A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

November 2003
Volume 5, Issue 11

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

with a Subject of 'Letter to the Editor'

with a Subject of 'Serendipity Article'

The Serendipity Archives


From Our Editor
Founder's Corner
From the TRG Administration
From Our ODAT Committee
From The Recovery Loops Coordinator
From Our TRG Sponsor Program
Letters to the Editor
Announcements ~ German and Recovery
Kids' Corner
For Our Teens
November Loop Spotlights:
The Recovery Loop
Recovery in Israel
Recovery Meditations ~ One Day at a Time
Recovery Tech
From The Recovery Group Members
Recovery Writers' Series
From the Literature
Recovery Meditations Calendar
The Recovery Group Online Meetings
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer


Dear Serendipity Readers,

It is with pleasure that I bring you the November issue of Serendipity Newsletter, the newsletter of The Recovery Group. It is full of much wisdom and information concerning many different facets of The Recovery Group, facets that make this such a wonderful place to be as we travel the road of recovery together.

For those of us in the United States, November is the month during which our Thanksgiving holiday falls. It is a time for us to contemplate and express our feelings of thanksgiving for what has been our fortune to receive in life. I, for one, along with being thankful for my family, my parents (who just celebrated 60 years of married life together), my love for music, and many other things, am also so very grateful for the gift of OA and The Recovery Group in my life. This gift of recovery came my way over three years ago, and even though I am still working the steps, I know that I have been blessed, and am thankful for it. It is my hope that you, fellow traveler, also feel thankful for your recovery, no matter what stage you may be in.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Serendipity. Perhaps you will learn about, and possibly join, a loop about which you never knew. Or, perhaps you will read about an area of service which interests you, and you will volunteer to give back to TRG what some of what has already been given you. It is my simple hope that there will be some portion of this issue that will "speak" to you, and inspire some aspect of your recovery.

     Editor, SERENDIPITY
     Newsletter of The Recovery Group


Dear Serendipity Friends ~

The eating/spending season is almost here. November and December are the two months of the year when compulsive people eat food they do not need and spend money they do not have. I can remember the first Thanksgiving I was abstinent. I had prepared the usual obscene dinner and I could tell that the food was calling me. My abstinence was more important than anything and I knew that things were going to be very slippery for me and I did something I'd never done before. I prepared my plate with a moderate amount of wonderful food, put a piece of plastic wrap around it ... and hid it in the microwave. I then served the meal, fixed a salad and a hot cup of coffee, and enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family. I ate my meal later, away from the kitchen and made it through the day with flying colors.

And then hardly before Thanksgiving was over, the catalogs started coming in which screamed out "Buy me, Buy me" and I decided to stay home on the busiest shopping day of the year ~ the day after Thanksgiving.

We have two support groups set up that may be of great interest to those of you who tend to overeat and overspend during the holidays: 2003 Abstinence and Spending ODAT. Check them out on our website.

Happy November,

Love in recovery,


The administration of the Recovery Group went through several changes during the past month and we believe that it was a move that will serve us better in the future. We have made five divisions in our community with a Coordinator for each division. The divisions are:

  • The Recovery Loops ~ Twelve Step General Sharing Loops
  • The ODAT Loops ~ Twelve Step Special Focus Loopos
  • The Discovery Loops ~ Adjunct Loops; ie, Discovery Kitchen, etc.
  • The Recovery Online OA Meetings ~ Around The World Around The Clock
  • The Recovery Services and Programs ~ Sponsors, Writings, Newsletters, etc.
These divisions will be coordinated by TRGAdm and each will have a Coordinator and assistants to take care of the specific needs of each division.

If you have an interest in taking on a big job, please contact us at TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org.

TRGADM administrators


The ODAT/Discovery Loops

Hi, everyone!

A couple of weeks ago, due to personal family reasons, I sadly had to step down as Chairperson of the ODAT Committee. Although no longer Chair, I am still very much an Administrator for The ODAT loops, answering mail, queries, and helping to keep the loops safe and as free as possible from spam and inappropriate mailings, and I have said I will assist so that there is someone to share the load.

It has been wonderful to see everyone pull together and work together to help provide as many compulsive eaters a chance to practice their program within the Recovery Loops. It has been a joy to see one of the ODAT new loops, DepressionODAT thrive and become popular over the last few weeks. Well done to Sharon, the loop Coordinator, and her team of fine Trusted Servants.

All in all, I believe we have a fine team all round, and we truly do practice what we say when we say we will extend our hand to the compulsive eater still suffering. You truly are a wonderful bunch of people and it's an honour to serve with you and be among you.

