A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


May 2004
Volume 6, Issue 5



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


PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TO:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Letter to the Editor'


PLEASE SEND Serendipity ARTICLES TO:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Serendipity Article'


TO VIEW Serendipity ONLINE, PLEASE VISIT:
The Serendipity Archives





FEATURED ARTICLES





~ FROM OUR EDITOR ~

Dear Serendipity Friends,

This is your newsletter, one containing news and items of interest to _all_ members of The Recovery Group (TRG). As Editor, I need to be mindful to include items both of administrative interest and also those pertinent to the recovery of the many, many members of TRG. This means that, for as many members as we have, there are therefore that many different interests to which we must reach out.

I am using my column this month to ask for _your_ input...yes, you... reading right now...whether you live in the United States, Africa, Norway, or Australia. I want to hear from you! I want to know what kinds of articles and information you would like to see in this newsletter. I may not be able to enable all suggestions, but I would at least like to know what your interests are. I'm hoping that there will be lots that are worthy of implementation. Write away; I'm looking forward to your messages! Please send them to "SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com", and put "New Idea!" on the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

Spring is a time for new beginnings, and I'm hoping that Serendipity will soon blossom forth with more interesting "blooms"; for your reading interest!

In recovering love, Marty

Editor, SERENDIPITY
Newsletter of The Recovery Group





~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ EXPERIENCE ~


Dear Serendipity Readers,

We spend our youth living and experiencing life. At some point our experiences become lessons. We who are compulsive eaters weren't aware of that when we began to eat out of control. Deep down, however, we were living and experiencing food issues. These issues later would become our lessons.

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship."
   Louisa May Alcott
The Recovery Group is a place you can learn how to sail your ship. The sooner we do that, the better.

Happy Springtime, Everyone!

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




~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

~ FROM THE TRG ADMINISTRATION ~

The Recovery Group Administration is the hub of activity for all of the Recovery Group. It is made up of an Adminstrator (Dodee) and two Apprentice Adminstrators (Cody and Mary W). Cody is doing the month-end reports, while Mary writes many of the announcements. All of the adminstrators have been working on getting the Recovery loops strong leadership. Nancy is doing a wonderful job on the ODAT Adminstration. Cody and Mary W. are co-coordinating the Discovery Loops.

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE RECOVERY LOOP DIVISION ~

The Recovery Loops are general-sharing loops for compulsive eaters. It's exciting to watch loops come alive with sharing, and people finding OA and sharing their recovery. The Newcomers loop has many new members. Anorexia and Bulimia, OA Friends, HOTJ, Recovery, Relapse and Recovery and Journey to Recovery are for sharing the day-to-day process of living without eating compulsively. Meditations and Sponsors are loops for sharing the way you use the tools of Literature and Sponsors. Big Book is now in "More About Alcoholism." WTS has started a new study led by John Stepworker.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: RecoveryLoopsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE ODAT LOOP DIVISION ~

The ODAT loops are Twelve Step Special Focus Loops where members can share their special interests with others while working their program of recovery.

There has been quite a bit of growth on some of our loops these last few months. Not only are there more people joining, but sharing has increased among people who have been quiet members in the past. We can still use volunteers for the many Trusted Servants positions, however. This is a wonderful way to do service, both for others and for yourself.

Some of these special interest loops are religious loops where we can freely discuss our own religion with others working the 12 steps. Christian ODAT, Jewish ODAT, Latter Day Saints ODAT and Pagan ODAT have been established for those who wish to join.

Please check out the many other ODAT loops at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/, and see if there is a loop that will enhance your recovery program. No matter what your special interest(s), there is probably a loop offered where you will feel at home.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/
Contact: ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

~ FROM THE DISCOVERY LOOP DIVISION ~

The loops in the Discovery Loop Division are here to support the many people who have been burdened by an eating disorder; children and teens, as well as adults. We have a loop for children and another for the parents/caregivers of children who struggle. We also have a Kitchen, and a Yellow Brick Road, and a loop for those who thrive on exercise and want to share their enthusiasm with others having the same passion. Remember that there is now a dedicated email address for the leaders of this division, Cody and Mary W. The address is: DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org. Please use it if you have any questions or comments related to this division.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ FROM THE TRG OA MEETING DIVISION ~

All meetings for TRG are now listed on the Overeaters Anonymous,Inc. web site as a courtesy. Meetings are listed every three hours on the web site. The url for OA's online meetings is: http://www.oa.org/online_meetings.html

Since these meetings are officially listed, it is now essential that we get as many of our meetings as possible covered by a TRG meeting leader. I am currently working on sending out a letter to the loops asking for members to join us as TRG Meeting Leaders. We especially need leaders from foreign countries to fill in some of the time slots. We are asking for everyone's help, but especially need people from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia to cover meetings in different time zones. If you can give an hour a week to help us out, please write to:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/
Contact: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ FROM THE TRG SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~

Mari is still coordinating the meditations that are written by our members. Todd sends out the meditations during the week and Penny does it on the weekends. The Odyssey is sent out regularly. We thank those who do these special services.

