A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


October 2003
Volume 5, Issue 10



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


PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TO:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Letter to the Editor'


PLEASE SEND Serendipity ARTICLES TO:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
with a Subject of 'Serendipity Article'


TO VIEW Serendipity ONLINE, PLEASE VISIT:
The Serendipity Archives


THIS MONTH'S FEATURED ARTICLES

From Our Editor
Founder's Corner
From the TRG Administration
From Our ODAT Committee
From Our TRG Sponsor Program
Letters to the Editor
Announcements
Kids' Corner
The Twelve Steps of OA, as Adapted for Kids
Teens' Corner
October Loop Spotlights:
Pain ODAT
PMS ODAT
Pregnancy and Motherhood
Rainbow to Abstinence
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





~ FROM OUR EDITOR ~

Dear Serendipity Readers,

Welcome! Fall is officially here, and with it comes this October issue of Serendipity! Leaves are beginning to fall, the air is getting cooler, and colors are beginning to change. It's my favorite time of the year!

I hope you enjoy this issue of Serendipity. It covers everything from service to inspiration: TRG and ODAT loop positions which are open and waiting for some loving members to take them over, spotlights on just some of the loops available to join, and articles from fellow members which have served to inspire. Take note of the Announcement about the WTS study "12 Steps in 12 Weeks", which starts on October 1st! As always, we have messages from our administrative trusted servants, giving the status of their respective domains, and a wonderfully caring message from Mari, our Founder.

At this time, I would like to invite you to, please, settle back and enjoy not only the month of October, but also this October 2003 issue of Serendipity Newsletter. Feel free to respond or send me your comments; I would love to hear about how TRG and or Serendipity have made a difference in your life. I welcome all Letters to the Editor, so bring 'em on!

I send love, in recovery, to you all!
     Marty
     Editor, SERENDIPITY
     Newsletter of The Recovery Group





~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ UNFULFILLED NEEDS ~


Dear Serendipity Readers ~

As we move into the autumn of our year I am reminded of the changes in the seasons ... and also the changes in ourselves. We begin life so perfectly, and as the years go by we experience one change after another. Some of the changes are wonderful .... others not so wonderful.

A few minutes ago I received a letter that broke my heart. It was from a compulsive eater, and not unlike letters I have written myself and have received from others at various times. The letter was from a young mother in her early 30s and I wondered, as I read it, if the tears I shed were for her ... for me .... or for all of us. The letter ended with this poignant question:

" I look at my pictures from the wedding and I could cry. How did I let this happen to myself?"
I responded as I always do ... and what I had to say to this young woman was less about food and more about needs. It's an age old debate as to whether or not our sometimes enormous weight gains are the result of our needs not being met ... or if our needs have been compromised by our weight gain.

How do we let this happen to ourselves? I'm spending a lifetime trying to find the answer.

@-}-}-}------
Love in recovery,
Mari




~ FROM OUR TRG ADMINISTRATORS ~

TRGADM had the privilege of launching two new loops this month. The first one is "Creative in Recovery" aimed at those of us with our creative juices flowing, or not flowing, as the case may be. If that sounds like it might be you, please give it a try. Danielle is the coordinator. To subscribe, just send a blank email to :
CreativeInRecovery-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Our second new loop is DepressionODAT. The name of the loop is self- explanatory. Depression can have a devastating effect on compulsive eaters, and talking about it to others who understand can help a great deal. Sharon is the coordinator. To join this loop, send a blank email to:
DepressionODAT-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

An ongoing project every month is filling every open Trusted Servant position. We have made some good progress this month with several volunteers for webservant, 12th step within, and coordinator positions. Thank you to all who are serving. If you would like to serve, please write:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
or the coordinator of the loop in which you are interested.

With love,
Mari and Sande
TRGADM administrators





~ FROM OUR ODAT ADMINISTRATION ~

The ODAT/Discovery Loops

Hi, everyone!

It seems unbelieveable that it is another month since I accepted the job as Chair of the ODAT Committee. Mari and Sande have been such a help and support as I begin to learn more about what is need to help our groups grow and thrive as a team.