Love, and in fellowship,
Administrator, ODAT Committee


Hi, Everyone!

First, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Dodee and I am a compulsive eater. I'm also the Coordinator for the Recovery Loops. This is a very new position for me and I'm still learning the ropes.

The Recovery Loops are "general sharing" loops, as opposed to the "special interest" loops of ODAT. They include OA loops in Italian, German and French. There are loops for Newcomers, OA Friends and those recovering from bulimia and anorexia. There are loops for people studying the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous), for those who are attending 90 meetings in 90 days and for those who are Working the Steps.

Working the Steps is a little different from the others in that the only posts to go to the loop are ones on working the steps. In fact, a new step study began about four weeks ago. If you'd like to work the steps with online friends, you may join by visiting WTS ~ Working The Steps [http://recovery.hiwaay.net/wts/index.html].

It's been fun to branch out a little in TRG and meet more people who are living the Steps and Traditions to the best of their ability.

There are also service positions available on many of the Recovery Loops. Is your HP giving you a little nudge about service? If so, there are small jobs for you to try to get your feet wet. Just let us know you are thinking about it, and we will help you find a fit.

One day at a time since April (30th) of '87,

       Coordinator of Recovery Loops


Dear Friends,

The moment we begin recovery from our devastating disease, compulsive overeating, we are told that we never have to be alone again. This is true. We not only have a wonderful new community that we belong to, but we also get to choose someone, a sponsor, to guide us through the 12 Step healing process. We learn a whole new way of thinking and be-ing in the world.

The Recovery Group has a sponsor program that is nothing short of superb! We have dedicated people who are very aware that they cannot keep what they have unless they give it away, knowing, that as they give it away, it INCREASES. A paradox! A miracle! Sponsoring is a blessing for all involved.

To find out about the Recovery Sponsor Program go to:

If you wish to become a Recovery Sponsor please write to:

With love and great Joy in service,

   Dreena, Sponsor Coordinator
   The Recovery Group Sponsor Program Trusted Servants





If you speak German, or know of a compulsive eater who speaks German, please read the following from the Coordinator of our German and Recovery Loop.

To join this loop, please send a blank email to:

You may also visit our beautiful German website at:

If you would like more information, please contact:

In loving service to all ~
German and Recovery Trusted Servants



Ich bin die Koordinatorin von GermanAndRecovery, und ich würde mich freuen, Dich in unserer Gruppe zu begrüßen - oder, wenn Du bereits ein Mitglied dort bist, möchte ich Dich einladen, Dich mehr einzubringen. Diese Gruppe ist speziell für Dich, und wir teilen unsere Erfahrung, Kraft und Hoffnung auf deutsch.

Ich stamme aus einer deutschen Familie; und ich weiß, daß ich mit einer Verbindung zwischen Essen und der Liebe, die meine Familie für mich hatte, aufgewachsen bin. Daher schien es der beste Weg für sie zu sein, ihre Liebe zu mir auszudrücken, indem sie mir meine Lieblingsessen fütterten. Wenn ich die Nahrung zurückwies, dachte ich, ich weise auch sie zurück. Selbstverständlich durchschaue ich das jetzt, und schon die Jahre über spürte ich es.

Vielleicht wurde das Essen für Dich erst in späteren Jahren ein Problem; vielleicht hattest oder hast Du andere Probleme mit Essen. Wenn dies der Fall ist, komm und tritt unserer Gruppe bei!

In Freundschaft,
The Recovery Group

GermanAndRecovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org, (just send a blank email)

Abonnieren: GermanAndRecovery-subscribe@yahoogroups.de.


Translated, this is:


I am the Coordinator of German and Recovery and I would love to welcome you to our loop, or, if you are already a member, to participate more. This loop is especially for you and we participate in the German language.

Coming from a German family I know I have grown up with a connection between Food and the love my family has for me; it seems to be the best way they can express that love, is to feed me my favourite foods. If I reject the food, I get the impression they feel I am rejecting them. Of course I understand this, as I have felt this too sometimes over the years.

Maybe this is something that became a problem for you in later years. Maybe you had, or have, other problems with food. If that is the case, please do join us, by sending a blank email to:

In fellowship,

A Trusted Servant of TRG
The Recovery Group


Please see the following web sites for information concerning loops which exist to help kids with eating problems.


