A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


March 2002
Volume 4, Issue 3



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 Our Administrators
Current Service Opportunities
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Recovery Meditations
Letters to the Editor
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 March edition of Serendipity! I hope you enjoy this issue, and find experience, strength and hope in the shares of our fellow loopies.

HP willing, this is the last month for the format to which we have become accustomed. Starting with the April edition, we will be putting together each issue around a theme. Each month, I will be sending out an e-mail with the following month's theme, and asking for member shares based upon that theme. I trust that, if it meant to be, this new format will be successful and that you will all continue to provide service by sharing your ESH with other loopies around the world!

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

All submissions to the Meditations Project should be sent to:
RecoveryMeditations@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

Thank you for your service!

Peace, my dear friends.

Love in recovery,
Suzanne, Editor
SERENDIPITY



SERENDIPITY SUBSCRIPTIONS



~ FOUNDERS CORNER ~




Dear Recovery Friends,

Over the past year, my little corner of Serendipity has been filled with words about the Traditions which are the guidelines of The Recovery Group. The last of the Twelve Traditions is: "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities." Actually this is two traditions, although it is quite easy to incorporate them with each other. I'd like to talk, however, about them individually as they relate to The Recovery Group.

Anonymity is very important to those in Twelve Step recovery. I'm not sure I would even be here if it weren't for that because it was very hard for me when I "came out of the closet" as a compulsive eater to admit it. I wouldn't even use my real name at my first f2f meeting nor the first time I joined a loop. I was living in a city where I was very much in the public eye and I wanted to keep my anonymity at all costs. Things have changed for me personally now and my personal anonymity is not as important. But I am like a pit bull when it comes to keeping the anonymity of our members and making sure that The Recovery Group follows this tradition. I think we are blessed to have a way to interact with others to guarantee anonymity to the highest degree ... even more so than in face-to-face meetings. A compulsive eater can log on to one of our groups using an alias, get a sponsor, participate in our online meetings and studies and work a complete program without ever losing anonymity.

As for principles before personalities, this is the cornerstone of our community. We are a very loving and close bunch. We know one another's secrets and ups and downs of life and, because of this, it is very easy for us to form recovery "families." But sometimes familiarity breeds contempt ... and we have personality clashes ... and, as in most families, the inevitable controversy in which out hottest spots are triggered and suddenly we become little loose cannons. We quickly go into our program gear when that happens and revisit the traditions making sure that our arguments and words are based on principles rather than personalities and that we don't manipulate our words and actions to hurt others.

In our loops and in our meetings, we strive for serenity for all. When two people have a fight publicly, it affects everyone. It disrupts the loop. It arouses uncomfortable feelings in others and it interferes greatly with the efficacy of our loop and/or our meeting. I learned this the hard way ... and now know it really doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong. In The Recovery Group we try very hard to focus on the principles ... and leave the personalities to work things out privately.

Happy March, everyone. Spring will be here before you know it.

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




~ FROM OUR ADMINISTRATORS ~

Dear Members of The Recovery Group,

First we want to thank all of you who come to TRG to share your ESH with all those who still suffer.

A special thank you to all the dedicated Trusted Servants, without your willingness to serve Online Recovery would not be available. :)

We have some new Trusted Servants, both on the Loops and in the #Recovery Room, and as we continue to grow more Trusted Servants are needed. If any member wants to give service please let us know at
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

We also want you to know that if you need extra help or have any questions you can also contact us at TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org and we will do our best to help you.

Please check out this page on our website and you can learn what the Trusted Servants of The Recovery Group are all about. http://www.therecoverygroup.org/training/index.html

Also you can review The Recovery Group Guidelines by going to this website: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/guidelines.html

Check out our Home page at: http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org

How many of you have seen the Photo Album for TRG? You can access it from the home page. The password is odat.

Meetings are held daily in our Recovery Room. For more help go to this web-site:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings.html

Learn how to go to online meetings at
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/support/directions.html

If you need more assistance please write to our Recovery Tech, Cindy, at RecoveryTech@TheRecoveryGroup.org

Did you know that you can go to this page (www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/index.html) to read the daily Recovery Meditation?

This can be a real help during those moments when you feel the need for some inspiration.

