~ FROM OUR ADMINISTRATORS ~
Dear Friends in Recovery ~
For many of us, September represents a time of new beginnings. We watch
the neighborhood children wrapped in fresh new clothes waiting with
anticipation for their bright yellow school bus to carry them into a new
year of mystery and wonder. We think of new beginnings in our own lives,
and remember moments of wonder and awe with deep gratitude.
At this specific time of year, we are reminded of the gifts we receive
from our new members. They bring with them the fresh excitement of a new
school year, receiving the invitation to walk into the mystery and wonder
of recovery. Each new member is a loving reminder of the joy, gratitude,
and transformation that can come to being through these twelve simple
Our community is vast, and growing!! We recognize the wonder and mystery
of this gathering, orchestrated by a Power greater than ourselves. We
are blessed with so many dedicated people who share themselves through
service. We are the grateful recipients of experience, strength and hope
shared by our fellow loopies and meeting participants each day.
Our TRG administrative team is working with you to continue to carry
the message of recovery to people all around the globe. We are available
to receive your suggestions, answer your questions, and hear any feedback
that you wish to share. We join with you in welcoming each fresh day of
new beginnings as we live and share our recovery One Day at a Time.
Please contact us if we can be of service to you.
~ LOOP SPOTLIGHT ~
~ Abstinence and Compulsive Spending ~
We are a Special Interest Loop of the Recovery Group and our mission is to
provide a safe and peaceful place for you to share your experience,
strength and hope with one another. Most of our members are also members
of Overeaters Anonymous and, although we are not officially affiliated
with that organization, we are a Twelve Step Loop.
Our group has a very special mission purpose. We provide a place to work
our own recovery program and also to carry that message to others. All of
us on this loop are compulsive eaters and compulsive spenders. This loop
provides all of us with a safe place to talk about our problems with food
and spending. We are here together to build one another up ... to accept
each of us as we are ... to support each other ... and not to judge one
another. We offer you safety and serenity.
Our loop is a place where 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will have a
safe haven where you can interact with others who are suffering from
compulsive eating and compulsive spending. Our loop does not just focus on
our physical problems. We focus on our emotional and our spiritual needs
as well. Our recovery home is a place where we hope you can experience
growth spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Our way of finding recovery is through the Twelve Steps. We have reached a
place in our life where this may be the last stop on the bus ~ the last
house on the block. And we have come to believe that there is a power
greater than ourselves and that we cannot recover alone.
There is only one requirement for membership in our loop ~ 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 with open arms. Our
mission is firm ... our purpose is resolute ... our goal is to insure a
better quality of life for compulsive eaters worldwide. Through the
miracle of the Twelve Steps, tools to reach and maintain a state of
abstinence, one on one sponsors, online recovery meetings, full service
loops, study loops, other special interest loops, dedicated Trusted
Servants and many other tools of recovery to offer you, we will accomplish
our mission, achieve our purpose and exceed our goals.
To subscribe, please go to the loop's web page at
Or send a blank e-mail to
~ DANNY'S CORNER ~
~ Time ~
And Why Not?
We are sharing my first mug of java this a.m. and I am grateful to be
alive, abstinent and in Your care. It is chilly this morning, and I was
wondering how this could be in the middle of summer. Here we go again,
someone stole my entire summer and the chief suspect is time. Time is
sort of like ice cream. The less there is, the faster it seems to
You know there was a time (there's that word again) when this would be
enough to send me right to the food, but not today. My brain was also
thinking, "How sad is the last forkful of food on my plate?" Is this what
they call "stinking thinking?" The day will be full, and for this I am
thankful. I await the arrival of Mary's new bed, an early Christmas
present, lunch, a movie with the wise old man, a trip to "Tolbert House,"
and an A/A meeting. Perhaps there will be a meeting at 7 p.m., if any one
comes. No one showed last night. My guess is that seven is not a good
There was only one mention of the WEDDING yesterday, and this man could
have done without that one. I was invited to the bachelor party and was
smart enough to decline, and not because I worried about being too stodgy.
I'm afraid these kids won't be able to keep up with me. Besides that, the
woman You sent to tell me what to do said, "No." She (the woman) said
it's my mind making dates that my body won't keep. Very funny.
Please give my Michael some extra attention this weekend as he moves into
his new home, where for the first time he will be alone. No mom, no frat
brothers, just him. He will be too busy with a full time job and full
time law school, so just be with him. I certainly could use another day
of not stuffing myself, and thanks for yesterday. The knowledge of Your
will and the wisdom and power to do same will be mine, I know. Your
loving and watchful eye on all those who suffer, those who do and don't
know it, and the people I don't like is requested.
Just for today allow me to be of some small service to You and whomever
You send my way.
