~ FROM OUR EDITOR ~
Dear Serendipity Readers,
Welcome to the June 2003 edition of Serendipity. Congratulations
to all who have family or friends, or who are, themselves, graduating.
No matter the level, graduation is always such a commendable
In this issue of Serendipity you will hear from different Recovery
Group trusted servants, administrators and members. In this
wonderful collection of volunteers, I am reminded of what a great team
we have in TRG. As with all teams, though, change is the constant;
members come, but members also leave. Our team is no different,
and as we say good-bye to some who have volunteered their service
for years, we also welcome others to new service. Pay heed to the
positions which are "advertised" in this issue as being open. Perhaps
there is one which is waiting to have your name on it! If so, we will
welcome you to this enthusiastic team with open arms!
Four more loops, available to our members, are highlighted this
month, in addition to how to find out more about and/or join them.
You will also find words of inspiration from some of our members,
and from Dawn, in the Recovery Writers Series, who shares
on the Third Promise.
As always, please remember that Letters to the Editor are not only
welcome, but encouraged! I would also love to include any longer
"shares", if you would like to write about your experience, strength,
and hope on the OA/TRG road to recovery. Get out those pens, pencils,
word processors, and/or computers and send me your
thoughts! Send them to me at "SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com",
putting "Contribution" on the Subject line.
So, faithful readers and subscribers, this is your newsletter - read on!
Love in recovery,
Newsletter of The Recovery Group
~ FROM OUR TRG ADMINISTRATORS ~
Dear Members of The Recovery Group,
We write to you with love and gratitude in this, our final letter in
the Serendipity. We will be resigning as Administrators of TRG
effective June 30, 2003. These past two and a half years have
passed by quickly.
We want to take a moment today to let you know how grateful we
are for having received this opportunity to share in the ongoing
unfoldment of this online community for compulsive eaters. It has
been a truly rewarding experience and a wonderful way to live
out the 12th step of our Recovery Program.
We are grateful to the TRG Founder, Mari, and to each of the
Trusted Servants for meetings, loops and all TRG services.
These many people combine to form a community of service
that keeps the TRG programs available to the many new people
who find us when seeking online recovery options. It has been
a pleasure to work with so many people who are dedicated to
sharing recovery with those who are seeking.
We are grateful to you ~ the members of TRG. Recovery is kept
alive by sharing it and passing it along to others. Your presence,
participation, and sharing of recovery are the life of TRG!
As the AABB states:
"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see
them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship
grow up about you, to have a host of friends -- this is an
experience you must not miss . . .
Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright
spot of our lives."
With love and continued JOY in recovery,
Cate and Patt, TRG Administrators
~ KIDS' CORNER ~
We joined Kids and Discovery at the beginning of April to inject new
ideas and promote activity on the loop. We very much want to spread
the word of recovery to kids who may be suffering the effects of this
There has been little activity on this loop, and we think it's
because no one knows about us. *We need your help in spreading
the word*, one way being by word of mouth; sharing at meetings
(when possible), in schools (if allowed), or even at summer camp.
Most kids these days have access to the Internet, which makes
this loop accessible to many COE (Compulsive OverEater) kids.
Think how many kids could receive the gift of recovery, if they only
knew about it!
Please help us pass the word in your neighborhoods, your face-to-face
meetings, your churches, and even your local community centers
where kids hang out....in other words, wherever you think you might
be able to reach COE kids who are suffering in loneliness.
Thanks very much for your efforts to help.
Janie and Deborah
Kids and Discovery
Please feel free to contact Janie or
Deborah if you have any questions
or suggestions for spreading the word about this loop.
You can find Kids and Discovery at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KidsAndDiscovery/ or at
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/kids. You can join from
these pages, too!
~ TEENS' CORNER ~
For years and years I had tried to do things my way. I would dig in my
heels and say "I want!". Then I try to do it and it never works out right,
and I wonder "What I can do; why won't it work? Why can it work for
you and not for me?"
It was the same with food, too. I would try starving until I fainted
everywhere I went, and once was even taken to hospital. I would go on
diets and then end them with a binge. I even let someone hypnotise me,
but that didn't work either. I'd either get very thin and end up ill in bed
with my muscles not being able to work, or I'd be so fat I would need
a stick to get about. Pills never worked and even the doctors gave
up on me.
But the day I found this program and learned all I had to do was
relax and ask for help from someone called a sponsor who would show
me what to do, I knew I wasn't alone anymore, and something that was
nothing short of a miracle took its place.
So, tonight I remember: to stop fighting and struggling, to let go and let
my program work through my sponsor, who is like an angel to me.
When I do, I can't believe the fantastically brilliant results.
[ Editor's note: For information, please see:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/teens.html. To join TeensODAT, send an empty email to:
~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
~ ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA LOOP OFFERS
ACCEPTANCE AND WELCOME ~
It's difficult to put into words the security and love
to be found on the Anorexia and Bulimia loop. All
I know is that it has saved my life several times. I
first came to the loop two years ago, when my weight
was dangerously low and my depression so overwhelming
that I thought life could never get better. The
acceptance I found in the loop, together with the sense of
finding a place where people want to get better and
are willing to be completely honest about their
eating disorders, have brought me back to a healthy
weight. The prospect of changing my eating plan
to a healthy calorific amount is no longer the worst
thing that I can imagine.
