A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

March 2001
Volume 3, Issue 3

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


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


Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the March edition of Serendipity! As the seasons change, ever renewing the cycle of life, so does recovery flow through its own cycle. We are each where we are supposed to be at this moment, and we each have so much to share. So please, take a few minutes to share your experience, strength and hope with compulsive eaters throughout the world -- through Serendipity, the newsletter of The Recovery Group, or through the Recovery Meditations project. The rewards are infinite.

In this month's edition, TRG founder Mari shares her thoughts on Tradition Two as it relates to The Recovery Group. Writing for the administrators of TRG, Shlomo talks about our common problem, compulsive eating, and our common solution, the Twelve Steps. Then comes a repeat of the history of Recovery Meditations, with information on why this project was started and how to submit your own meditations to the project. Please know that we are in need of meditations, and ask you to consider writing for the project. We encourage all members of TRG to submit just one meditation, so we can complete the project and have enough for Volume 2! Our loop spotlight of the month is Sponsors and Recovery, and the co-coordinators of the loop, Sherry and Cate, encourage all COE members to consider sharing your recovery by becoming a sponsor today. Next comes a rerun of "The Recovery Group Meetings," in which Vicki, Coordinator, New Meeting Leaders, gives us an overview of the meetings and a request for substitute meeting leader volunteers. In the Tools of Recovery, we have included an article from OA's Lifeline about abstinence.

This month in Danny's Corner, in his conversation with God, Danny writes of making the choice to walk in the sun. In the section dedicated to shares from Recovery Group members, BlueRose writes of her journey to recovery, Lori shares her poem, Open Your Eyes, Marlene writes of her personal recovery and comparing her insides to another's outsides, and Susan T. writes about being on the road to recovery again.

In the Literature section, we have again included The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, to remind all of us of what is possible, as well as Step Three from Reflections on the Twelve Steps of Recovery. This month's edition ends with a list of on-line meetings, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer.

As Shlomo points out so well, we all share both the disease, compulsive eating, and the solution, recovery through the Twelve Steps. Wherever we are on the road to recovery, we are recovering, together.

Love in recovery,



Dear Serendipity Readers,

TRADITION TWO One of the things that I am most proud of in The Recovery Group is the vast number of members who are willing to give of themselves in service. Whether someone is a greeter, a meeting leader, a coordinator, an administrator or the founder ... we are all here for the purpose of giving service and not to govern. We have but one governor ... one authority ... and that is the loving God of us all. We feel that He expresses His will through our group conscience and we have many of those. There was a time in the Recovery Group when we didn't have a lot of Trusted Servants and decisions had to be made by a few. Even then, we were guided by the group conscience of members. As time went by and we grew, the decision making became easier. Coordinators lovingly guided their loops, Meeting Leaders took charge of their meetings and Administrators organized the community so that we could assure our members that the place we provided for them to work a recovery program was safe, efficient, loving and always there for them. It might, perhaps, be an easy matter to have a few people sit in an ivory tower and govern our beloved group. But that's not the way we want things to be. Every member of all loops and meetings have a voice in how The Recovery Group is to function. And when those voices speak, they are listened to. Many times any problems which arise can be worked out within the meeting or the loop. If not, we have the group conscience ready and willing to let us know what God is asking us to do. One ultimate authority. One governor. One all knowing Higher Power's will expressing itself through each member of The Recovery Group.

Love in recovery,
The Recovery Group


Hi, Friends,

Serendipity rides again. Here is another edition of this famous newsletter of the Recovery Group. Our Recovery Group members come from all over the world and have many and varied interests and problems, as manifested by the variety of our lists and meetings. But we are unified, and our strength stems from what we have in common. We share a common problem - our compulsive eating - and what is even more important, we share a common solution - the 12 steps of recovery.

Every compulsive eater can find his place in our Recovery Group and find lists and meetings that will help him in his recovery. Our newsletter is our personal creation, that mirrors our trudging on the path of happy destiny. So keep sharing and helping each other with our recovery program, and together we will find freedom and happiness beyond our wildest dreams.

God bless, and have a nice day.

Shlomo, the compulsive overeater and administrator on duty for this edition


Dear Recovery Family,

Many of you do not know how our book project, "Recovery Meditations," came into being. This is the history of what has turned into a very exciting project.

Nearly a year ago, Overeaters Anonymous informed the Recovery Group that the use of any OA-approved literature, such as from "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous," "For Today," and certain slogans identified with OA, were forbidden to us to use. We petitioned OA on several occasions for permission to quote from these sources, and were repeatedly turned down.

