A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

June 2001
Volume 3, Issue 6

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


From Our Editor
Founders Corner
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Danny's Corner
Tools of Recovery
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
Letters to the Editor
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer


Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the June edition of Serendipity! If you enjoy the newsletter of the Recovery Group each month, please take the time to share your experience, strength and hope with all of us by submitting a share for the next edition of the newsletter. This is your newsletter, and we need your submissions! All written contributions to Serendipity can be sent to

In this month's edition, TRG founder Mari shares her thoughts on Tradition Five, and The Recovery Group's purpose of carrying the message to those compulsive eaters who are still suffering. Our loop spotlight of the month is HOTJ, Heavyweights on the Journey, whose mission statement states that the loop is for all compulsive eaters with the desire to stop eating compulsively, and that many members of the loop weigh over 400 pounds. This month in Danny's Corner, in his conversation with God, Danny talks about new shower heads and "another day to live, another opportunity to do the next right thing, another day in which to see, hold, feel and do Your will as it is revealed to me." In the Tools of Recovery, Shlomo writes about the importance of sponsors in recovery from compulsive eating.

In the section dedicated to shares from Recovery Group members, Anne talks about her truths of recovery, Dilia writes of growth through recovery, and Serena tells us about the spider webs of life. In the Literature section, you will find The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as a constant reminder of what is possible, as well as Step Six from Reflections on the Twelve Steps of Recovery. This month's edition ends with a list of on-line meetings, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer.

If you have any comments on the newsletter, or have ideas about how to make Serendipity better, please send a letter to the editor to SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroups.com.

Peace, my dear friends.

Love in recovery,



Dear Serendipity Readers,


We can share our experience, our strength and our hope with one another. We can be there when one of our fellow COEs needs to talk about some issues. We can join a study and work the Steps ... or become a little more enlightened by the Big Book. We can enjoy humor as we read about the adventures of our fellow loopies and we can cry with these same loopies when something bad happens in their lives. We can attend online meetings, find a sponsor and spend hours browsing our website. But our main purpose in being here is none of the above. The Recovery Group has but one primary purpose - - and that purpose is to carry the message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers. And this, my dear ones, is the Fifth Tradition.

We learned so well from the Twelfth Step that we cannot keep our own recovery unless we share it with others. The quieter we become about our disease the easier it seems to grab hold of us. Most of us have listened to others tell us how we're supposed to eat ... how we're supposed to exercise. We've watched the hand wringing of those who love us ... but many of us have not really "heard" them. But when we find others like ourselves who have been where we've been and who have found the promises of the program, we suddenly perk up and begin to listen. We want to know how they're getting well. We ask questions and we listen attentively to the answers to those questions. As a newcomer, we ask more questions than we answer ... but as we grow in spirit and in program we begin to provide those answers to others. Those COEs who enter our rooms today are timid at first but soon begin to ask the very same questions we did.

The message we in the Recovery Group want to carry to others is hope. We in TRG have but one primary purpose and I hope that we never lose sight of that purpose.

I hope everyone has a wonderful June. Thank you for being part of our community.

Love in recovery,
The Recovery Group


HOTJ ~ Heavyweights on the Journey

This Heavyweights on the Journey group is more than just a meeting and a website in cyberspace. It is a place where those of us with compulsions can meet with others who suffer and share our experience, strength and hope with one another. It is a place where we can feel at home. It can become our recovery family and a place where we know that we will be heard and not judged. A place where our anonymity is important. And 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 our members weigh over 400 pounds ... some of them considerably over that.... and this is our place to discuss the problems that come about with the disease from which we suffer. We 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.

Many of the members of this loop recognize the importance of the Twelve Steps of OA as a tool for personal change and growth. The Twelve Traditions of OA are the guidelines of this group along with several others which seek to recognize the unique requirements of communication via the internet. Copies of the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions and our Guidelines will be sent to you separately.

