A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

October 2000
Volume 2, Issue 10

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
Letters to the Editor
A Call to Action: Recovery Meditations
The Recovery Group IRC Meetings
AOL Meetings - A&R Forum
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
The Serenity Prayer


Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the October issue of Serendipity! Again, we would like to thank all of you who have taken the time to contribute your experience, strength and hope to make this month's edition another beacon of hope for compulsive eaters around the world.

In this month's edition, TRG founder Mari speaks of the beauty of autumn and relates it to the 12 Steps of recovery. Anne, TRG meetings coordinator, has been fortunate to enjoy the Olympic games in her home town, and writes about how on-line meetings have kept her abstinent and on track during the excitement of the last three weeks. Our loop spotlight of the month is Isolation and Homebound, which is a which is a lifeline to those who isolate or who are homebound. And in the Tools of Recovery, Jill from Maui writes about the importance of anonymity in her program.

Recovery Group member Cate has shared with us another of her wonderful poems, this one entitled "the initiation." Diane writes about courage, and how that word describes so much of what she has done in her recovery from COE. Journee describes how each small decision we make in our daily lives can either further or hinder our recovery. And Arlene writes about her physical, emotional and spiritual recovery from this dreadful disease.

We have included the Tenth Step Prayer in the Literature section. In Letters to the Editor, JJ reacts to last month's Letters to ED, countering with her own letter thanking her ED for allowing her "to develop knowledge of pain and suffering and also awareness and great compassion for others." A Call To Action lets us know that the Recovery Meditations committee is still seeking your meditations for The Recovery Group's book of daily meditations. This month's edition ends with a list of on-line meetings, OA and TRG contacts, and the Serenity Prayer.

We hope you enjoy this month's edition of Serendipity, and that it helps in some small way in your journey to recovery. If you like what you read, please remember that we always need more submissions of your ESH for the newsletter - take a few minutes to make a difference in the lives of other recovering COEs!

Love in recovery,




Dearest Friends,

Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year. The heat of the summer is gone ... the cold winter seems far away ... and our Earth seems to be taking a rest from all its activity.

Seasons remind me of the soul of a compulsive eater when we are working the Twelve Steps. We have gone through so many stages ... so many changes ... as we progressed from one place to another through the steps.

The first three Steps bring relief ... much like Autumn does from summer's heat. In surrendering our life and our disease to our Higher Power, an enormous weight has been lifted from us. We know that there's going to be hard work ahead ... just as we know that the next season is going to bring some frigid days. But the cleansing we feel from just the act of turning our life over to a Greater Power gives us a renewed spirit and the energy to accomplish the Steps that lie ahead.

Working on the 4th through the 9th steps and memories of a warm crackling fire can put everything into prospective. Autumn is the interim ~ that place in time where we have paused between important periods of our life ... and where we are rejuvenating our psyches to get ready for action and work our recovery program so that as the next season becomes a memory, we are basking in that good feeling that always comes with a spiritual wakening.

Happy October, Loopies.

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


Dear Friends,

Over the past two weeks I have been lucky enough to share in the Olympic spirit in Sydney. It has been a really exciting few weeks and one of many emotions flowing as we watch athletes from around the world battle it out for the ultimate medals. Every athlete is cheered and supported for giving it their all, no matter if they are on the dais receiving gold, picking themselves up from a fall and running in last or participating for the sake of it, like Eric from Equatorial Guinea, who to me demonstrates the spirit of the Olympics.

During such an exciting period in Sydney, it is the program which has helped me stay abstinent and sane and truly enjoy the celebrations which surround me. The meetings and the #Recovery room have truly helped me this month in living life on life's terms. It is in #Recovery that I have had somewhere to share my struggles, my joys, my excitement, to talk through my fears, commit to my program and have some help to make it through the day. I gain the courage to keep working on the steps, to do what it takes and I gain a true appreciation for the tools and how vital they are in my recovery.

Meetings is one of the tools and with over 60 scheduled meetings and informal talk sessions, there is a meeting available each day for people all around the world to touch base with the program and each other, to laugh and cry and share your day.

