A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

November 2000
Volume 2, Issue 11

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 Meeting Coordinator
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Tools of Recovery
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
A Call to Action: Recovery Meditations
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
The Serenity Prayer


Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the November issue of Serendipity! It's hard to believe that we have been doing this for a year now, and that Serendipity will soon be celebrating its first birthday. We invite all of you to contact us and let us know what you think of your newsletter, what you like and what you'd like to see changed. And as always, we invite all of you to take the time to share your experience, strength and hope with other compulsive eaters around the world. Believe me, the rewards are well worth the work!

In this month's edition, TRG founder Mari writes about why we are here in this fellowship together. Anne, TRG meetings coordinator, lets us know about the changes in two meetings, one focusing on our very own Recovery meditations, and the other a change in time for the newcomer's meeting. Our loop spotlight of the month is Meditations and Recovery, which is a "brand new discussion list, where compulsive eaters share their experience, strength and hope on topics inspired by the daily Recovery Meditations of the Recovery Group." And in the Tools of Recovery, Thumper writes about the importance of meetings in her program.

Recovery Group member Geri writes about her trigger food, sugar, and how she has struggled with her addiction through recovery and relapse. Jim D. shares with us about compulsive eating and loneliness. Stacey writes about staying sober in the hard times. Danny writes, in his own special and wonderful way, about 12 Step recovery. And Jo shares with us her "rambling thoughts" from her journal. We are blessed to have so many recovering COEs sharing their ESH with us in such special ways . . ..

We have included the Eleventh Step Prayer in the Literature section. A Call to Action asks all of us to take the time to find a special quotation and write a meditation for this wonderful Recovery Group project of putting together a book of 365 daily meditations written by TRG members. This month's edition ends with a list of on-line meetings, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer.

We hope you have enjoyed the first year of Serendipity, and that it helps in some small way in your journey to recovery. If Serendipity has made even a small difference in your recovery, please take the time to pass that gift on by sharing your ESH with the rest of us. Take a few minutes to make a difference in the lives of other recovering COEs!

Love in recovery,




Dear Serendipity Readers,

Why are we here in this fellowship together? I've thought of that question so many times and could probably make a list of dozens of reasons; however, there is really only one main reason. We want help for what we have come to know as a disease ... a disease that we didn't ask for, that we don't want, that is not our fault and that we can't do anything about alone.

So why don't we just go to a doctor, get a pill and move on and live our life? The answer is simple. The reason is because this disease is debilitating, cunning, serious and baffling, and no doctor on earth has a pill or a procedure to cure it because it is incurable.

If you wanted to hear something other than that, I'm sorry. And that brings me back to why there is a Recovery Group and why you and I are here. Some diseases can be treated singularly ... someone can be alone in a hospital room or treatment center ... and they can walk out of there well. This is not one of those diseases. We need others ... others who have been through the very same thing we are going through and who have experienced the emotional, the spiritual and the physical devastation we have felt. We need others who have worked the Twelve Steps before us and who have found the extraordinary serenity that comes only in recovery. We need those who have had a spiritual awakening and known the blissful feeling of long term abstinence and the release of half their body weight. We need to know that 24 hours a day, seven days a week there is another compulsive eater we can share our problems, our hopes, our dreams and our goals with. And we find it in this community of men and women called The Recovery Group.

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

And that's why we're here.

@-}-}-}- -----
Love in recovery,
The Recovery Group


Dear Friends,

It has been yet another busy month of meetings, with a few meeting leaders having to leaving us due to travel, illness and life changes, to be replaced by new meeting leaders joining us to carry the message of 12 Step recovery to COEs in our meetings.

One of the changes to our meetings is that the focus of the 10.30am meeting has been changed to be a Recovery Meditation meeting. During 2000, the Recovery Meditations Committee has coordinated the development of beautiful meditations which are written by our members, distributed each day into your intray and have been developed into a wonderful website at
http://recovery.hiwaay.net//meditations/index.html. Now we wish to extend these meditations one step further and base our morning meetings on the meditations. To share in these wonderful meetings, log onto #Recovery, every morning at 10.30am US EST.

