A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group

September 2006
Volume 8, Issue 9

Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others who are working a Twelve-Step program of recovery.

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

Contact Serendipity:
The Serendipity Archives

SERENDIPITY, the Recovery Group Newsletter, is sent by email to each member of The Recovery Group on the first of each month, year-round.

Individual subscriptions are also available, for non-members. See the "CONTACTS" section, below. Serendipity copyright permission is freely given to COEs around the world. Please feel free to share it with others.



Dear Serendipity Readers,

We wish to express appreciation to Rob, past editor of Serendipity for six months of excellent newsletters. I believe I speak for all when I say "Thank you, Rob." If you would like information about the job description for Serendipity Editor, please write:
TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org and send your publishing experience.

Welcome to the September issue of Serendipity. We hope you enjoy the articles and please feel free to contribute your own in the future.

The Recovery Group, as you know, is a international community with many different kinds of resources for compulsive eaters. Most of our loops are 12 Step support groups; however, some aren't. Some of our loops are very much like an OA meeting ... some are extremely casual. Some people dislike crosstalk; some love it. Some want special focus loops; others want generalities. This newsletter encompasses articles which we hope will be of interest to all members. We are grateful to all who have contributed and hope you will find this an interesting and informative edition of YOUR newsletter.

As leaves begin to turn to prepare us for the autumn and winter months, we send you our best wishes for continued abstinence, serenity and happiness.

Love in recovery,

Mari ~ September Edition Editor Contact: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com




The interest in the #RecoveryTalk room just keeps growing. It did not take long for the information about the room to get around. Many people are there at any given time of the day.

What is nice is that so many members come and share and offer an extended hand when they stop by. It is great to see. ESH abounds.

The next neat thing is that we have SO many NewComers stopping by. It is like our next new newcomers meeting room. I just love this. When I was so low and desperate, I found someone, a live someone to help me in the middle of the night the instant that I needed someone to help me. This is happening in #RecoveryTalk.

Hope to see YOU there soon.
Clem, Caretaker
Doorway at www.therecoverygroup.org
Contact: clem"at"peak.org

Reflections on Tradition 12

If you cannot mold yourself to such as you would wish, how can you expect others to be entirely to your liking?
    . . . Thomas `a Kempis

Compulsive overeaters come from every age group, socioeconomic group, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, and so on. No two of us are alike. The Twelfth Tradition teaches us to place principles before personalities. This is one of the traditions by which our program either lives or dies. Because we are so very different, we are going to have varying opinions -- sometimes almost explosively different opinions -- on issues affecting our fellowship as a whole. When those times arise, it is essential that we remember to place principles before personalities.

When I served on my first Group Conscience Committee, our home group called it "serving our one-year sentence." It was a hard year and it was difficult to get much business done because it was difficult to get people to agree on much business. But it was just the experience I needed in practicing the Twelfth Tradition in my life. Always remembering that Tradition, I did my best to not allow personalities to clutter my decision-making process in the committee. The principles of the program are set forth in the Steps. They are principles such as: honesty, faith, forgiveness, trust, hope, courage, willingness and humility. As we work to embody these principles by working the Steps in our lives, we reduce the chance that issues affecting our fellowship will divide us. It will be easier to look beyond the perceived faults of others and to see the needs of the fellowship and the good of the whole.
I will look past my OA members' perceived faults and see the needs of the fellowship.

~ Carolyn H.



"The first tradition of unity reminds us of an important truth. We are not alone. We are connected to our fellow human beings. Our emotional and spiritual health depends upon the health of our relationships. The disease of compulsive eating which once isolated us has now led us here."
    ~ OA's The 12 Steps & 12 Traditions, Page 117


"Coming together is the beginning,
keeping together is progress,
working together is success"
    ~ Henry Ford
(July 30, 1863 - April 7, 1947) Founder of the Ford Motor Company and father of the modern assembly line used in mass production.


"The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals."
    ~ Rensis Likert
(1903-1981) American educator and organization psychologist


"Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper's principle" "The next mile is the only one a person really has to make."
    ~ Eric Sevareid quotes (American Journalist, 1912-1992)
(1912-1992) Intellectual, analytical, adventurous and controversial American journalist.


