~ FOUNDERS CORNER ~
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,
~ DANNY'S CORNER ~
~ 12 TRADITIONS ~
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?
~ FROM THE RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~
~ PASSAGES FROM THE BIG BOOK ~
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!
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
Co-coordinator, Pain and Recovery