We see this as a 'together job' - not just administrative, but we (YOU and us) are one whole at the end of the day. We still need more Coordinators for some of our loops, and if anyone reading this feels he/she would like to volunteer please contact me (or Mari and Sande) and we can explain to you what that entails. Of course there are other jobs equally important, especially that of putting our URLS onto search engines on a regular basis. This is a five-minute job and is very easy to do. As always, your help with this would be much appreciated.

But while search engines are the way we reach the 'compulsive eater still suffering,' we (YOU and the Admin team) mustn't forget the 'compulsive eater still suffering' already within our midst belonging to loops, but n ot sharing. Why aren't they sharing? If they are still members, why are they still members? I believe it is because one day someone will share something they can identify with and at last the Higher Power of their understanding will talk directly to them and they don't want to miss it! So share, please share if you belong to a loop. Share from the heart as if you sat in front of your dearest friend. I have seen seemingly 'dead' loops spring to life when someone says that one thing a team of people identify with. YOU can make a difference. YOU are so special that your HP has chosen YOU to save lives and in doing so, save your own, one day at a time.

Thanks for the opportunity to work with all of you and be of service.

Love, and in fellowship,
Marl
Chair, ODAT Committee
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html





~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP SPONSOR PROGRAM ~



We hear of sponsorship as a 'tool for working the steps' and The Recovery Group takes this tool very seriously.

Perhaps the steps are written as 'we' admitted....'we' came to believe ...etc....to let us know that the steps are not traveled alone but with the help and encourgement of our Sponsor and the Fellowship.

The TRG Online Sponsor Program is designed to help each member find a Sponsor who will be most helpful in traveling this 'proven, workable method' and thus become free from compulsive eating one day at a time.

Our Sponsors are members who are 'living the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of their ability and have become willing to share their recovery with other members of this Recovery Community.

In The Recovery Group we want you to know that you are no longer alone ....the hand of friendship and love is extended to all those who want recovery...and Sponsorship is one of the ways we make this available to all who need it.

This is from Overeaters Anonymous:

"Sponsorship is one of the vital keys to success in OA (and the Recovery Group). The sponsor maintains recovery from compulsive overeating 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."

To find out more about The Recovery Group's Sponsor Program please check out this webpage:
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html

With love and great JOY in service,

   Dreena, Sponsor Coordinator
   The Recovery Group Sponsor Program Trusted Servants
   www.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~





~ ANNOUNCEMENTS ~



ANNOUNCING:

~ NEW 'TWELVE STEPS IN TWELVE WEEKS' TO BEGIN OCTOBER 1ST ~

The 4th Quarter WTS Twelve Steps in Twelve Weeks will begin on October 1st and end on December 31st. We have had an extraordinary year ... perhaps the best ever!

Each quarter a different Step Leader guides the members of WTS through the Twelve Steps as they share their experience, strength and hope together. Inspired by the questions the Step Leader asks at the end of each week, members take comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

We want to thank our appreciation to Penny, the current WTS Step Leader. She has done, as she always does, a terrific job. Thank you, Penny.

On October 1st, Tami will begin the final Step Study of the year. Tami is deeply devoted to her recovery program and her life will unfold as she shares her experience with you, reminding everyone that there is so much hope available to us as compulsive eaters through the Twelve Steps.

To join WTS, please send an e-mail to:
   Listserv@maelstrom.stjohns.edu
   no subject
   Subscribe WTS FirstName LastInitial

Sponsors are available through the Recovery Group's sponsor program. You can let your needs be known to all the sponsors at once, as well as request a sponsor, by writing to:
RecoverySponsors@yahoogroups.com

You can also get a copy of the Sponsor Directory and the biographies by writing to:
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org.

Dreena and Patt are the Sponsor Coordinators.

The Trusted Servants of WTS are: Barb (Co-coordinator), Tami (Co-coordinator), Jo (Greeter) and Norma (12th Step Within).

Hope to see you on October 1st.

