A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

September 2002
Volume 4, Issue 9

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
Founders Corner
From the Administrators
From the Loops: Spotlight of the Month
Danny's Corner
From the Recovery Group Members
From the Literature
Letters to the Editor
The Recovery Group IRC Meeting Schedule
Overeaters Anonymous Contacts
Recovery Group Contacts
Serenity Prayer


Dear friends in recovery,

Welcome to the September edition of Serendipity! This month's focus is favorite passages, and I'd like to thank all of you who took a moment to share with us your favorite quote. Cate from TRG Administrators also shared a passage that reflects on service -- "This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can."

There is so much recovery among our members -- I think you will find the shares of our members' experience, strength and hope an inspiration in your recovery.

And, for those of you who want a head start, the topic for October's edition of Serendipity will be "Working On All Three Sides of the Triangle -- physical, emotional and spiritual" (thanks, Marjee!). We look forward to many great shares -- all submissions to Serendipity should be sent to:

And please remember, if you have any suggestions of topics you would like to see addressed in future months of Serendipity, e-mail me with your suggestions.

Peace, my friends.

Love in recovery,
     Editor, SERENDIPITY



Dear Recovery Friends,

Imagine the strains of "September Song" as you read Serendipity this month and how good you feel settling down after the kids go to sleep at night earlier than ever since school has started. Almost as much as we love to see Springtime after a hard winter, September beckons us to relax and to make changes and to get ready to "settle in."

The Recovery Group is doing that by announcing a dramatic change in our structure ... a good change ... a change that I suspect is going to make a big difference in our future. We grew pretty fast and added lots of support loops to our community over the fast few years and in doing that homogenized ourselves. By that I mean sometimes it was hard to tell if we were in a general sharing 12 Step Loop or one where there was a second issue to share about. This was especially true for a newcomer to The Recovery Community. All they know sometimes is that they could depend on us to extend our hand and that we were in some way going to give them help and support for a disease that they did not ask for, do not want and, in some cases, didn't even know they had. They just knew they were pretty miserable.

The Recovery Group, after much discussion which lasted from July 3rd until a Group Conscience ended at midnight on August 28th, proudly announces that Recovery will now be a community with three very special loop divisions. The Recovery Group Loops will be the same as always along with all the services, studies and programs you have come to expect. But two new groups join our community ... ODAT ~ One Day at a Time and Discovery. These two groups will be Special Focus Groups. Most will be 12 Step loops exactly like the Recovery Group Loops with two big differences. There will be a second focus and the members of these loops will run them. ODAT and Discovery will be guided by three administrators, Sande, Pamela and Siobhan and The Recovery Group will, as always, be under the administration of Patt, Cate and John. I will be Advisor to both groups, even more so after return from my vacation which was temporarily delayed as we restructured. We are also going to have a brand new home page on the Recovery Website which will open faster, be less confusing to those who are trying to find their way around 600 pages and will very clear provide buttons which will whisk a visitor to where they need to be.

What a wonderful place this is to call home. The Recovery Group is a community in every sense of the word.

Love in recovery,


Dear Members of The Recovery Group,

The Serendipity this month is focused on quotes from the AABB. The quote I am sharing with you today comes from the first paragraph of Chapter 7, Working With Others ; "This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can." (p. 89)

This twelfth suggestion is life giving for each individual and The Recovery Group as a whole. Sharing our recovery keeps us in recovery. We can not keep what we do not give away, and by sharing our recovery with others we receive a treasure of ongoing renewal and deepening of our own recovery. We have received such a gift of life through these twelve steps, and it is the greatest joy to be with others as they too receive this gift!

This sharing of recovery through service keeps our Recovery Community vital and available to people seeking this new way of living. Each of us has found our way to TRG through the service of others ~ someone reached out by placing the TRG website on a search engine, someone else by being a meeting leader, another by serving as a loop coordinator, another as a sponsor, and yet another by sharing their ESH on their home loop .... The opportunities for carrying this message to others are endless. The many people who do so on a daily basis are countless. The importance of this service is priceless!!

We take a moment to thank each of you today for carrying this message to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. Our Recovery Community is available to those seeking recovery because of each of you who takes the time to live this 12th step suggestion.

In Recovery ~
Cate ~ for the Administrative Committee



~ Big Book and Recovery ~

Dear Recovery Friends,

The Big Book and Recovery Loop is a discussion/study group which has as its mission to provide an additional area of recovery and support to COEs who appreciate the AABB, lovingly known as the Big Book. For OA members who want to thoroughly explore the Big Book from beginning to end and to all loop members we would be happy to have you join us. In addition to our BB Study Group and Website, a Big Book online meeting is held once a week on IRC.