~ TOOLS OF RECOVERY ~
I have been in OA for nine years. I started doing service by setting up
chairs. I'd arrive at the meeting early and talk with others who came
early. I started feeling as if I belonged. Each week I offered a ride to a
friend who doesn't drive. We've worked the program together for nine years
and call each other regularly.
I've shared at meetings, marathons and conventions. I've called people I
haven't seen recently. I've sent notes to members who were ill. I've
written to members away on vacation and to those who have moved. All these
actions have reinforced my commitment to program and my bond with other
members. I've been a contact person for a meeting, kept my phone number on
the hotline for people reaching out and recorded the hotline message. This
service has reminded me daily to focus on recovery and give back what OA
has given to me.
I do service at marathons and conventions to help provide these recovery
events. I enjoy the results.
When I go to a doctor's office, I leave behind a copy of Lifeline or our
intergroup newsletter to spread the message to those who still suffer. It
takes no time or effort, and it may help someone find recovery.
I have learned to take care of my family, my community and myself. Once
I had those priorities backwards, setting an unhealthy example for my
children and burning myself out before I could do much good. From doing
service in OA, I know I don't have to do everything. I keep myself
healthy and stay aware of my family's needs, and I share service with OA
out of love, not obligation.
I sponsor other OA members. My sponsorees are like an extended family
to me. It is a great gift to enjoy these relationships based on love and
trust as we share the road of recovery. I have not eaten compulsively
during these nine years. I think you could say service has enhanced my
Reprinted from Lifeline, June 2001, Volume 29, No. 6, edited and reprinted
from Sunsteps newsletter, Miami-Dade Intergroup, November l998
~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
Working the Steps I
When I first walked through the doors of OA, I was scared. I was scared
that it wouldn't work and then I was scared that it might work. I did
not know what to expect or how to even accept it. I hid behind my layers
of girth and it was a pretty good cover so that others couldn't see me the
way I really was.
I knew that my life was unmanageable. I had resorted to "purging"
myself with vomiting in order to stay thin. I knew that I was fighting a
losing battle. I had began reading information about bulimia and how it
affects us. How it destroys our teeth and injures our vital organs, could
make our esophagus become disconnected and cause major problems there, so
I had a desire to stop this practice.
I had always believed in God, and had dedicated my life to Him and His
service when I was 17, so the Higher Power aspect of OA appealed to me.
The only problem that I had in this area was making "letting go and
letting God" work in my life. I had always been told by well meaning
persons that if God took your hunger then you would be sick and lose it
the wrong way. I believed it, so I was always on a "diet."
But there I was at the end of my rope, so to speak. I had heard someone
say that when you "get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang
on," so that was what I was doing. Tying a knot in my lifeline by joining
OA. I became abstinent immediately. I "white knuckled" it. I lost at
least twenty pounds right away, so that was an encouragement for me to
keep on program, but then a series of events happened, and I ended up
having to move, so I lost out on my program and started eating again.
I found that I couldn't do without the Steps in my life. I didn't have an
OA meeting to go, so I tried TOPS which didn't work for me, although I
know it does for others. Then there was WW which did work as long as I
could attend, but when I couldn't attend I again lost my way. And I am
not putting these groups down, for I think that they are marvelous groups and
are a wonderful help for people. It was just me and my compulsive nature
which failed, not them.
Time after time I was subjected to failure. Trying and failing. Then
trying again and failing again. But I continued working the Steps on my
own and I read writings on the Twelve Steps and OA. Of course, I had my
Big Book and kept my nose in it. One day, I accidentally found TRG and
that was an answer to prayer. Overeaters just like me, isolated and
confined. I could relate to them. I had friends. I didn't have to be
"lost" anymore. I had come home.
Glad I found my answer one day at a time, one step at a time.
Working the Steps II
The Recovery site has a lot a good places to look for help. I have been
WORKING THE STEPS with many of you.
Yours in ESH,
I have been in OA for many years and I have attended many meetings, I
read "For Today" each morning. I read stories in the AABB. I attend
Retreats and Recovery Days in local and regional areas. I wrote a 4th
step and gave service. I have been sponsored and did sponsoring.
It is with some surprise I am finding that WORKING THE STEPS is a lot
different that doing the rest of the things I have been doing. All
these things are important to recovery.
The important part of the whole program is WORKING THE STEPS. If you
are not WORKING THE STEPS you are not working the program. The program
is the steps. It is important to know the difference between WORKING
THE STEPS and everything else. It may seem like a small difference but
it could be the difference between a broken life and recovery.
~ Slice of Life ~ Isolation ~
"Isolation is but one thought away from solitude." ~ Sue Grace
Retreating from life to be alone with my feelings has been an age-old
remedy for me when my life becomes unmanageable. In the peace I can hear
my thoughts, in the calm I can see my goals, and in the tranquility I can
pick my way through the mire that brought me to that point in the first place.