Through the wonderful shares from both the old-timers
and the newcomers (all at various stages of
their recovery) the members of our loop have found a
place where their fears around weight gain, or of
ending yet another day with their head down the toilet
are no longer taboo. We accept that for most of us,
the anorexia and bulimia we suffer from are closely
associated with compulsive overeating, and the
challenges they present are every bit as deadly.
Through talking honestly about the indignities of our
diseases, and the graphic processes we go through in
our quest to avoid food, exercise it off, or purge to
get rid of it, we have come to accept that while the
physical effects of our illnesses are the most likely
to kill us in the short term, it is the effect on our
spirits that are the most destructive. While our
short-term goals may be to "fix" ourselves physically,
and this is something we share on very often, it is
the overwhelming message of healing our spirits that
keeps many of us coming back.
Anyone of any weight is welcome, if they have suffered
or are suffering from bulimia/anorexia, even if not
medically defined. Many of us have even been told that
we are not "typical anorexics and bulimics" but we
know there is no such thing. We do not say to anyone
"you don't look anorexic/bulimic" because we know that
weight is not the issue. It is the mind set and ways
of thinking which characterise these conditions far
more than the body shape. Many of us look "normal" and
are of average weight, but we carry a secret which,
without this loop and our Higher Powers, would eat
away at our souls daily. We feared food, we sought
perfection from our bodies, and we were willing to go
to any lengths to lose weight and maintain low body
weights. The gift this loop (and the love and
acceptance we find there) gives us is that many of us
are learning ways of overcoming these fears and
destructive behaviours. We understand the anxiety
associated with weight gain, adding to a food plan, reducing
exercise levels, or stopping from purging, because we
have all been there, and many of us still are on a
daily basis, but we keep coming back. Every day, in
every way, this loop is our lifeline, our sanity, and
our family of choice. Personally, it is a part of my life which I
truly treasure, because it is one of the many ways in
which my Higher Power is able to speak to me in a
language I understand. It is truly a privilege for me
to serve the members of this loop, and I hope to be
able to do so for anyone else who believes the Anorexia And
Bulimia loop is the place for them.
~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~
~ THE PROMISES ~
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. This month we
continue with Dawn's series, "The Promises."
"We will comprehend the word serenity.
THE PROMISES (AABB, P. 83)
And we will know peace."
The third promise is: "We will comprehend the word serenity and
we will know peace." Before I came to OA, I thought that a serene
life had to be the most boring thing there was. I couldn't
comprehend of life without continual problems and emergencies.
If there was no crisis going on, I would create one; that way I
didn't have to live in myself. I could ignore the mess inside my
head and my problems with relationships.
Now, having been working the steps, and maintaining abstinence, I
have reached a state of serenity that I never thought possible. It
isn't boring at all! I have more time to work on the inner me. I
have more time to focus on relationships. These are now the truly
exciting things in my life.
I have found an inner being who is a rather interesting person.
This inner person is far from being perfect, but what is perfection,
Life is a journey, and accepting myself as I am has been a
milestone for me. I can now accept my imperfections without
thinking that they spoil all that is good within me. I no longer have
to constantly work to try to keep others noticing my real or
perceived imperfections. I can admit them to others and work
on improving them. I have discovered that others share the same
shortcomings I have, and life has not always been easy for them either.
This has taken a lot of worry and anxiousness out of my life. I can
now relax and be myself. I am no more and no less than any
other person in this world. I am not perfect, and neither is anyone
else, no matter how perfect they appear to be on the surface.
Somehow, the awareness of this fact has helped me find serenity.
The serenity is not perfect. Sometimes problems can interfere, but
if I keep my head together and listen to my inner voice, which has
become much stronger, I am able to deal with them without
panicking. Serenity has opened up a whole new frontier for me.
That frontier is within myself. Every day I discover new strengths
and new ways to improve upon the weaknesses I find there. I am
able to resist the forces which I used to allow to rule my life -
panic, anxiety, and fear.
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
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we
could not do for ourselves.
~ LIFELINE SELECTION ~
~ Brothers and Sisters All - Unity with Diversity ~
I'm a white, middle-class, middle-aged suburban woman with an
eating disorder. Only one black family and one Jewish family lived
in the Boston suburb in which I grew up. No one talked about
compulsive behaviors or recovery in those days. I moved to New
York City and realized that although I was not 500 pounds, I could
not stop eating or hurting myself with food. I was miserable.
I came into recovery through another Twelve-Step program. When
I began to recover there, I realized my eating was still out of
control. I came to OA and found a new world of experience,
strength and hope in many different sizes, shapes, colors, genders
and spiritual paths. I became abstinent after accepting that I was a
compulsive overeater and following a food plan. But I found peace
only by relying on help from my Higher Power through these
beautiful OA people.
My current sponsor is a loving, gentle, abstinent role model, who is
a young, gay, Puerto Rican, male musician. I never would have
met him in my former life, and I am grateful that this disease
brought me to a new awareness of all the people in the Fellowship
as my brothers and sisters.
- S.A., Brooklyn, New York USA
From OA's "Lifeline", December 2002
~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~
~~THE TWELVE STEPS ~ STEP SIX~~
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
~~ THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ~ TRADITION SIX ~~
"The Overeaters Online Recovery Group ought never endorse, finance
or lend our name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest
problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary
~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~
"I would have all the elements of a way of living which answered
all my problems."
Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book - Page 13