I think of the seasons as times of renewal ... all kinds of renewals. In winter, we have the opportunity to go within. In many places it is cold and our homes are warm and conducive to being in a comfortable place for soul searching. Spring brings with it the expectancy of beginnings. We venture outside, marvel at nature and see rebirth all around us. We can internalize this and shake our feathers and proceed anew. Summer is a lazy time ... we all need to be lazy sometimes. We go into a low gear and we begin to have an attitude of play and fun and frivolity. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. Each of the leaves on the trees that surround me are as a beautiful summer flower ... equally as pretty ... equally a miracle. I am motivated to begin projects in Autumn ... to see fruition of work begun in other seasons.

I read once that if someone were a bird, they would fly around all over the earth and find the autumns of the world. This is the way I feel about my autumns and if I were a bird, I would do exactly the same thing.


Happy September, Loop Buds,

~ OASIS, An OA Meeting Loop ~

On October 1, a new kind of support group will begin. This E-Mail 12 Step loop for compulsive eaters will have the exact protocol as an OA Meeting. There will be no crosstalk, no responses to the shares of members and only conference approved and Recovery literature. All members will be asked to share just as if they were standing in front of a face-to-face group sharing with them. An appropriate share uses the "I" word, tells how things used to be in the disease, what happened when the 12 Steps were incorporated into our lives and how things are now as a result. When an Oasis member wants to respond to a member's share, they will be asked to do so privately.

More information about this special new OA Meeting Loop will be sent to you as October approaches.


To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:

All comments and suggestions are welcome.


I was reading on the sponsor page about joining a recovery loop and I don't see anywhere on the home page how to do that. Could you direct me how to join a recovery loop? It would be greatly appreciated.

Hello, CH:
Each of our support groups has a special page on the web. There's a link to join on each page. You can also send a blank email to this address:


Dear Serendipity,
I am looking for an OA sponsor. I am a 39 year old female.
I am in another 12-step program.
Please help.

Hi, Hope,
A sponsor can be found in many places and in many different ways. Please read this page and I think you'll find the answer to your question:
~ Editor

Dear Recovery,
I am new today. I have problems becoming an online member.
I am desperate for help. I need someone to help me help myself.
I cannot go on this way. I will do anything to make myself lose weight.
Thank you,

Hi Lily,
Don't panic. There is help for you.
The first step is to join our OA Newcomers loop by going to this page on the web:
You will be directed from there.
Hang on and welcome home!
~ Editor


Hi, there,
I am new. I have just ordered the 12 Step OA book and now I would like to get a sponsor.
I went to the sponsor page but I am unsure what a home group loop is?
Any help would be very much appreciated.

Dear Janice,
If you are new to the 12 Step Program, it would be good for you to join OANewcomers, which is a 3-month orientation program for compulsive eaters who want to work a 12-Step Program.

To join, send a blank email to:

When you "graduate" from OANewcomers, you will be ready for your "home loop," which is one of our general sharing loops like OARecovery, JourneyToRecovery, OAFriends, 200Plus, etc. The OA 12+12 is an excellent book. Glad you have it.

Welcome Home!
~ Editor
Editor, Serendipity


The Abuse One Day at a Time (ODAT) loop is a Special Interest Loop of the Recovery Group dedicated to providing a recovery home for compulsive overeaters who are also survivors of abuse ... sexual, emotional, physical and verbal abuse. Our mission is to provide a safe and peaceful place to share experience, strength and hope with one another. Many of our members are also members of Overeaters Anonymous.

Our loop has a very special mission. We provide a place to work our own recovery program and also to carry that message to others. 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 survivors who are suffering. 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.

There is only one requirement for membership of the Abuse and Recovery 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 ensure 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.

We are happy that you have found us and are looking forward to sharing experience, strength and hope together.

To join ABUSE, please send a blank email to:

Contact: ODATAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org



A time comes in your life when you finally get it ... when in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself; and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers ... and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children,or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view and you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world ... and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love, romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away.

You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love ... and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms ... just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5, 6 ft. tall, or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK ... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want ... and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won't settle for less. You allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch ... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to carefor it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise.

You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve ... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time, fear itself.

You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.

You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego. You learn those negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever, settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life that you want to live as best as you can.

Virginia S. ~

Administrative Highlights


From TRG Adminstration (TRGAdm):

Just what is it the administrators of The Recovery Group do on a daily basis?

Each of us receives approximately 150 to 200 emails a day. Some need to be approved, some are questions, some are from loops that are having short term concerns, some are from business loops.

We answer members' questions and make note of any concerns or comments you may have.

We forward needed information to the Division Coordinators and various business loop administrators. We do background work for the various workshops and studies that are available here at our recovery home. We gather and file statisical information and Dodee answers some of the technical questions.

