.

One day at a time, ~
One step at a time.




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OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS


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 Trusted Servants of Recovery

Volume 4 Issue 6 © Copyright 2002 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.