Have fun clicking on some of the many links that you find on the Home Page. :)

With love and ever greater JOY in recovery,
Cate, Pate and John ~
The Recovery Group Administrators ~
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org




~ CURRENT SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES ~



Hello Friends in Recovery ~

Today we are sharing with you the service opportunities that are currently available to you within the TRG community. Please review these opportunities carefully, and give yourself a chance to share your recovery with countless others through your service!

NEEDED: LOOP COORDINATORS

  • Coordinators Needed for the following Special Interest Loops:
  • AA and Recovery
  • Disabilities and Recovery
  • German and Recovery
  • Isolation and Homebound
  • OA Anon
  • Recovery Kitchen
To offer your service or for more information ~ Please Contact :
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

NEEDED: MEETING LEADER

Meeting leader needed for the Friday 10:30AM meeting
Any person wanting to lead meetings please contact:
Vicki ~ vickiw@gci.net

NEEDED: SPONSORS

To join our list on online sponsors - and to share your recovery
through sponsoring - please contact:
Maureen ~ sarkar@cableonda.net

NEEDED: TELEPHONE ANGELS

To join our list of telephone angels - and share your recovery
with others through this service - please contact:
Jessica ~ jlevine19@nyc.rr.com




~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT ~


FEATURE LOOP ~ Isolation and Homebound

If you are reading this, there is every possibility that you are struggling with food issues and that you have become severely isolated and perhaps even homebound. There is the possibility that you are in pain because you're sick and tired of blocking out the world by staying inside ... yet you may not even realize why you do it. If you're here, it may be that you are hurting so much that you're just about ready to give up.

As a compulsive eater, you have lived through things many others can't begin to understand. We do. As someone who isolates, you may still be "in the closet" about this. We understand that too. For those of you who find yourselves homebound after a life of achieving, our members can empathize. Most of us have been there and done that.

Through our very private and special place, we offer you solace and peace. We offer you anonymity and safety. No one will be in this group unless they have experienced life as a compulsive eater and as an isolator. We ask each member to introduce themselves and tell their stories upon arrival here ... and newcomers should expect to hear back from some of the most wonderful human beings on Earth.

Isolation and Homebound uses a program based upon the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We belong to a group called Recovery and our mission is not to replace face-to-face meetings but the reality is that our disorders make that sometimes impossible. We treat the food and weight problem and we acknowledge the isolation issues not as a lack of willpower or a oral defect, but as a disorder that can be arrested.

The 12-step program offers recovery for the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of compulsive eating. This same program offers insight to the need to socially isolate. We are not therapists nor are we a professional diet club. Our organizations does not endorse specific food plans or diets and there are no professionals among us. In our 3D lives, we come from many places and life styles ... but in our recovery home here in cyberspace, we are bonded by the knowledge that, as COEs, we have a problem we did not ask for ... and that we do not want. Our food problem is exacerbated by the shame and anxiety heaped on us as we live our lives isolated from those we love. But we also know deep in our hearts that we will get better.

Our mantra is One Precious Day at a Time. And we affirm to ourselves daily that what we could never do alone, we can together.

If you have the courage to join us, we have the love to keep you here.

To join the Isolation and Homebound loop:
IsolationandHomebound-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

For more information: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/isolationhomebound.html





~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~
PLEASE READ!

One Day at a Time
We are badly in need of original meditations for Recovery Meditations. The Recovery Group has thousands of members around the world, and yet we do not yet have enough meditations to complete our first 365 days. PLEASE BECOME A PART OF THIS WONDERFUL PROJECT! If you enjoy the daily meditations sent to the loops each day, get into the act!! Send your original meditation, in the format of those sent to the loops, to
RecoveryMeditations@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

If every member of TRG submits just one meditation, and there is no reason this cannot happen, we will have enough to complete our work in progress and move on to a second volume of love, experience, strength and hope ........

PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TODAY!





~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~

*PLEASE* send your letters to the editor of Serendipity to SerendipityNewsletter@yahoogroups.com. Without your input, we have no gauge of how we are doing here at SERENDIPITY -- Newsletter of The Recovery Group!



