A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

March 2006
Volume 8, Issue 3

Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others who are working a Twelve-Step program of recovery.

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

Serendipity CONTACTS:
The Serendipity Archives

SERENDIPITY, the Recovery Group Newsletter, is available only to members of The Recovery Group and is sent on the first of each month, year-round.

Both SERENITY and SERENDIPITY are sent monthly to all members of The Recovery Group.



Dear Readers,

Welcome to the March edition of Serendipity. Here at Serendipity, we provide you with information about the latest events taking place in The Recovery Group community. Each month, our TRG administrators, coordinators and other trusted servants report about what's occurring in our various divisions, programs and loops. We always welcome the input of our readers and encourage you to send us your suggestions and articles. Our mission is to get our message of hope and recovery out to as many people as possible. We therefore encourage you to use our newsletter as a personal resource, share it with others, mail it to a loved one, or invite someone to look at Serendipity on the website.

This month, along with our regular TRG articles, we will give you details about two exciting Programs commencing in March - the 2nd Quarter WTS Step Study and our 2nd Quarter OA Newcomers Orientation. Janie shares her thoughts on the topic of "Smashing Delusion." I provide some tips on getting structure in your life in an article called "Getting Organized." Marilyn will introduce you to Kirsti in Newcomer's Corner and share some personal insights in an article entitled "Purpose."

I hope you enjoy reading this month's edition of Serendipity. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for subscribing to Serendipity newsletter.

Love in recovery,

Rob, Serendipity Editor & The Serendipity Team


"You've got to have a dream in order to make a dream come true."
    . . . Oscar Hammerstein II

Since I heard this saying many years ago, I have really come to believe in it. I have always had the dream of being happy, healthy, helpful and whole, and since I found this program (or it found me) I am learning that I can have all of these things because I am being shown a way to achieve them.

When I first joined the program, it was about losing weight, but as I continue to understand and learn about the program, my dream is slowly coming true. It's a slow path for me right now, but as long as I keep the dream alive in my mind, heart and soul, I KNOW I'll be able to accomplish it ... one day at a time!

I ask my Higher Power to keep me on the right path towards my dream of being happy, healthy, helpful and whole. And right now, in this moment I am grateful for my dream and for the opportunity to fulfill it.


"Love all, trust a few, but hate no one."

~ William Shakespeare ~


Dear Recovery Friends ~

Many of you reading this will remember our letter to you about the traditions, something which we honor above all else. One of the traditions is about unity and why it is so important to the Recovery community and other groups who are dedicated to serve compulsive eaters. Another tradition is about not participating in or having an opinion of something that is considered an "outside interest."

As the weeks go by, you will be hearing more talk about the traditions ... and I would like to urge you to read the traditions yourself. They are found in what we lovingly call the Big Book. Written in the 1930s, it is as true today as it was then. Read them carefully. You will find those who attempt to interpret the traditions in ways other than the writers of the Big Book intended. Bill and Bob are the Founders of the 12 Step recovery program which means so much to our community.

Bill and Bob had a lot of common sense.

Happy March, Loopies!

Love in recovery,


To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Dear Serendipity,

I'm fairly new here. Is there anyone in this group who I could email, and could email me on a regular basis, regarding all this totally overwhelming food stuff?


Dear Gill:

A good place to start would be the the Newcomers Loop. This is the place to have all your questions answered and to find the support you need.


If you need more help please write to:

Love in recovery,

Serendipity Editor

Dear Serendipity,

I would like to connect with other Pagans in recovery, Wiccans, etc. I am very interested in the non-organized religion or religous group approach to recovery.

I am fairly new to OA.



