A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


CELEBRATING 1995-2005 ~ THE FIRST DECADE OF THE RECOVERY GROUP

May 2005
Volume 7, Issue 5


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:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
The Serendipity Archives
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/serendipity/index.html





THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY




~ FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM ~

"There is just one life for each of us: our own."
- Euripides

We only get one life. We decide how we choose to spend that life. Are we doing what we love? Are we stuck? This month's issue of Serendipity focuses on Action. Action can take many forms.

It can be taking another step along our path to recovery, it can mean developing a Higher Power and learning to pray, it can be stopping a negative way we are thinking, it can be bringing more activity into our lives. The limits of activity are endless.

It is the nature of the activity that is important. I'm reading a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer entitled "10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace".

In it, the second secret in this book is: "Don't die with your music still in you."

Are you doing what your heart is calling out for you to do? Is there something left in you that needs to come out?

In Loving Recovery,
    The Serendipity Team
    
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com





~ QUOTATIONS OF THE MONTH ~


"Arrange whatever pieces come your way." ~ Virginia Woolf

"First say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do." ~ Epictetus



~ RECOVERY MEDITATION ~
Action



"He does not believe who does not live his belief."
     ~Thomas Fuller

It's an old axiom that actions speak louder than words. Our Twelve Step program is one of action, no matter how much we want to avoid working the Steps. The Big Book states that IF you want what we have, you will do what we did. That also means the opposite.

If you don't want what we have, don't do it. The insanity of this disease is expecting a different result by continually doing the same old thing. Sanity is giving up what didn't work and daring to try something new.

One day at a time ...

I am going to trust that obedience to the program will, in time, restore me to sanity.

~ Jeremiah ~



~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~
Loyalty and Trust


"Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason"
     - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I'll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent LOYALTY."
     - Samuel Goldwyn

Dear Friends,

The azaleas are in bloom where I live. Springtime is that time of the year when I begin assessing things ... relationships, finances, my home, my work, my health and many other areas of my life. Maybe I do this because I see around me so much new growth. Ugly little plants blossoming into breath-taking flowers, dead looking trees suddenly alive with green leaves, brown grass becoming lush and warm breezes making it possible to close my eyes and feel the luxury of not being too hot nor too cold.

I am writing this on a day where I took advantage of Springtime, sat on my porch with my feet propped up and my little dog on my lap .... closed my eyes and thought. I found myself reviewing some recent events in my life in which I fought some instincts and in doing so made some decisions based on trust. I began to think of the first time I worked the Twelve Steps and my sponsor and I talking about insecurities and why, as a COE, I would trust the opinions of another more than my own. I can remember us talking about dysfunctions and her shocking comment to me that she believed I had tendencies to give loyalty to people and things not deserving of that loyalty. She said it was not atypical behavior for many of us, viewed this as one of my shortcomings and we began to work Step Seven on loyalty and trust issues. She implored me to listen to my instincts ... to pay attention to them ... to value them. I now believe this may be one of God's ways of directing me to do the right thing. I'm going to try to listen even more carefully.

Happy Springtime to all of you ~

@-}-}-}------
Happy April, Loopies!
Mari





~ LETTERS TO SERENDIPITY ~



To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

All comments and suggestions are welcome.


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~

The ODAT Loops are for compulsive eaters who are working the program of recovery, but share a special interest with others on that loop.

Do you want to discuss recovery issues with people who share the same faith as you do? Do you want to talk about the philosophy of your own faith with others who understand how that faith impacts on your Program journey? If so, we have a Christian loop; a Latter Day Saints loop; a Jewish loop; and a Pagan loop.

Do you want to make a daily commitment to abstinence? We have a loop called "Abstinence". We have another loop, called "Strong Recovery", whose name denotes its purpose. Our Silver Recovery group is a place where those over 50 years old can share with those of the same age.

There are 33 Special Focus loops. Each loop offers you a safe place to talk about your program of recovery and how it is affected by your special interests. Join in as others share their experiences, strengths, and hope.

Within these many-faceted groups are many opportunities for service. Each of these loops needs people who understand how those in that loop are thinking, and each needs service. If you are interested in more information about the ODAT loops, or are willing to give service, please contact:

www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/

Donna
Chairman, The ODAT Division
ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org

~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

Our move from YahooGroups to L-Soft has been completed. As things begin to slow down somewhat for TRG Administrators, we are making some small changes so the lists will be even better.