Our group differs from most other cyber recovery groups in many ways. One of the ways is that this group focuses on those of us who are challenged in our disease by a great deal of overweight. Another way we differ from other groups is that this is a topical group. Each week we try to focus on a topic to aid our recovery. Anything that one would share at a recovery meeting is welcome here. Users are particularly encouraged to share their own recovery stories knowing that no matter how insignificant the share might be to a person not deep in our disease, our words can be life saving to one who is.

Information that one might share individually at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting is welcome here as long as it is of general interest to the rest of the list. Discussions of other programs are best left to other locations. Personal attacks and flames (scathing comments) are not welcome here. Commercial messages are not welcome. There will be no disruptions of the flow of this group. If someone persists in doing, they will be asked not to. If you'd like to join us on the journey to recovery, you will be welcomed with open arms.

What we could never do alone,
We can do together.
One day at a time
One step at a time.

To subscribe, please go to the loop's web page at http://recovery.hiwaay.net/hotj/index.html



Dear God,

Another day to live, another opportunity to do the next right thing, another day in which to see, hold, feel and do Your will as it is revealed to me. Another day to make up for all those dark days when Your will was ignored if heard at all. Knowing how frustrating it is as a parent to have a child ignore my warnings of danger, I can only feel sadder at my life-long lousy attitudes towards all those You sent my way to carry Your message to me. And still, You send me Your love, wow, thanks.

Now this morning I received another present as I took my first ever shower with my brand new shower head, thanks. I decided the other day to install this simple piece of equipment and was assured by the plumbing clerk even an idiot could do it. Not true as this idiot had to call his nephew to fix his mess. I apologized to the young man for taking time away from his family on a Saturday, and he responded "oh Unc, it is a pleasure to help and the whole family is waiting to hear how you screwed up this one." The repair took him ten minutes. I had been at it for six hours.

All of this proves several things that the woman You sent to run my life has been saying for years, none of them complimentary. As of today I admit my total inability to touch any hand tools without screwing up. Of this insidious compulsion I am cured. Maybe. The pot of gold is mine as the new shower thing is such a pleasure to use. A good hot shower is definitely one of Your better gifts, so refreshing. Now if I tell her the new shower makes me feel sexy she will either laugh uncontrollably or make me take another shower. Go figure.

Today is another day, the power is Yours to give me to do Your will as it is revealed to me, hopefully to watch football. Watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies, those who still suffer and the people I don't like.

AND WHY NOT......Danny


Hi friends,

I didn't think of it in such a way before, but a sponsor is in my opinion the most important tool of recovery that our program offers. There are steps that cannot be taken without a sponsor or a sharing partner, who for all practical purposes is a sponsor. Step Three has to be taken with a sponsor -- page 63 of the Big Book tells us that "We found it very desirable to take this spiritual step with an understanding person ... voicing it without reservation ...." Of course no one can take Step Five without a sponsor or someone with whom to share Step Four, who is a sponsor for all practical purposes.

Then there is the daily step work. Part of Steps Ten and Eleven is sharing with someone else, who again for all practical purposes is a sponsor. Page 84 of the Big Book states on step Ten, "We discuss them with someone immediately ...." Page 86 of the Big Book asks on Step Eleven (daily review at night), "Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once?" And, of course, trying to carry the message of recovery in Step Twelve includes sponsoring.

In fact, each step is best taken as a triple commitment to myself, to God, and to another human being. Our human nature is such that the commitment to another human being has the most effect on us. When someone does something immoral or illegal he is not usually concerned with God catching him, but is very concerned with people catching him or finding out about it. That is human nature. Therefore, a commitment to a sponsor and sharing with a sponsor is very powerful and an indispensable tool of recovery.

I can stop writing, or phoning, or even going to meetings for long periods of time and still stay in recovery. But if I stop sharing honestly with my sponsor and committing to him the necessary step work that arises daily, I will relapse very fast.

One of the important things to commit to a sponsor is food. I mean sharing my food plan for tomorrow with my sponsor. This prevents deviations in eating. I found out, as did many others I work with, that there are times in my life when sharing my food plan for tomorrow with my sponsor is a very efficient and important means to help me keep abstinent, and avoid spontaneity in eating, which generally leads to slips and relapses. This letting go of spontaneity in eating and doing a triple commitment on food is the price I have to pay for recovery, and believe me it is worth it, since it helps me keep my sanity. Being in recovery and having the promises come true is really great. Or as the Big Book sums it up on page 133, "God wants us to be happy, joyous and free."