Dear Suzyku,

Please send a completely blank email to : PAGAN-SUBSCRIBE-REQUEST@LISTS.THERECOVERYGROUP.ORG

Love in recovery,
Serendipity Editor


I'm in the processs of overhauling my timetable now that my daughter's back in school; I'm back to work and we have recommenced our afterschool activities. I find the state of my dayplanner is also a pretty good yardstick of the state of my recovery. In order to meet my various obligations, it's important for to pencil in everything. I'm not just referring to my business appointments, I'm referring to ALL aspects of my life, especially Program tools. So, daily planning doesn't just mean soccer games, meetings with the principle and parents, PTA meetings and birthday parties - it also means entering my daily food plan, exercise plan, relaxation plan, devotions, meetings, sponsor/sponsee work, and service obligations. If I don't do this - things begin to get overlooked and can quickly set up a negative domino effect which can lead to relapse.

Love in recovery,

~ TRG ADM ~ The Administrative Hub ~

We are very honored to be the administrators of The Recovery Group.

Where else can such a community be found? A home that was conceived for compulsive eaters who use the 12 Steps to attain and maintain recovery. Not only are there OA meetings 24 hours a day with caring and dedicated leaders, there are also many loops for those seeking Experience, Strength and Hope from others who share their disease of compulsive eating. Studies for the 12 steps and the Big Book, daily meditations,all written by members of TRG, a monthly newsletter...all of these things can be found here.

Other Trusted Servants keep track of and distribute lists of members who have volunteered to become sponsors and telephone angels. Many writings by compulsive eaters are also on the web pages of The Recovery Group site.

There are even more aids for compulsive eaters, but the thing that makes me the proudest of TRG is the dedication and caring that I find among the many Trusted Servants that keep these services available day after day. Thank you all!!

In loving service to all,
Nancy & Dodee, Administrators
The Recovery Group

Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



The ODAT Group Loops

The ODAT groups are special focus groups for those COEs who want to share their program with those who have a similar focus. We have groups for those of the same religion (LatterDaySaints, Pagan, Jewish, Christian), groups for those in certain age groups (Silver, Teens); groups for those with specific medical/physical challenges (Pain, PMS, Diabetes, Depression, Disabilities) and those for people who are challenged by the people/relationships in their lives (Relationships, Anger, Divorce, Rainbow, Parenting, Pregnancy and Motherhood, Grief, Al-Anon, Oanon) Some of our groups can be helpful to those who are COEs and are also challenged by an additional addiction. We have the AA group, for those who are both COE and alcoholics; Spending, for those who are COEs and are also having issues with compulsive spending; Drug Abuse, for those who are also addicted to other drugs, and SexAndLoveAddiction for those who are addicted to sex and love. If you have these other addictions, it might help your OA program to be able to discuss them with other COEs who share your additional addiction.

If you have any questions about these or any other ODAT group please contact the Division Chairperson.

ODAT Division Chairperson

Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html


The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's Twelve-step general sharing support groups. Our common mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for anyone who wants to recover from the disease of compulsive eating to share their experience, strength, and hope with others. In addition, some of these loops also have a special focus. The loops that make up this Division are: Anorexia and Bulimia, The Big Book, 200 Plus, Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk, Working the Steps ("WTS"), and WTS Weekly.

We'd like to welcome Lisa as the new coordinator for OA Newcomers and OA Friends loops, as well as Karen as the new coordinator-in-training for Anorexia and Bulimia loop. Several of the Recovery Group Loops are in need of coordinators. I know that giving service by being a coordinator of a loop has added a lot to my own recovery and hope that you will consider this opportunity to give service. If you are interested in becoming a coordinator, please contact me at: the address below.
Respectfully submitted,

CherylS, Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division

More details about these support groups can be found at:
Contact: recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com


Hello, everyone.

We've been having a lively and interesting exchange on TheYellowBrickRoad and invite you to join us. The discussion can be on any topic. Check it out at:

We're also looking for one coordinator in training for Exercise and one coordinator in training for Abstinent Kitchen. Please email me if you are interested in giving service!