One of the changes made has been the e-mail program we now receive our Recovery Meditations, Serendipity Magazine and announcements from. When we were using YahooGroups these had to be sent to each of the loops. That meant that if you were a member of more than one loop, you would receive multiple copies. With LSoft, we are able to have an email address called ALLRecovery. Now these letters are able to be sent directly to your mailbox if you are a member of any of the Recovery Groups lists. These means that no matter how many loops you belong to,when you see From ALLRecovery in your mailbox, you know that will be the only copy you will receive of that particular article.

More loops and other additions to our Recovery Rooms are on the horizon. These things can only be accomplished because of you, the members of The Recovery Group. Thank you all for being here as we share our Journey of Recovery.

Submitted by:
Dodee, Cody and Nancy
TRG Administration

More details about these support groups can be found at:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

This wonderful OA program of ours is rightly described as a program of action. Each of the steps involves action and each aids us in our recovery. For me, it has been necessary to take the steps one at a time, and over the course of 24 years to date in recovery, to take them many times. We are changed by working the steps and using the tools. We cannot help but be!

Before OA, I tried many diets and weight loss methods. It was a losing proposition, pun intended. Yes, I could lose weight, and did so many times. But there were no actions I knew of that could keep the weight off. Gradually it would come back on, once again. And I was not a happier or wiser or better person as the result of losing weight. I had not changed emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. One weight-loss program did involve behavioral change.

But I found I needed more, I needed a life changing program that involved spiritual, emotional, and physical change and recovery.

That program, of course, was OA.

It helped me to sort out the actions required and not believe I could do everything at once. Changing one's life takes a lot of action, many small and steady actions done daily, at least for me. It definitely took action for me to admit I was powerless over food, and that my life was unmanageable. I can still feel the inner wincing, the hard resistance I felt to that inside me. I had a strong will! How could I be powerless over anything?

Well, obviously that wasn't the case with food. And that fixation, compulsion, obsession with food took up so much of my life time that little action in other arenas was possible. I was spending all my energy on food in one way or another, thinking about it, wanting it, looking for it, lovingly studying it before I plunged in and ate it, then all the guilt and shame, the stupor, the exhaustion, the food hangover the next day. So a lot of action was going on but not any that helped me or let me be of much use to others, either.

Once I started "acting as if" I were powerless and then came to believe it (another action) I was on my way and in recovery. As I slowly progressed through the steps, it helped me greatly to see each one separately. For example step four was not step five. Realizing that let me complete the action and finish the inventory.

Finishing it meant I had completed step four. It did not mean I had to rush and do step five right away. Realizing that calmed me enough so I could finally finish my first inventory. Later, I was ready for the action of giving it away, to my sponsor. I had a similar experience with steps six and seven, and steps eight and nine.

Having done the steps over and over in relation to food, as well as other substances, I have come to see how they apply in every area of my life, truly they are a blueprint for living. "Practice these principles in all our affairs" means just that. There are actions I can take in every situation I face. I am never left alone or without guidance. And being a stubborn individual, I cherish the fact that it is guidance I am offered in the steps and the tools, not a demand. Having learned, through much trial and error, how uninformed and plain dangerous my own unaided will is for my life, however, I am more than happy to take the actions suggested by the program, every day of my life. And for me, these guidelines have metamorphosed into the GOMU's law and the GOMU's will for me, and I am deeply happy and blessed to follow that law and will as I understand it through my own particular religious beliefs.

What an awesome gift this program is! It continues to offer us the hope of recovery each day. I pray for that recovery daily for each one of us. I also pray for those still suffering outside these rooms, that they will come one day to join us on the happy road of our common recovery!

Love and hugs,
Athena
Division Leader

http://www.theRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/
Contact: DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~

On-Line Meeting Division

Our program is one of action, we cannot hope to recover without repeating, day after day, the recovery actions that have already brought us so much healing.

We have a wonderful team of on-line meeting leaders who regularly take action by giving their services to our meetings. They not only enable the meetings to be available - world wide - around the clock - but also experience a great opportunity to personally practise the 12th step under the umbrella of our wonderful meetings.