In loving service to all,
The Trusted Servants of WTS
The Recovery Group
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org



~ KIDS' CORNER ~



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



~ TWELVE STEPS, ADAPTED FOR KIDS ~


STEP 1: We told ourselves that we didn't eat like other boys and girls and that we could not stop eating when we wanted. We felt different.

STEP 2: We thought that God could help us stop thinking about food so much.

STEP 3: We decided to stop worrying about food and let God help us with our problems. (Some people use the words Higher Power instead of God.)

STEP 4: We wrote down everything we ever did that bothered us.

STEP 5: We read our list to God (Higher Power), then to a person who cares about us.

STEP 6: We felt ready for God to take away the sad or upsetting things we do.

STEP 7: We honestly asked our Higher Power to take away the sad or upsetting things we do.

STEP 8: We wrote down the names of people we had hurt and felt ready to say we were sorry.

STEP 9: We told these people that we were sorry, unless it would hurt them or others. We tried to make up for what we had done.

STEP 10: Every day we thought about how we acted and how we could improve..

STEP 11: We asked God what to do and for help to do it.

STEP 12: Because it had helped us, we told people about OA and the twelve steps when they asked. We kept using the steps everyday.



~ TEENS' CORNER ~



TEENS' CORNER

Hi, everyone!

Teens is still ticking along with some teens now sharing a little to each other which is great. Sadly, we are losing Cyndi as Co-cordinator of this loop but we wish her well, and have hope that someone will be brave enough to take the job on.

There are so many teens out there in the big, wide world, and as part of Recovery we have access to so many of them and are in the position of being able to be there for them so they know they don't have to struggle on alone. At TeensODAT they have a safe place in which to vent, to support and be supported, and to help keep their disease of compulsive eating at bay for one more day.

If anyone feels they would be able to help as co-coordinator of this very special loop with so much potential, please do contact me on:
dietrich12000@yahoo.com.

Love,
  Marl
  Coordinator
  TeensODAT

[ Editor's note: For information, please see: http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/teens.html. To join TeensODAT, send an empty email to: TeensODAT-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
]


~ OCTOBER LOOP SPOTLIGHTS ~

Pain ODAT

PainODAT is a very special loop. Its membership consists of some very special people who bravely practice their 12 step program and day to day abstinence from compulsive eating while suffering, in some cases, very bad pain. It can be bad enough to be a compulsive eater alone at home, in pain, sometimes to the point of tears, but to be a compulsive eater in recovery under those conditions can be a real struggle. At PainODAT members have a chance to air their feelings and share their hopes and strengths, and together hold each other up.

To find out more, please visit:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/pain/index.html
or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PainODAT/.

To join, please send a blank email to:
PainODAT-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.

PMS ODAT

The PMS ODAT (One Day at a Time) group/loop is a place where those who have compulsive behaviors towards food, but also experience PMS issues, can meet with others who suffer, to share our experience, strength and hope with one another. One of the nice things about our loop is you are accepted, understood and loved, exactly the way you are.

PMS is biochemical and can be treated. It is not a joke and you aren't crazy. If you're going through a PMS crisis, we understand. If your abstinence has been threatened by PMS, we've been there. If mood swings make your recovery harder each month and your life miserable, we know where you're coming from. You will meet a bunch of "strangers" here, but you will find that these strangers may become some of the best friends you will ever have in your life.

To read more, please visit:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PMS_ODAT/,
or http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/pms/index.html.

To join PMS ODAT, please send a blank email to: PMS_ODAT-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.



PREGNANCY AND MOTHERHOOD

Pregnancy and Motherhood ODAT is a special group designed to be of service to those who are pregnant or mothers, and need a safe place to relate to others in the same situation and also COEs. It's a place where you can share your joys as well as your struggles. It's a place where you can gain strength from others in the group. It's a place where you may truly bond to the others in the small group, and it may well become another family to you. To be a member of this group is truly like being a member of a family. You will get to know others well in this group, and you, yourself, will get to be known. This group is special because the members take a special interest in each other's recovery, and are able to relate to you on many counts, many times over. You are understood and loved for who you are in this group. Please feel free to join us and share your ESH on recovery and pregnancy or motherhood!! We welcome you with open arms!

