FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ MAY
For me, May is one of the most beautiful months
of the year. I've always looked at it as the last
month of work before a long vacation. This is
not true any longer, of course ... but I used to
be a teacher and the decades of teaching set into
motion a mind-set that this was the way things
were supposed to be. I still tend to reassess
things in May and I am going to do that in this
As part of my reassessment, I, and a lot of
others who serve here, have had to take a hard
look at what The Recovery Group is - and -
isn't. A few months ago, someone wrote and wanted
to know if we were an "Outside Interest?" US?
Of course, not. How could a wall-to-wall
12 Step Community like the one we spend
daily time in be even considered to be an
"outside interest?" Mind boggling ridiculous!
We began to be told that we couldn't have our
12 Step Study translated into languages and
sent to our members. Then there were some
complaints that our meeting leaders were
announcing our Big Book, Newcomer events
and 12 Step Studies to members attending our
meetings and that by doing so that we were
violating Tradition Four? NO WAY! If we
couldn't do that, how were we going to carry
the message that we were trying to convey by
WTS and the Big Book Study and the Newcomer's
So, I read and re-read Tradition Four and based on
my interpretation and that of many others, our
beloved TRG community honors this tradition as
we do all the traditions. After all, they've been our
guidelines for over a decade of 12 Step service.
After months of discussions, we have an
answer to give to those dozens of you who
wrote letters to us and to OA about the
subject of Founder's Corner this month. Yes!
The answer is YES. The Recovery Group is
not OA. It is not part of OA. It is not affiliated
with OA. It is not endorsed, sanctioned or
approved by OA. OA has no opinion of
The Recovery Group. The OA Board of
Trustees interprets Tradition Four in this
way. TRG does not. We accept that we
are an Outside Interest to OA. But let me
unequivocally say that OA will never be
an Outside Interest to The Recovery Group.
Happy May, Loopies.
Love in recovery,
My favorite promise is,"We will intuitively know how
to handle situations which used to baffle us." Yet
now it baffles me that intuition seems to evade me.
In fact, I've been praying for the right answer per
Chapter 6, page 86, of the Big Book:
In thinking about our day we may face indecision.
We may not be able to determine which course to take.
Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought
or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't
struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers
come after we have tried this for a while.
I am facing a decision I'm not sure I need or have to
make. Now doesn't that sound odd? If I choose to
take action it may be healing for me or it may hurt
me. However, it cannot hurt me if I surrender it and
the power I am giving it.
Sometimes I let tiny grains of sand build themselves
into giant dunes in my mind, and this is when I need
to connect with Program friends and share what's going
on. It never fails that after one of these talks I'm
once again feeling calm and more serene, and the
clarity has returned. It left when I took back my
self-will like I did when I wanted and needed instant
Haste does make waste, and most times I do "know when
to hold and when to fold." Yet when I'm unsure I need
to stop and ask God what to do, and He/She does answer.
Now it seems the answer is "wait," and I'm going to do
that for now.
~ TRG ADM ~ The Administrative Hub ~
The OANewcomers Orientation and the WTS study with
John S are on their way. Both have good participation.
TRG has opened a new position (loop sponsor coordinator).
In addition to our TRG Sponsors program, lists are being
made within each loop. Our new coordinator Shlomo, is
contacting each list and asking for members who are
willing to sponsor other members of the loop.
One of the loops that has had an influx of new members
is Exercise. This is a good way to commit your exercise
and let the loop know when you have completed it. No goal
is too small. If you're interested in a daily accounting
of your exercise, please subscribe by sending a blank email
Another list we would like to mention is the ODAT loop,
Creative. A very thought-provoking topic is presented
each day with answers from list members that are filled
with ESH. To join this list, send a blank email to:
We would like to thank all that work so diligently to keep
these rooms of recovery open for COE's throughout the world.
In loving service to all,
Nancy & Dodee, Administrators
The Recovery Group
~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~
The ODAT Group Loops
The ODAT loops are for compulsive overeaters who want
to discuss their Program journey with those who share
a special focus. We have groups for those who share
the same faith (Jewish, Christian, LDS, Pagan); groups
for those who also have other addictions (Spending,
Drug Abuse, AA, SexandLoveAddiction); people who are
challenged by present or past relationships (Relationships,
Divorce, Rainbow, Parenting, Pregnancy & Motherhood,
Isolation, Homebound, Anger, Alanon, Oanon) and people
who are in the same age group (Teens, Silver); those
who use specific food plans (HOW, Grey sheet) and those
who share a disorder/disease (Disability, Pain, Depression,
Diabetes, and PMS).