Because our loops and meetings didn't have access to any program literature other than the Big Book of AA, we decided that we would make our own daily meditation book, and call it "Recovery Meditations--One Day At A Time."

The idea behind Recovery Meditations is that it is written by the very people who will use it: the members of The Recovery Group community. However, we have decided that we will take a different track than OA. The Recovery Group has decided to maintain a very liberal use policy concerning our meditations. We will own the copyright, but will allow anyone to use, quote, or cite our project, so long as the work is to be used by individuals or members of any recovery-related group.

We have definite plans to have this published as an actual book, and maybe even a calendar.

Thus far, we have over 6 months' worth of meditations, and continue to strive for a full year of Experience, Strength and Hope. These meditations are written by people just like you or me. They are recovering compulsive overeaters. They come from all walks of life, all cultures, from all over the world.

We'd love to have your Experience, Strength and Hope to add to our project. If you haven't written a meditation for us, please consider it. Here's what to do:

   1. Start with a quote from a WELL-KNOWN individual.
   2. Write your ESH related to that quote. Please try to keep to 300 words or less.
   3. Write your own meditation...just a sentence or two, and begin it "One day at a time..."
   4. Then, "sign" your meditation with either your name or initials, or an assumed name, if you wish.
   5. Send it to recoverymeditations@egroups.com

That's all there is to it! It's easy, and it's a great way to do service and spread the message of hope to other compulsive overeaters. You don't have to be a "writer" to contribute, so please don't let that stop you. If you'd like to see some examples of meditations already received, you can go to If enough of you will write a meditation for us, not only could we finish up this book, but we might even have enough for a second!

So there you have it, the history of Recovery Meditations, and what you can do to help us finish up our project. We sure hope to hear from you soon! And if you need ideas to write about, just drop us a line at the above address...we'll be happy to give you some topic ideas!

Love in recovery,
The Editors of Recovery Meditations



Sharing our Recovery

One of the greatest gifts we share and receive through our recovery is sponsorship. Sponsoring is a equal-opportunity gift! When we choose to share our recovery with a sponsee... we share the miracle that we have so generously received, we strengthen the recovery of our fellowship, and we deepen our own recovery as well!

We receive regular requests for online sponsors, and this will continue to expand as more and more people find online recovery. We are in need of additional sponsors to meet the needs of our ever-growing community. Are you ready to share your recovery? Please join us as an online sponsor today!! Are you currently sponsoring people who are ready to share their recovery? Please encourage them to take this opportunity to strengthen their recovery!! Remember - sponsoring can begin at any time in your program - and you can sponsor up through the level of your own experience. If you are reading this article - you probably already have some ESH to share with others on our journey of joy!!

Please consider sharing your recovery by becoming a sponsor today!!

Please contact Sherry at jdwes@dtgnet.com
or myself: Cate at sophie@coiinc.com
(Co-coordinators - Sponsors and Recovery loop)

To join, please send a blank e-mail to:

The Recovery Group Meetings

Dear Recovery Group,

I just want to put in a plug for the meetings we have here in the Recovery Group. What type of meetings do you like? We have Meditation meetings, Topic meetings, Step studies, Big Book meetings and Newcomer meetings. What time of day is best for you? There are meetings schedules around the clock. Some of us have special needs and interests. There are special interest meetings -- Abuse and Recovery, Christian and Recovery, as well as meetings both in Swedish and Italian.

I have a newly created position in Recovery Group -- My job is to help new meeting leaders and substitute meeting leaders become comfortable with leading meetings, understand the meeting format and the protocols and let them know of both the on-line and human resources available to them.

The Recovery Group is in need of Substitute Meeting Leaders. This is a wonderful way to do service. Substitute Meeting Leaders are oriented to the general meeting format an protocols and are asked to lead meetings when the scheduled leader is not able to attend. It is very disconcerting to show up at a meeting and find no leader there. Substitute leaders are a very needed and valuable resource. What do you think? Are you willing to provide this needed and valuable service? If so -- please contact me at vwilcox@telemedicine.alaska.edu .

With love for this program and gratitude for my recovery in it.

Vicki -- Coordinator ~ New Meeting Leaders


Perplexed About Abstinence?

My first OA sponsor had me write a food history when I first came into OA. I recounted everything I could remember about my lifelong relationship to food. This included when, where and why I ate; eating buddies; binge "sites," such as restaurants and favorite rooms in the house; trigger emotions and trigger foods.