The mission of the Big Book and Recovery Loop is:

To read the BB section by section, through the eyes of a COE. For instance, the word alcoholic will be changed to the words Compulsive Overeater ... the word alcohol to food. To gain from the experience, strength, and hope (ESH) of the AA founders...ESH that is used today, in our existing fellowships. To explore the evolution the BBs spiritual foundation that was developed and used by the founders..... and by people in recovery today. To learn the answers to questions such as what are spiritual tools; how does this apply to my addiction; how do I work these BB ideas into my recovery journey. We hope to bring the Big Book to you as Compulsive Overeaters, so you may explore the endless spiritual, mental, and physical tools contained within this Big, Blue Book. The path is endless. The Journey is worth it.

Visit our website located at:



Dear God,

Good morning, rain and all. It sounds so comforting on the window pane; reminds me of an Eddie Rabbit Song about rain, which is now blowing in the window, oops!! That's fixed. Why is it that I have this need in me to rise up for unpopular causes even in program? Have I not been in enough controversies over the last 24 years? You tell me what to do with what I can only see as tradition breaks and others see as "I can say whatever I want."

This wonderful gift You have given us brings with it the responsibility to protect and pass it on as given. Oh sure, we can gussie-up what we say as our life experience and still bring topics to our fellows that can be used improperly, not intentionally, but improper just the same. I would say that the traditions are not merely suggestions to be ignored at our whim, but rules by which we protect the 12 steps and our way of life. If I'm out of line here, You will let me know as You have in the past. I wonder if I'll ever be as right as I am wrong. The scale is really tilted. Meanwhile, I can use Your help with me today as I'm going to pick up my OA/AA pal and goof away the day: lunch, a movie and lotsa good conversation. You know I tend to screw up when things are going good. Please watch over and take good care of my family, friends, fellow sufferers, the general population, and the folks I don't like. Allow me to know and do Your will today. Thanks, Big Guy!

And Why Not?




Hi, I'm Kathi, a gratefully recovering COE.

From the Big Book, pg. 449: "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today... I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it supposed to be at this moment."

A morning meditation recently posed a question about how I handle the "mountains" (struggles) that I face differently now that I am in recovery. Do I view it as insurmountable?

What mountains are standing ahead of me that may seem too high to pass over? I love mountains, have even loved hiking them in younger days... hope and pray that I can do so again. But the mountains in my life can sometimes seem overwhelming. If I stand at the foot of the "mountain of parenting", I have a couple of choices. I can either sit there and look up and think of all the challenges that will lie ahead of me in parenting a kid with psychological issues, another who is developmentally delayed (and most likely mildly retarded) and another who may have learning disabilities and is the biggest flirt on the face of the earth.

Now, if I choose that route, I may as well just sit down on a rock and cry. OR I can take a few steps, stop and look at the beauty around me... the wildflowers growing beside the path... the mountain stream that gurgles beside me. When I get winded, I can stop and rest. When I need guidance, I can pull out the compass or a trail map. When it seems I can't go on another day, there will be a night sky filled with stars to remind me of the vastness of the universe and the power of the God who guides it.

I will find no serenity if I do not accept that my three beautiful special-needs children are exactly the way they need to be in this moment. God created them exactly the way they are for a purpose and a reason. While God did not intend for their birth families to abuse or neglect them, God gave them exactly what they need to overcome those obstacles. God will give me the same... the tools I need to parent them. I can find serenity in this where I once would have found only worry and fears.

When those worries come, and they do, I do not have to eat to numb them, or be angry to divert them. I do not have to react to every concern by compulsively eating, or snapping or worrying. I do not have to try to control that which I cannot control. I can choose to put it in God's hands, do what I am able, and let go of the rest. I can focus on what I can do, instead of fretting over what I cannot control. I can notice the beauty of the situation, or the beauty of the person it involves. I can find peace.

This is recovery!

God's Peace,


I am Ellen, COE/GRA and my favorite passage is:

"We are going to know a new freedom....We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it."

Before surrendering to the proven fact that I am a COE, I journaled for years as part of my recovery in the other program. This last week I have been sorting the journals, labeling the binders and marveling at how long I muddled along inching toward OA. ( I have a lot of time on my hands now that I am not living with my head stuck in the refrigerator seeking what I may devour.) As I dipped into pages in these journals for the last few years, one recurring theme was my struggle to remain committed to a healthy lifestyle with food. Any success brought apathy and rebound to demoralization. Pride kept me from OA, until I faced I could not do it alone and needed you guys to show me how to live.