Of course, I have to realize that just committing my food is necessary but insufficient for recovery. I have to work Steps Ten-Twelve daily and regularly, in order to be able to keep my commitment and to stay in recovery.

Have a nice day,


The Truths of Recovery

I have often been told in my life, that God will never reveal to me more than I can deal with. In the days before recovery, I didn't believe this statement to be true. I was in pain, my life was filled with grief and sadness and I was being confronted by memories from my childhood which rocked me to the core. I was hurting emotionally and spirituality was far far away from my reality.

Late one night I was surfing the internet in search of an answer. That answer came to me, in the form of the Recovery Group. I attended meetings and I started reading the website and my eyes were opened to the possibilites of recovery by working the steps. At 4am late one night in April 1999, I commenced my own personal journey to recovery.

It has been a rocky journey, one with many lessons learned as well as many truths. I developed a God of my own understanding and for the first time in my life, I had moments of peace and serenity. By working the steps, I started growing up emotionally, removing what I thought were the shackles of the past only to reveal that I had just touched the surface. My eyes were opened and as I worked on steps 4 and 5, I came out of so much denial and suppression of my life. It has only been as I grow in my willingness and honesty, that more and more of my truths are revealed. Some of them aren't my best life years, some I wouldn't wish on another, but they are all part of who I am and what happened to me and it amazes me to say, that the promise of "we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it" is finally coming true for me. It has only been by working my program that my Higher Power got me to a place where I was ready to open that door, see the past and be ready to accept it and move on with life. What a gift! Thank you Higher Power.



I want to start this with a saying, "We who began working the steps in order to recover from compulsive overeating now find that through them we have embarked on a lifelong journey of spiritual growth."

I like this saying, because it means a lot to me. It means recovery is a change in life that follows growth within oneself. This does not necessarily mean recovery is a diet. For me it is a lifetime of good abundance and riches, accompanied by serenity......

This program is one day at a time. And if I fall, I will get up ..... I must have no fear. This means changes. Sometimes changes I can handle, sometimes changes I can't handle, but I get up and go again. This is the fruit of my higher power.


The Spiders Story

We lived in a huge shed that we had turned into a one bedroom cottage with kitchen, dining area, huge lounge and a room - for all 4 of us, inclucing two preschoolers.

One day as I was sitting (how unusual!!), I noticed a huge spider web that went all around the lounge and into the dining area. As I got up to look, I saw it continued into the kitchen, through the laundry and into the bathroom.

Well, I got my trusty vacuum cleaner out and got busy sucking up that huge web. It didn't take me long to realise that the web was not the problem - the spider was. I could get rid of the web, but if I didn't get the spider, the web would soon be back.

I then found that this was not the work of one workaholic spider -- there were approximately 25 spiders involved in this conspiracy. However, they were soon sucked into my trusty vacuum cleaner.

Because of the peaked roof, I could not reach all of the webs so I pushed the kitchen table around the place and stood on it for extra height. I could handle the little ol' daddy long legs and other "friendly" looking spiders, but some were scary and I actually got my husband to get rid of them -- several of them were a little out of my reach anyway.

Soon my house was web and spider free, so I thought, but it was amazing how quickly some reappeared from hiding places or arrived out of the blue to take up residence in the empty space and begin to spin their webs.

My house is still not spider web free, I still find the odd spider around, but I pull out the vacuum and suck them up. Some I only managed to see in certain lights at certain angles, but they were still there. So, did I leave them to fill my house with webs again? No, as I saw them I dealt with the webs and searched for the spiders.

This is just like my life. The house is me, the webs are my weight -- though it looks like one giant web it is usually made up of many webs joined together -- and the spiders are problem areas, things to be dealt with and resolved in my life.

