A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


November 2006
Volume 8, 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
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/serendipity/index.html





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.

Individual subscriptions are also available, for non-members. See the "CONTACTS" section, below. Serendipity copyright permission is freely given to COEs around the world. Please feel free to share it with others.



THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY




~ FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM ~

Dear Readers,

Welcome to November's edition of Serendipity. Serendipity provides you with information about events taking place in The Recovery Group community. Each month, our TRG administrators, coordinators and trusted servants report about what's occurring in our various divisions, programs and loops. Please send in your suggestions and articles as well! The input of our readers is always welcome, and it is our mission to get a message of hope and recovery to as many people as we can.

Feel free to share our newsletter with as many people as possible, and bookmark the Serendipity site now as well!!
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/serendipity/index.html

There are many wonderful, insightful articles in this month's Serendipity and we are sure you can find something that will touch you! The Web Survey on Weight provides some very telling insight. Please read the touching shares, such as Sharon's article on Gratitude, and the anonymous submission in the Recovery Writing Series, Inspirations - The Butterfly.

We hope you enjoy reading the wealth of information provided in this month's edition of the Serendipity newsletter.

Love in Recovery,
    The Serendipity Team
     SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com





~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~
Memories


Dear Friends,

As I look over our community I become a bit nostalgic when I think of all of those who seem to come into my life, leave a footprint and then fade away. It's not just on the loops ... it's the way life is. I think back over the hundreds of people I've known in my lifetime and sometimes I have a deep yearning to know where they are ... how they are ... and how life has treated them. Sometimes, I get a letter from someone who was once very active on our loops a decade ago, gradually faded away and, suddenly, they reappear. I ask ... "Where have you been?" And they reply, "Right here ... I've just been quiet."

I marvel at the continuity of our lives. Yesterday for the first time since college, I talked for an hour with someone I knew many decades ago, and it was as though time stood still. This doesn't hold true when I go to a reunion or see someone ... because age makes undeniable changes in all of us. But this was a telephone call ... the voice was the same ... the laugh .... the little nuances that were left in my memory and emerged during our conversation. My old friend, a former football playing hunk, was now blind and the victim of a stroke. And yet to me, he was my forever young friend whose essence was exactly the same as always.

As you in our community make friends, as we all travel the road to our ultimate destiny, I want you to know that years from now you will be linked to each other. You will remember sharing your deepest thoughts as you both peeled the onion ... and you will remember anecdotes ... and certain things that happened here ... your sponsors ... your coordinators ... a particular event that made a difference in your life. You will associate this time of your life with the people who are surrounding you ... who were here for you, and made it possible for you to experience the recovery which, no matter how it may have seemed at the time, left you feeling different about life.

In my country, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving soon. One of the things that I always put on the very top of my gratitude list is the privilege I have of knowing so many of you ... and of being called your friend.

Happy November, Loopbuds.

@-}-}-}------
Love in Recovery,
Mari
Contact Address:
Mari@TheRecoveryGroup.org


~ TRG ADM ~

WTS and Newcomers Orientation are in the last quarter of 2006. TRG has also sponsored a Coordinators' Workshop and a Traditions Workshop. All have been attended well and the sharing has been memorable. We'd like to feature some of the special writing that is available on the web site
http://www.threcoverygroup.org

There is a place that you can go to read some of the best speakers who have posted on TRG:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/speakers/index.html. If you would like to be a speaker, you can contact:
TRGAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

TRG FAQ

Q. Do I have to unsubscribe if I am going on vacation and want to stop mail while I am gone?

A. No, you can send a listserv command and stop mail temporarily, then start it again when you come back.
  1. Address an email to: LISTSERV@LISTS.THERECOVERYGROUP.ORG
  2. Type the command(s)in the body of the email (at the very beginning) and send the email.
    The command format is: "set [listname] [command]"
    For example:
    "set oafriends nomail"
    or
    "set oafriends digest"

  3. When you get back, send to the same address, but the command to reset would be: "set [listname] mail"
What's more, you can put the commands for several lists in the same email.