After I found f2f meetings, and admitted my cross addiction other sisters in AA pointed me to the welcoming cyberspace of The Recovery Group. I am grateful for my wilderness time, and that I wrote it all down because it confirms to me what a deep heart desire of mine it was to stop abusing my polio compromised muscles by COE. I don't regret the past since it was the path to freedom. I had never heard of abstinence which then seemed the impossible dream. Arriving in OA did not cure my apathy attacks. After sloppy slipping since May, a man in a meeting shared this quote with me and it sums up the radical change that happened to me this August.

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, a chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.    ~ Goethe

Serendipity is this very thing. I have seen it in my writing life, and by the grace of God I experience it today since I gave my binge food to the librarian....God meets us in the oddest places. Today, I get it, that service is an essential part of my recovery toolkit, and send this share. I want to give it away to keep my precious baby bird of abstinence.

Ellen B.


My name is Joanne P, and I am a compulsive overeater. This is my favorite part of the Big Book:

From the Big Book of AA, pg. 163 "Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny."

I am a fellow trudger for certain, still trudging the road to happy destiny, one day at a time.

Many blessings,


From the Big Book of AA, pgs 42-43 "Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before. My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not exchange its best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go back to it even if I could."

Coming to "Believe" was very important to me at that time. I was into Bingeing and Purging and I saw no hope for my future. I knew that this could not continue on as it was going. There had to be a change.

I was raised in the church, attended Sunday School every Sunday morning, Bible School every summer, and when a teenager attended my Youth Group of which I was leader, and then an evening Service. I attended revivals, song fests etc. and I loved every minute of it.

So the idea of a Higher Power wasn't knew to me, except for the name of course, so I instinctively just reached out when I heard the "good news" of deliverance that was to be mine by letting this Higher Power that I chose to work in my life in this area as well.

I was able to quit the purging, but developed a new style of "feast or famine." I know that some of us do not look at this as purging, but I must be honest and admit that this is a "form" of purging too. It is going from one "extreme" to the other and if I can open someone else's eyes to this all for the better.

I had a hope at last. This hope has kept me going all of these years, working the steps, depending upon my Higher Power to keep me from going back to the past. I have no desire to go back to that life. What does it have to offer me? Nothing! I can say unequivocally and irrevocably that this is a true statement. I am happy with the life that I have, except for the isolation which has not been of my choosing, but a matter of circumstances due to illness and other things.

I just keep hanging in there, trying to the best of my ability and know-how to carry the message to other compulsive overeaters, and praying for God to clear away the garbage of the past and keep me free.

Best Wishes,


This is hard because I have so many. I guess one of my favorites is:
From the Big Book of AA, pg.449, in "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict" "that nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake."

It reminds me that it's God's world -- He is in charge and I ain't. Just gives me a lot of peace of mind when I remember this.

Vicki B.
Co-coordinator, Pain and Recovery



Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.


Overeaters Online Recovery Group, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.


Higher Power,
I pray for the right attitude to make my amends, being ever mindful not to harm others in the process. I ask for Your guidance in making indirect amends. Most important, I will continue to make amends by staying abstinent, helping others and growing in spiritual progress.

~~ Big Book Quote ~~

"Everybody knows that those in bad health, and those who seldom play, do not laugh much. So let each family play together or separately as much as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free."
   (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, The Family Afterward, pg. 132)


Thank you for another great newsletter. I really enjoyed all the shares about the tools. It was a good reminder of some of the tools that I haven't been using as much; tools that can enhance the quality of my recovery.

Vicki B.



This room on the Starchat Channel on IRC will be open 24 hours a day seven days a week for informal talk. We have a direct doorway to this room on the main page of our website and many will be using it. The #RecoveryTalk doorway is located close to the top of the main page of the Recovery Website at

For AOL members, here is the direct link to #RecoveryTalk:
#RecoveryTalk on StarChat.Network


Each day at 9:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, an OA Topic Meeting will take place in the Recovery Meeting Room on the Starchat Channel on IRC. These meetings are hosted by dedicated Trusted Servants of the Recovery Group who are experienced, loyal and caring meeting leaders. As time goes on we will be adding additional meetings and if you would like more details about being a Recovery Meeting Leader, please let us know by writing to TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org. The doorway for #Recovery meetings is also on the main page of the Recovery Website about half way down.

For AOL members, here is the direct link to #Recovery:
#Recovery on StarChat.Network


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 ~ info@overeatersanonymous.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@yahoo.com
Sponsor Directory ~ sarkar@cableonda.net ~ Maureen
IM Directory ~ andybirkhead@mac.com ~ Andy
Telephone Angel Directory ~ vine19@nyc.rr.com ~ Jessica
Recovery Meeting Coordinator ~ vickiw@gci.net ~ Vicki
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@mail.com
Recovery Group Administrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org ~ John, Cate and Patt
Recovery Group Founder ~ 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

Volume 4 Issue 9 © Copyright 2002 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.