Our newest group is the Cancer group. It was created for
COEs who have been effected by cancer. Its coordinator
is writing a series of shares about how her own journey
to recovery has been impacted by her cancer. The group
is now small, but it is there for whoever might need it.
If you want to join this group, or want information on
any of our ODAT groups, please write to the ODAT Division
at the address below.
ODAT Division Chairperson
Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html
~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's
Twelve-step general sharing support groups. Our common
mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for
anyone who wants to recover from the disease of
compulsive eating to share their experience, strength,
and hope with others. In addition, some of these loops
also have a special focus. The loops that make up this
Division are: Anorexia and Bulimia, The Big Book, 200
Plus, Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA
Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk,
Working the Steps ("WTS"), and WTS Weekly.
WTS began a new 12 Step Study in April. A new OA
Newcomers Orientation session also began in April. It
is not too late to join either of these groups.
Several of the Recovery Group Loops are in need of
coordinators. One of these loops is the 200 Plus loop.
The 200 Plus Loop focuses on compulsions and
addictions relating to food. Most of our members weigh
over 200 pounds... some of them considerably over
that.... and this is our place to discuss the problems
that come about with the disease we suffer from. We
have dreams and goals and through the process of
working towards these dreams and goals we hope to
reach them. Although many of our members are also
members of Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and other
world-wide groups, the only requirement for being a
member of 200 Plus is to have the desire to quit
compulsively overeating. This was an active loop until
it lost its coordinators at the beginning of the year.
If you would be interested in becoming a coordinator
or coordinator-in-training, please contact me at
email@example.com. If you aren't interested in a
coordinator service position but would consider
sending welcome and/or farewell letters or posting
daily topics, please contact me as well.
I know that giving service by being a coordinator of a
loop has added a lot to my own recovery and hope that
you will consider this opportunity to give service. If
you are interested in becoming a coordinator or
coordinator in training for one of the other Recovery
Group Loops, please contact me at
the email address below.
The Recovery Group Loops Division
More details about these support groups can be found at:
~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
This month we focus on our two kids loops. We
have all read articles and heard news reports
about the growing problem of obesity in young children
and teens. One source I checked suggests that between 16
and 33 percent of children and teens in the United
States today are obese. And as we also know, overweight
children tend to become overweight adults. I know that
was true for me. Overweight chldren suffer emotional and
physical health problems. But there is hope. The source I
checked had several suggestions:among them, changing eating
habits slowly, planning meals and making healthier food
choices,using portion control, eating meals as a family, not
using food as a reward, and attending a support group (and
OA was one of those mentioned).
I'm sure each of us knows, and may have concern, for an
overweight or obese young person or teen. Cokids was
designed for those of us seeking support and sharing
experience, strength, and hope in our relationships with
these young people. Whether friend, parent, mentor,
coach, teacher, you are encouraged to check out this loop at:
Kids in Recovery is a loop meant especially for kids.
They can join and share with each other their thoughts
and feelings. If you know a young person or teen who
might be interested, let them know they can check
this loop out at:
In other news, we continue to look for a second coordinator
for the Exercise loop and for the AbstinentKitchen loop and
one or two coordinators for Cokids.
In loving service,
Discovery Division Chair
Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~
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Dear Telephone Angels,
Thanks for your great response to the Telephone Angels
notices. Below are a few FAQ's that give you the
'skinny'' on what questions you asked most here at
Telephone Angels Headquarters.
Question: What exactly is a Telephone Angel and
what do they do?
Answer: A Telephone Angel is a member of TRG who
donates their time and attention to helping other TRG
members by giving them someone to talk to, share their
ESH with, answer questions, or simply listen.
Question: What is the difference between a
"Sponsor", a "Buddy", and a "Telephone Angel"?
Answer : A Sponsor is your formal guide through
the program. Sponsors work just with you, or a very
small number of people, and oversee your progress and
program on a continuing basis. Contact is usually
daily, or several times a week, and the arrangment is
usually fairly longstanding.
A Buddy (from the Newcomers Buddy Program) is a
program designed to help newcomers meet other
newcomers, so that the two can work as a team while
learning to work the steps together..
A Telephone Angel is open to helping all members of
TRG. They are members who are no longer newcomers,
and they can help answer your questions and concerns
regarding recovery by sharing their experience,
strength, and hope.
Question: What sort of things do Telephone Angels
Answer: Telephone Angels talk about all kinds of
subjects... Some samples would be: FRUSTRATION (as
in dealing with family members or co-workers. They
talk about SADNESS (as in the loss of a loved one).