Dodee and Nancy
TRG Administrators
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ ANNOUNCEMENTS ~



~ OAsis ~ AN ONLINE MEETING LOOP ~

On October 30, almost 100 Charter Members gathered and began something very new in the Recovery Group - an OA Meeting. The day was filled with wonderful shares and introductions and getting to know one another. Now online OA meetings are nothing new for us ... we have more than 75 of those weekly. What is unique about the OAsis meeting is that it's not in the #Recovery IRC Meeting Room or in a church room somewhere ... OAsis is a list. We've been told that it's impossible to have a real Overeaters Anonymous on a list, but watch us. When this list is ready for everybody, each of you will receive an invitation to join and we hope that will be before the end of 2006.

Many, if not most, people come to TRG to work a 12-Step Program related to compulsive eating. COE is a disease and a very serious one. If we are to recover, it is going to take action each and every day for the rest of our life.

The Internet has made it very easy to sample OA. But Overeaters Anonymous was not designed to be "sampled." Recovery can be fun and, after all, the Big Book tells us that we are not a "glum lot." But recovery is a very serious undertaking and it gives us great joy to see someone work their program online and ultimately begin to experience the miracles and receive the promises. It makes the hard work of a lot of people worthwhile.

We set up a special list for this two years ago and waited for the timing to be "right." This new loop will be as much like an Overeaters Anonymous face- to-face or online meeting as we can possibly make it. If you are someone who wants to have a "coffee after the meeting" or a "chit chat" loop, our new OA support group is not for you. Some members of our community cannot get to a face-to-face meeting and the reasons are many. For the nay-sayers who say that a "real" meeting is impossible on a loop ... you are wrong! Our new support group will have one-way sharing. There will be no crosstalk. We will use only 12-Step literature. There will be no private letters sent publicly to the loop. There may even be voice messages. If someone violates a tradition, they will receive a gentle warning, and if it happens twice, they will be escorted out (as they are in face-to-face meetings.) We will need your ideas, your prayers and your feedback to make this work ... but it WILL work.

You can read more about OAsis on this website:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/oasis.html.
We will let you know when we're ready to open this meeting loop to everyone.

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

~ 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; a place 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, HOTJ, Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Strong Recovery, Working the Steps ("WTS"), and WTS Weekly.

One of the precepts of the program is that you can't keep it if you don't give it away. One of the best ways to "give it away" is to perform some sort of service. In my own experience I have found that whether it be sponsoring, being a coordinator of a loop, or some other form of service, I always get back much more than I give. Several of the Recovery Group loops are in need of a second coordinator or coordinator-in-training to help balance the workload. I hope some of you will consider this opportunity to give service.

If you are interested in becoming a coordinator or coordinator-in-training for one of the Recovery Group Loops, please contact me at: cheryl_stanley"at"msn.com

Respectfully submitted,
CherylS, Chair
Recovery Group Loops Division Chair

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

~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~

With regret, we say goodbye to Donna, the Division Chair of the ODAT Division. Donna has been one of the most conscientious and diligent Trusted Servants that TRG has ever had and shall be missed.

We are sometimes asked what makes the ODAT Division loops different from the Recovery Division loops. Basically, the answer to that question is singular: a special focus!

Both the Recovery Division and ODAT Division are made up of 12-Step loops. Both have the same mission. Both have only one requirement to join them and that is to have the desire to quit eating compulsively. The ODAT Division has a second focus, in addition to compulsive eating. In our dozens of ODAT Loops, that second focus can range from diabetes, to kids to alcoholism to various religious faiths to drug abuse and so much more. ODAT has a loop for those who isolate, have PMS or are homebound. Support groups for COEs who are depressed, abused or have sex addiction are among our three dozen ODAT loops. A complete list can be seen on the ODAT Website at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/odat/index.html.