The idea of "trigger foods" was new to me. As I thought about my life in the food, I began to see patterns. By the end of the food history, I had a list of foods that were my main choices when I wanted to binge. I used this list to identify foods from which I needed to abstain. I find that abstaining from my trigger or binge foods (as well as trigger places and situations) makes it easier to be abstinent, because I am not activating my compulsion to overeat.

My list changes over time. Some foods that I could eat early in my abstinence make me crazy now. Other foods I can eat with no problem sometimes, but get obsessive about at other times. I try to gauge whether I can handle them on a particular day. Within seconds of tasting some foods I know I will never be able to eat them sanely. They give me the crazies, taste too good or have me obsessing about when I can have them again. When this happens, I usually pray about it, talk to my sponsor and commit to not eating that food today. My current list of problem foods is longer and more comprehensive than it was when I first made it, but I have heard from people with long-term abstinence that "the road gets narrower."

This is not just about discipline or weight loss. It is about survival. The "Big Book" tells me, and I believe it with all my heart, that I have a mental obsession and a physical craving. When activated, the mental obsession and physical craving are sheer hell. For today, I will do what I must to avoid them. The temporary pleasure of eating a food that tastes good, that brings back memories of old times or that my friends enjoy isn't worth the risk. Give me abstinence with peace of mind.

I hope this is helpful to newcomers who may find all the talk in meetings about abstinence, food plans, binge foods, flour and sugar perplexing. Our abstinence is all the same. We don't eat compulsively, one day at a time, but our food plans differ widely. You may or may not be able to eat what I eat and stay abstinent. Writing a food history helped me identify my problem areas so I could ask for help and develop a food plan that was healthy for my body and mind. Maybe this method will work for you, too.

Reprinted from OA's Lifeline, September 2000, Volume 28, No. 9 (N.W., Fairfax, Virginia USA)


Making the Choice to Walk in the Sun

Dear God,

When the phone rings at 7 a.m., the first thought that goes through my mind is who is dead or dying? Sure does get my feet on the deck real fast. Then I am so relieved it's just an old friend who feels comfortable with a call that early. He is lonely, so I'll take him with me this morning.

Thanks for the abstinence yesterday, and I could use it again today. Last night the speaker at my f2f "Relapse & Recovery" meeting proved again that it does not pay to put too much importance on a person's physical appearance. What an inspirational story she had to tell! Service is so important to the life of a meeting, and even more important to my recovery. Thanks for allowing me to do whatever service I do.

Living in recovery is so much nicer and easier than I deserve, so it has to be Your parental love for all of us that makes all of this possible. It truly is the simple things that bring happiness, only it takes so long to see it. I amused myself last night by sending family pictures to loop buddies and the time flew by without any thoughts of food, thanks. Right now there is such a feeling of peace inside of me that is beyond my ability to describe -- must be that old serenity, thanks.

Today I ask for, expect and appreciate the knowledge of Your will for me, and the strength to carry it out. I pray today that You will take care of my loved ones and loop buddies, those who still suffer, and the guys I really don't like. Thanks for having the promises of our fellowship be a part of my life. I was so jealous of those who walked in the sunshine while I stayed in the rain, feeling so sorry for myself. All that was needed was for me to walk the walk and put You in charge -- now I'm on the sunny side of life, thanks. Time to go and live the life that You have provided.

AND WHY NOT......Danny


Hello everyone, BlueRose COE here, recovered today....

Well, ladies and gents, today makes 12 days of back to back abstinence, since my last slip. I want that to be my last slip, but I am human so we will have to see. I pray for success one day at a time.

I have been on this journey since November 1997. Recovery started on that day that I walked into my first f2f meeting, and I have not stopped recovering yet. This is a lifetime journey, not an "over-the-counter diet fix and I am through" journey. So as it is a lifetime journey, I don't have to be in any kind of hurry. On a diet I wanted results so fast, and the faster the better, and it didn't matter how much of my body I destroyed as long as I saw results on the scales. But this journey is a long, slow, forever journey. There is no end to this journey because as we heal, we continue in this program to stay healed and to carry the messages to our fellow men and women.

I like this slow process because it gives time for inner changes to happen, so that when the outer changes take place the inner me can be ready to face those changes. You know, it is sort of like the caterpillar in the cocoon. It changes from the inside to turn into a beautiful butterfly. Isn't God's plan wonderful! We may be in a cocoon changing from the inside now, but someday we will emerge into a beautiful specimen of God's making. And when we are in that cocoon we are not alone, we have each other to see us through each change, not as a lonely caterpillar, but surrounded by beautiful people who know what we are going through and know how we feel. What a wonderful fellowship we COEs have together.

