~ FROM OUR ADMINISTRATORS ~
Dear Friends in Recovery ~
The Recovery Group has so many avenues for the sharing of recovery, and on each of those roads there are many dedicated people who reach out to others along the way! We would like to take a moment this month to express our gratitude to the many people who share their recovery through service.
TRG currently has 45 loops for recovery sharing, as well as the ICQ and IM connections. These loops are supported by Coordinators and Trusted Servants, and the many members who reach out by sharing their questions and ESH.
We currently have 63 weekly meetings, all supported by the meeting leaders, substitute leaders, meeting assistants, and the many participants who attend these meetings and share their recovery.
There are also so many other people who reach out to all of us by sharing their recovery ... the Telephone Angels, the Sponsors, the Editors, the Web Servants, the Meditation Authors, and so many others ... so many people sharing recovery!
What a wonder it is to be a part of this community of recovery sharing! A special thanks to each of you, as you live and share your recovery each day, and bring to life these important words from the AABB (p.164):
"Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you - until then."
The Recovery Group Administrators ~
~ DANNY'S CORNER ~
~ Easier the Mountains Than Sand in Our Shoes ~
There is so much to be thankful for today as everyday I enjoy the gifts You provide for me. Brunch with the family on Sunday was marvelous, and I felt so complete when all the grandbabies were all vying for my attention. I'll bet You feel that way too, when we come to You for love and affection. I am sad we did not get to the beach, but it was probably too hot anyway.
As I look back over all the years since my original sobriety and Abstinence, one very important fact jumps out at me. It was during the hard times that my attitudes were in-line with You, and not eating was easier, and the good times were rough for food problems. Now my life is great and eating compulsively does not enter the picture. You have given me yet another miracle in my life -- there is no end to Your generosity. To sum it up, I say, as the old wise man told me many years ago, "mountains we climb easily, it's the sand in our shoes we trip over."
Please take over the ladies in my family and this wedding extravaganza taking place soon. I listen to them argue and fight over hemlines, and who needs longer or shorter, and what if this or that. Everything is a major catastrophe. The groom asked me what to do? I laughed and told him to stay out of the way and do as told. If that does not work, HIDE!!!!
As I sit here gabbing away with You, the clock tells me to hurry up, but it feels so good and easy to talk to You. The clock be damned. There was a time when talking to my God was not so easy, that's when I still wanted those old comfortable character defects, which by the way I am at times inclined to fall back into. I also know that as I love my children even when they are doing wrong that You love me even more. Now that's a warm fuzzy feeling.
Please watch over my family, friends, loop buddies, those who still suffer, and especially the people in my life who have harmed me, and relieve me of any resentments I have toward them. Thanks for yet another day.
AND WHY NOT......Danny
~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
Each day that I work my OA program, my ability to deal with life in a healthy, spiritual and mature manner is strengthened. This is not pie in the sky. This is stuff that can be measured, seen and touched.
Before OA, fear was my constant companion. Fear to begin because I might make a mistake. Fear to do or go because someone might laugh. Fear to make decisions because it might be wrong. Fear to express opinions because others might find it strange. Fear kept my mouth closed to expressing myself. I checked with others first to see if it was funny, sad or impolite. My reaction came after others expressed their reaction, so I could be part of the group.
This haunts me yet. I'm better. At least I now decide when to laugh. I have given an opinion or two and was not laughed out the door. And if I were, what would happen? It's my opinion and that's all it is. Faith in myself is the biggest gain since entering OA.
I was what others wanted me to be. An easy going, non-threatening, non-opinionated person, easily swayed and ready to please others with no regard to my own feelings. I would laugh at those who took time to find themselves. I am still looking. It will be a life-long hunt. I keep changing and that is good. I am changing each day into a better person, able to deal successfully with life most of the time.
Yours in ESH, Jo
The Power of Recovery
Today is 21 years of blessed, back to back imperfect abstinence. Only God, and the Steps, could have saved this one.
I was a morbidly obese child, adolescent and young adult. I truly believed the Tab commercials that suggested thinness equals happiness. I totally relate to the gym clothes memories, the thighs chafing, the "fatty fatty two by four" that rang out as I walked by.
