A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


September 2003
Volume 5, Issue 9



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
Teens' Corner
The Twelve Steps of OA - A Teen's Viewpoint
September Loop Spotlights:
Newcomers and Recovery
OA Anon
OA Friends
Pagan and ODAT
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 to the September 2003 issue of Serendipity, the newsletter of The Recovery Group. The team of TRG Trusted Servants has come forth with lots of good information for you this month!

In particular, you will read about a new way to volunteer for service within TRG, about the different categories of loops within TRG, about specific loops which are in special need of help to relieve the current coordinator for other service, about our wonderful TRG Sponsor Program, and, well, I could go on, but I would prefer that you take that task on yourself!

One announcement that I have to make is that I've lost my assistant, Chris, who has had to resign. If you're inclined to help with the newsletter, please write and I will tell you what's involved with publishing an issue. It will also be publicised in the Trusted Servant Pool if you want information that way; more on the Pool in the Founder's Column.

As you read this issue, pray for what your Higher Power may have in mind for you to take away from this issue. Perhaps it will be that you will feel called to serve one of the loops; perhaps it will inspire you to share in Serendipity (an article, a Letter to the Editor, etc.); or even, perhaps, you will be inspired to attend an online meeting for the first time and/or to go to one of the Recovery Talk Happy Hour sessions. Whatever your Higher Power has in mind for you, stay open to hear the "word" as you read on.

It is my pleasure to serve The Recovery Group as Editor of this newsletter. If you haven't already, I hope you find a way to participate, also.

Love in recovery,

     Marty
     Editor, SERENDIPITY
     Newsletter of The Recovery Group





~ FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ OUR NEW POOL ~


Dear Serendipity Readers ~

The summer is over, the kids are in school, the leaves will be turning soon, and food is still the enemy. The good news is that many of us have more time now and, since working a good recovery program takes time, it's good to focus on that. The Recovery Group has started something new that many of you may want to consider ~ a Trusted Servants Pool.

Often during the year, a Coordinator, Greeter, Web Servant or "Step Within" Trusted Servant will resign for various reasons. We need an immediate replacement in many cases and recruiting works well, but it also leaves a loop uncared for while we search. We don't have to do that anymore, because we had approximately three dozen wonderful volunteers to start the Recovery Trusted Servant's Pool.

Job Openings are advertised to the Pool and the members have the opportunity of first choice of the job. Giving service does not take a lot of time, and is one of the best jobs you'll ever have.

We'd like to invite you to join TRG's T/S Pool by sending a blank e-mail to:
TrustedServantsPool-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

The Recovery Group Trusted Servants Pool ~ Come dive right in.

Happy September!

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




~ FROM OUR TRG ADMINISTRATORS ~

Dear Members of The Recovery Group,

FROM THE TRG ADMINISTRATION

The Recovery Group is made up of a number of different divisions ... but what they all have in common is that each is for compulsive eaters and their recovery.

The RECOVERY Loops are 12 Step Loops for general sharing and made up of loops like Journey to Recovery, OA Friends, Anorexia and Bulimia, the Recovery Loop, etc.

The ODAT Loops are 12 Step Special Focus Loops, and are for compulsive eaters who want a support group with others who share a second issue. Some of those topics are: Abuse, Diabetics, AA, Religion, Grey Sheet, Anger, Relationships, Kids, etc.

The DISCOVERY Loops are Special Focus Loops to be used as an adjunct interest to those working a 12 Step Program. Some of the Discovery Loops are The Discovery Kitchen, Exercise and Discovery, The Yellow Brick Road, etc.

The Recovery Group Trusted Servants stay busy constantly by keeping their loops running smoothly, recruiting and training new Trusted Servants, doing 12th Step Work by putting their loops on Internet search engines and sharing regularly with their loops and inspiring others to share. After a very busy summer, the Administration of the Recovery Group is ready to greet Fall and Winter with excitement and hope about new projects, new people and new ideas.

We thank all of you for your support through the years. If we can ever be of service to you, please write us at:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org





~ FROM OUR ODAT ADMINISTRATION ~

The ODAT/Discovery Loops

Hi, everyone!

It is my pleasure to drop a few lines as Chair of the ODAT Committee. Sounds important doesn't it? All it really means is that I have accepted the job of helping to look after the ODAT loops and answer questions, do some jobs that need doing, and be there for you if you need me. I am still learning, so reporting is still pretty new to me. But I do know that Mari, Sande and I (as well as your Coordinators) are working very hard to make the loops as safe as they can be, and look out for 'spammers' and inappropriate mailings. We have also been looking at filling the posts to make sure there are more and more trusted servants for each loop.