ODATAdm@lists.therecoverygroup.org
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/

~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

For those of us reading this issue of Serendipity who haven't discovered some of the treasures in Discovery Division, here is a little peek at a couple of these loops.

COKIDS

Do you know of a child suffering from an eating disorder or eating issue? Do you want to know how to help them, or would you like a place to talk about your own feelings and thoughts? You can find help for yourself at the Cokids loop. There we talk from the heart about what parenting or teaching or otherwise being involved with such a young person is like. We also share tips about dealing with the situation. You can read more about this loop at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/cokids/index.html

We're also looking for two coordinators for this loop.

KIDS

Our other loop for children is Kids. It's a place young people can come to talk and share their thoughts and feelings. We now have an Advisor, Linda, and we hope there will continue to be more activity on this loop. Please let your young friends who might be interested, know about this loop. It's at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/discovery/kids/index.html
In loving service,
Athena
Chair

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

~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~

This month TRG meetings held two tradition meetings on Thursday, October 26th and another one on October 30th. These meeting coincided with a workshop that was held by The Recovery Group. A special thanks goes out to Dodee, Nancy, Athena and Anylength for organizing the workshop and the meetings. We also want to thank Dodee and TRGMichael who lead the two online meetings on the Traditions.

We held our third speaker meeting on Thursday, October 26th at the nine PM meeting. Isabella was our guest speaker and told her story. She also answered questions for guests in our room. We wish to thank Isabella for sharing her recovery with us and her service to TRG. We are still in need of leaders, so if you can give one hour a week for service please write to the address below.

In Service,
Terri and Audrey (Meeting Administration)

TRG Meeting Division Co-Chairpersons

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



~ QUOTATIONS OF THE MONTH ~

Thanks

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
~ Albert Schweitzer

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." ~ Cicero

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~ John F. Kennedy

"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." ~ William James

"Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks -
I got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night." ~ Irving Berlin



~ CATHY'S STORY ~

My name is Cathy Perkins or TRGCathyAZ. I joined OA in March 2005. I have been with TRG since May 2005. I am a compulsive eater and incest survivor. I can remember using food when I was very young. Bread and brown sugar sandwiches were one of my first foods I used to cope with the endless sexual, physical, emotional and psychological abuse I suffered at the hands of my father and others. Food was always available. My mom treated any of our hurts, physical or otherwise, with food. I received a pound bag of M&Ms when I broke my arm at age six. My mom was also diabetic, and became diabetic when she was pregnant with me. I was blamed for that, and was never allowed to forget it.

The double message I received while growing up was to clean your plate. I remember sitting there for hours, because I refused to eat everything on my plate. Yet when I became overweight as a result of the medicating myself with food, I was criticized and shamed severely.

My older sister gained weight early in her life. I was thin until into my teens. Our table was a battleground, and I don't remember much about it other than it was very stressful. I left for college and continued using food to medicate and take the edge off of my feelings. I knew no other coping skills. I remember feeling overwhelmed and anxious, and was diagnosed with free-floating anxiety. I married and put on even more weight. My husband did not like this, but accepted me. My feelings of self-loathing only increased with the years. I hated to look at myself in mirrors, and was ashamed to be seen with my children. I miscarried at 5 months and was already so overweight that the nurses thought I was full term. I hated going to parent teacher night. I didn't fit into the desks. I felt ridiculed. Still I ate.

I lost and gained back so many pounds. I went into therapy when I started remembering the abuse. But it wasn't until my daughter got into her later middle school years that were so tumultuous that I once again went into therapy. I went to fix her and ended up saving myself. I learned so much about myself in therapy. I worked through flashbacks and painful memories. Then, one day, I was talking with a co-worker who needed someone to join a gym with her, and we would get a great rate each month. I said sure. I have lost over 50 pounds and she has not lost any. She never went to the gym and I stuck it out. It was not coincidental that I joined. I believe it was my Higher Power. My therapist is a recovering addict. He introduced me to the 12 Steps. I loved the idea of working them. They seemed to feel right for me. I worked through them with my sponsor. And then we began to tackle my weight issues. It took long hard hours but I worked on my trust issues, and worth issues. It was only then that I began to get it. I found online meetings of the Recovery Group one night while searching for information about overeating and the rest is history.