They talk about DEPRESSION (as in the loss of a job).
They talk about their ABSTINENCE (and ideas to keep
from binging). There are no set topics... as
Telephone Angels usually let you choose the topic
(rudeness, vulgarity, and obscenity, however, is not
Question: How do I get a copy of the Telephone Angel
Answer: You must be a member of a loop in order to
receive a copy of the directory. As a member, TRG
will send you a copy of the Telephone Angels Directory
as least twice a month. If you do not have your copy
of the directory, you can write to Telephone Angels
I sincerely hope that you take advantage of this
wonderful opportunity. It is just one of many ways in
which The Recovery Group shows its commitment to
helping its members find recovery; as someone just
said recently, "every day, we just keep getting better
and request a copy of the Telephone Angels Directory.
(Please be sure to include the name of your loop,
otherwise we will not be able to process your request,
as this program is offered to TRG members only.)
To join our list of telephone angels
and share your recovery with others
through this service please contact:
In your email please include the
following information so that you may
be properly listed in the directory:
- Your name
- Email address
- Publish your email address? (Yes or No)
- What city and state you live in (this way people
can find someone closer to them)
- Your phone number ~ area code and
- Your time zone (like Eastern Standard)
- Best times to call?
- Should folks leave a message or not?
- And, any other info you want callers to know, such as: "What is the focus of your
Thanks in advance for considering
- We do not publish website mentions.
- No advertisements or spam is allowed.
- The Telephone Angel Directory is
published as an outreach tool for our
TRG Recovery Loop members ONLY
and is PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL!
- Phone numbers should never be
shared under any circumstances.
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER ~
Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST
~ MEET Andrea R.~
Andrea, mother of 2 (ages 3 and 4) comes to
us from Kentucky and works part time in one of
her passions -landscape design.
Andrea, please tell us a little about yourself
and how you came to be here at TRG.
"I was talking to a friend of mine, and she told
me how she was using the steps of AA to lose
weight. I was really intrigued by that. I had
heard of AA, but had never heard of using
steps to lose weight. When my friend told me
about OA, I was really surprised. I had heard
of OA, but thought that it was just another
dieting group. I did not know that OA looked
upon overeating as an addiction."
Andrea, is there something that you would like
to share with everyone here at TRG?
"My friend had been losing weight and had
been doing well, so I wanted to find out more
about it. Unfortunately, there are no OA
meetings near me, and I really did not feel
comfortable going to AA meetings when drinking
was not my problem. Also, with raising two
small children, it would be very difficult for
me to attend daily meetings even if I did have OA
"I went to the OA site, and was happy to see
that online meetings were listed there. I found
The Recovery Group, looked over the website
a bit, and started reading the Big Book
"Since then I have been coming to meetings,
and look forward to them. Even though I am
not abstinent yet, I look forward to the
meetings, and love hearing the shares.
Somehow the meetings take the a lot of the
stress out of controlling my eating, and my
mind focuses more easily on what I need, as
opposed to what I want".
"Yes. I was in a meeting and someone said,
they had been living in the pollution instead of
the solution. That really struck a chord in me,
as I want to take good care of my body and be
around a long time to enjoy my kids. I do not
want to continue to pollute my body with
excess and bad food."
Thank you for sharing your story with us,
Andrea. It is a pleasure to have you as a
member of our community.
Love in recovery,
Newcomer's Meeting Leader
~ SANITY ~
Sometimes nature gives us the gift of wisdom whether
we wish to receive it or not. My newly fragile back
has led me to start the yard work earlier in the
season and to do it in smaller increments so as not
to cause undue discomfort. At first I chafed at the
idea of devoting such little parts of my day to the
yearly monumental task of cleaning up over an acre
of leaves and tree limbs, but as I look out over my
yard, it is cleaner earlier than it has ever been and
I am not at all stressed out about having to spend
several days rushing to clean it up. Doing an hour
or half hour at a time, it's almost seemed as if I
wasn't doing it at all, but today I noticed, with
surprise, that I am over half done!
I've always told my children and staff to break up
tasks into manageable chunks but it was never advice
that I thought applied to me. However, having
seriously begun to practice the 10th step for the
first time in my life (a lot of "firsts" this year)
I can see a similar wisdom in ending the day in
reflection and then laying it aside. Living one
"chunk" of twenty four hours at a time, I am finding
that I sleep better and awake without the residual
of yesterday's regret. If some part of my behavior
requires apology or amends, it's right there on the
pad for me to address as soon as possible. I'm
amazed that such a simple activity as writing the
answers to 15 reflective questions works such a
wonder in my life!