The other change in meetings is that our Newcomers meeting has a new time ~ Friday at 11.00PM US EST. Hopefully, this will prove to be a more suitable time for all ~ for the newcomers to come and share their questions, and for long term members to come and share their ESH. I welcome all of you, whether you have been in the program a day or 10 years, to come and share your ESH in our Newcomers meeting, Friday night at 11.00PM US EST in #Recovery.

If you haven't tried our meetings, why not come and join us. Take a look at our website ~
and follow the simple instructions to #Recovery.

Look forward to seeing you in the meetings!

Meetings Coordinator
The Recovery Group



Dear Recovery Group Members,

The Meditations and Recovery Loop is a brand new discussion list, where compulsive eaters share their experience, strength and hope on topics inspired by the daily Recovery Meditations of the Recovery Group.

Right now, we have approximately 50 loop members. If you think you would find it interesting to examine issues in your recovery and your life that arise from reading the daily meditations, please join us. The only requirements to join our loop is a desire to quit eating compulsively. We come together to understand ourselves and our illness better by sharing with our fellows in an environment of safety, serenity and support.

If you would like to join us, we would love to have you. You may join by sending a blank email to: meditationsandrecovery-subscribe@egroups.com

Jen and Lisa Co-Coordinators Meditations and Recovery

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

Mission Statement for Meditations and Recovery:
(A Member of the Recovery Group Community)

To read the meditations, reflect on them and apply our personal experience, strength and hope in our discussion.

To gain from the experience, strength, and hope of other recovering compulsive eaters and to share our own ESH as it relates to the meditation of the day. To examine our lives in ways we may not have before.

To explore the many ways the disease of compulsive eating affects us and apply what we learn in our topic discussions to enhance our personal recovery program.

To continue to learn about the way a change of focus or attitude can impact our recovery. Specifically, learning how to apply Rule #62 and the ongoing importance of humor in our daily lives.

We hope to bring the Recovery Meditations alive to you as compulsive eaters, so you may explore the endless spiritual, mental, and physical tools contained in these little daily vignettes as well as other recovery literature they encompass.

What we could never do alone We can do together.


Dear Fellows,

Hi, my name is Thumper and I'm a compulsive overeater. Meetings have been an essential part of my recovery from the beginning. When I first became involved in OA, meetings were all I was able or willing to do. The stories I heard around the tables assured me that I wasn't alone in my disease, that others had suffered the same pain, trauma, shame, disgust, and indignities that I had suffered from for so long. Seeing people sitting there who had not only lost their excess weight but had smiles and expressions of peace on their faces instilled in me a level of hope I had almost given up on.

Every time I walk through the doors into a meeting, I have worked the first 3 steps of my recovery. The mere act of opening that door says again and again that I know I am powerless over food and that I believe a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. Walking the rest of the way through affirms my willingness to turn my will and my life over to this Higher Power.

Meetings serve many purposes for me. Sometimes it is a place for me to vent my frustrations and difficulties so that I don't eat over them. Sometimes it is where I go to hear how others have overcome similar problems. And at other times, it is where I go to share my own experience, strength, and hope with others who may benefit from my story. For whatever reason I choose to go, I'm always comforted by being in the company of others who understand my disease.

I leave those meetings with a renewed strength and another 24 hours of insurance against compulsive overeating.



Sugar is the main trigger food that causes me to overeat. I have been this way since I was a small child. When I came to my 12 step group for compulsive overeating in July 1995, someone mentioned it would be good to identify my trigger foods and abstain from them. I was obsessing and bingeing with food and was desperately ready to change. So I became abstinent from sugar for almost 3 years. I committed to the H.O.W. food plan and found a sponsor right away, and over time lost all excess weight. I felt great physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As years went by, I deluded myself that I was safe and started to drink wine and eat a little bit of sugar in foods that I hadn't had in years. The year 1999 was also very stressful for me. My Mom got cancer and had a mastectomy, my Dad had a heart attack, and I fell and broke my tail bone, all within three months . . . and life just kept handing me more. I had my first anxiety attacks due to stress.