I have never felt more peace than I have after working my Steps and doing service by leading an online meeting and being co-coordinator of an online support group for people who have been abused during their childhood and sometimes later on. I have found my voice. I am using it to help others help themselves.

I know I cannot do this alone.There is a vast network of support out there for us. I am thankful beyond words for OA and The Recovery Group.

In loving service,
Cathy



~ 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.

Hi.
I remember seeing something about a list of recipes from members posted somewhere. Can you tell me where to find this?
Jill
Dear Jill,
We have a loop called the Abstinent Kitchen. You can find the information you need by going to the home page at:
www.therecoverygroup.org/discovery/kitchen/index.html
Serendipity

Help! I need a sponsor, please. I have been trying to go it alone off and on for over 20 years, in and out of meetings and OA groups. I really need a supportive sponsor who is seriously going to be here for me when I need help.
Deidre
Dear Deidre,
Please write to:
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org. They can help.
Serendipity

Hi, Is your group recognized by Overeaters Anonymous?
Thanks,
Jessica
Hi, Jessica.
The 56 Recovery Group online meetings are registered by OA; however, the support groups and studies are not. OA does not register any group unless it is in "real time."
Serendipity

I need a recovery "buddy."
Mike
Dear Mike,
We have a "Buddy Program" in our OA Newcomer's loop. To join, send a blank email to:
OANewcomers-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Good luck,
Serendpity



~ WEB SURVEY ON WEIGHT ~

A survey among web visitors to the Recovery Website shows some interesting statistics:

  1. Are you overweight?
    • 96% responded: Yes.
    • 4% reponded: No.
  2. How much weight do you want to lose?
    • 37% responded: 25-50 pounds
    • 35% responded: 50-100 pounds
    • 24% responded: 100-200 pounds
    • 3% responded: 200-300 pounds
    • 1% responded: 300-500+ pounds
  3. Do you have an individual plan of eating?
    • 43% responded: yes
    • 57% responded: no
  4. Do you have a sponsor?
    • 19% responded: yes
    • 81% responded: no
  5. Has weight affected your general health?
    • 78% responded: yes
    • 22% responded: no
  6. Are you a member of the recovery group?
    • 33% responded: yes
    • 67% responded: no
If you would like to vote in this survey, please go to:
www.therecoverygroup.org/trg.html



~ RECOVERY MEDITATION ~
Gratitude
(From Recovery Meditations ~ One Day at a Time)

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "Thank you," that would suffice."
     ~Meister Eckhart
I spent most of my life blaming my circumstances and those around me for the way I felt, for my eating problem and for my terrible life in general. There was nothing good in my life at all, and I viewed everything through a dark cloud of negativity. I couldn't see anything good in my life, and life became totally unbearable. Poor me, I thought. It really wasn't fair that I had been made to suffer the way I had, and I felt awash with self pity. The more sorry I felt for myself, the more I ate, and the more I ate, the worse I felt; it became a vicious circle.

When I was brought to my knees by this disease and came into the fellowship, I was forced to take stock and look honestly at my life. For the first time ever I considered the losses and difficult situations in my life that I had perceived as unfair and negative. In each case there had been amazing gains. For example, the car accident I'd been in hadn't been my fault at all. In fact, it became the catalyst that enabled me to change careers. One of the bereavements that I had, brought a wonderful and special friend into my life. And so it went.

Before, I had bemoaned my fate as a compulsive overeater. Now, I am actually grateful to be a compulsive overeater, because without my disease I never would have a wonderful program that helps me to live my life sanely and serenely, nor would I have all the very special people who love and support me through thick and thin.