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html#services
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ FROM TRG'S SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

Dear Friends,

~ We need more sponsors! ~

As a part of service to others The Recovery Group offers a loop called "Working the Steps", and because we highly recommend that the steps be worked with a sponsor we also offer a way for members to find a sponsor.

Our complete Sponsor Program is explained on this website:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/sponsors.html

As more and more members of The Recovery Group work the steps, we hope that they will be willing to share their recovery by sponsoring others.

Sponsoring others will help us to grow along spiritual lines when all else fails!

The AA Bigbook has a whole chapter devoted to carrying the message. You will find it in chapter 7, which is titled: "Working With Others".

When we share our recovery in this way we will soon experience that our new way of seeing life will go from our heads to our hearts. Recovery is all about action and more action. Sponsoring others helps us to walk our talk.

Anyone interested in giving service through sponsoring please let us know at:
TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org and we will get you set up immediately.

Patt and Cate, TRG Sponsor Coordinators
The Recovery Group Sponsor Group Trusted Servants

Contact: TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~

~ Please consider submitting a Letter to the Editor. ~


~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~

~ Recovery Inspirations ~

Our monthly Writers' Series is a special place where our fellow food addiction sufferers speak their truth and invite us to share their journeys. In recent months we have brought you shares from Recovery Meditations, Odyssey, Danny's "Letters To God", Journey to Recovery, Reflections, The Promises and many others. This month we are showcasing the second in a series of shares from the "Reflections on Recovery" series. In April we explored the strength, meaning and benefits of letting go. During May we invite you join with our writer in examining the expectations in our lives, and how they relate to and impact our addiction. (Note: if you wish to read the remaining Reflections, the entire collection of articles can be found at: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/jtr/journals.html .)

:*``*:

EXPECTATIONS


Dear Friends on the Journey,

My name is Mari and I am a compulsive eater. Part of my recovery program is journaling; sometimes it's private and sometimes I feel the need to share it. Thanks for letting me share this one with you.

'My mother said to me: "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; If you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope." Instead, I became a painter, and wound up as Picasso.' ~ Pablo Picasso The messages we receive when we are young, from important people in our life, become indelible. This has been proven over and over, and I have come to think of people as human computers. We are programmed from a very young age in hundreds of different ways; however, the emotional programming affects us for a lifetime.

Because I am a compulsive eater and found the Twelve Steps, I have spent much time trying to find out exactly who I am and what God's will is for me. I am dedicated to carrying out His will, but first I must know what it is, and through the Fourth Step I am able to learn more about myself and do that. When one begins peeling the onion that is our psyche, we begin to see the cause and effect of our early programming. As a little girl, my father gave me messages about myself. When he said, "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right", I internalized that I must not do things halfway. When he said, "Good looks and winning ways demand no price ... but there is always a market price for brains", my 6-year-old psyche said that to gain his approval I must be smart. Each and every person in my life ... my parents, my siblings, my extended family, my teachers and my friends all contributed to who I became. And while there were many good messages, the bad ones seem to have overwhelmed me. I sought comfort in food. I began the vicious circle of the overweight adult. My life was painful because of this, and in looking back I see that being overweight contributed more than anything else to the poor self-image I had of myself, and in many ways still do.

Is it good to expect so much of others? I'm not sure. I believe it far better to tell someone you love nothing, than to tell you love them for "something." If a child gets a big hug for making straight A's on their report card and the parents never say "I love you" except at times like that, children may grow up thinking they must make all A's or they might not be loved. If a little boy gets a high five after hitting a home run, and no one ever simply says, "You're a great kid and I love you", it just may be that that little boy may grow up to think he has to achieve in order to be loved. When a husband conveys to his wife that she makes the best soup in the world, but never looks deep into her eyes and tells her he loves her, there is a possibility that she may feel she needs to be a wonderful cook in order to be loved.

Balance. Moderation. To be programmed to grow into healthy adults, children must receive messages that they are loved and accepted just for being who they are. To program ourselves to have good survival techniques, we must be aware that stuffing our feelings will not make up for any emotional strokes we need. To be a healthy person, we each must know that moderation is the key to just about everything.