I don't know where all this came from, I just started writing. But I am here to tell you that this journey is not a lonely one if you go to meetings, f2f and online, because you find others who are just like you, and many in the same stage of change as you are in.

People come and go in this program, but they all take a little of the program with them, and most return to the meetings because this disease is progressive. You may not have been as sick as I was or at the same stage of this disease as I was, but I know that if God can arrest this disease in me, he can do it in you.

When I first came into this program, I had my doubts that this program would work for me. I thought I just loved to eat, I was not sick, I didn't know why people call this a disease, all I needed was a good diet, if only I had enough money I could buy the foods my body needed. What a laugh! But then again, it isn't funny. My mind was sick, I was trying to live my life with the reasoning of a sick insane mind.

Today I am slowly changing from the inside out. First I see that my mind is healing and I am having more sane thoughts. I still don't trust my thinking, that is why I have a sponsor to discuss my problems with before they grow into bigger problems that I will want to eat over. I have a lot of changing yet to do, but I can see progress and I can see changes in my willingness to go to any lengths to protect my abstinence, and to carry the message to as many as I can who are still suffering. Today I feel healed, but I know that it depends on my working Steps 10, ll, and 12 daily in my life.

Today, with God's help and guidance, I can work these steps and be all that God wants me to be.

I was very sick into this disease, and I was getting worse as the days went by. I gave up ever being normal again. I destroyed my body by the way I stuffed down food. My digestive track is destroyed, I don't know if even God can mend it. I can hardly eat any spicy foods. My body just don't tolerate them, but when I am bingeing I eat them anyway and then I am so sick when I come off the binge. I pray that I never binge again. I am willing to safeguard my abstinence by using all that is in my power, and all that OA gives me, to use.

I am still overweight, but I lost a lot of fat between my ears. So I know that the rest will come off in God's time frame. In the meantime I enjoy each one of you sharing your ESH -- that is why this program works so well for so many, because we share what we have learned.

God be with you all. I care about you, so don't you dare give up before the miracle happens because you are going to know a new freedom, a new happiness like you have never known before.

Love you,

Open Your Eyes

I looked out the window as the sun rose upon the horizon...

I thought of the child, born not to see
a snowflake, Santa, or the Easter Bunny.

A woman, who gave birth to her miracle child
never to see the first tooth or first smile.

The father who always dreamed he could see
how handsome and tall his only son would be.

The daughter who couldn't see the wet tears
streaming down mother's cheek ,as her untimely death became near.

Princess, Daddy's little girl, she never would see
what a beautiful bride they said she would be.

The beauty of a flower, in the warmth of the sunlight
the full moon gleaming amongst the stars of the night.

My sweet Pepere who no longer can see
because he's been taken away from me.

From somewhere a new sight has been given to me
hand and hand with peace and serenity.

For today, I am able to see
the beauty of that all around me.

Tomorrow I know not what the future brings
But today I am thankful for many, many things.

My vision, the sounds that I am able to hear
The touch of a hand, the friends that are near.

A reminder that has been sent to me
just open your eyes, and you too will see.

The things that we have, we seem to forget
Im know you have too, I'd be willing to bet.

When the struggles seem just too much to bear
just open your eyes, and see what is there.

The love, the strength, the true friends that care,
just open your eyes and become fully aware..........



I thought I was doing really well. I spend about two hours a day studying the Big Book and the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of OA. I worked this program to the best of my ability, using all the tools, going to meetings, and doing service. Putting my recovery first, I did everything I could in this fight for my life and my sanity.

And then I met you.

You had lost far more weight than I. You looked fantastic. You are everything I wanted to be. Lifeline (and OA) is full of people like you - and not me. You seemed to float along with ease while, no matter how I tried to buck myself up, I fell down. What is wrong with me? Couldn't I even do this right? Am I a failure at everything I do?

I looked back at the last 18 months since I joined OA at 266 pounds, depressed almost to suicide, isolated and unable to communicate. I almost choked on the food as I crammed it into my mouth in an effort to stuff down my emotions. Tears streamed down my face as I helplessly ate my way through the contents of my refrigerator and pantry. I hated myself, and I was sure everyone else also hated me.

OA gave me back my life. Recently I hurt my back, and I had at least 17 phone calls and eight visitors offering love and support. OA allows me to share my emotions with my sponsor and at meetings. I don't need food anymore to be my only 'friend'. I've lost 56 pounds, which has enabled me to walk properly again. During my walks I talk to my best friend - my HP. I've gained so much from the program, but I was letting my disease snatch it back again by falling into the trap of comparing your outside with my inside.