One day at a time ...
I am grateful for all the wonderful miracles that have happened in my life as a result of this program ... may I never forget to thank my Higher Power for all these wonderful blessings.

~ Sharon S.



~ THE RECOVERY WORKSHOPS ~

During 2006, the Recovery Group began a series of Workshops which we hope to continue in 2007. A large number of people attended three workshops and reported favorably on how each impacted them. Our workshops were:

  • TRG SPONSORING WORKSHOP
  • TRG COORDINATORS WORKSHOP
  • THE TWELVE TRADITIONS WORKSHOP
More information about sponsoring can be had by joining the Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk Loop at:
Sponsor-sponsee-talk-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Information about Coordinating a Recovery Support Group can be found by visiting the following website:
www.therecoverygroup.org/coordinators/index.html

Information about the Twelve Traditions Workshop can be found by visiting:
www.therecoverygroup.org/traditionsworkshop/index.html

The facilitators of these workshops were extraordinary and had a good grasp of their subject and were able to convey that to the workshop participants.

Special thanks to the Workshop Leaders: Anylength, Athena, Dodee, Lisa, Nancy and Shlomo.



~ TRG WRITING SERIES ~ INSPIRATIONS ~
The Butterfly



A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. The man continued to watch the butterfly, because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand, was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle, required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

I asked for Strength ....
      And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom ....
      And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity ....
      And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage ....
      And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love ....
      And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors ....
      And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ....
      I received everything I needed!

May your path be bright and full of light everywhere you go. And, I pray your feet will never stumble out of God's plan.

May the desires of your heart come true, And may you experience peace in everything you do. May Goodness, Kindness, and Mercy come your way. And, may you gain Wisdom and grow in God every day.

~ Author Unknown



~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH ~
DIABETES



The Diabetes One Day at a Time (ODAT) loop is dedicated to providing a recovery home for compulsive overeaters who also have diabetes. We have found that the combination of diabetes and compulsive overeating is a double-edged sword. These two diseases feed into each other in some very cunning and baffling ways. Our mission is to provide a safe and peaceful place where we can help each other to recover from compulsive overeating and, through abstinence and healthy planning, manage our diabetes by sharing our experience, strength and hope with one another.

The very special people on our loop not only work on their own recovery, but also strive to carry a message of hope and recovery to others. We try to help each other with information about how to protect our health in the face of diabetes and compulsive overeating, and how to develop our conscious contact with the God of our Understanding, by working the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous and practicing its principles in all our affairs. We strive to offer a home for recovery that is warm, inviting, safe and serene.

We are here to share with you and listen to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We talk about our physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and how we might use the program of Overeaters Anonymous to meet those needs. We use the tools of recovery -- one-on-one sponsors, online recovery meetings, literature, study loops, and other tools, as well as the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions -- to achieve the promises of a healthier, happier and more spiritually-fulfilled life of relief from compulsive overeating.

The only one requirement for membership in the loop is the sincere desire to stop eating compulsively. If you have this desire and would like to become part of our recovery family, we welcome you and look forward to walking the walk of recovery with you.

Subscription information:

Visit our website located at:
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/odat/diabetics/index.html

To join Diabetes, send a blank email to:
Diabetes-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Contact: ODATAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ TV AND RECOVERY: INCOMPATIBLE? ~
(From OA's Lifetime)


I just noticed something as I was reflecting on today's "For Today" reading. I haven't watched TV in about a week, and I haven't had the urge to eat compulsively. But I have, in the past, noticed a connection between watching certain shows on TV, and then having a strong desire to eat compulsively. This morning's reading brought the connection to light again because of one line in today's passage:

"My food addiction was acquired so I could survive and cope in earlier, painful circumstances." I could relate to this line; however, when I thought about my life today, in the present, I asked myself, "What do I need to survive today?" The answer was, "life as it is without eating compulsively," and then I thought of TV.