The rewards are immeasurable and the commitment to become a meeting leader is not just about giving service...its also about taking action for our own recovery!!

New leaders are warmly welcomed. If you would like to make the commitment to lead our meetings please write to:
MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

In loving service,

Terri, Barry, Christine, Audrey and Cindy
On-Line Meeting Coordinators

Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/index.html



~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

After we are here for awhile we begin to understand that our program of recovery is one of action.

In fact after we take the first 3 'decision' steps we are informed:
"Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action..."

We find that the "tools of recovery" are designed to assist us as we take this action.

Sponsorship is one of the tools we use as we take action on these steps.

Taking the steps without a sponsor usually doesn't work for people like us who have been in denial for so long about our compulsive eating.

We have a website that gives many suggestions on how a member can find a sponsor to help guide, encourage, and answer questions as we trudge this Road of Happy Destiny together.

At meetings we frequently hear: It works if you work it. It really does!

If you are ready to be happy, joyous and free we encourage you to find a sponsor today and begin your "journey of recovery" by this proven, workable method.

With blessings of Love and much JOY,
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html
Contact: TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~

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

BE AN ANGEL ~ Become A Telephone Angel Today!

Many folks have heard about Telephone Angels yet not understand just exactly what it is that Telephone Angels do. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the telephone is a recovery tool. Telephone Angels are members of our various Recovery Groups who use this tool, donating their time via their phone numbers to current Recovery Groups members.

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.

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 even if the person is not home the negativity or obsession has begun 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 head.

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:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

In your email please include the following:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • What 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?
  • And should folks leave a message or not?
Love in service,
January K.
Coordinator, Telephone Angels
and in behalf of TRG Adm

The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org. Please put "Attention: Telephone Angels" on the subject line.



~ TRG TRUSTED SERVANT OF THE MONTH ~



To nominate a TRG Trusted Servant to spotlight, please send an email to: serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com.



~ GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS ~



~ NEW PERSONNEL TO SERENITY TEAM~

SUSAN - OUTREACH TRUSTED SERVANT

Please welcome Susan, who joined the Serenity team last month as a Proofreader, and is now also our Outreach Trusted Servant. She has been in and around these rooms for 25 years, having gone to her first OA meeting in 1980. She was led to the online meetings in February of this year and began an incredible journey. Everyday she is grateful for what keeps her sane and that is this program. ODAT she reminds herself that she must continue to work the program every day, there is no end, there is no, "I've got it now, I'll do this alone; this is a lifelong journey and this time, I'm in it for the long haul".

What good is a publication of any kind if people don't read it? This is one of the most important jobs on the team. Susan will be responsible for an accurate mailing list to members of the Recovery Group, building a subscriber list of non-Recovery people with an interest in what we do and putting Serendipity on Search Engines.

Let's give Susan a warm welcome; we thank her for her willingness to give service to others in this special way.

~ SPONSORS NEEDED ~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM~

The promises of the AABB mention the word "change" as follows: "Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change." These promises do come true, they really do!

Having and being a sponsor are a part of the path to the promises. Don't miss our two special recovery stories on how sponsorship can transform lives.

Sponsorship is an essential tool in our program of recovery. A sponsor is a person who is willing to share their experience strength and hope with those who still suffer.

If you are interested in sharing your recovery as a TRG sponsor, please write to the TRG Sponsor Coordinators, Patt and Cate, at:
TRGSPONSORSADM@LISTS.THERECOVERYGROUP.ORG

If you are interested learning how to get a sponsor, please review the following link:

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html

TO SUBMIT AN ANNOUNCEMENT:
To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to: serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com



~ SPECIAL SPONSORSHIP RECOVERY STORIES ~

From Lea - On Having a Sponsor ~



My sponsor has totally made my recovery a success. I am 9 weeks abstinent today after a 5 year relapse and regain of 50# and gain of an additional 36 pounds. I am a single parent and find it hard to attend face-to-face meetings. The online meetings and sponsor list have made all the difference. I tried two other sponsors but they were not a fit and I am committed enough to my recovery, no matter what, that I was willing to risk finding another one. This sponsor has a story similar to mine and is available by email, and by phone if I really need her. She is also a parent and has also struggled with relapse and large weight gain. The AA big book is very important to both of us, as is abstinence and working the steps. She has a close relationship with her sponsor. She reads all my long email writings on the steps and is accepting and nonjudgmental; but she offers suggestions, like emailing her my food, which I do now and find very helpful but was never willing to do before; she also recently suggested more vegatables in my diet, a correct appraisal. She's not the food nazi I'd feared. She is also unwaveringly committed to working the steps. I am very wordy and she's not so and that is a good fit. I am grateful to her for my very life, and just signed up today to be a sponsor myself. A sponsor is one of the most powerful and necessary steps for me.