To read more, please visit:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/pregnancy/index.html
or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pregnancyandmotherhoodODAT.

To join, please send a blank email to:
PregnancyAndMotherhoodODAT-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.



RAINBOW TO ABSTINENCE

Rainbow to Abstinence is a 12-step loop focused on gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons who are recovering from compulsive overeating. In a society where GLBT compulsive overeaters often have to cope with a double portion of incomprehension, censure and prejudice, Rainbow to Abstinence provides a safe haven for our members to discuss and receive support on issues related to both our orientation and our recovery.

If you would like to subscribe, or know someone who would benefit from this loop,
simply send a blank e-mail to: RainbowToAbstinence-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org.

Of course, you can also visit our webpages at:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/odat/rainbow/index.html,
or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RainbowToAbstinence/.



~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~


When I found the "10 Rules for a Good Day" in my mailbox, they struck a chord with me. They were not "OA-Approved", so to speak, but they reminded me of the "Just For Today" that has been around for ever. I saved "The Rules" in my inspiration folder for a good day, and I re-read it often to remind myself that today can be a good day; it all starts with my attitude. I do not know to whom to credit them; I got them from the Internet. I hope that maybe they may inspire others as they have me.

In light and love,
Lorrie, COE


~ TEN RULES FOR A GOOD DAY ~
  1. TODAY I WILL NOT STRIKE BACK:
    If someone is rude, if someone is impatient, if someone is unkind...I will not respond in a like manner.

  2. TODAY I WILL ASK GOD TO BLESS MY "ENEMY":
    If I come across someone who treats me harshly or unfairly, I will quietly ask God to bless that individual. I understand the "enemy" could be a family member, neighbor, co-worker, or a stranger.

  3. TODAY I WILL BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT I SAY:
    I will carefully choose and guard my words being certain that I do not spread gossip.

  4. TODAY I WILL GO THE EXTRA MILE:
    I will find ways to help share the burden of another person.

  5. TODAY I WILL FORGIVE:
    I will forgive any hurts or injuries that come my way.

  6. TODAY I WILL DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE, BUT I WILL DO IT SECRETLY:
    I will reach out anonymously and bless the life of another.

  7. TODAY I WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WISH TO BE TREATED:
    I will practice the golden rule - "Do unto others as I would have them do unto me" - with everyone I encounter.

  8. TODAY I WILL RAISE THE SPIRITS OF SOMEONE I DISCOURAGED:
    My smile, my words, my _expression of support, can make the difference to someone who is wrestling life.

  9. TODAY I WILL NUTURE MY BODY:
    I will eat less; I will eat only healthy foods. I will thank God for my body.

  10. TODAY I WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY:
    I will spend a little more time in prayer today: I will begin reading something spiritual or inspirational today; I will find a quiet place (at some point during the day) and listen to my Higher Power's voice!


~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~

~ 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 will begin three months of 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 first Inspiration we have chosen to highlight is called "Harley, Living in the Moment".



RECOVERY INSPIRATIONS

HARLEY
Living in the Moment

This morning I am taking Harley, our puppy dog, to Happy Tails. Happy Tails is a "doggie daycare" type of place. They have play equipment for the dogs. They romp and play and pee all over the place. Between 11 and 1, they have "siesta" time. They get a snack, the lights are dimmed and classical music is played. We take him once a month when it isn't too hot outside. He absolutely loves it and we do that because we love him.

This got me to thinking about how much Harley lives in the moment. He eats when he is hungry. He drinks when he is thirsty. He pees when he has to pee. He plays when he is playful. He rests when he is tired. The thing he does the best is to give love and joy to whomever he comes in contact with; well, with the exception of the cat across the road, or the squirrels that sometimes wander into our yard. He loves to bark and chase them.

This weekend I experienced a panic attack. I don't get them much any more, but occasionally one will creep up on me. I thought I was going to get sick or pass out right in the middle of Juanita K. Hammonds Center. Because of where I was at, I felt penned in. The tools I learned at a panic attack seminar weren't working for me. I did the deep breathing. I prayed about it. I just couldn't get the picture out of my mind, though, of how embarrassed I would be if I puked right there in front of people I knew and a whole lot of strangers.