Certain TV shows cause me to be distracted from reality or send me into a spiral of negativity. I have noticed that daytime dramas (soap operas) and nighttime dramas take me away from the present life I live - one of happiness, peace and serenity - and they throw me back into the chaos, pain and confusion of my life in the past. My life used to resemble a soap opera. When I watch these types of shows, I move far away from the reality of my life today, far away from the recovery I've made. While I'm watching the show, I forget where I am.

Talk shows also can affect me negatively. These shows take me back to an unhealthy lifestyle of gossip. This goes against what I am trying to achieve today - acceptance of others and myself, with love and understanding. These shows present the illusion that people are bad, corrupt and untrustworthy. I can't think like this and hope to recover in OA. I have also noticed that I am often comparing my body size and my looks to women on TV; this is not healthy for me. I compare myself, of course, to the women who are wearing size zero. I catch myself thinking about starving and over-exercising, and I totally forget about being happy with who I am.

I read an article recently that quoted an evolutionary psychiatrist's view that television can distort our self-perception. It said that humans naturally compete with others in our environment, and we compare our lives with "the fantasy lives we see on television." We become dissatisfied with ourselves, and even with our own families." OA's "Twelve and Twelve," on pages two and three, says, "Clearly, if we are to live free of the bondage of compulsive eating, we must abstain from all foods and eating behaviors which cause us problems."

For me, this also means that I have to refrain from certain behaviors that lead me to eat compulsively. Since I am an "all or nothing" person, my first thought normally would be, "That's it. No more TV." Thanks to OA, however, I have learned that I have choices, and I have chosen balance. I haven't given up entirely on TV. I have decided not to watch the shows that trigger the desire to eat compulsively.

I want to keep my abstinence (a little over three years), and I'm "willing to go to any lengths" to keep it.

- Reprinted from OA's "Lifeline" magazine



~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

Sponsorship is one of the vital keys to success in OA and the Recovery Group. The sponsor maintains recovery from compulsive eating by sharing the Twelve Step program with others. The newcomer, in reaching out for help from a successful Recovery member, transcends the long-held idea that self-sufficiency must be maintained at all costs ~ and acquires a state of humility so necessary for the practice of the Twelve Steps. The sponsor and the newcomer benefit equally from the relationship. The best way to learn to be a sponsor is to have a sponsor. Methods of sponsorship vary from person to person, always remembering that a sponsor's primary responsibility is to help a sponsee take the 12 Steps. If you are ready to experience this JOY, please write to the contact address, below. We will be happy to help you get started.

May we, Sponsor and Sponsee, be protected together. May we enjoy the fruits of our selfless service. May we always be connected to our own Inner Joy and Peace. May the Wisdom within our Spirits Be full of Light. May we always share our LOVE with one another. The Recovery Group's "Sponsor" website, listed below, suggests many ways that are open to members who are seeking sponsorship. Our Sponsor Program keeps an up-to-date list of available sponsors and also has an up-to-date list of sponsor biographies.

With love and great JOY in service,
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

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



~ TRG TOPIC TEAM ~
An Overview



  • What is the TRG "Topics Team?"
    The TRG Topics Team is made up of TRG members who like to write on recovery and related topics.
  • What is the purpose of the Topics Team?
    The purpose of the Topics Team is to stimulate discussion on the loops.
  • How does the Topics Team work?
    The Topics Team joins loops that are too quiet. Then one member of the team introduces a topic for the loop to consider. Another team member may respond, showing how one idea can lead to another, and so on.
  • Why do we need a Topics Team?
    Because not all TRG members feel comfortable sending email to a loop. They need to see how things work. And if a loop becomes very quiet, new members never see how easy it is to jump in and share. So the Topics Team jumps in and shares to show folks how it is done.
  • What can we do to help Topics Team?
    We can respond to topics of interest and hit "Send!" We don't even need to wait for a Topics Team topic to share. If we have questions about how or what to share, we can always ask our friendly loop coordinators.
  • What is the overall objective of the Topics Team?
    The Topics Team is here to serve TRG, all of us, individually and collectively. It helps us to feel that TRG is a safe and fun place to interact with other Compulsive Overeaters. Sometimes we need help sharing. We get into a funk or forget that we are, each one of us, a fountain of experience, strength, and hope. We don't fully realize how much our shares can mean to others. Isn't it wonderful to read a share from a complete stranger, perhaps thousands of miles away, and say, "Hey, that's just what happened to me," or, "That is just how I feel!" But none of this glorious interaction can take place unless we participate. So participate we must! And your Topics Team is here to help.
Let us know if you would like to be a member of the TRG Topic Team. Write us at:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ TRG AUTONOMY ~