Sophy Burnham once said "Angels are full of warmth and joy, and they always say the same thing - don't be afraid." Fear ... as far back as I can remember I was afraid of everything. I was so very scared when I was hurt sexually over and over from 4 years old; afraid people would find out and think it was my fault. He said 'they' would believe him and not me. Well, I believed him, anyway. In the end, he got found out, and they believed me at last.

Then I was afraid to go to school. I couldn't speak much English and it's hard to make friends when you are scared and can't speak English. At least when I was in Germany people understood me and I could be free. But, I learned to speak English and things got much better.

I was seriously afraid of senior school; I hated it. I had just a couple of friends and if they weren't there, I would hang out in the bathrooms there, or stay on the edge of the playground. But, I got older, and began to have a bit more confidence, and things got better.

Over and over in my life I have been so scared; of boys, of going out, of staying in ... all sorts of strange things no normal person would be fearful of.

Then I started working hard on my program, and I found I wasn't afraid. I had a Higher Power (HP) now, and I began to feel warm inside. I thought of all of you, and I felt really good about myself. If I'm afraid now it's because I didn't take a chance today on being confident that my HP will look after me today, no matter how bad things get.

So, tonight I remember: if I feel afraid, all I have to do is close my eyes a moment and picture my HP wrapping me in wings of light and holding me close, keeping me safe.



*Editor's note: For information, please see:

To join TeensODAT, send a blank email to:



One of the very first support loops in the Recovery Group was the Recovery Loop. WTS had already been started and Step Studies were available. Journey to Recovery began soon after that, and it became a melting pot for compulsive eaters all over the world to talk about just about anything. There was a need for a support group that resembled, in every way possible, a face-to-face OA meeting. And so, the Recovery Loop was created.

Members join the Recovery Loop to work a complete program which will include face-to-face meetings if possible, a sponsor, a plan of eating, working the Steps and lots of good recovery literature. Each day members open up their hearts to each other and share their experience, strength and hope about the disease of compulsive eating they share with one another. Realizing that emotional and spiritual recovery is as important as the physical, Recovery Loop members strive to reach their goals in all three.

More about the mission of the Recovery Loop can be found on its website:

To join The Recovery Loop, please send an email to:
Listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu (No subject is necessary)
Body of email: Subscribe Recovery FirstName LastInitial


The Recovery In Israel Loop is a Twelve Step Special Focus Discussion Loop where compulsive eaters living in Israel can share their experience, strength and hope. We are part of the Recovery Group Community and welcome you with open arms. Our mission is to provide a safe and peaceful place where you can share your experience, strength and hope with one another. Most of our members are also members of Overeaters Anonymous and, although we are not officially affiliated with that organization, we are a twelve-step loop.

Our group has a very special mission and purpose. We provide a place to work our own recovery program and also to carry that message to others. We are here together to build one another up ... to accept each of us as we are ... to support each other ... and not to judge one another. We offer you safety and serenity.

Our loop is a place where 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will have a safe haven where you can interact with others who are suffering. Our loop does not focus only on our physical problems; we focus on our emotional and our spiritual needs as well. Our recovery home is a place where we, who live in Israel, hope you can experience growth spiritually, emotionally and physically.

To read more, please visit:
or http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/israel.html.

To join Recovery In Israel, please send a blank email to: RecoveryInIsrael-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.


One of the most special projects ever undertaken by the Recovery Group is the Recovery Meditations project. Realizing the importance of starting the day with an inspirational message, the members of the Recovery Group were invited to contribute an original meditation. What we received were many beautiful and original pieces and the project will remain ongoing until we have received 365 of them. We currently have over 200. When we reach 365, we would like to have them published along with a calendar and, perhaps, an audio tape.

Recovery Meditations are distributed each morning to all members of the Recovery Group and to a subscription list of almost a thousand individual members. In addition, each meditation has its own web page and we are very proud of each of these little vignettes.

All the meditations are linked to:

We also have a Recovery Meditations calendar and a beautiful photograph or painting accompanies the meditations for that month. For example, November has an awesome photo of the Grand Canyon and prints out great. Some titles for November are: Hope, Hitting Bottom, The Promises, Honesty, Patience, Boundaries, Courage, Perfection, etc. Each meditation begins with a quotation from a famous person followed by the experience, strength and hope of the author relating to that quotation. All end with a meditation beginning with "One day at a time."


If you would like to contribute your own meditation, please send it to

If you are not a member of the Recovery Group, or have friends who aren't, and you or they wish to receive a daily meditation by email, subscriptions are available by sending a blank email to:

We hope you will bookmark each of these URLs and come to visit us often.