Taking a step back from the roller coaster of life has always been my way
of coping when I begin to realise I am not coping. For awhile I am
comforted by the solitude.
To all intents and purposes I am still in the world at large, I go to work
as normal, I perform my daily duties as expected and I live and breathe as
always. I guess it is a couple of days before anyone really notices that I
am not my "usual" self. I become quiet, unruffled, and generally
disinterested in the politics of life. I withdraw into my own private
world of thoughts. However, on the inside my mind is at first a battleground,
trying to figure out where I went wrong. I am compulsive in trying to
never make the same mistake twice; to my mind that is just down right foolish,
once is enough for anyone! When the cause is identified, plans are formed
and solutions found. You would think that having solved the dilemma, I
would be ready to rejoin the world with my usual zest for life.
By this time I have realised that I am not missed, my words and ideas are
not needed, and actually the world has trundled along quite nicely during
my sojourn into myself. This is when the lethargy enters in; I see the
gaps in conversations where once I would have leapt in with some
self-inspired words. The silences to me are blatantly obvious; they have
my name written all over them. However, I find that they soon pass without
my needing to say a word.
I begin to question my part in life -- after all it moves ever onwards
whether I play the game or not. I realise that I am not that important in
the scheme of things. Moments come and go and still I choose not to utter
a word, I choose not to emerge from the inner sanctum I have created, all
the while feeling inwardly saddened by my apparent insignificance in the
grand plan. Over-sensitivity begins to distort the reality of situations,
common sense escapes, taking with it logic and any strength to pick up the
tools and use facts that were once an essential element to living my life
with good judgment. The lethargy grows ever more powerful until one day I
realise I have not actually spoken to anyone in a week and I have become
merely an observer of life.
With every day spent in isolation comes the challenge of trying to
re-enter the game of life. Every day it becomes harder to take those few short
steps towards freedom from the loneliness which slipped in through the back
door. My self-esteem has plummeted to immeasurable depths and it is increasingly
difficult to believe that I have anything of value to contribute. Feelings
of unworthiness float around in my now empty mind. The original solutions
to the original problems have long since expired and this new dilemma
Today I have just two allies still standing in my corner, God and my
extraordinary stubbornness to live my life to the full, until God takes me
home. I have memories of how I used to be, of how I woke every morning
ready to face my day with God at my side. I have memories of laughing with
tears rolling down my face and not really knowing why I am doubled up, my
stomach aching so. I have memories of the sheer satisfaction of working
towards a solution or tackling a challenge, the joy of receiving strength
and overcoming my fears. I have memories of the boldness it took to stand
up and fight for my beliefs and my rights. I have memories of the pleasure
of giving. Looking back over the past few years of my life, I have come to
realise that I got out of life as much as I was prepared to put in,
nothing more and nothing less!
"Feast, and your halls are crowded. Fast, and the world goes by." ~ Ella
They sat so innocent on the plate
These that I just this minute ate
Now inside they don't feel right
They don't sit well now out of sight
The guilt and shame swell within
As I grasp the meaning of another binge
I cannot cope with what I've done
I want rid of them every one
I've never done this but how I've tried
To rid myself of what sits inside
Maybe I will try once more
Oh how myself I do abhor
I am so weak, I should know better
How can I possibly write my letter
The loop is for those who want to beat
This disease of mine that makes me eat
I want a life and had a glimpse
But lost it all in a sickening wince
The tears I cried were not of pain
But of guilt and driving shame
The path has vanished from beneath my feet
And all because I had to eat
How many times must I pay the price
For ignoring words of sound advice
The pounds they build upon my frame
There'll come a day of bitter pain
Then death will deal its final blow
This disease wins once more and I shall go
It's not as if I enjoyed the bite
When all the time I knew what's right
But I chose to walk the line to hell
And felt them in my stomach swell
I don't want to know the reason why
I turn my back and choose to die
Right now I feel so very sick
And would wish it came perhaps more quick
But that's the point it never ends
Tomorrow will come and it begins again
I'm not sure I want to fight anymore
To struggle and watch a closing door
Oh how I weep to see the waste
That was brought on by a fleeting taste
Right now I know and can feel my fear
So far and yet so very near
God if you can hear my prose
Once of the ashes your phoenix rose
Give me the strength to rise again
To take the path, to heal the pain
I know you are strong and I am weak
I know it's you that I must seek
End this day and heal my pain
Tomorrow may we please begin again
Here is a very interesting site I hope you will enjoy.
Click on "BILL W." and then click on Number 22. A very interesting talk
about how the AABB was put together. :)
And for those of you who are interested, there are many other articles as
Sharing with love and continued joy in recovery,
~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~
The Promises from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity.
And we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain insight in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook will change.
Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
~ Reflections on The Twelve Steps of Recovery ~
"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others."