I expected the program and HP to lead me to the
sanity promised in Step Two, but I expected the
clarity to be related to food. It's wonderful to
realize that any of my insane behaviors (like the
way I've always done yard work, or reports or
cleaned house, etc., etc.) can be mitigated by
practicing the steps.
Love in recovery,
~ TRG LOOP SPONSOR PROGRAM ~
The Executive Committee and I are pleased to announce
that Shlomo S. has agreed to become TRG Loop Sponsor
Program Coordinator and a Recovery Speaker.
This new position does not affect the current Sponsor
Program in any way and Patt and Cate will continue to
manage that as they have in the past. The TRG Loop
Sponsor Coordinator will focus on those loops which
would like to have a Sponsor Directory within their
support group. Shlomo will begin with the loops the
Newcomers migrate to upon graduation (OA Friends,
Journey to Recovery and OA Recovery) and also our study
groups, WTS, WTS Weekly & The Big Book. We ask the
Coordinators of these loops to do everything possible
to elicit volunteers for their respective loop's Sponsor
Most of you know Shlomo from his work in the past
as Coordinator of the OA Recovery loop, a Recovery
Administrator and as WTS 12 Step Leader on two occasions.
He has been in program for 10 years and a member of the
OA-Israel Service Office where he is Chairman of the 12
Step Within Committee. He was Chairman of OA Israel for
four years. Currently, he leads 12 Step Workshops and
Retreats for OA Israel and is devoted to our program of
If you are a Coordinator and wish to have Shlomo begin a
Sponsor Directory for the loop you serve, please contact
We know you will enjoy
observing the interactivity between Shlomo and your members
as he recruits and activates your loops' Sponsor Directory.
~ WORRY ~
Worry is a subtle foe for me. Worry does not present
itself to me as a form of fear - which it is. Nor does
it present itself as some nasty character defect - which
excessive worry is - most certainly.
Worry parades around in my mind like a prideful know-it-all,
much smarter than everyone else who isn't worried, even
smarter than God Himself.
Worry demands "What if?...", when the question ought to be,
"What is my next right step, God?"
Worry likes to waste my time going over the same territory
again and again. I become paralyzed watching the hypnotic
revolutions of my own mind. I do not move; I am a deer
caught in the headlights.
Worry says I have to figure out a solution. No one else,
not even God can help. I'm on my own.
Worry is a thief that steals my "now," my peace, my joy,
my strength to move ahead, my positive attitude, my energy,
my zest for life. Worry destroys the quality of my life.
Some helpful things I have heard concerning worry that help
- I should doubt my doubts.
- If I pray, why worry? If I worry, why pray?
- I should ask myself: What is the net result of this train
of thought? If it is positive, then it is not worry, it
is just working through things.
- I should talk back to my worries. I should tell them to
go away and that I don't believe them. I should also tell
them that I am trusting my Higher Power.
- Sometimes my worries are really anger in disguise.
- Sometimes I worry because I am not taking care of myself
well with exercise, sleep, etc.
- Caffeine can cause me to worry.
~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~
~~ AN AA BIG BOOK READING~~
"It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of
action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for
trouble if we do, for alcohol/COE is a subtle foe. We
are not cured of alcoholism/COE. What we really have
is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of
our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we
must carry the vision of God's/HP's will into all of
our acivities. "How can I best serve Thee--Thy will,
(not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go
with us constantly. We can exercise our will power
along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of
the will..(AABB page 85)
"As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or
doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We
constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running
the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each
day, "THY will be done". We are then in much less
danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity or
foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do
not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy
foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange
life to suit ourselves.(Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 87-88)
With permission, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
These paragraphs speak very loudly to me right at this
moment in time. I have been worrying, fretting,
crying, depressed, etc. because "I" couldn't make
something important to me happen in my group. I am
once again trying to take control. MY will be
done not God's will. This was very upsetting to me
for several days until I began to feel sick again and
then finally realized that I am getting WAAAYYYY too
emotionally involved in all this!
I really wanted those who read this to know that this
is a very Subtle foe. I don't overeat, but I do
overworry and try to control those things I cannot
control. At this moment I am reminded of our
beautiful Serenity Prayer. "Grant me the SERENITY to
ACCEPT the things I CANNOT change, COURAGE to change
the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the
I really pray for all of us as we struggle DAILY,
sometimes one minute at a time, to remember THY will
Many blessings and Prayers to all seeking Recovery,
Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group Coordinator)