Thanks,
Lea

From Susie T. - On Being a Sponsor



I have been sponsoring since I first came to OA in 1993. It has been very helpful to my recovery. I have always loved helping others and sponsorship is a healthy way for me to do what I love. I have had my ups and downs. I have played God and have felt responsible for my sponsees' abstinence and happiness. I have really hurt when some have left the program. The good has still outweighed the bad. I have learned so much about myself and my character defects through sponsoring. I am a much better listener and have learned to say 'I don't know'. When a sponsee has a question I don't have the answer to, it sends me and my sponsee to the literature. We can find the answer together. I have made many good friends through sponsorship. I have also learned trust and that I am NOT God. I am just a vessel God uses to share His love with others. Sponsorship keeps me on my toes and helps keep me clean. I don't ask my sponsees to do anything I wouldn't require of myself. It keeps me humble and real and feeling blessed. It is a WE program and for that I am grateful.

Abstinent with you for today!

Susie T. :)
Woodsboro, Maryland

Take it one day at a time and pray like crazy!

As mentioned earlier, if you are interested in sharing your recovery as a TRG sponsor, please write to the TRG Sponsor Coordinators at:
TRGSPONSORSADM@LISTS.THERECOVERYGROUP.ORG

If you are interested in learning how to get a sponsor, please review the following link:
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html



~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH ~
HOMEBOUND GROUP



The homebound group is for those who work the OA Program but are not able to leave their homes, because of illness or other reasons. Our isolation group is for those whose fears and/or feelings cause them to isolate from others, either in Program or life. Our Drug Addiction group is for those for whom food is not their only addiction; they are addicted to other drugs as well.

The mission of the homebound group is to provide a safe place for discussions about eating disorders. Many of us compulsive eaters have found ourselves isolating from the world and in, in some cases, this isolation has progressed until we are now homebound or have been in the past.

We have learned that some of the causes of this disorder are weight related; however, not all. It is the mission purpose of this loop to find out all we can about ourselves by exploring this topic in safety and privacy with others who share this unkind disability. We didn't ask to be like this. We don't want to be like this. We intend not to be like this for the rest of our lives.

We look forward to having you join us. Please don't be shy. Each one of us is here because we isolate. Each one of us wants to rejoin the world that we live in and become centered and at one with it. Each one of us, by listening to and sharing with one another, can resolve these issues that have plagued us for so very long.

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

To subscribe:
http://lists.therecoverygroup.org/SCRIPTS/WA-RECOVERY.EXE?SUBED1=homebound&A=1

For subscription information, visit our extraordinary 650-page web site located at:
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/jtr/jtr_intro.html



~ FEATURE ARTICLE ~
TAKING ACTION IN RECOVERY OR, "MY FAKE WEEKLY OA DIARY"



Dear Diary,

Today I found a place where everyone is just like me. It's called OA, and everyone else has a problem with eating, just like I do. I have been struggling with food for as long as I can remember, and it's great to think there is some hope!

I was a little thrown off when they said it is based on AA, because I may have a problem, but it's sure not like THAT....Anyway.... I like listening to the speakers, and I sure can relate to what they are saying, so I think I will go back. After all, that's what they said: "keep coming back". I will!

:~*~:. .:~*~:

Dear Diary,

OK, I went back, and I really do like this program. Today lots of people were talking about the Tools of the Program. One of the tools is having a sponsor. That's a person who's been in the Program for awhile, who can guide you. And I think it might be OK for other people, but I sure don't need some other OAer telling me what to eat. It's not like they are a doctor or anything. Just another person who struggles, like I do. So why should I have to ask them what to do; call them every day, and take the risk that they will be all up in my business? If I want THAT, I can call my mother! So, I will just keep listening. Everyone seems to understand what I am going through... their life stories could be mine! And they are making progress. I want to make progress, too!