At every service level, the key to Tradition Four is autonomy with responsibility and patience. In a perfect world, all our support groups, studies, workshops, online meetings and projects would be able to run autonomously without any help, technical or otherwise. If our support groups, studies, meetings, workshops, etc. were face-to-face, this would be no problem. If we were to be a single meeting rather than 150 different support groups, it might be an easier task to be autonomous. If we did not rely on technology and those skilled enough to use it, that, too, would make it easier to have each little section of TRG spin like a little satellite in space tethered to nothing. As the Recovery Group matures, we find our support groups able to cut the apron strings from us a little more each year. We are pleased to announce that on October 15th, with the exception of several very large groups and a few meetings, the support groups of TRG became autonomous.

What this means is that if a group has a problem, that group solves its own problem. If the members of a group want the loop to be a certain way, a group conscience taken by those members can determine that. If a group finds itself without a Coordinator or a Meeting Leader, no more should they come to TRGAdm or their Division Chair and say "Get us one." Instead, they must ask for nominations and choose one of their own.

TRG has had many Group Consciences over the years and is running like a top. Even though the kinks have been worked out by the early pioneers, there are still new things that need resolving and the way to do this in most of our groups now is to have a discussion and see if a G/C is in order. The protocol would be to notify TRGAdm that one is being held and ask for them to impartially facilitate one. The Group Conscience itself is run very similarly to an OA face-to-face meeting and the guidelines can be found at this URL:
http://www.oa.org/pdf/GroupConscience.pdf



~ A THANK YOU ~

We wish to thank Darci for her work on the this issue of Serendipity. Also a never-ending thank you to Marty, who for so many years has done so much for Serendipity, and who now sees that the issue is neat and permanently available to you on the Recovery Website.



~ RECOVERY TALK ROOM ~

Dear TRG Recovery Mates,

My name is Clem, and I am a compulsive overeater doing service as a contact resource for the #RecoveryTalk Room. This room has been created for all those times when you would just love to talk with someone. A place to go and get support or discuss the days events. A great place to meet and make friends or debate hot issues. A place to grow..... We welcome everyone.

So when the sharing is over in your structured OA meeting rooms, come and join us in CHAT in the #RecoveryTalk Room.

TRG has made it easy to get there. There is a link on the TRG main web page at
http://www.therecoverygroup.org. Click on "Doorway to #RecoveryTalk, and you will be transported, magically, to that room.

Or, when in your loop meeting or the main recovery room meeting type in the text line: /Join #RecoveryTalk and hit enter/return and again you will be magically transported to this room.

Meeting leaders will announce the opportunity to use this room at the end of their meetings, so watch for this announcement.

Hope to see you there... the lights are always on and the coffee brewing... 24/7

In Service,
Clem



~ 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.



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

One day at a time ~
One step at a time.



~ 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.oa.org/index.html
E-Mail Address ~ info@oa.org

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




~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

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




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

Disclaimer


The Recovery Group and our newsletter has as its mission and purpose that of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. We are an anonymous organization and follow the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; however, we are not affiliated with that group. Your articles, announcements and information are welcome. All opinions in this newsletter represent only the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of The Recovery Group or OA, Inc.

The Trusted Servants of Recovery

Volume 8 Issue 11 © Copyright 2006 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.