~~THE NINTH STEP~~
The Twelve Steps of Recovery
Each day this week, I have written about one of the Twelve Steps. There
have been days with certain steps that I find myself hardly able to stop
writing. But I know that one can only say so much in a journal page and my
intention was just to briefly touch on each step. Curled up on my sofa
with my keyboard in my lap right now, I'm writing for a different reason.
I am writing because I literally HAVE to.
The purpose of Step Nine is to clear away all the guilt and bad feelings
we have been left with so that we can start anew with the relationships in
our life. Those of us who are addicts have problems with relationships. In
addiction we need them so desperately; yet, when we're "in the disease" we
seek comfort in our addiction because we don't want to be hurt yet again
by another relationship gone wrong.
So, here we are. We've made that long, long list of people in Step Eight
that we have harmed and we've told God that we are willing to make amends
to them all ..... and yet we look at that list and say to ourselves ....
"this is just impossible." I will spend the rest of my life working Step
The next time I decide to take a step a day in this Journal to Recovery, I
want all of you to remind me not to do it. I barely have gotten started on
what this step is all about .... only that it is so very important. It's
all about relationships .... and I just hope most of you have the 12+12
and a sponsor and WTS and lots of good supportive relationships at work in
your lives now.
I was talking with a friend earlier. I'm really frightened about a lot of
things right now. I'm not a person who reaches out easily but I am feeling
very powerless with just about everything in my life. I mentioned to my
friend that probably one of the reasons I'm in this place today is because
of the problems within my recovery loop. I never realized how much I
depended on my recovery loop .... I told her it was "the wind beneath my
wings" and as long as I had that and God, I was armed to do battle with
this disease we all share. Perhaps this is the reason I got down on my
knees earlier and with the door closed talked out loud to my Higher Power
and told Him that I am totally powerless ... and not just with my
addiction ... but with everything in my life. It was a powerful few
minutes .... the strongest first step I've ever taken. I suspect there
will be another tomorrow.
I'm frightened. I am at
loose ends today. I'm trying
to make amends to myself so
that I can move forward with the best
Step Nine I've ever done. But my support
systems are not supporting. And I feel very
~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~
It was great to read Jeff's share about "Are you afraid of getting thin?"
in this month's Serendipity because I could relate to most of the 10
reasons for remaining fat. But I must admit that I could not ALWAYS
relate to them -- at least not before OA and recovery. I always blamed my
being overweight on something and someone else, for example, my parents
made me this way, I just enjoy food too much, I have low self-esteem, etc.
etc. etc., when the truth is -- I was using my weight as an excuse.
I still didn't really 'get it' though, until one day I heard on the Oprah
show that we need to address what GOOD our fat is doing for us. "Good?" I
asked the television, "What possible good could I be getting from being
fat?" I wondered. However, as I thought about it more and more, I
realized that indeed, I had been slowly putting up this shield -- of body
armor -- literally, to protect myself from hurt, pain, love, hate and a
whole pile of other emotions that I was afraid to express and experience.
For instance, I found that I used this 'body armor' as a defense against
unwanted attention from men. It made me feel strong, and it increased the
distance between me (my heart and soul) and the rest of the world. So
once I was able to determine what good my fat was doing for me, I've been
slowly able to release it -- and at the same time, I am learning other
coping mechanisms that do not involve my stuffing down my emotions and
thoughts with food.
It's not always that easy, however. The closer I get to 'goal' weight, the
more the emotions and fears I have been protecting myself against seem to
want to surface. But now I have different tools for coping with them: I
can get online and vent to my loop and get wonderful support and suggestions;
I can call an understanding program friend; I can read the literature or do
some writings, etc. -- it's all there. When my sponsor first told me that
this program works if you work it, I really had no clue what he meant, but
by the grace of my Higher Power, I am finding that it truly does work --
and I'm working it!! And although I am still a little nervous about
confronting some of my fears, I can honestly now say: I'm not afraid of
getting thin! I have my program; my Higher Power and a whole bunch of new
friends who like me -- no matter how I look!
Thanks for letting me share -- and thanks all for being there for me!
Luv Lorraine <3
Wow, Sue G. What an amazing share on sponsorship. It makes me feel like
I might be ready to get one. Sponsorship is one area I have never moved
forward in. I simply don't like anyone telling me what to do, OR telling
me things I do not want to hear. Because deep down, I know the truth...
but do not always want to hear it!
Just wanted to take a moment to say how much I love the Serendipity
Newsletter. Just wish it came more often.
Thanks for all your hard work . . .
I have just got around to reading Serendipity and I just wanted to thank
you for putting together such a fantastic edition - there are some really
powerful shares which hit home with me!
And I LOVE this quote!
"The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a
man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other one higher."
And I could so relate to the share on "Are You Afraid of Becoming Thin?"
because deep down I have a lot of fear around this!
So thank you for your amazing service!