:~*~:. .:~*~:

Dear Diary,

Another meeting, another tool discussion. What is this: Home Depot? But seriously, I can see that these people are sincere, yet what they are suggesting is really uncomfortable for me. Call up strangers on the telephone and talk about my food problem? And give out MY number? I don't know that I am comfortable discussing this problem with anyone. Listening to people talk about their stories, and what works for them is one thing. But I am beginning to wonder if this Program is really a good idea.

The other thing that bugs me is how they keep calling it an addiction. Like I said, the first week: I know I have a problem. But I am NOT some strung-out addict. After a few weeks here, it seems like maybe more may be required from me, than just listening. I do want help. I really WOULD like this to stop. And most here DO seem to have a good attitude toward their problem with food, and they seem like really nice people. I need to think about this. I'll be back... if only because there is "something here" that speaks to my inner heart.

:~*~:. .:~*~:

Dear Diary,

So now they're telling us what to READ? Seems pretty narrow minded! Isn't there more than one way to find a solution to this problem? And why does everything seem to be about "God" ... or, at least, about the "Higher Power"? Doesn't anyone here do ANYTHING for themselves? Or are they all part of the OA Book Club, plowing through GodBook #5 on how to use the Tools. It just seems like there MUST be "an easier, softer way".

:~*~:. .:~*~:

Dear Diary,

I am skipping the meeting tonight. I just don't think it's for me. Too many people telling me what to do. I will be fine on my own.

:~*~:. .:~*~:

Dear Diary,

I was thinking tonight about how it would have been nice; if the Program worked for me. It would have been nice; to have my life defined by something more than my addictions and my character defects. It would have been nice, if I could have been like those other people. It would have been nice, if, by taking the simple actions that the Program suggests, one day at a time, I could make a difference in my life.

Wait a minute. I just realized. How do I KNOW it wouldn't work? I never even tried it. All I did was get scared to take action, when I had no way of knowing how those actions might turn out for me. I saw how those same actions turned out for others... others who were, admittedly, just like me. What would it really hurt; to try? Some of those suggestions weren't so hard. Maybe reading a bit of the Big Book might help me understand why the tools and the steps are so important. And maybe, if I talked to one of those people - one of the ones who "spoke MY story" - and asked them to be my sponsor, and explained how I'm not so sure about being told what to eat, I might find someone who could "go easy on me", at least, at first. And maybe the phone wouldn't be SO bad...I could try it once or twice, I think.

As for labeling my problem as addiction, I guess I still have some problems with that. But I don't have to understand or agree with everything all at once.

For today, I think I'll go back. I think that I'll start out by praying, and asking God to help me see the things about this Program which are right, for ME, to start with. I could see that it made a real difference, in the lives of the people I met there, and I will step forward in faith that it can make a difference in mine.

For today, I can take action. Because this is truly a case where actions speak WAY louder than all the words in the world.

Submitted by Donna

:~*~:. .:~*~:. TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE:
To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to: serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com



~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~




~~ FROM THE BIG BOOK ~~

"Working with Others"

"Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.... He should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration. Argument and fault-finding are to be avoided like the plague."

c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 98



MY SHARE...

This month's subject is ACTION. That's what it took for me to get rid of years of troubling memories and guilt feelings that I had stored in my memory bank. When I first started the 12 Steps, I was determined that I would dig to the heart of my soul and rid myself of all the bad memories. As I started the 4th Step, I was feeling really scared for some reason. I don't know why?? It was just because I'd heard from others that it was a painful thing to go through. I knew I wasn't a bad person, so I stepped ahead cautiously. Bottom line was that it was the best thing I had ever done for myself! When I got thru the 12 Steps, I felt like a GIANT weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was literally freed!

This, however, wasn't the end of my program. The 12th Step says that once we have had a spiritual awakening that we should carry the word to our other fellow COEs. We will find our joy in living by helping those who still suffer with the disease and hold their hands on their journey. That takes ACTION. I felt like the Big Book was the source of my Serenity and new thinking, so I decided to give service on the Big Book group. As the Book says, we must burn the idea of consciousness into the heart of every man/woman that he/she can get well on the condition that they Trust God/HP and clean house. This is a service of love. We only want to give the next person the peace and serenity that we were given. Doing this also refreshes our memories about where we've come from and the cycle goes on and on.

