A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

June 2003
Volume 5, Issue 6

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

with a Subject of 'Letter to the Editor'

with a Subject of 'Contribution'

The Serendipity Archives


From Our Editor
From Our Recovery Administrators
From Our Founder
From Our ODAT Committee
From Our Recovery Groups Sponsor Program
Letters to the Editor
June Loop Spotlights
Kids' Corner
Teens' Corner
Special Announcement
From Our Recovery Group Members
Recovery Writers' Series
Selection from OA's Lifeline
From the Literature
Recovery Meditations Calendar
The Recovery Group Meetings
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer


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 accomplishment!

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,

     Editor, SERENDIPITY
     Newsletter of The Recovery Group


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



Dear Serendipity Readers ~

Two of our most trusted servants will be leaving us this month and I hope you will join me in thanking them for the dedication they have shown as well as their love of serving others. Patt and Cate, Administrators of The Recovery Group, after two and a half years of extraordinary service, are saying good-bye to the jobs of Administrators to take a much needed rest. TRGAdm is the hub of activity for the loops and meetings and their jobs require knowing all aspects of TRG inside out. Hundreds of pieces of mail cross their desk each month and each one means something they must do, fix, maintain or handle in some way.

There will be very little change administratively in The Recovery Group. The Intergroup will be called on to do more in the way of making policy decisions for the Recovery Group and Trusted Servants from every area of TRG will be represented in the Intergroup.

Please join me in saying a prayer of gratitude for these two very special ladies.

Love in recovery,


The ODAT/Discovery Loops

Summer is almost here. For some of us, summer is the busiest time of the year. For others, it's more relaxed and easy-going than during the busy school year. I thought I would send a list of the loops needing coordinators this month. If you're one of the lucky laid-back sorts for the summer, you might consider giving service to one of these loops.

We've lost our coordinator for Christian and Recovery and Weight Loss Surgery. As you can see, the One Day at a Time loops cover a *very* wide range of needs; there is something here for everybody.

In addition to the two loops mentioned above, the following loops also need a coordinator:

  • Anger ODAT
  • Discovery Kitchen
  • Exercise
  • FFOA
  • Grey Sheet
  • Isolation and Homebound
  • OA Anon ODAT
  • Relationships
  • Spending ODAT
If any of these loops looks interesting, please let me know....

Have a recovery-filled June.

Love to all,
ODAT Committee Chairperson



The Recovery Sponsor program is one we're very proud of. Three of our loops are devoted to this program. The first one is "Sponsors and Recovery", which is a general sharing list for sponsors and sponsees to share with one another about common issues. The second and third loops are for sponsors only ~ "Recovery Sponsors" and "WTS Step Sponsors." Our members can write directly to the sponsors describing a) what they're looking for in a sponsor and) what they can commit as a sponsee; usually there is a match.

If you are a newcomer, you may be asking "What IS a sponsor?" There are as many sponsors as there are individuals, from very gentle to tough love. It is up to the individual to find someone who has what he/she is looking for. As stated in Tradition Five, OA's primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery. A sponsor is one who shares this message, as well as his/her own program of recovery, on an ongoing and individual basis with another member called a "sponsee". A sponsor works and lives the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of his/her ability and helps the sponsee on three levels of recovery ~ physical, emotional and spiritual.

For more information about our sponsor program and/or to be sent a copy of the Recovery Sponsor Directory and Biographies, please write to:

In service to all,

The Recovery Group Sponsor Program Trusted Servants

www.The RecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html


Dear Editor:

Last night I went to sleep 49 years old. This morning I woke up 50.

Guess what? It doesn't bother me. It doesn't frighten me. It doesn't make me angry.

In fact, I rather like it.

I'm an abstinent, healthy, happy, competent, good-looking woman, with numerous blessings. And when a friend asked me what I want for my birthday, I said "Another 50 years to enjoy what I have!"

So I would like you all to celebrate with me!

Sharon N. (Still Abstinent in Israel)


Letters to the Editor are encouraged and welcomed. Please send your letter to
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com. Please put 'Letter to the Editor' in the subject line.



The Anorexia and Bulimia loop is a Twelve-Step discussion loop for men and women who are anorexic or bulimic. We have online sponsors, online meetings, and other services. We welcome any anorexic or bulimic with open arms! Through the gift of this loop, many of us learn ways to overcome our fears and destructive behaviours. We affirm daily that what we could never do alone, we can do together.

[Editor's note: Of particular note, please read the heart-warming share from the coordinator of this loop, which follows in the section labeled: "From the Recovery Group Members".]

To find out more, please visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnorexiaAndBulimia/

To join, please send a blank email to: AnorexiaAndBulimia-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org


The Big Book and Recovery Loop is a discussion/study group which has as its mission to provide an additional area of recovery and support to COE's who appreciate the AABB, lovingly known as the Big Book. For OA members who want to thoroughly explore the source of the Twelve Steps, and to all loop members, we would be happy to have you join us.