This weekend is Mother's Day. Programming works in reverse. If on this day we find it to be the only time we tell our mother we love her, it may be that she is feeling that she needs to DO more for us in order to be loved. I believe the most precious gift anyone can give another is to let them know that there are no requirements for your love ... no prerequisites ... no litmus test ... and nothing that has to be achieved. To do otherwise, we may end up producing a Pope or a famous General or a Tiger Woods ... but in the deepest part of the souls of Pope John, General Schwartzkoff and Tiger something tells me that far more important to them is to be loved just for being them.

Dear God, Thank you for allowing me to realize that I am not my achievements ... That I am deserving of love and respect for simply being me ... And help me always to convey that to those I love.

Love,
Mari



~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~




~~THE TWELVE STEPS ~ STEP FIVE~~

Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.



~~ THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ~ TRADITION FIVE ~~

Each of our loops and meetings has but one primary purpose ... to carry its message to the compulsive eater who is still suffering.



~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~
BIG BOOK READING
"All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence. This immediately precipitates us into a seething caldron of debate. Much has been written pro and con, but among physicians, the general opinion seems to be that most chronic alcoholics are doomed."

AABB, Page xxx (before Chapter 1)

THOUGHTS...by Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)
The same is true with us Compulsive Overeaters. We cannot be around our triggers or we will eat ourselves to death. The only way out is complete abstinence and daily work with our Higher Power to keep us safe from it. Many of us have tried many times to keep part of our triggers in our eating pattern, with terrible results. We have a defect in our system which sets up a craving, just like the alcoholic. Constant vigilance, study and prayer, everyday, are our only ways to survival.

Blessings on your Path,
Myrlene




~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~

~ May Meditations Calendar
~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/may.html)

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
RecoveryMeditationsList-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org




~ THE RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS ~

THE RECOVERY GROUP ONLINE MEETINGS

The doorway to the meetings is at the top of the page at
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org. All you have to do is click it, and you'll be in the meeting room. The times are 12 noon, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM, 12 midnight 3AM, 6AM, and 9AM. These are Eastern times, and all meetings are held in #Recovery on IRC with a doorway located at: http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org. Yet another way to reach the meeting webpage is directly, at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings/

CAN YOU SPARE AN HOUR A WEEK?

We need your help for a wonderful line-up of online meetings. We will be working on a schedule of meetings every three hours around the clock every day, and are well on our way to meeting that goal. This will make it possible for those in time zones around the world to participate both as leaders and attendees. Will you help by volunteering an hour or two or three a week? It's easy, it gives you a good feeling by helping others, and it's fun!

Prospective meeting leaders must be actively working the Steps to the best of their ability and belong to at least one Recovery Loop. Although abstinence is not a requirement, many find that being abstinent allows them to better focus on the meetings. Further guidance is given after a prospective leader contacts the Meeting Admins at: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

We hope as many of you as possible will write us back and let us know if you can help. Please don't be shy ... meetings are easy and rewarding to lead.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

SEND TO:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

Yes, count me in. I'd like to lead a meeting at the following times:

___________________________________________

Name _____________________________________

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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

#Recovery is the meeting room for Recovery Group. There is a doorway to #Recovery on the Recovery Group website, www.therecoverygroup.org. The meeting room can be directly accessed by going to either of these sites:
http://www.starchat.net/recovery or
http://www.starchat.net/chat/?chan=recovery.

Another way to reach the meeting webpage is directly, at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meetings/index.html.

You can find other helpful information, including on-line meeting protocols at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html.

If you wish to offer your time to lead a meeting, please send an email to:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.
We will get back to you as quickly as possible.



~ 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/index.html
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 ~


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

TRG ADMINISTRATION
(
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org)

TRG ADMINISTRATOR
Dodee

TRG ADMINISTRATOR APPRENTICES
Cody
Mary W.

TRG ADVISORS: John and Patt
TRG DIVISIONS
RECOVERY LOOPS: Dodee and John
ODAT LOOPS: Nancy
DISCOVERY LOOPS: Cody and Mary W.
FOREIGN LOOPS: Dodee (Acting)
TRG OA MEETINGS: Terri, Barry and Christine
TRG SPECIAL SERVICES: Dodee (Acting)
TRG WEBSITE: Gary
Newsletter Editors ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Marty and Faith
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Email Subscription)
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com(Subject=Letter to the Editor)
Sponsor Coordinator ~ sponsors@therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery Group Founder ~ Mari


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


~~ The Serenity Prayer ~~

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


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

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




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

Volume 6 Issue 5 © Copyright 2004 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.