Thanks for listening.

Many Blessings on your Path to Recovery,
    Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group)



~ The Promises ~ Part Five ~



Dear Friends in Recovery,

Dawn continues her Promises series from the Big Book with Promise Five.

"No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others."
This promise is sort of a double entendre'. When I first heard Promise Five, I was well on my way to losing 100 pounds. So I thought going far down on the scale meant that those of us who have been given the gift of the release of a lot of weight would know that by doing that we could bring our experience to others. But that's not what Promise Five is all about. I learned that weight loss is only part of the program that I love so much in Overeaters Anonymous. And Promise Five is really talking about no matter how close we come to the bottom in our disease ... no matter how bad our lives have gotten ... no matter how dismal this long tunnel we have found ourselves in seems .... we can still bring our experience to those who suffer.

Our successes can teach .... but our failures can also. And it is this Fifth Promise that Dawn will tell us about now ... and no matter how far down we are or have been ... we ALL have something we can offer another as we carry the message to our fellow compulsive overeaters.

THE PROMISES ~ PART THREE

Dear Friends,

The Fifth Promise is: "No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others." This is one of the wonders of the OA program - sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other. I heard someone comment the other day that her husband said it was like the blind leading the blind. Who better to help us than those who have tread the same paths? Our combined ESH is amazingly powerful.

When I went to my first meeting in OA, I cried almost the whole meeting through. I was amazed that there were others like me. And even more amazing was the fact that they had found a solution. I'm not sure exactly what the tears meant, but I think they were tears of relief - of having found a long lost family. I was not alone any more. Before that first meeting I thought that I was the only one who had this problem with food. I felt that no one in the world would ever want to help me - I was entirely on my own. I felt worthless. The women there in that meeting understood my feelings of worthlessness. They understood my tears.

All my life people had been telling me to lose weight. My mother said that I didn't HAVE to eat all the treats she would leave around the house. She didn't understand that I just could not walk past that plate and not take any of the food off of it. I simply couldn't do it. The doctor who handed me a diet sheet and a prescription for pills didn't understand either. The only people who could understand were the ones there in that room and others like them. They had been there. They had suffered the same humiliations and the same self-loathing. And they were offering me a solution! A real solution!! They understood my tears and didn't just tell me to "stop that silly crying." They offered their love and acceptance. They loved me until I could love myself.

They shared their experiences with working the steps, practical information about how to stay abstinent, and their spirituality. They shared my triumphs as well as my failures. They supported me then and they still do.

We understand each others' pain. Every time one of us shares, it helps others. Old timers are reminded by the newcomers about things we had forgotten. The old-timers have paved the way for the newcomers and can offer their experience with parts of the program. My first sponsor was one of the Old-timers. She gave me so many bits of wisdom over the years!! She understood me better than any other person had ever understood me.

There are those of us who have suffered terrible pain in the past. There has been sexual, verbal and physical abuse in many of our pasts. There have been bad marriages, lost children, lost pregnancies, promiscuous behavior, and feelings of abandonment. I have not experienced all of these, but I have experienced some of them. I have become wiser through working the program and can identify with those who are struggling with the same things I suffered. We can each offer our own wisdom that has been gained through our own personal suffering. That makes it worth having suffered - helping others.

Love,
Dawn
Thank you, Dawn. You have told us that "we are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness." You shared that "we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." We learned that "we would comprehend the word serenity." You shared the promise that "we would know peace" and today's promise "No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others." I can hardly wait to read what you have to say when you give us Promise Six, which says "That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear."

@-}-}-}------
Love in recovery ~
Mari



~ THE SERENITY PRAYER ~

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 CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
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 ~



~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~

~ Visit our beautiful scene for May~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/may.html)

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



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
ODAT Administrators ~ ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Sponsor Coordinators ~ TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Recovery OA Online Meetings Coordinators ~ MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Founder ~ Mari@TheRecoveryGroup.org




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

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 7 Issue 5 © Copyright 2005 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.