~ CONFRONTING THE DISEASE ~

Controlled By Fear

I'll never forget the day I recognized the depths of my compulsive overeating. I saw myself for who I am and was forced to come to terms with my disease. Feelings of fear, panic and anxiety came over me as my stomach churned over the truth that is now the basis for my recovery.

After a meeting, I was talking with another member about my history and struggles with food when she awoke a truth in me that I had long denied. This truth scared me because it fit my life so well. The obsession with food, dieting and weight only scratched the surface. The physical, emotional and mental turmoil were insane. I had become so self-absorbed and isolated that I barely had room for anyone else in my life. I thought no one could understand my pain. I thought that if I could lose weight, I would fit in, and my life would be normal. It was a lie.

I built my attitude upon my denial of fear. I was afraid of all the issues and feelings underlying my compulsive overeating. Because I feared losing control, I tried to control myself to death. It never occurred to me that I had lost control a long time ago. While feeling terrified, crazy and chaotic, I continued to try fighting my disease secretly and alone. Downplaying the obvious effects of the disease on my life, I pushed everyone away out of fear and shame. Inside, I compared myself to everyone around me because I feared rejection.

I started dealing with those demons from long ago and feeling the pain from my past. My efforts to avoid feeling don't work anymore, and I am grateful for that. I have been coming to OA for more than a year and never acknowledged the extent of my problem until recently. This program has literally saved my life. I am learning that it's okay to feel the pain, especially the fear, and not act on it. Today my Higher Power is doing for me what I could not do for myself: restoring me to sanity one day at a time.

- Reprinted from Lifeline, Volume 29, No. 10, October 2001
(Edited and reprinted from OA Awareness newsletter, AZ/Phoenix Metro Intergroup, June 1999)


~ DANNY'S CORNER ~

~ GIANT CHOCOLATE EGG ~

Dear God,

What is this? Another test?? It's almost 11:30 a.m. and my phone has not stopped ringing. Started at 8 a.m. with Gramps, that as usual was such a nice present, thanks. He is a good and spiritual man, at least I think so. The rest of the calls went down hill after him. It's the same old cast, crying the same old tales of why me, poor me and give me. I was, I'm sure, not too gentle with them as the answers they received were to go to You and do as told. They won't but it gets me off the hook. Which brings me to the EGG.

An old and well meaning friend presented me with a two pound Godiva Chocolate Egg he had received from a business associate and he is allergic to the stuff.

Not wanting to offend (sounds like a set up) I accepted the egg and into the fridge it went. All the while thinking the grandbabies will enjoy this. Bullshit. You and I and anyone reading this knows that. Somehow it was forgotten until I heard its lovely alto voice singing my praises. Who could resist Godiva, Queen of Food. Once again into the breach rode the four hundred in the form of, yes, the woman You sent to run my life.

She disposed of the EGG, whose very existence she knew was life threatening to me, and while refusing to tell me of the manner (she does not want me to cry) in which it was removed has spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom this morning. Hmmmmm. The GOMU at work again. Thanks.

Somehow the folks who make themselves suffer so about regaining lost abstinence need to be reminded that no substance abuser ever relapsed if they were spiritually fit. Relapse begins not with the temptation but with the lack of humility produced by being too busy to pray and meditate and hold out a hand to those still suffering. Relapse is a foregone conclusion for those who do not give away that which has been so freely given to them. How utterly selfish.

My meager resources are unable to fight this disease so Your strength is required to do Your will as it is revealed to me today. Watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies, those who still diet and the people I don't like. Have I told You lately that I love You.

AND WHY NOT......Danny





~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~


Working the Steps (WTS)


The Working the Steps Session is going great guns. Schlomo is our leader. His guidance, pushing and prodding is helping many of us take the next step to recovery.

I have been in OA for nearly 14 years. Until last year I never worked all the steps. I did the 1-2-3 Waltz as Shlomo described. I started at one, continued through two and three and never made it through 4, 5 and 6. Then I quit until another time. No wonder my abstinence never stayed in place. I would not do whatever it takes to stay abstinent. Last year beginning in July, I got serious about working the steps. I made a commitment to myself to work all of them. I followed the leader, worked the 12 step program and before I was finished my abstinence became stronger than it has ever been.

I found the promises coming true in my life. I continue to work the steps every day. Steps 10, 11 and 12 are part of my life. The program does work. It's like we close every OA meeting ~ "It works if you work it."