I kidded myself that I deserved sweet foods. In a year and a half I had put almost all of the weight back on, and was miserable and out of control with sugar. I was still going to my meetings, but it was so hard to get complete abstinence back. Hanging on by my fingernails was no fun. I kept praying to my Higher Power for help all through the year. Suddenly it was my time to really mean business with my program again. I had no other recourse.

One of the things that helped me at this turning point was that I found the HOW & Recovery Loop at The Recovery Group. I searched the net for H.O.W. and found my way back to the food plan that had worked for me in the beginning. I got an online sponsor, and that has been an incredible gift. I've found that sharing at this forum and others helps me to do service every day, and it is a big part of my recovery.

I know I am a sugar addict. I treat it as I would any substance an addict can abuse. It ruins my life -- it is simply not worth having. I have been completely off sugar since New Year's Day, as well as white flour and alcohol (which apparently turns into glucose once it hits the bloodstream, setting up cravings). I know I can live without these foods because I have done it before. It's an easier, more gentle way to live life, a gift I give myself today.

Isolation is the biggest part of this disease because of the shame it makes me feel. So I need the continued help of my support group, my sponsor and sponsee. And I am most willing to do the 12 step work daily. I can't tell you how great it feels to be clear headed and losing all that weight again. I believe in my Higher Power's timing, and this has been an invaluable lesson to re-learn. I feel stronger and more committed because of it.

Blessings and hugs... Geri


My name is Jim D., and I live in Toronto . . . and to tell the truth, I will eat anything that doesn't eat me first.

Genuine mercy impels me to accept my ineffective eating habits. Where is it written in stone that I am a bad guy because I eat to fill the hole of loneliness? For me, it's a fact that I am lonely, yet being lonely is not the end of the world. Actually, it is during the moments of intense loneliness that I learn the most about myself, if only I will listen.

It is imperative that I get to know myself. And that self is always out there, it's just that I don't see it. As an example, I am a very generous person with my time, money and energy . . . and yes, I have given the shirt off my back. Another example is that, over the years, I've always managed to keep myself and my home clean and presentable. My mind is keen and my intellectual curiosity is unending, even though I am a high school drop-out. And change . . . ah, change, I am excellent at accepting it, and I am so proud of that reality. But, when it comes to ineffective eating, I get stuck and I spin my wheels . . . can't seem to change, but I will not sweat that.

I've been free from alcohol for 25 years, and from nicotine for 20 years. But just because I no longer drink or smoke does not say I have rid myself of the effects of those destructive behaviors. In many ways, I have not matured and I have not stuck to the principles of recovery . . . but then, perfection is not the name of the game . . . progress is.

Back to the food thing again. There are times when a candy bar (or 10) have saved me from despair, when so called junk food has comforted me during times of great pain. I am grateful to have had access to these remedies during times of need. For whatever reason, my food binges get me through some really lonely times. Thank you, Mr. Oreo. My body? How does it look? Well, it has two eyes that see, two arms and hands that work, two legs and feet that do their job. If you saw me, you'd say jeez, that guy has all his parts working well for him: no wheelchair, no crutches, no seeing-eye dog, no cane required. What more does he need? He's a very lucky guy, you would conclude.

My loneliness is more a case of my isolating from others. You see, I just don't get along well with others, except on superficial terms. I don't know why this is, but likely it is associated with my immaturity. On the occasions I find myself in groups I enjoy, I can run, skip, sing and dance with the best of them . . . those times are rare. Generally, when I find myself in groups, negative thinking takes over, and it is best if I get on my own again.

I'm ok, I have a right to be here, my ticket to be on the planet is valid . . . but I *am* me, and I am *not* you, or that *other* person. I learned that during the periods of my greatest loneliness. It's a good thing.