I have spent so much time -- years -- dealing with the webs and not even seeing the spiders that were the real issues. Now through OA I can see the spiders. Some are daddy-long-legs that I can work through myself. Some are out of reach, so I use my vacuum cleaner (the Steps) to deal with them. Some are out of reach, so I need something to help extend me -- the Tools. The rest of the spiders -- the scary ones -- I leave for my Higher Power to deal with.

And something I have found along the way is that the scary ones don't tend to make the big webs. It's those easy ones, the "daddy-long-legs," that make the biggest webs. Interesting. So I clean my house of webs and spiders and as I see a web I try to deal with it before the web gets too big and becomes greater than the cause!

Serena, a/k/a Sparkles


The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

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 ourselves.

~ Reflections on The Twelve Steps of Recovery ~

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


For me .... upon reflecting on all the steps .... there is no doubt that Step Six was/is the most difficult of them all. "Saying" to God that we are entirely ready to have our character defects removed is one thing. Being READY to have them removed is an entirely different ballgame.

I've spent most of my life coping with it in my own unique way. I got very comfortable with this. I think fear plays a big part in our not having the willingness to take the sixth step. After all, when we've acted a certain way and thought a certain way for many years and suddenly we're asked to completely change our way of thinking and acting, it's very easy to go into our "avoid syndrome." Most people don't like a lot of changes in their life .... and as we get older, we like them even less. So, we begin to take that Sixth Step and we tell our Higher Power that we're ready and we tell ourselves that we're going to never engage in the old self-destructive behaviors again! Sounds easy enough. But many of us find ourselves reverting to that old comfortable way of life even though we KNOW that by doing the same old thing we've always done ... we're going to get the same old thing we've always gotten. And, before you know it, we find ourselves right back in the grip of our former self ..... guarding those CDs as if they were precious jewels rather than the manifestation of our disease.

Because we have always wanted to have control of our lives, it is hard to realize this. But God sets the timetable ... not us. We must make ourselves aware of what our character defects are ... and we must tell God that we are ready to have them removed ... but it is God alone who determines when and how our defects will be removed.

Dear God, I'm powerless to get rid of these character defects. I can't. You can. I think I'll let you do it. I'm ready whenever You are.


I just want to thank you for a great newsletter. It is so neat, so encouraging, and I just thank each one of you for your service in writing, putting together, and sending this wonderful dose of ESH.



The editors of the Meditations Project are looking for more meditations to complete the first book of meditations for The Recovery Group, which will be offered free to recovery groups throughout the world. Can you think of a more worthwhile way of offering service to recovering compulsive eaters and addicts than to write a meditation for inclusion in this beautiful book? Please send your submissions to RecoveryMeditations@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.


All Meetings US Eastern Time
All IRC meetings on Starchat Channel

All IRC meetings in #Recovery with the exception of the Spanish meetings which are held in #SpanishRecovery and Christian meetings held in #Christian&Recovery
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC Christian & Recovery
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11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:01 AM IRC Recovery Chat
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8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
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3:00 PM IRC Swedish Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Italian & Recovery
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11:00 PM IRC OA Topic

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1:00 PM AOL How It Works
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All Recovery meetings held in #Recovery Room on IRC
All Spanish Meetings are held in #SpanishRecovery Room on IRC
All Christian Meetings are held in #Christian&Recovery Room on IRC
All Swedish Meetings are held in #SwedishRecovery Room on IRC
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL
All times Eastern Daylight Time

Meetings Information ~ The Recovery Group
or RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com

To volunteer as a meeting leader or substitute leader, please contact us at

Meetings Information ~ AOL
or HOSTAnRUnity@aol.com
or HOSTAnRTalia@aol.com


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

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax 505-891-4320
E-Mail Address ~ overeatr@technet.nm.org

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


Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ sophie@coiinc.com ~ Cate
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ hopeful@teleport.net ~ Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ bingebuster@hotmail.com ~ Natalie
IM Directory ~ bingebuster@hotmail.com ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com ~ Steph
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@egroups.com ~ John, Cate and Patt
Recovery Group Founder & List Owner ~ 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.



TheRecovery 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

© Copyright 2001 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.