A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


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

November 2005
Volume 7, Issue 11


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





SERENDIPITY, the Recovery Group Newsletter, is available only to members of The Recovery Group and is sent on the first of each month, year-round.

Both SERENITY and SERENDIPITY are sent monthly to all members of The Recovery Group.



THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY




FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM

Dear Readers,

Welcome to November's edition of Serendipity. Our job here at Serendipity is to provide you with information about events taking place in The Recovery Group community. Each month, our TRG administrators, coordinators and other trusted servants report about what's occurring in our various divisions, programs and loops. We encourage you to send your suggestions and articles. The input of our readers is always welcomed. It is our mission to get our message of hope and recovery out to as many people as possible. Feel free to use our newsletter as a personal resource and to share it with others. Mail it to a loved one, or invite someone to look at Serendipity on the web site.

This month, along with our regular articles, Marilyn will introduce you to RainbowGrl - one of our many newcomers in our newest column called Newcomer's Corner. Alina will discuss the truth of old Sufi aphorism, and Helen contributes an article entitled "A Community Of Voices."

I hope you enjoy reading this month's edition of the Serendipity newsletter. Have a wonderful November!

Love in recovery,

The Serendipity Team
Contact:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com





RECOVERY MEDITATION
Gratitude


"Gratitude is a fruit of a great civilization - you do not find it among gross people!"
    . . . Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson's quote from the TOUR OF THE HEBRIDES could easily been writing about the Recovery Program. The attitude of gratitude is an absolutely crucial tool to a successful recovery. Gratitude is the measure of our appreciation for what we've been given. We in Program have SO much for which we should be thankful. We stand on the shoulders of giants - we are indebted to those members who've proceeded us in Program and handed down the tools, wisdom and resources - the bedrock upon which our recovery is based. We are indebted to our HP, our sponsors, to those who do service in innumerable ways at the Recovery Group and -to each other - for mutual love and support - and for our precious gift of recovery. Be grateful for each day - each moment.

ONE DAY AT A TIME ...
I will continue to practice the attitude of gratitude.

     ~Rob R.~





QUOTATION OF THE MONTH


"Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people."

~ Jawaharlal Nehru ~



FOUNDER'S CORNER
Sharing


Dear Friends on the Journey ~

"I love sharing my story. It's endlessly healing."
     . . . Ben Vereen

We are so blessed to have OA face-to-face and online meetings and support groups. The word, "share" is such a good one to describe what we do at these meetings and in our support groups. It's a much better word than "discussion."

When we discuss, we take a topic and thrash it about and each person contributes their ideas and suggestions and then another person does the same thing and at the end of the discussion many times we collectively find closure, solutions, answers and resolutions.

In OA we SHARE rather than discuss. We have to own something to share it. It has to be our feelings, our hopes, our dreams, our disappointments, our shame, our frustrations, our happiness, our sadness. It is in the sharing that we reap the dividends and not the responses ... not the advice. And it is in the listening to others share their own experiences, their strength and their hope that we find the bits and pieces that relate to our lives.

In the Recovery Group loops and meetings, we have beautiful and healing shares. Part of the reason for this is that most of us who have been in OA or other 12 Step Groups for a long time have learned to share in a way that will do us and others the most good. We share alone ... it is not a discussion. We first tell our friends in the fellowship "how it was." It could be yesterday, in childhood or when we were at the bottom of our illness. We then share "what happened" when we applied program. Finally, we share "how it is now." While we may have begun with a negative, we end with a positive.

How it was ...
What happened ...
How it is now.

And these three things equal hope. And that hope is "endlessly healing" and spreads to everyone listening ... because it is shared.

@-}-}-}------
Love in recovery,
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.

Dear Serendipity,

I am new today. I have problems becoming an online member because the site is not up all the way, I think. I am desperate for help. I need someone to help me help myself. I cannot go on this way. I will do anything to make myself lose weight.

Lily

I am a brand new sponsor. I would like to join the sponsor email loop. How do I do this?

Cathy



~ "Pain Is Inevitable. Suffering Is Optional." ~



(... a Zen Aphorism)

I have often heard this quote in the past, and didn't really know what it meant. It seemed to me that pain and suffering went hand in hand. In my idealized way of thinking, happiness meant not having the pain or the suffering. Happy people didn't feel pain, did they? I am starting to understand that it is normal to feel a wide range of feelings, including pain. What is not normal is to stay in the suffering, as I have done so many times throughout my life.