In love and service,
Discovery Division Chair

Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
Email: DiscoveryAdm@yahoo.com
or DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

On-Line Meeting Division

Meetings Around the World ~ Around the Clock

The Meeting Division has made a few changes this past month. Christine who loving gave service for the past two years has resigned. Audrey who was part of the Meeting Division is now back with us and we are keeping her very busy. We had several new leaders come on board in the last few weeks. Audrey is now doing our training since Lee Anne has had to take time off due to illness. Please keep Lee Anne in your thoughts and prayers. We will be starting some speaker meetings in the near future. We have one speaker lined up and she will be our first speaker in March. More details about this event will be announced later. We are always in need of leaders for meetings. If you can spare one hour a week please write to:
mtgadm@lists.therecoverygroup.org and let us know you are ready to start!!

In loving service,
Terri and Audrey
(Meeting Division Chairs of TRG)

Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org


Programs & Special Services Division has been bustling this month. I'm pleased to report that we have completed another full month in our Meditations Calendar. My thanks to all the members who helped make this possible. TRG Topics Team welcomed new writer Karen Z to it's ranks. Cate and Patt have been updating the Sponsor's list as we get ready for an influx of sponsor requests for next upcoming WTS Quarterly.

We're ALWAYS on the hunt for those willing to give service. I am currently looking for someone to help handle Serendipity subsriptions and someone to adminsistrate the Recovery Telephone Angels Program. With another new WTS Quarterly coming up in March, TRG Sponsor Program requires an influx of new sponsors. Telephone Angels also has need of volunteers willing to give a few hours a week of their time to take phone calls from those in need. If you interested in giving service in these areas - or are interested in ANY of our programs, please contact me.

Love in Recovery,
Rob R

TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group


It's a privilege to sponsor someone. And it's one of the ways we stay in recovery.


  • A sponsor's primary responsibility is to help a sponsee work the 12 Steps
  • A sponsor helps us work the 12 Steps by providing explanation, guidance and encouragement.
  • A sponsor helps us get established quickly in our Fellowship by explaining basic concepts and terminology and by introducing us to other members.
  • A sponsor is a safe person whom we can learn to trust.
  • A sponsor can answer the many questions that we can have as newcomers or develop as "mid-timers."
  • A sponsor can help us in the process of self- examination that the Steps require.
  • A sponsor encourages us to read the basic text of our fellowship and other program literature and to engage in Fellowship activities and service work.
  • A sponsor can monitor our progress, confront us when it is appropriate and generally help us stay on the recovery path.
  • A sponsor confronts our behavior, not our being, and he or she does it with compassion.
  • A sponsor reminds us to apply 12 Step principles in our lives.
  • A sponsor models the 12 Step program of recovery.
  • A sponsor's role to encourage and guide us through the 12-steps
  • A sponsor cannot keep us in recovery.
  • A sponsor is not our therapist
  • A sponsor should not attempt to control our lives or encourage an unhealthy dependence.
  • A sponsor should not take advantage of us our exploit us in any way.
  • Has what we want
  • Lives in the solution
  • Walks the talk
  • Has a sponsor
  • Emphasizes the steps
  • Usually has more time in recovery than we do
  • Has worked more steps than we have
  • Is available
  • Emphasizes the spiritual aspect of the program
Please see The Recovery Group's website, below, that gives several suggestions on how to go about finding a sponsor.

Respectfully submitted by:
TRG Sponsor Coordinators
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

Contact: Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org


     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
     / \   / \   / \

Dear Friend in Recovery,

Many of you have heard of the Telephone Angels, but have you ever thought of becoming one?

There is an opportunity available for you all to give back what you have been given by carrying the message through the use of the telephone. By just being willing to accept phone calls from fellow members of TRG when you are available you will impact so many and possibly help keep someone from that first compulsive bite.

The only requirement to become a Telephone Angel is that you must be willing to use your telephone number in order to take calls from TRG members. You share up to the level of your own experience.