For 14 years I used the tools and wondered why abstinence eluded me. Others worked the steps, got abstinent and stayed abstinent. When I used the tools my abstinence was better. I would give service, I read OA approved literature, I journaled daily, I had a food plan, I begrudgingly made phone calls, and I kept my anonymity.

It was after I began working the 12 steps with the people on this loop that I knew I would be able to get abstinent and stay abstinent. My abstinence is now the most important part of my life. I work hard at it. I think about it and take care of it every day. Each morning I turn my day over to God. This includes my abstinence. Each day my God takes care of me and my abstinence.

I do not know how this program works. I can give you no scientific reason why it works. I can only say that, for me, working the 12 steps of OA was the most important thing I ever did for my Recovery.

Keep working the steps. These will be the most important 12 steps you have every taken in your life.

Yours in ESH,
JO




~ Life In Recovery ~



This way of life I call OA,
Has changed the way I am today.
I never knew I was insane,
I'd eat and eat, which caused more pain.
Another diet? I was so leery,
Acceptance came when I grew weary.
Sick and tired of controlling the food,
Only to find, a more depressed mood.
Surrender came when I gave up the fight,
Willing to do anything, with all my might.
Am I really this awful, God? I can't accept that,
I'm not that bad, just a little bit fat.
Never feeling good enough, or being picked for the race,
Always being told, "You're so pretty in the face."
"But what about me?!?" I'd shout in my mind,
"Love all of me or none of me, I'm really quite kind."
It's not about food, OA's would say,
Share your feelings on paper, meditate, and pray.
OA has shown me love and spirituality,
And taught me the meaning of true humility.
I never knew I had a spiritual side,
Not 'til OA, took away my pride.
He comforts me with unconditional love,
And gives me guidance from above.
Negativity fades and my head is now clear,
I can get through this day, with abstinence and cheer.
Recovery to me is the ability to be,
Free from the bondage, food once had on me.
I can face the world, and enjoy the ride,
Or sit by and watch, isolate, and hide.
The choice is mine and I choose to see,
My Higher Power's gracious will for me.

. . . . . Lori L.



~ 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.
Love in recovery,
Fran





~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~

STEP THREE
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.



TRADITION TWO
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.



THIRD STEP PRAYER
God, I offer myself to thee- To build with me and to do with me as thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power, thy love, and thy way of life. May I do thy will always! Amen



BIG BOOK QUOTE
Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was. (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 47)




We invite all of you to attend our online meetings. We have many dedicated meeting leaders and we have several meetings each day. The simplest way to enter the #Recovery Room is to go to: http://www.starchat.net/recovery. Be patient! It takes several minutes for the page to download because of the chat software (called an applet). If a screen comes up asking you if you want to accept the Java Link, click YES. (Not all computers get this message.)

  • -- On the Nick Name line, type in a nickname you want to use, or your first name. (Just type right over the word "Recovery" )
  • -- Click on the Connect button at the bottom.
  • -- Wait a few minutes without doing anything, and you go right into our chatroom. Type on the line across the bottom and hit enter (or return) to send what you wrote to the chat room.
There are other ways to enter the room depending on your server....so go to this page and you will see the instructions: http://www.therecoverygroup.org/support/meetings.html

Here is a copy of our latest Meeting Schedule:



RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS

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
MONDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC Christian & Recovery
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Big Book Study
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
TUESDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC Humbly Asking God to Remove Our Character Defects
7:00 PM IRC Step Meeting
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
WEDNESDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC #CCA
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC #CCA
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
THURSDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC #Christian&Recovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
FRIDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
9:30 AM IRC #Christian&Recovery
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Step Meeting
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC Newcomers
SATURDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
10:30 AM IRC OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
SUNDAY:
7:00 AM IRC OA Topic
10:30 AM IRC Recovery Meditations
11:30 AM IRC #CCA
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:30 PM IRC #ItalianRecovery
7:00 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic

Meetings Information ~ The Recovery Group
For more meeting information, go to http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html
To volunteer as a meeting leader or substitute leader, please contact us at
RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com



~ 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/
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 ~





~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~



Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com


"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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LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
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

© Copyright 2002 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.