I have been feeling pain recently...I am leaving Israel, the place where I have created and built a life in the past eight months. I am sad to leave the wonderful friends I've made, I'm sad to leave my grandfather, and I am sad to leave this country. Yet, it is time to go. My heart hurts at the thought of leaving, but you know what? It is refreshing to feel this pain and to know that I can feel this pain without letting it take over my life. Just because I am feeling pain does not mean that I must suffer. Suffering comes in many forms. I used to suffer when I'd pick up food instead of feel the feelings. Even after being abstinent for a while, I would suffer by going into my bed when I didn't want to feel, or running away in other ways. Today, I am feeling the pain and still showing up for life, doing what I need to do to take care of myself and my responsibilities. The suffering is truly optional. I don't beat myself up for what I am feeling. I feel it and then I do the next right thing. I am starting to understand that pain and suffering do not necessarily go hand in hand.

With love in recovery,

Alina



~ TRG ADM ~ The Administrative Hub ~



FROM THE ADMINISTRATION TEAM (TRGADM)

Did you first become aware of TRG when you were looking for an online OA meeting? Or perhaps a friend forwarded one of the TRG meditations and you subscribed yourself?

I'd like to introduce you to the web pages of TRG. You can start by going to this address:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/.

On that page, there are options to join the Newcomer Meetings, watch a video put together by one of our trusted servants, explore the three divisions of TRG, and much more. If you click on any of the buttons, there are still more pages to explore:

  • If you click on Twelve Step Programs and Writings, then scroll down to WTS -- Working the Steps, you can read and work the past step studies from 1996.

  • Here's a list of the special writings to be found under "Twelve Step Programs and Writings"

    • Odyssey
    • 30 Questions
    • The Promises
    • Inspirations
    • The Serenity Prayer
    • Recovery Meditations
    • Reflections of Recovery
    • Danny's Letters to God
    • Ten Ways To Love Ourselves
    • 90 Meetings in 90 Days
    • Reflections of the Twelve Steps
    • Serendipity ~ The Recovery Newsletter
    • View From My Journey


Just today there have been 104 visitors to the first page, and 73 of them are first-timers.
Were any of them you?

Dodee, Nancy and Audrey,
Adminstrators of The Recovery Group

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


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~

The ODAT groups are special focus groups. All of their members are compulsive overeaters and each member also shares a secondary common focus as represented by their chosen loop. The purpose of the ODAT groups are for the members to discuss their struggles with compulsive overeating; and also to discuss how their special focus affects them as well as their recovery journey.

We have groups that feature people of specific age groups (teens and Silver); some that feature those with the same faith (Pagan, Latter Day Saints, Jewish and Christian); and we also have groups for those who also have other addictions (Drug Abuse, SexandLoveAddiction; AA, Spending)

We invite you to check out our ODAT page and see for yourself the varied selection of groups. We welcome your experience, strength and hope.

Thanks for letting us give service,
Donna
ODAT Division Chairperson

Email:
ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org
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 no double space 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. As you know, the WTS loop started a new in-depth study of the 12 Steps on October 1. This is a wonderful way to become more familiar with the 12 Steps of OA.

If you are interested in doing service with the Recovery Group you can sign up by sending a blank email to:
TrustedServantPool-subscriberequest@lists.therecoverygroup.org.

Respectfully submitted,

CherylS, Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division
www.therecoverygroup.org Recovery Group Loops Division Chair

More details about these support groups can be found at:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com

~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

News from Discovery Division

Do you know a child with an eating disorder or eating issue? Would they like a safe place to talk? They can find that on our Kids and Discovery web site. Kids and Discovery is a place for kids to talk about life, family, problems, joy, and hope as well as eating disorders.

To visit the site, go to
http://www.the recoverygroup.org/discovery/kids/index. html.

Joining is easy. All they do is send a blank email to:
KidsAndDiscovery-subscribe-request@ lists.therecoverygroup.org

Also at this website are many useful links to explore. So, if you have a young relative, friend, or neighbor you think might be interested, please give them information on checking in Kids and Discovery.

In loving service,
Athena
Discovery Loops Division Chair

Contact:
Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
Email: DiscoveryAdm@yahoo.com
or DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~
On-Line Meeting Division

Meetings Around the World ~ Around the Clock

What a month!! Amongst other things, Katrina and Rita played havoc with power and technology but fortunately had no effect on our meetings!!