This brings me to a request. I am still Co-Coordinator on several loops and it would be wonderful if you feel you may be able to help me so I can eventually let these jobs go to someone who has more time to participate regularly and give them the attention they deserve.

These loops are:

  • PainODAT - A wonderfully caring loop for those coping with pain while still trying to work their program of recovery.
  • TeensODAT - This loop looks after, supports, and offers a willing ear to our teens.
  • GriefODAT - A loop I love (and also helped form) and which helped me so much as my dad lay dying and eventually died. This loop is very special and the shares are deeply moving and uplifting.
We do now have a Trusted Servant Pool and are able to enlist help there, too. But if you are reading this and have never tried a hand at service, this is a great opportunity to start.

Please write to me if you have any questions, at:
dietrich12000@yahoo.com.

I thank you for being patient with me as I stumble and learn my new job as your Chair.

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





~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP SPONSOR PROGRAM ~



"Having a sponsor is the best way to learn how to be a sponsor: we are taught by example. We also learn to sponsor by doing. "(A Guide for Sponsors, Overeaters Anonymous)

Having a sponsor is an essential part of our recovery from our disease of compulsive overeating, anorexia, bulimia, binge disorder (or any of the other descriptions for our disease) which is, for all intents and purposes, killing us.

Being a sponsor and giving back what we have so generously been given is just as essential as having a sponsor! It is a spiritual axiom that we cannot keep what we do not give away. We must give back!

Having confidence as a sponsor is not difficult, because we have a sponsor ourselves; someone we can emulate in the way that we now sponsor, and also someone we can go to for help when needed as we sponsor others.

For both Sponsors and Sponsees there is a loop within The Recovery Group to join and ask questions, share our experience, strength and hope as well as any issues that come up as we sponsor or are sponsored. The loop is "Sponsors and Recovery" at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sponsorsandrecovery/.

If you have questions, suggestions or need the Sponsor Directory and Biographies for TRG's Sponsor Program, please write the address below, and don't forget you _must_ include to which Recovery Group you belong. Write to:
Sponsors@TheRecoveryGroup.org

If you wish to contact all the sponsors at once, and describe the kind of sponsor you're looking for and a little about yourself, please write the address below, and (again) don't forget you _must_ include to which Recovery Group you belong:
RecoverySponsors@yahoogroups.com

If you would like to become a Recovery Sponsor and serve The Recovery Community in this very important way, please let us know by writing to:
TRGSponsorsAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org.

Thank you.

In service to all,
   Dreena, Sponsor Coordinator
   The Recovery Group Sponsor Program Trusted Servants

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.The RecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html



~ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ~





~ ANNOUNCEMENTS ~





~ KIDS' CORNER ~



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



~ TEENS' CORNER ~



TEENS' CORNER

Hi, everyone!

This month we welcomed Cyndi as a new Co-cordinator to TeensODAT. Cyndi is only able to be with us until mid-September, but will then return at the end of November.

We are trying to encourage the teens to share more. Ironically, just when we think we are talking to ourselves, another teen pops up and shares, giving us hope and encouragement ~ we know the mail is being read.

As you see from my letter as ODAT Chair, I am hoping someone will come along and help out here with Cyndi. That would be really good news. Cyndi has so much to offer and is a real gift to the loop.

If you are a teen, or if you know one who might have an eating problem, you are very welcome to come on over and join us!

Love,
Marl
Co-cordinator, 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 ]



~ TWELVE STEPS FOR TEENS ~


  1. We said we had a real problem with food and because of that problem our lives kept getting messed up.

  2. We came to believe that there is a Power around that will help us to think straight and see the truth.

  3. We decided that we would see if we could find out more about this Power and slowly let it help us. We call this Power `God' but it doesn't have to be a `God' found in a church or something. It can be anything I want it to be, so long as I understand what it is, that's OK.

  4. With the help of someone else called a `sponsor' or OA friend so that we weren't afraid, we had a look at our lives and all the problems we have and what might cause them. We also looked at our good points. We called this an inventory.

  5. We had a little time with our Power called God and went through what we had found in Step 4, and doing this we saw it too and shared it with someone.