If you haven't tried our meetings, why not come and join us. Take a look at our website ~
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/directions.html and follow the instructions to #Recovery.

Look forward to seeing you in the meetings!

Meetings Coordinator
The Recovery Group



Dear Recovery Group Members,

The Recovery Group has a loop which is a lifeline to a special group of people .... those who isolate or who are homebound. The mission of this loop is to provide support from others who understand what it's like to wake up each morning and to go to bed isolated from the world. Another mission is to determine why this is happening and find ways to embrace the wonderful world we live in.

Here is a copy of the Mission Statement of the Isolation and Homebound loop. If you feel you need us, we welcome you with open arms. To subscribe send a blank e-mail to:


Post message: ISOLATIONandHOMEBOUND@egroups.com
Subscribe: ISOLATIONandHOMEBOUND-subscribe@egroups.com
Unsubscribe: ISOLATIONandHOMEBOUND-unsubscribe@egroups.com
List owner: ISOLATIONandHOMEBOUND-owner@egroups.com
URL to this page: http://www.egroups.com/group/ISOLATIONandHOMEBOUND

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

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

Love in recovery
The Trusted Servants of Isolation and Homebound
The Recovery Group

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

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

Welcome to the Isolation and Homebound Loop. We are a twelve step loop for compulsive eaters who have found ourselves isolating from the world. In some of our cases this isolation progressed until we are now homebound or have been in the past.

We have learned that some of the causes of this disorder are weight related; however, not all. It is the mission purpose of this loop to find out all we can about ourselves by exploring this topic in safety and privacy with others who share this unkind disability. We didn't ask to be like this. We don't want to be like this. We intend not to be like this for the rest of our lives.

We look forward to receiving your introductory letter and welcome you with open arms. Please don't be shy. Each one of us is here because we isolate. Each one of us wants to rejoin the world that we live in and become centered and at one with it. Each one of us, by listening to and sharing with one another, can resolve these issues that have plagued us for so very long.


Dear Fellows,

For me, anonymity is the cornerstone of recovery and the gift we give to each other with respect. When I share my heartfelt feelings with another recovering compulsive eater in a meeting or one-to-one I am safe guarded by our cherished tool of anonymity. Only I chose to disclose what, how and why to another member of the fellowship and I rest assured that my "disclosure" will NOT be repeated, that I will not be gossiped about. As someone who has been the victim of gossip throughout my life I cherish the responsibility and the treasure that anonymity brings.

Many years ago in recovery someone told me some gossip and it happened to be about ME! This helped me to lose my peace with food and as a result I gained 130 pounds in relapse. Today I insist on anonymity. Both in meetings and when I talk with members, I frequently ASK that my words be kept in confidence and remind others of the tool of anonymity. I did so yesterday at the meeting, and I even asked that what I shared about NOT be a topic of the after the meeting conversation that usually takes place. This assurance gives me a feeling of safety and security in our meeting places, that I will NOT be talked about. I expect others to use the tool of anonymity and I live by it.

Just like I can ask for freedom from gossip in the fellowship, only I can disclose my own membership in OA. It is not a break of anonymity to use our last names within the fellowship, but it is MY choice, my right, my honour, to disclose my membership in OA.

I am grateful for the tool of anonymity.

Jill from Maui


the initiation

it came as a surprise...


i labored myself weary
excavating excruciation
again and again
i walked through the fire
vomiting dark secrets...
...each spade piercing my heart
my soul
i felt the scorching of my flesh...
...digging deeper and deeper
the sizzle of my lash...
...unearthing the dark pain,
black shame.
as i trudged through the fire.

you were a surprise...

i made it
to the other side
i collapsed
your guide reached out her heart
i lifted my eyes
she pointed to you
the tremble began
in the deepest point of the wound
she stayed gently by my side
her essence supporting mine
the shiver became my being
her prayer guiding me
the prayer prayed me

I think I love surprises..