Although great sadness and hardship were felt by many in our fellowship, there were also wonderful examples of human kindness with Lee Anne helping with Audrey's family and other leaders so generously helping in meetings where needed. We hope all COE's in the worst affected areas have been able to reform their fellowships to continue their journey in recovery.

This month there has also been some restructuring within MtgAdm with Audrey joining TrgAdm and Barry taking a much needed rest. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to fill the gaps and we wish Audrey and Barry all the best in their new ventures!!

Welcome to all the new leaders who joined us during October!! Your service is greatly appreciated and your contribution to our group is most welcome.

In loving service,
Terri and Christine
On-Line Meeting Co-Coordinators

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



~ TRG PROGRAMS & SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~



Programs & Special Services Division is an expanding wing of The Recovery Group and contains a diverse number of TRG programs and projects. These include TRG Sponsor Program, TRG Telephone Angels, Serendipity, Serenity, TRG Topics Team, Recovery Meditations, Recovery Meditations Book Project, Recovery Message Board, Recovery Photo Album, Recovery 12 Step Anniversaries, Recovery Talk Room on Main Website, Recovery Guestbooks and Counters, Recovery Bravenet Features, Outreach Programs with other Online Groups, and the Writer's Series.

We are currently looking for creative energetic people to administor a number of our programs. We also are currently looking for new submissions for Recovery Meditations for our upcoming year and for writers to help with the TRG Topic Team. If you interested in giving service in these areas - or are interested in ANY of our programs, please email me.

Love in Recovery,
Rob R

TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group
(
tarryrob@yahoo.ca)



~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

We are approaching the season in the USA where we are reminded of the gift of gratitude, and our program of recovery reminds us to live in gratitude each and every day. The AABB reminds us of the gift of fellowship which we can count among our blessings!!

"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives." AABB P. 89

We have so many opportunities to share with others in recovery, for example: meetings, loop sharing, newsletters, and sponsoring.

A sponsor is a person in recovery who is willing to share their own recovery with another member on a personal basis. If you have not yet had this wonderful experience, why not begin today?

For information on becoming a TRG sponsor, please write to:
Sponsors@therecoverygroup.org.

       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html
Contact: Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~

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

Dear Friend in Recovery, Here is a formula that used to be my life:

Isolation + limited meetings [infrequent access to] = limited recovery
Now take this equation and rework it by adding yourself, your time, your experience, and the use of your phone number to our TRG Members (only) via our RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS DIRECTORY listings! What do YOU equal in the sum total of things? A HEALTHIER RECOVERY!

Give some serious thought to becoming a Telephone Angel today. You help someone else as well as yourself. It feels great to give service!

If you are interested in becoming a Telephone Angel, please send the following information:

  • 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?
  • Should folks leave a message or not?
  • And, any other info you want callers to know
MAIL THIS INFO TO --->
Telephoneangels@yahoo.com
Thanks in advance for considering giving service.

In service,
January K., Coordinator
The Recovery Telephone Angels Directory
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
Telephoneangels@yahoo.com.



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP TRUSTED SERVANTS ~


Dear Family:

Being a Trusted Servant on the World Wide Web isn't always easy. After all we are human and need real human contact to know if we are reaching anyone and actually making a difference.

Service work isn't supposed to be easy... that it is - is a bonus. Service is generously giving away what was so freely given to us.

TRG will always need service people, whether as loop coordinators, meeting leaders, sponsors, editors, greeters, division chairs, or any other number of people we need to make this work.

One of the things I can promise is that being in servicegives us a wonderful sense of worth. I know that I began to develop my self esteem when I started being of service. There is something just short of a miracle that occurs when we begin to have a positive impact on another person's life through our service work.

If you are interested in being of service please do not hesitate to contact me at
TRGTrustedservants@yahoo.com, or by sending a blank email to:
TrustedServantPool-subscriberequest@lists.therecoverygroup.org.

Yours in loving service,
Danielle
TRG Trusted Servants Coordinator
TRGTrustedservants@yahoo.com



~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER ~

Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday 8 pm EST & Thursday 10 pm EST

~ MEET RAINBOWGRL ~

There's a new face in the recovery room. Her name is RainbowGrl. Though RainbowGrl has only been attending meetings for the last few weeks, she has already stepped up to the plate and ran her first meeting in the recovery room. Kudos to you, RainbowGrl!