When I got to OA, I was a terrified, scrawny, 35 year old, who was purging 55 thousand calories a day. Ten, twenty, thirty times a day, I would eat as much as I could hold, get rid of it, and start over ........... is that the life? Oh, and on top of that, add periodic alcohol binges, and two to three packs of cigarettes a day. At 17 years old, I began the process of progressive and often fatal purging. By thirty five, I was a pro.
Today, thanks to God, complete honesty and accountability about my food, copious amounts of inventories, some service to others, regular meeting attendance, the truth (even when it is really embarrassing), and a whole lot of grace, I live a life beyond my wildest dreams.
It is, of course, not without heartache, loss, depression, spiritual voids, moments of terror, etc. You told me when I got here that if I worked the program I would feel better. You didn't tell me that you meant I would feel EVERYTHING better. Believe me, the prize far outweighs the price.
The prizes are:
- 21 years without binge/purging
- A great man, to whom I have been married for 37 years (even though I spent too many of those years trying to change him and cutting his b%lls off)
- Really enjoyable relationships with two grown sons, their wives, and their gorgeous babies.
- A size 10 cute figure (it doesn't resemble a 14 year old boy, but only this society would pressure middle aged women to believe it should)
- A willingness to always tell the truth when I am uncomfortable with the way I have eaten, so that I can get on with the business of living, and loving, and working my program
- Some great daily opportunities to serve God
- Three or four meetings a week within a few miles of my home
- A wonderful internet connection with recovering people from all over the world
- Fabulous, funny, honest friends, who love me poopy diapers and all
- A pretty, comfortable, peaceful empty nest, with the whole crew back for family dinners every Sunday
- Wow, I think I could go on and on and on, but I will spare you. My
husband says I need a program called On and On Anon.
- I am, at this moment, truly awed by the Power of this recovery program.
The Gift of Balance
I do not think of myself as merely a compulsive eater. I am a compulsive talker, a compulsive breather, a compulsive thinker. Everything I do, if left to my own nature, is done compulsively. For me, recovery is not simply freedom from compulsive eating, but compulsive being. I have learned that to be a compulsive person is to lack balance.
Balance is that middle road of sanity, and reason. Balance is perspective, seeing things as they really are, without minimizing or over-reacting. I lack balance in every area of my life. Because I am compulsive, everything is all or nothing. Either I have perfect abstinence or I binge, there can be nothing in between. Either everyone loves me, or everyone is talking about me behind my back. If I cannot do a thing perfectly, I will not do it at all.
This warped way of thinking is applied to every situation in my life and is the standard for every relationship. Eventually everything falls apart because nothing in life is perfect, at least not for long. I even have difficulty recognizing truth when I see it. I cannot be satisfied with losing four pounds a month because my expectation was to lose 20.
Like a deaf person learning to speak, I must learn balance artificially. I use God, my sponsor, and my husband as sounding boards. I get a second opinion because my vision is skewed. Or it used to be. As I have grown, I have learned balance, but it still does not come naturally. I remember when first in program, I asked my sponsor ten times a day if a feeling was rational. At first, it hardly ever was. Then came the time when she could confirm my suspicion that my thinking was fuzzy. One day I did not need to ask; I could recognize my own irrationality and correct it for myself.
I now have a mechanism which automatically screens my perceptions for lack of balance. Oh, I still find it lots of times. But I have also experienced the joy of being able to shrug off an insult (real, not imagined) and the peace of being satisfied with the best I can do. I hardly ever worry about who likes me, and I figure those people laughing are listening to a good joke. That ability to put things in perspective is a real gift; I am grateful for it every day.
"A Friend is a Gift you give yourself."
Robert L. Stevenson
For a long time, my friend was food. I learned to turn to food for comfort when I was a teenager.
It made me feel good, not only satisfying my hunger, but satisfying my aching heart as well.
One day my friend turned on me, and I realized I had a problem that could not be solved by this presence any longer. It just compounded what I was going through.
Thank God that I found a true friend when I discovered the Twelve Steps. A friend that would be there for me through thick and thin, never judge me or torment or turn on me.
I have found a friend of late in the Recovery Group. Lots of friends just waiting to hear from me and love me no matter what I have to face in this life. They are there for me One Day at a Time, One Moment at a Time.