Our program can be very simple, yet just by a member of a loop reaching out and making a phone call from a list available to them, lives can be changed. So many times I have been going through a tough time and picked up the phone and with the kind words spoken on the other end I was able to express my pain thus preserving my Abstinence one more day.

And sometimes just the act of dialing the phone and releasing the negative energy, is enough so the negativity or obsession can begin to be lifted and another tool can then be utilized.

On the other side there have been so many times when I received a call and just the right thing was said. I know a lot of times I would thank the person for keeping me Abstinent, one more day by listening to them because it got me out of my own "stinking thinking."

So please consider being a Telephone Angel. It is such an amazing way to give back and serve at the same time. I always love what Rozanne said in her promise: "I put my hand in yours and together we can do what we never could do alone......" We all share a common bond and need each other, sometimes online email is enough and sometimes we need more like a telphone connection.

To join our list of telephone angels and share your recovery with others through this service please contact:

In your email please include the following information so that you may be properly listed in the directory:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Publish your email address? (Yes or No)
  • What city and state you live in (this way people can find someone closer to them)
  • Your phone number ~ area code and number
  • Your time zone (like Eastern Standard)
  • Best times to call?
  • Should folks leave a message or not?
  • And, any other info you want callers to know, such as: "What is the focus of your Recovery?"
  • We do not publish website mentions.
  • No advertisements or spam is allowed.
  • The Telephone Angel Directory is published as an outreach tool for our
    TRG Recovery Loop members ONLY and is PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL!
  • Phone numbers should never be shared under any circumstances.
Thanks in advance for considering giving service.

In service,
January Keck
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory

The Recovery Telephone Angels Program


Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST

~ MEET Kirsti.~

Kirsti comes to us from down under (Australia) and is the mother of three beautiful daughters, ages 5, 4, and 1, who just celebrated her first birthday! :)

In addition to being a wife and mother, Kirsti is also a lawyer and singer in a jazz trio.

How did you find TRG, Kirsti?

" I had a friend on another support based website ... and we became friends. As our chats became more revealing, my friend recognized in me symptoms of overeating, and introduced me to TRG."

What was your experience like when you found the website and attended a meeting?

"Initially I thought that the meetings were definitely not for me. I was worried about the focus on religion. I come from a non-religious background, and therefore thought that without religion, or belief in a HP which is a fundamental premise of TRG, recovery would not come to me. "

"What a surprise. I have found my own HP, a fully supportive, and ever present HP and have commenced my journey.."

What was it about TRG that kept you coming back?

"The friendship and yet the anonymity (strange dichotomy I know). The ability to express the thoughts/fears/gratitude that are in my mind directly to others through the keyboard without filtering them to please others is liberating."

Are there any thoughts about your recovery that you would like to share?

"An important message to all those entering recovery, is to not make any life changing or important decisions in the first year of recovery. I am living proof of this. With abstinence and a connection with your HP comes a peace and serenity on occasions that I have not experienced before. For me, these feelings are interspersed with great feelings of rejection which have surfaced since becoming abstinent. Normally I would have eaten these feelings. Without food, I have turned to other ways to try and suppress the emotions, to stop me feeling and working through these emotions, without consciously realizing that I was trying to avoid myself yet again. It is important to recognise these sideways addictions and to put your recovery FIRST."

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience with us, Kirsti. It is a pleasure to have you as a member of our group.

Love in recovery,
Marilyn (TRGMarils)
Newcomer's Meeting Leader



Our Second OA Newcomers Quarterly orientation of 2006 will be divided into four quarterly Orientation sessions led by twelve of TRG's most experienced Speakers; Trusted Servants who know how to convey in words the promises of what is to come for our newcomers. Each week will have a different orientation topic and the highlight of each quarter will be when the newcomers graduate and move on to a home loop - Journey to Recovery, OA Recovery or OA Friends.


"We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed."
This passage from Chapter 3, More About Alcoholism, is read at one specific meeting I attend - or try to attend - each week. I know the lines by heart, know the words from memory, yet it took a long time for me to internalize and accept their meaning.