RainbowGrl first heard about OA through a life-long family friend, and came into the program...
"... hoping to build on my self-esteem and find support for my arduous climb through the 12 steps."
"...It would be great if I could find a sponsor that matches well with my experience and issues."
"I am a chronic binger, and the binges got worse when I (former bulimic) stopped purging."


Like many people who come to OA, RainbowGrl is a victim of abuse.

How did you feel about your first meeting?

"A bit nervous, but once it was over I felt a wonderful sense of relief. I was relieved to discover how much I had in common with the TRG OA community. It was great to feel like I had somewhere I could be 100% honest. Not too amazing, since I have experience in other recovery groups, but it is wonderful."

RainbowGrl, is there anything that you would like to say about the program?

"If I could have spent all my time in therapy in the 12 step program instead... I would definitely go back and do it over that way. It has been MUCH more helpful and therapeutic than any paid therapy I ever received. I could never find the empathy I needed. I don't have that problem here.

Aside from the 12 steps, RainbowGrl has a lot of interests.

"I love gardening, flower arranging, walking my dog on the beach, and sometimes I write poetry. I also study foreign cultures, and am especially fond of Japanese art and Shinto." Sometimes I "get to make a trip into a large city to 'go museuming' with my hubby, who also loves this activity."

Thank you so much, RainbowGrl, for sharing your experience with us, and offering to lead when needed. You are an inspiration.

Love in recovery,
Marilyn (TRGMarils)
Newcomer's Meeting Leader

Email:
mtgadm@lists.therecoverygroup.org



~ GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS ~

The Recovery Group Administration is very pleased to announce that Audrey has joined us as an administrator, in training.

Dates of importance:

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



~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~




~~ FROM THE BIG BOOK ~~

"Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers/overeaters, will seize upon it, to follow its suggestions. Many, we are sure, will rise to their feet and march on. They will approach still other sick ones and fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous/Overeaters Anon may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens for those who must find a way out."
c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 153

MY SHARE...

When this wonderful book was first printed, many were praying for its teachings to go onward and upward and gradually helping all those who were still suffering.

I was led to this group, OA, about 3 1/2 years ago now. I am a completely different person and can truthfully say that it has changed my whole life. As thousands of thoughtful members have done, I have tried to follow thru with giving service, the 12th Step, to The Big Book Loop and help all newcomers who enter our doors.

It is my pleasure and duty to pass on what I have learned here and help all those who are still in need.

Many blessings on your Path To Recovery and Happiness

Much Love in Recovery,
    Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Co-coordinator)



~ A COMMUNITY OF VOICES ~


A good many years ago I heard the first three steps of AA described as, "I can't, God can, I'll let Him!" In the years that followed, both in and out of Program, I've been repeatedly amazed at how many ways there are for those second and third steps to play out... but one thing never changes - it's always about communication between an Higher Power and the surrendered, recovering individual.

Because of our differing belief systems, HP speaks to us in different ways. However, regardless of the primary way, I've noticed over the years that HP also uses a variety of other means to get under our defenses and get the message across... while we are not looking, so to speak. Sunsets and sunrises speak to our souls of the everlasting light of recovery that is available to us, of one day at a time, of keeping things simple, of seeing the light in each other and each circumstance.

Animals, who give love so freely, remind us that we are loved by HP in a way that is even more exuberant and unconditional. Nature reminds us that we are strong and resilient regardless of what "reality" looks like as it rises repeatedly from seasonal flux and environmental battering. Out of the mouths of our children and friends, and enemies, proceed pearls that can be woven into a garment of wisdom and recovery.

I have looked at the AA/OA community as a very efficient vehicle to disseminate all this wonderful communication, sort of like an HP magnifier!! My road of 16 years of relapse began with a separation from the OA fellowship and my return began with an invitation to join another 12 step group. Could it be that like the coal that dies on the hearth, we need the fire of each other to remain in the heat of our recovery?

Joy and light,
Helen



~ 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 November ~
(
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/november.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
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTechTheRecoveryGroup.org




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

Best Wishes to all From the Serendipity Team, the Recovery Administration,
the Meeting Leaders and the Trusted Servants of Our Community.
The Serendipity Team

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 Recovery Group Members receive Serendipity monthly.
Individual subscriptions to Serendipity may be requested by sending a blank email to:
SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Yours in service,
The Serendipity Team
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/Serendipity/index.html
CONTACT: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

Volume 7 Issue 11 © Copyright 2005 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.