I took some time to chew on this before deciding to write. I wasn't sure what courage was. It seems like a big word that means big things---like being a hero or something. I didn't think I had courage. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that recovery is all about courage and if anything has been a key word in my recovery in the last few weeks it would have to be courage. Courage is keeping on-keeping on no matter how many times I fail. If I fall off this horse of recovery a hundred times, it is courage that allows me to pick myself up and put myself back on the horse. It is courage that motivates me to keep walking this path despite all the obstacles and fears. It is what makes me want to punch through and not give up. It's what brings me back over and over regardless of how much time it takes or what difficulties I must encounter. It's overcoming when the whole world tells me it is hopeless. It's sharing when I want to run and hide. It's reaching out to another walking this path with me when I want to just complain and whine about my problems. It's not eating when confronted with a problem or flood of emotions. It's turning over to God the things that are rightfully His to deal with, not mine. It's using the tools, working the steps, respecting one another, praying, just doing something positive instead of occupying the same stinkin' hole that I made for myself years ago and seem to keep wanting to run back to.

COURAGE, a gift from God certainly. A love for God and His creation, me. Knowing that there is more to this life than what I have so far experienced and wanting it because it is what God intended for me when He made me. It gives me hope to look at this and see how much courage I have shown all these years to survive and to strive, as slow as it may have been, to reach the higher calling of recovery. I will continue to press on to that goal.

Diane aka Dottie


In March of this year, I went to my doctor's office for a physical. I had been abstinent 8 days or so. My appointment was at 11:00am.

In years past (or even months past), I would have not eaten my breakfast (which is part of my food plan, that I committed to the day before), in order to manipulate the numbers on the scale. I would weigh less with no food in me. I had been abstinent for 8 days or so and I wanted to see RESULTS!

Well, after thinking about the insanity of this, I made the choice TO EAT breakfast. I chose to be committed to my food plan over manipulating the numbers on the scale. I chose RECOVERY.

To some, this might not mean much. To some, you will understand the victory of that moment. I now see that what I need for myself is recovery from compulsive overeating, and all the different ways it disguises itself. Losing weight is nice, but it is secondary. Food used to rule my life. Just for today, it does not.

Gratefully in recovery,


I'm Arlene, Compulsive Overeater. I am so thankful for this program. I came in 8-1/2 years ago without hope. I have gained hope and spiritual, physical & emotional recovery. I am abstinent the majority of the time by the grace of God, one day at a time. I have been without sugar over 8 years. Thank you, God.

Physical recovery - I was 70-1/2 lbs. heavier. It is a joy to be able to wear the correct size clothes for my frame. It is nice to see a picture of myself and not feel shame. At one point I decided to accept myself as I was. After all, I'm a grandmother and my family loves me. It worked for awhile. The problem is, I didn't understand that the problem was more than weight. I didn't love myself and was unable to at that point.

Emotional recovery - Today I can start writing when I feel negative feelings that I want to eat over. Before, I wasn't even aware of the feelings and I ate to cover them up all the time without even knowing what I was doing. Writing is my favorite tool, but I can also use the telephone and reach out to another person. I can get out of myself. I sponsor and do other service to stay in recovery and feel accepting of myself.

Spiritual - Mostly, I have had a belief in God since I was a teenager. I grew up in a Christian home and I was loved. My parents didn't expect me to be perfect but somewhere along the line, I started believing that I had to be the perfect Christian. I couldn't live up to that and I wasn't able to have a personal relationship with God on a daily basis, though I did feel the presence of God at times. The program taught me to connect on a daily basis through the steps. I've learned to forgive myself when I don't do it perfectly, and to believe that I am truly forgiven. It helps to share my imperfectness with another human being and to be accepted by them.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share.


Tenth Step Prayer

I pray I may continue:
To grow in understanding & effectiveness;
To take daily spot check inventories of myself;
To correct mistakes when I make them;
To take responsibility for my actions;
To be ever aware of my negative and self-defeating attitudes & behaviors;
To keep my willfulness in check;
To always remember I need Your help;
To keep love & tolerance of others as my code; &
To continue in daily prayer how I can best serve You,
My Higher Power


Hi Everyone,

I'd like to comment on the "Letters to My Eating Disorder" in the recent edition of "Serendipity".