  6. We were ready to have the Power called God remove anything that makes us feel bad about ourselves.

  7. We asked him to remove them.

  8. We made a list of anyone we had hurt and became willing to say we're sorry, and especially to change how we treat other people.

  9. We said sorry and began to change a little bit. We didn't rush around saying, "Sorry" though, if it meant we might hurt someone.

  10. Every day we kept on looking to see if any of our old problems were still happening and if they were, we did something straight away.

  11. We carried on talking (or praying) to our Power called God and spent some quiet time to see if we could work out or hear what it is our Power wants for us to do.

  12. Now that we feel a whole lot better, we tried to help someone else and show them how we got better. We tried to become better people.




~ SEPTEMBER LOOP SPOTLIGHTS ~

NEWCOMERS AND RECOVERY

The Newcomers and Recovery Loop is for people who have started to realize they have a problem with compulsive eating. They have started to realize that they need some help. This loop is where they can 'meet' other people with the same problems, and start to see that they are not alone. They can share experience, strength and hope. They can learn about the OA program, and in particular about the first three Steps. Newcomers and Recovery offers a gateway into The Recovery Group (TRG) as a whole. It's a place to ask questions, to learn about some of the other loops, the online meetings, online sponsors, the tools of recovery.

Newcomers is also for people who are working the program but who want to be reminded of where they were, and what it was like to be in the food. Avoiding complacency, sharing about what it was like, reworking Steps One, Two and Three on a daily basis, helping AND learning from Newcomers....these are all functions of Newcomers and Recovery.

To find out more, please visit:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewcomersAndRecovery/

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



OA ANON

The disease of compulsive eating affects not just the compulsive eater, but also those with whom they must interact each day of their lives..." OA_Anon ODAT Special Focus Loop is a loop dedicated to supporting the families of those affected by the disease of compulsive overeating. It is a place where the families and loved ones of COE's can share their experiences and find support for those whom they want so desperately to help and understand. Newcomers are warmly welcomed!!

To read more, please visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OAAnonODAT/,
or http://recovery.hiwaay.net/special/oaanon.html.

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



OA FRIENDS

OA Friends is an online recovery community, made up of compulsive overeaters who come together to share their experience, strength and hope with each other. It is a large, international loop, currently with about 500 members from around the world. Its name says it all: it is a group of friends in OA, who are working the program to the best of their abilities, one day at a time.

OA Friends is a place where members come to share insights, problems and life experiences, and to ask questions. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop eating compulsively. Members of OA Friends may begin as "strangers", but become friends through communicating with each other between meetings, through sharing the day-to-day decisions about overeating or not overeating, and discussing the stresses we face every day. Ultimately, having made the decision to not overeat "no matter what"; the members of the OA Friends loop are support for each other 24/7.

If you would like to communicate with other recovering compulsive eaters between meetings; if you ever need do something different in order to avoid eating compulsively, or are having strong feelings about a person or event in your life and just need to communicate with other recovering compulsive eaters, then OA Friends might be a loop for you! If you join us you will receive a warm welcome and greeting, followed by posts from OA Friends sharing their recover! You may listen, or introduce yourself and share at whatever level you are comfortable. You will meet new friends on their own journey to recovery. The members of OA Friends would love to have you join them.

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

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



PAGAN ODAT

Merry Meet.

Hello! The "Pagan One Day at a Time" loop is a special place where pagans gather to work a 12- or 16-step recovery program. This is a diverse group with mutual respect for the many differences and similarities. The group's commitment is one of an atmosphere of love, peace, serenity, compassion and trust. Although many members are also members of Overeaters Anonymous, this group is not, itself, affiliated with OA, Inc.

The focus is spirituality, acceptance, healing and recovery. The purpose is to walk together in this journey of recovery, witnessing each others' stories, and sharing the strength, hope and experience that is part of each individual's pathway to freedom.

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

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



~ FROM OUR RECOVERY GROUP MEMBERS ~


My monkeys...well, I love them, too; they are my weakness. Right now I am looking at about 20 surrounding my computer (with angels, too). At work I have three on my filing cabinet and a huge gorilla under my desk.

When I first walked into OA, I was struggling with the spirituality of this program. Due to the loss of my babies and my little nephew, I viewed God (as I understood him) as a killer of children, and certainly no one to whom I would turn to help me with a weight problem (as I saw it then.)