My dear OA friend, I am so glad that you too have embraced this terrific program and that you have found your own special recovery. I hope you will be glad for me too. For today, I have been able to lick this disease and give my recovery all I've got.

We are working this TOGETHER and we're both OK.

Marlene (First printed in Lifeline, May 2000)


Dear OA friends,

I'm on the OA road of recovery again, and it feels so good! God is holding my hand on one side, and my OA friends on the other side. I've been in OA for 5 years, and most of that time I've been struggling.

The truth is that relapse is a big part of my story. Unfortunately, with each relapse I didn't just get back on the horse again. Instead, I went searching for a better, different way to control my food. These research excursions sometimes lasted a whole year. I found no easier, softer way out there. I have not learned how to control and enjoy my food at the same time.

So I'm back in OA, and thinking about what's going to be different this time. I am powerless over food and my life is unmanageable. The fact that this statement resonates within me as the truth is a good sign. I have been beating myself up for years for not staying abstinent my first go-around in OA. Maybe, though, my research excursions were really necessary. As it says in the Big Book on page 449, "nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake."

So here I am, back again. Healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners have never tasted or felt so good. After foggy months of overeating on junk food, a healthy moderate meal is a breath of fresh air.

Back to that question: what's different this time? I'm willing to work the whole program, not just selected parts. I'm willing to pray to be willing.

And I'm taking this one day at a time.

Submitting an entry to a newsletter is something I've never done before.
This time is different.

Susan T. Rochester NY


The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity.
And we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain insight in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook will change.
Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

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


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


The Twelve Steps of Recovery

I believe in God. From my earliest memories my feelings and thoughts and images of God have not changed. What is so wonderful about the Twelve Steps .... what is so reassuring about the Third Step .... what makes this program of recovery so awesome .... is that I am free not to have to contrive a God that meets anyone's requirements except my own. My God just IS. He didn't swoop down from heaven and he doesn't have a long flowing beard and blue eyes. He's not a fire and brimstone kind of God and He doesn't even require that I believe in a heaven and a hell to honor him. He is the God of MY understanding. The God who sustains me and comforts me and makes my life livable. But he is MY Higher Power ... and may not be the same as yours.

During my time in this program I have met many people who have all different kinds of Higher Powers. Some were agnostics and atheists. Some found their personal Higher Power in Nature, and their "church" was ambling around a tree-studded yard with beautiful flowers. Others were Jewish and Hindus. Still others were Baptists and Unitarians. And among this diverse group of enlightened and brilliant compulsives, I found some of the most spiritual people I've ever known.

When I talk of God, I am not talking about religion. The two subjects I will never write about in my Journal to Recovery are religion and politics. Religion is not God. God is not religion. God is that enigma who makes life come together ... who gives meaning to it ... that Creator of all things who is showing us one day at a time that we CAN recover. Who is telling us in the third step that we can turn our lives over to His care. Who gives us hope.

I'll leave you with this today .... it's getting late and our day will soon be over. My first sponsor told me once that her first sponsor told her that if she couldn't believe in God ... that she should just add another "o" and believe in "GOOD." I believe that must have worked .... because never have I known such a Godly person. Never have I known someone who so personified the word "Good." And through believing in "Good," one can come to know "God." And it will not be the God someone else has said we must believe in. It will be the God that the Third Step invites us to believe in ..... the God of our understanding.

Dear God,
Help us to know
that You are there ...
That your arms are wide ...
And that you will hold us as we
continue on our journey to

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

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

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or HOSTAnRUnity@aol.com
or HOSTAnRTalia@aol.com


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

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

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


Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Meetings ~ RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com ~ Anne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ sophie@coiinc.com ~ Cate
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ hopeful@teleport.net ~ Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ bingebuster@hotmail.com ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com ~ Cindy
Recovery Group Administrator ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari
Recovery Group Founder & List Owner ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari

"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."
~ Mari, Recovery Group Founder ~

Grant us the SERENITY to accept the things we cannot change;
The COURAGE to change the things we can;
And the WISDOM to know the difference.

What we could never do alone ~
We can do together.

One day at a time ~
One step at a time.



TheRecovery Group and our newsletter has as its mission and purpose that of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. We are an anonymous organization and follow the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; however, we are not affiliated with that group. Your articles, announcements and information are welcome. All opinions in this newsletter represent only the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of The Recovery Group or OA, Inc.
The Trusted Servants of Recovery

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