Staying sober in the hard times ~

Because I'm addict, it is during the hard times that I have to watch myself, and to try to keep the loop and the friends that I have met on the loop in mind. I have recently had one of those hard times, and I would like to thank the people at the loop meetings for the help and the strength they provided. I lost one of my best friends . . . she passed away . . . and all I wanted to do was to go and get something to take the pain away so that I didn't have to feel the pain in my heart any more. I felt that if I got high, it would take all the pain I was feeling away. But instead I got on the loop and went to a meeting lead by Danny, and he and the other people at the meeting made me realize that the only person that I would be hurting if I used was myself, that it was not going to bring my friend back, and that the pain would still be there in the morning. So I stopped and thought, and by the time the meeting was over I felt that I didn't need to use, and that I could go through this mourning period without the drugs, and that I would always have my friend in my heart so she would really never be gone. So i would like again to personally thank all the people at the meeting, and to say that the meetings are great if you need a friend and someone who understands.



The woman God sent to run my life has a name, and I have been instructed to use it every now and then or pay dearly for the ability to defy her. As I sat in my favorite chair sipping a late morning coffee, Gloria reminded me that my blood pressure had increased greatly during our trip to the nation's capitol. My instructions were to avoid reading any newspapers or watching any TV related to news or, worse yet, commentary.

I was reminded that my main problem in life is me, and the road to fix me is in this 12 step recovery of mine. As I made a feeble attempt to argue, the hand of authority was raised. Hold your tongue and remember how peaceful you are when living in the steps, accepting all things, people, places and events as being exactly as they should be. Do only as your God directs and be helpful, not spiteful, mean and arrogant. The truth hurts. OUCH!!

I'm no longer amazed which direction or person my God uses to set my feet on the right path. Page 449 in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book was written especially for me. While I am many things to many people and a living legend in my own mind, I am a compulsive overeater and doomed to suffer should I listen to me instead of God. Oh, yes, and Gloria also.


Rambling thoughts from my journal:

The great gift of serenity comes when we finally acknowledge HP in our lives. The HP of truth and justice. The HP that gets things done his/her way. If I want a more serene life, I need to let go and follow HP in all things, from setting up the chairs at a meeting, to writing my journal, to spending time with grand kids. Times will be as hectic as I let them become. That is why I must remember this is HP's show, not mine. HP has the clout to do things the way HP wants them done. I will take the path of the follower. My job will be easier.

One way to help myself is to stay abstinent through all these incidents and activities. Let HP be the leader, me the follower. The job will be done right. HP, today I ask for willingness to do your work. You supply the ideas and I will supply the body to get the work done. Please help my abstinence today.



Eleventh Step Prayer

Higher Power, as I understand You, I pray to keep my connection with You open and clear from the confusion of daily life. Through my prayers and meditation I ask especially for freedom from self-will, rationalization and wishful thinking. I pray for the guidance of correct thought and positive action. Your will, Higher Power, not mine, be done.


Hi Serendipity readers!

As you know, one of the best ways to keep your recovery is to give it away. Well, here's your chance to give away some of your experience, strength and hope to fellow compulsive eaters worldwide.

The Recovery Group is writing our very own meditations book, called "One Day At A Time," and we need your help. We're looking for submissions for the book. You don't have to be a great author to participate, so don't let that stop you! In case you haven't seen what we've gotten so far, check it out on the Web at:

It's very simple. Here's what to include in your submission:

1. A quote and who said it.
2. Your own ESH concerning the quote. Please try to keep it between 150 and 300 words.
3. A brief meditation beginning with the words "One day at a time..." relating to the quote and your ESH.
4. Let us know whether you want your first name and last initial, just your initials, or "anonymous" used at the end of your piece.
5. Send your submission to the Recovery Meditations committee for evaluation at recoverymeditations@egroups.com

We'll edit only for length and clarity, keeping the spirit of your submission intact. All work becomes the property of the Recovery Group and may be used in the book, on our website, or both.

Speaking of the book, we're also looking for a publisher, so if you're in the publishing business (or happen to know one who'd be willing to work with us) please contact us at the above address.

Thank you, and remember, you may not think you have anything important to say, but your ESH could save the life of a fellow compulsive eater.