Three days later, I was walking around a Charity shop (where people donate goods and the sale of the goods go to charity), when I first saw Kong; a huge, gorgeous, all-embracing gorilla. Almost as a two fingers up to the God I understood (or didn't understand) I chose Kong to be my HP. I cuddled him, talked to him and sat with him a while, with candles burning, and thought things through...and you know what? I became abstinent. It worked, anyway. And that day I knew that God can come in any form, even as a cuddly toy. All I had to do was be willing to talk and work it, and do what I could, and He would do the rest.

I still have Kong; he is still under my desk at work. But I look at him fondly, and know that He was just a tool God used to reach me in my time of despair of ever having a 'real God' help me.

And that, for me, was my miracle...

In recovery,
Marl


~ RECOVERY WRITERS' SERIES ~

~ DANNY'S "LETTERS TO GOD" ~

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 is the third month in which we will highlight the series, "Danny's Letters to God". This month's letter is called "Step Nine".

~ STEP NINE ~

Dear God,

As you can see, it is pretty late and although my thoughts were with You since early this morning, it is not the same as sitting here keyboard resting on my belly.

The woman You sent to run my life had the phone tied up with work stuff. Some nerve! And I had to listen to all the work talk. This, of course, brought back some memories. Ugh!!! So my eyes are watery, my nose is runny, my throat is scratchy and I feel like someone is sitting on my chest. The woman popped a thermometer in my kisser and says the instrument read 101.2. Big deal. The numbers were written so small, I'd need a glass to read them. I do feel hot, though.

Out of the 36 people in attendance at the face-to-face meeting last night, a goodly number were men. Nice to see that. Friend and traveling companion, Bobby J., was the guest speaker, and I enjoyed annoying him for the fifteen minutes he rambled. I do believe Your presence was firmly felt, as the sharing all led to the truth that without reaching a spiritual fitness, and then maintaining that fitness, we are doomed to failure. It is my belief that eating compulsively is impossible if spiritual fitness is attained through living the steps and maintained through living the steps.

I have had many many slips and slides over 25 years but never when my surrender to Your will was complete and in effect. It is only when my stinking thinking has started that food becomes my master again. Before taking any action I need to ask myself three things:

  1. What are my motives... the real motives?
  2. How important is it?
  3. Most importantly, will it offend my God?
If so, it is a "no go". Simple, if I remember to remember. For every wrong move I make there is a pound or two hanging on my body. Now, that is food for thought.

There were some shares last night that left no doubt the person sharing, although in the rooms for years, had not gotten anywhere near the 9th step and are wondering why they can't begin to have the promises come true. Kind of like the kid who wants to score 100 on his test but will not study for it, but then when he flunks he blames God. We really are childlike. As I sit here in relative comfort, decisions are being made for me by You ... just let me know what they are. One is that there will be no nursing home visits on Wednesday, as this cold need not be spread.

The rest of this day will be spent resting (I do that so well) and playing with my toys. A few program calls might elicit some chicken soup if the right number is dialed. Meanwhile, You are in charge. Just let me know what to do.

And God ... please watch over my family, friends, fellow loopies, those who have not completed their 9th step and the folks I don't like.

And Why Not?
Danny



~ FROM THE LITERATURE ~




~~THE TWELVE STEPS ~ STEP NINE~~

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.



~~ THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ~ TRADITION NINE ~~

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



~~ BIG BOOK QUOTE ~~
Big Book reading:

"Selfishness--self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariable find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic/addict/COE is an example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics/addicts/COES must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God/HigherPower makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His/its aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God's/HP's help."

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, P. 62 (all editions)




~ RECOVERY MEDITATIONS ~


~
September Meditations Calendar ~
(http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/september.html)





~ THE RECOVERY GROUP MEETINGS ~

THE RECOVERY GROUP ONLINE MEETINGS

Recovery Group currently has two blocks of meetings... Noon and 9:30 PM Eastern time. Our meetings are GREAT! Recovery Group has fantastic, committed leaders! Meetings are well attended, warm, and welcoming. Recovery is shared. Members feel comfortable sharing, even at their first meeting.

We have four new Meeting Trusted Servants. Ann is partnering with Patt for the Thursday Noon meetings. Carolyn is partnering with Cindy for the Tuesday Noon meetings. Christy is partnering with Christine for the Saturday 9:30 pm meeting, and Margie is partnering with Cindy for the Thursday night meetings.

And we are also excited to welcome back Dreena, who is leading the Sunday noon meetings.

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.

Thanks,

Vicki and Pat
Meeting Cocoordinators






~ 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 9 © Copyright 2003 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.