The delusion that I am like other people has to be smashed.

Boy did I try to be like other people, especially around food. I watched and observed people at work and in restaurants and while with normie friends and even tried to do what my nephew, almost 6, does when he's full - he pushes the plate away. How could I do that if I had no idea what "full" was?

Then I guess I'm not like other people who don't take everything to heart. They don't get upset over little things and then have to make phone calls to talk about what's upsetting them, then do Steps to resolve it. They don't have to look at their defects to or pray to God to remove whatever in them was upsetting them in the first place. Most of the time my thoughts are peaceful and serene however let something go awry; I'm like a robot with a loose wire and need the company and conversation of other people just like me to regain balance and serenity again.

Thank God I'm not like other people; if I was I would not have found recovery and OA and a blueprint for living and wonderful friends with whom I can talk from the heart and with whom I can be myself.

Today was a snowy, cold and stay-at-home day in New York, a day when I'd have been eating and isolating and wondering when it would stop so I can get on with what I need to do. I was home however I made calls and went to online meetings and took a walk and still wondered when it would stop snowing. The difference is I wasn't alone.



To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to:


We welcome you to join the new WTS (Working the Steps) Step Study beginning April 1. Our guest speaker will be my fellow Strong Recovery loopie Phyllis who will bring her unique style and ESH to the 2nd Quarter Step Study. The WTS Study lasts for 12 weeks. Beginning with the First Step each quarter, the study continues with a new Step each week for 12 weeks. Membership is open to individuals with a desire to stop eating compulsively and who wish to work the 12 Steps of OA as part of their Program. To join or to receive more information, please e-mail:
WTSAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org .


When I started my program, my purpose was very clear... I wanted to stop eating compulsively. I was one of the lucky ones who found abstinence early on. It felt wonderful. My life began to improve in many different areas. Even so, I continued working the steps, having realized that the cause of my disease was rooted in my thoughts and beliefs. If I were to quit working the steps, I could easily slip back into self-destructive mode.

Having found abstinence, however, suddenly made my purpose less clear. Was I to concentrate on meeting weight goals? Was I to concentrate on sorting out friendships and making amends? Was I to concentrate on rooting out character defects? Was I expected to work on everything all at once? It can seem a little confusing.

For myself, I try to use the program to create awareness and get me through one more day... and use that day to find something or do something that will empower me.

Joy and peace,
     Marilyn (Marils)



You say, "Yes, I'm willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid,boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor,/coe but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?" Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous/OVEREATERS ANON There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.

    c. 2001 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 152
With permission, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


We have all thought these same thoughts, many times. If I don't get a chance to eat my favorite desserts, have any fun at all and not be able to eat with my friends, what is the purpose of living? It would be a very boring existence and make life dull and uninteresting!

This is one way (our old way), of looking at the problems facing us. How is my life now?? Am I happy being obese, not being able to wear any of my pretty clothes, being totally out of shape and unable to walk very much? If this is the way we want to live forever, then God bless us! There is a better way. OA and the Recovery Group shows us many tools to use to change these destructive habits into useful and healthy ones. We can still go out and eat with our friends. Just make better food choices, or as I've done when I knew I'd be too pressured, stay at home and feel like I succeeded at winning this time! It only takes three weeks to change our bad habits into good ones, we are told by the experts. I pray to my Higher Power to help me achieve this goal, One Day At A Time (ODAT). I do want a better life for myself!!

Many Blessings on your Path To Recovery,

    Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group Coordinator)


God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA

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 ~


~ Visit our beautiful scene for March ~

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:


Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@TheRecoveryGroup.org

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


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 Recovery Group Members receive Serendipity monthly.
Individual subscriptions to Serendipity may be requested by sending a blank email to:

Yours in service,
The Serendipity Team
CONTACT: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

Volume 8 Issue 3 © Copyright 2006 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.