Please walk with us as we venture down the same paths that thousands of people who have similar addictions have gone down since the 1920's when it was written. This wonderful book has been the hope and help and success of many of us without any revisions in all that time.

We start at the beginning of the book and, each day, a Chairperson who shares on a continuing paragraph, then asks two or three questions. Members are encouraged to share back on the reading as it relates to their lives; they may answer all or none of the questions if they like. It is for all of us to learn more about our own struggles with addiction.

To read more, please visit our webpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BigBookAndRecovery/,
or visit our webpage (http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/bbrecovery/index.html).

To join, please send a blank email to: BigBookAndRecovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.
or join through The Recovery Group web site at http://recovery.hiwaay.net.


The mission of the Discovery Kitchen is to share recipes and to discuss food ideas and food plans with others who are also seeking recovery. In The Discovery Kitchen you will find a place to talk with others with eating disorders about anything to do with food or food plans. Please bear in mind that these recipes may contain ingredients which are not on your personal food plan. We ask that you take what you can use and leave the rest.

To read more, please visit our webpage:

To join, please send a blank email to:

The Exercise and Discovery Group is a loop for men and women with eating disorders who want to incorporate exercise in their recovery program. Members of the Discovery community can avail themselves of all the Recovery Group services such as discussion groups, Big Book and Twelve Step studies, a sponsor program, online meetings and a 600-page website.

We hope you will join us and share your experience, strength and hope often.

To read more, please visit our webpage: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/exercise.html, or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ExerciseAndDiscovery/.

To join, please send a blank email to ExerciseAndDiscovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.


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 horrendous disease.

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!


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: TeensODAT-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org ]


90 Meetings in 90 Days is part of the Writer's Series of The Recovery Group. One of our members will share her personal experience, strength and hope as she honors her commital to attend 90 Overeaters Anonymous meetings in 90 Days. This project was started on May 20 and will end in August, but we have started a continuous loop for those that would like to commit to 90 meetings in 90 days and take this journey. To see what you may have missed so far, please point your mouse here:


If you would like to enhance your own recovery experience, we welcome you on this journey and you may commit to attending 90 Meetings in 90 Days by sending a blank email to:




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.

Lynne D.



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.
And we will know peace."

Dear Friends,

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, anyway?

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 baffle us.

We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.


~ 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



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


"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 purpose."

"I would have all the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems."

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book - Page 13


June Meditations Calendar ~


Online Meetings Update

Online Meetings Update

On Monday, 23 June, a new block of meetings will begin in #Recovery at Noon Eastern time (12:00 PM, EST). We are so very excited about them! Now our recovery group members will have two meetings a day to choose from!

Our Recovery Group meetings are the BEST. Recovery is shared. The members are accepting, loving and supportive. Our leaders are the best in cyberspace!

Meetings are held each day at 9:30 PM Eastern time in #Recovery.

We have a FANTASTIC slate of dedicated meeting leaders:

  • SUNDAY--Terri & Pat & Janie
  • MONDAY--Daniele & Cindy & Brian
  • TUESDAY--Brandy & PatD
  • WEDNESDAY--Dreena & Catie
  • THURSDAY--Vicki and Katie
  • FRIDAY--Norma & Pat
  • SATURDAY--Cindy & Daniele
As of June 23, the meeting schedule will be as follows...

  • Monday -- Vicki
  • Tuesday -- Cindy
  • Wednesday -- PatD
  • Thursday -- Patt/Ellen
  • Friday -- Norma/Kim
  • Saturday -- Jani
  • Sunday -- Kim

9:30 PM
  • Monday -- Brian
  • Tuesday -- Brandy/Terri
  • Wednesday -- Pat/Catie
  • Thursday -- Daniele/Cindy
  • Friday -- Katie/Christine
  • Saturday -- Christine
  • Sunday -- Terri/Pat
If you are interested in giving service in our Recovery Group meetings, or are interested in being a meeting leader in #Recovery, please write:

You are invited to go to the Recovery Group website at www.therecoverygroup.org. Click on the "Recovery Meetings" icon and check out the "Meeting" pages, OR go directly to the meeting webpage at http://therecoverygroup.org/meetings/index.html.

NOTE For AOL members: Here is the direct link to #Recovery: #Recovery on StarChat.Network. AOL users need to first go to the Meeting website and look at the special instructions for AOL users before they can fully participate in the meetings. Alternatively, they can go to http://www.starchat.net/aol.php.

#Recovery is the meeting room for Recovery Group. To get to #Recovery, there is a doorway from the website, or you can go to: http://www.starchat.net/recovery or http://www.starchat.net/chat/?chan=recovery. You can find other helpful information (including on-line meeting protocols) at: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html. Again, if you have any further questions or we can help you in any way, please write: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.


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 ~ info@overeatersanonymous.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 ~ Marty
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Email Subscription)
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Letter to the Editor)
Sponsor Coordinator ~ sponsors@therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
TRG Webmaster ~ Mari
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery Group Founder ~ Mari

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

~~ The Serenity Prayer ~~

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.


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 5 Issue 6 © Copyright 2003 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.