Love in recovery,
Recovery Meditations Committee

All Meetings US Eastern Time
All IRC meetings on Starchat Channel
All IRC meetings in #Recovery with the exception of the Spanish meetings which are held in #SpanishRecovery and Christian meetings held in #Christian&Recovery
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AM IRC Meditations
12:30 PM IRCSpanish OA Topic
2:30 PMIRCOA Topic
3:00 PMIRCSwedish Recovery
3:30 PMIRCItalian & Recovery
3:30 PMIRCChristian Step
7:00 PMIRCInformal
9:30 PM IRCOA Topic
11:00 PM IRCOA Topic
12:00 AMIRCInformal
7:00 AM IRCInformal
10:30 AM IRCMeditations
2:30 PMIRCStep Study
7:00 PMIRCInformal
9:00 PMIRCChristian Recovery
9:30 PMIRC OA Topic
11:00 PMIRCOA Topic
12:00 AMIRCInformal
1:00 AMIRCNightowls
7:00 AMIRCInformal
10:30 AM IRCMeditations
2:30 PMIRCOA Topic
3:00 PMIRCSwedish Recovery
7:00 PMIRCInformal
9:30 PM IRC Joy In Recovery
11:00 PMIRCOA Topic
12:00 AMIRCInformal
7:00 AMIRCInformal
10:30 AMIRCMeditations
2:30 PMIRCStep Study
7:00 PMIRCInformal
9:30 PMIRCOA Topic
9:30 PM IRCSpanish OA Topic
11:00 PMIRCOA Topic
12:00 AMIRCInformal
7:00 AM IRC Informal
10:30 AMIRCMeditations
2:30 PMIRCOA Topic
4:00 PMIRCChristian Recovery
7:00 PMIRCInformal
8:00 PMIRCAsk It Basket
9:30 PMIRCBig Book
11:00 PMIRCOA Topic
12:00 AMIRCInformal
1:00 AMIRCNightowls
7:00 AMIRCInformal
10:30 AMIRCMeditations
2:30 PMIRCStep Study
7:00 PMIRCInformal
9:30 PMIRCOA Topic
10:00 PMIRCChristian Talk
11:00 PMIRCNewcomers
12:00 AMIRCInformal
7:00 AMIRCInformal
10:30 AMIRCMeditations
11:30 PMIRCSpanish OA Topic
2:30 PMIRCOA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Talk ~ Informal
7:00 PMIRCInformal
7:00 PMIRCAbuse & Recovery
9:30 PMIRCOA Topic
11:00 PMIRCOA Topic
12:00 AMIRCInformal


All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL

Monday 9:00 PM Open Topic
10:30 PM Recovery Chat
Tuesday 12:00 PM OA Topic
12:00 AM OA Topic
Wednesday 9:30 PM 100 Pounders
Thursday 9:00 PM OA Topic
10:30 PM Recovery Chat
Friday 11:00 PM Twelve Steps
Saturday 12:00 AM OA Topic
Sunday 3:00 PM Anorexic/Bulimic Focus
9:00 PM How It Works

All Recovery meetings held in #Recovery Room on IRC
All Spanish Meetings are held in #SpanishRecovery Room on IRC
All Christian Meetings are held in #Christian&Recovery Room on IRC
All Abuse Meetings are held in #RecoverySafeHaven Room on IRC
All Swedish Meetings are held in #SwedishRecovery Room on IRC
All AOL meetings held in Stepping Stones on AOL
All times Eastern Daylight Time

Meetings Information ~ The Recovery Group
or RecoveryMeetings@y...

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

Meetings Information ~ AOL
or HOSTAnRUnity@a...
or HOSTAnRTalia@a....


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@t...

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


Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@y... ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@y... ~ Suzanne
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@y... ~ Suzanne
Meetings ~ RecoveryMeetings@y... ~ Anne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ sophie@c... ~ Cate
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ hopeful@t... ~ Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ bingebuster@h... ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@m... ~ Cindy
Recovery Group Administrator ~ Marisok@a... ~ Mari
Recovery Group Founder & List Owner ~ Marisok@a... ~ 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.



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

Copyright 1999-2000 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.