These letters were filled with the "ME against IT" mentality. In my experience, hating my eating disorder was one of the things that kept me stuck in the disease. The hatred was a big block that kept me from using the tools that place me where my HP can transform and heal me.

Instead, I have come to believe that I must accept and be thankful for my circumstances, whatever they are, including the fact that I have an eating disorder. Everything is open to interpretation. When I see the blessings of my eating disorder, then I am able to seek and be a partner with HP in my change for the better.

Here is my letter to my eating disorder:

Dear eating disorder,

Thank you for the unique challenges that you have brought to my life, and for the many lessons that you have taught and are teaching me. You bring to my attention the parts of my soul that need healing in my life. You give me the opportunity to experience personal powerlessness, but also the great loving and healing power of God. You allow me to experience healthy dependence upon God and healthy interdependence with other people. You have allowed me to develop knowledge of pain and suffering and also awareness and great compassion for others.

Because of you I have met many wonderful people whom I love and who bless me and make my life rich. I would not trade this experience for the world.

You have taught me that in the great scheme of things, the size of bodies, clothes, and most other things doesn't matter. Only the size of the heart counts for something.

You have taught me the destructiveness of judging others and myself and encourage me to practice non-judgment in all that I do.

You continually teach me the truth about reality, about cause and effect, that each of my actions has a consequence. If I pick up one end of the stick, the other end is automatically picked up also.

I have seen the evil things you do and I challenge these activities that produce pain and disease. I have set my sights on health and am learning with your help to choose light over darkness, good over evil, and to have compassion for myself. You may be with me always, but as I bring and allow more and more goodness and light into my life, you will diminish and lose your power.

Thank you for being my companion, my enemy, my "thorn in the flesh", my teacher. I embrace you in order that I stay mindful of your many lessons and firmly on the path of recovery as I define my life and fine tune my goals over yours.


"Hatred of evil does not diminish evil, it increases it."

"If you strike without compassion against the darkness, you yourself enter the darkness."

"A compassionate heart can engage evil directly - it can bring Light where there was no Light."

- Gary Zukov, "The Seat of the Soul"


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 For Today
11:30 AM IRC Spanish OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
3:00 PM IRC Swedish Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Italian & Recovery
3:30 PM IRC Christian Step
7:00 PM IRC Newcomers
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:00 PMIRC Christian Recovery
9:30 PMIRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
1:00 AM IRC Nightowls
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PM IRC Joy In Recovery
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
7:00 AMIRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AMIRC For Today
1:00 PM IRC Pagan Recovery
2:30 PM IRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
9:30 PM IRC Spanish OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Recovery
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
8:00 PM IRC Ask It Basket
9:30 PM IRC Big Book
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
1:00 AM IRC Nightowls
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
2:30 PMIRC Step Study
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
10:00 PM IRC Christian Talk
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
7:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
10:30 AM IRC For Today
11:30 PM IRC Spanish OA Topic
2:30 PM IRC OA Topic
4:00 PM IRC Christian Talk
7:00 PM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal
7:00 PM IRC Abuse & Recovery
9:30 PM IRC OA Topic
11:00 PM IRC OA Topic
12:00 AM IRC Recovery Talk ~ Informal


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


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@technet.nm.org

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


Newsletter Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com ~ Suzanne
Newsletter Subscriptions ~ SerendipityNewsletter@mail.com ~ Suzanne
Letters to the Editor ~ SerendipityNewsletter@mail.com ~ Suzanne
Meetings ~ RecoveryMeetings@yahoo.com ~ Anne
Sponsor/Telephone Angel Directory ~ sophie@coiinc.com ~ Cate
Special Interest Loop Coordinators ~ hopeful@teleport.com ~ Sande
ICQ Angels Directory ~ bingebuster@hotmail.com ~ Natalie
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com ~ Cindy
Recovery Group Administrator ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ Mari
Recovery Group Founder & List Owner ~ Marisok@aol.com ~ 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.