The RecoveryTech Loop is a list for those who have technical questions or comments and is available to all members of The Recovery Group. Members of the Recovery Group with technical expertise are asked to join this list and respond to questions sent in by other members. A FAQ service will be developed from questions and responses appearing in this forum.

'Members helping members' is the mission of Recovery Tech. Because our community support team depends on technology, we need to staff this loop with members who have technical expertise. A lot of our questions have to do with subscriptions to our support groups and the online meetings. To join and help with the questions, please send a blank email to:

If you have time to give, are an expert technically and wish to volunteer to be Recovery Tech, please contact us privately at:



Our Universal HP of our own understanding, wherever You may be: Your entity enjoys the highest rating on a prioritized selectivity scale. May Your sphere of influence take on reality parameters; may Your mindset be implemented on this planet of ours, as it is in Yours. Allot to us, at this point in time and on a per diem basis, a sufficient and balanced dietary food intake, and rationalize a disclaimer against our negative feedback, as we rationalize a disclaimer against the negative feedback of others. And de-program our negative potentialities, but desensitize the impact of the counter-productive force. For Yours is the dominant sphere of influence, the ultimate capability, and the higher qualitative analysis rating, at this point in time, and extending beyond a limited time-frame.



~ Recovery Inspirations ~

In this column we bring you shares from Recovery Meditations, Odyssey, Danny's "Letters To God", Journey to Recovery, Reflections, The Promises and many others. This month we continue highlighting "Recovery Inspirations", a collection of twenty different writings which we hope will inspire you. Most of the inspirations are unknown, so if you can identify the author of any, please let us know so the appropriate credit can be given. The inspiration we have chosen to highlight this month is called "Instructions for Life", and has been attributed to the Dalai Lama.


  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs:
    • Respect for self
    • Respect for others
    • Responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
      The Dalai Lama



      Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.


      Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.

      ~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~

      "In spite of the great increase in the size and the span of this Fellowship, at its core it remains simple and personal. Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic (COE) talks with another alcoholic (COE), sharing experience, strength, and hope (ESH)".

      AABB, P. xxii (Last paragraph of Foreward)

      Most of us have found that noone understands our problems better than another Compulsive Overeater (COE). We have searched high and low and been through the fires of defeat many times until we found the OA Program of Recovery. The great success of the program is that the other COEs have all walked in our moccasins.

      Praise be to our Higher Power, because now we can learn the lessons of lasting Recovery.


      November Meditations Calendar ~



      Dear Family of Choice:

      The OA program offers its members a new pattern of living. One of the basic elements of that new pattern is regular meetings and meeting attendance.... For the newcomer, living without Compulsive Overeating (COE) is a brand new experience. All that once was familiar is changed and the old people, places and things that served as props on the stage of their lives is gone. New stresses appear, no longer masked or deadened by the food. That's why we suggest that newcomers attend a meeting every day. No matter what comes up, no matter how crazy their day gets, we know that a daily meeting will await them. No day should go by without the relief we get from our Fellowship.

      Well, what about us "old timers"? No matter how long we have been in Recovery we must attend regular meetings to reinforce our identity as RECOVERING COEs. Each meeting helps us get that much further away from becoming active in our addiction again.

      Meetings are a huge part of our new pattern of living.

      To this end, TRG has a dream; a rather simple one. We hope to eventually have meetings every 3 hours, every day, 7 days a week, at 3AM, 6AM, 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM and midnight (EST). And that, my dear family of choice, is why we are here.... Our challenge is to make this dream a reality.

      The question is HOW do we do it?

      We need you.... We are in need of Leaders for our 'round the clock meetings.

      To all of you who have offered to lead meetings, I would like to ask you to step forward, choose a meeting time slot and commit to that time. WE NEED LEADERS if we are to make our dream come true.

      I lead several meetings every week, and I love it. I truly look forward to the contact with those people who have come to mean the world to me. I get so much more out of this service work than out of any other. Try it - I promise you will love it!!!!!!

      Please step up, and give back what this wonderful Program of Recovery so freely gives to each and everyone of us. There is no need to commit to several meetings, just one would be fine... But please be sure that your "Yes" is a *true* "Yes"... We rely on each other to carry the message.

      Love in service,

      Meetings Committee Chairperson

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SEND TO:


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

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

      To reach the Recovery Group website:

      Or, go directly to the meeting webpage at: http://therecoverygroup.org/meetings/index.html.

      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.

      You can find other helpful information, including on-line meeting protocols at:


      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 ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

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


      "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.


      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 5 Issue 11 © Copyright 2003 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.