As I thought of the panic attack and Harley going to Happy Tails, I was aware of how Harley lives in the moment and how I didn't live in the moment during my panic attack. I was worried about "what if", and Harley simply enjoys "what is".

I don't think Harley feels fear very often. He gets a little nervous when there is loud thunder. When that happens, he finds Mike or me and gets close. We pet him and he quiets down. Other than that, there is little that scares Harley. He's living in the moment too much.

As I thought of that, I realized that Mike and I are kind of like Harley's "Higher Power". He knows we will take care of him. He knows we have always made sure he's fed and taken care of. I know he feels our love. We are his source for everything. I know Mike and I would do anything to make sure he is protected and taken care of because we love him so much.

With that thought in mind, how much more must our Higher Power love us? My God loves me so much that he wants to make sure I am protected and taken care of because He loves me so much. God is my source. Sometimes I forget, and try to make "me" my source. That's what happened on Saturday. Should I have actually gotten sick in front of everyone, God would have still taken care of me. There would have been a lesson in it for me.

Today, I will work on living in the moment. Most days and moments I do that well. I will learn from Harley today. I will eat when I am hungry. I will drink when I am thirsty, I will pee when I need to. I will show love when I feel it. The only thing different that I will do is to smile instead of wag my tail when I am happy, and drink out of a glass instead of the toilet!

Have a great "living in the moment" kind of day, unless of course you have other plans!

Cyberhugs,
Linda



~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~




~~THE TWELVE STEPS ~ STEP TEN~~

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.



~~ THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ~ TRADITION TEN ~~

Our group has no opinion on outside issues; hence the Overeaters Online Recovery Group name ought never be drawn into public controversy.



~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~
Big Book reading:

Hi, everyone. Often when sharing my Big Book passage with others, some people can't identify with the share as they don't have a problem with alcohol. I'd like to take the opportunity to share by paraphrasing and making it personal. Here is what I mean:
"And I have ceased fighting anything or anyone--even compulsive eating. For by this time sanity will have returned. I will seldom be interested in my trigger foods. If tempted, I recoil from it as from a hot flame. I react sanely and normally, and I will find that this has happened automatically. I will see that my new attitude toward compulsive eating habits has been given me without any thought or effort on my part..it just comes. That is the miracle of it. I am not fighting it, neither am I avoiding temptation. I feel as though I have been placed in a position of neutrality--safe and protected. I have not sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for me. I am neither cocky nor am I afraid. That is my experience. That is how I react so long as I keep in fit spiritual condition."
(Adapted from) Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, Pp. 84-85 (all editions)




~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~


~
October Meditations Calendar ~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/october.html)





~ THE RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS ~

THE RECOVERY GROUP ONLINE MEETINGS

CAN YOU SPARE AN HOUR A WEEK?

We need your help for a wonderful line-up of online meetings beginning October 1st. We will be working on a schedule of meetings every three hours around the clock every day, and are well on our way to meeting that goal. This will make it possible for those in time zones around the world to participate both as leaders and attendees. Will you help by volunteering an hour or two or three a week? It's easy, it gives you a good feeling by helping others, and it's fun!

The doorway-to-the-meetings-picture is at the top of the page at
http://www.therecoverygroup.org.
All you have to do is click it, and you'll be in the meeting room. The times are 12 noon, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM, 12 midnight 3AM, 6AM, and 9AM. These are Eastern times, and all meetings are held in #Recovery on IRC with a doorway located here: http://www.therecoverygroup.org.

We hope as many of you as possible will write us back and let us know if you can help from October 1st until the term ends on December 31st. Please don't be shy ... meetings are easy and rewarding to lead.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SEND TO MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

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:
http://recovery.hiwaay.net/support/meetings.html.






~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
6075 Zenith Ct. NE
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.htm
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 ~





~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~



"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.


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 5 Issue 10 © Copyright 2003 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.