We are also a part of the Executive Committee where all decisions having to do with The Recovery Group are discussed and voted on.

But the very best part of our job is getting to know you, the Trusted Servants and members of The Recovery Group.


Q. What is a loop? Is it a meeting? Why am I getting mail that is addressed to someone else?

A. The Recovery Group (TRG) is made up of about 60 email "loops" in three categories. Each person who belongs to the loop gets a copy of every email that is sent to the list or loop (same thing). If you click on Reply and send something, it also goes to every member of the loop. That's why we ask that you send one-liners or personal replies to the person who sent it and not to the whole loop. A loop is not a meeting. We read our email when we want to do it, and answer when it is convenient for us. Sharing, however, in many of our loops can be very much like those in a f2f meeting.

TRG also has online meetings, which are registered with OA. They are "real-time" meetings, which means that all participants are seated at their computers and responding to each other at exactly the same time -- much like being in a face to face (f2f) meeting. TRG has online meetings every three hours around the clock, starting at midnight Eastern Time. If you have problems attending meetings, you can contact Meeting Adminstration at:

Dodee and Nancy
The Recovery Group

Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org


Focus on Exercise!

The Exercise loop is a diverse group of people who support one another in their 12-step journey. We have members who are devoted competitive athletes. And we have members who exercise casually and infrequently. And there are those of us in between. The best part is that we are all supporting and encouraging one another regardless of our fitness level.

This loop is a safe place where we share triumphs or struggles. There is usually activity every day here. We often share our personal exercise plan for the day. Sometimes we discuss a fitness topic that's in the news.

We welcome new members with open arms. We would be delighted for new friends to join us. Melissa is coordinator-in-training of this loop and contributed the above information. Thanks, Melissa!

Check out this loop at:

If you need some new recipes to increase the variety in your food plan, take a look at the Discovery Kitchen at:

Breakfast getting boring? Here's one example that combines the fruits of summer and rapidly approaching fall:

Apple Strawberry Pancakes (batter)

1 cup pastry flour
1/2 cup barley flour or unbleached flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest (grated lemon rind)
4 egg whites
1/4 cup applesauce
2 cups apple juice
1/2-1 cup sliced strawberries*
Mix together dry ingredients.
Mix together wet ingredients.
Combine and mix well.
Add fresh fruit.
Serves 4.

*Note: You can use any kind of fresh fruit.
In other news, we are looking for second coordinators for both "Abstinent Kitchen" and "Exercise" loops, and two coordinators for "COkids", and an advisor for "Kids".

Please contact me (Athena1480"at"aol.com) for details.

In loving service,
Discovery Division Chair

Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
Email: DiscoveryAdm@yahoo.com
or DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org


The ODAT Loops

Compulsive overeaters all have a common focus of recovering from overeating. But sometimes, it is good to talk to people who understand special challenges within the context of 12-step recovery. The ODAT groups were created for this reason.

We have many different focus groups within the ODAT division. There are groups which focus on the members' physical challenges, such as diabetes, pain, depression, PMS, and disabilities. There are groups which focus on relationships, such as Divorce, Anger, Grief, Oanon, Isolation, Homebound, Rainbow to Abstinence, FFOA (Alanon), Parenting, Pregnancy & Motherhood, and Relationships. Two groups focus on a food program. These are HOW and Grey sheet. There are groups whose members share the same faith; such as Latter Day Saints, Pagan, Christian and Jewish. There are groups of the same age, such as Teens and Silver. Some of our groups focus on those members who are addicted to other substances; in addition to overeating. These include Drug Abuse, AA, Spending, and S*xandLove Addiction.

Our newest group is Sponsor-sponsee talk. This is a group for people who are sponsors, or who have sponsors; or people who want to talk about any aspect of sponsoring. We are currently having discussions about sponsoring newcomers who don't call back; and about anonymity and/or revealing who your sponsor is. If you'd like to be part of the discussion, please join this group! If you would like any information about any of our ODAT support groups, please contact the ODAT Division Chairperson at: nilknarf156"at"yahoo.com.

ODAT Division Chair

Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html


The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's Twelve-step general sharing support groups. Our common mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for anyone who wants to recover from the disease of compulsive eating to share their experience, strength, and hope with others. In addition, some of these loops also have a special focus.

The loops that make up this Division are: Anorexia and Bulimia, The Big Book, 200 Plus, Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk, Working the Steps ("WTS"), and WTS Weekly.

Several of the Recovery Group Loops are in need of a second coordinator or coordinator-in-training to help balance the workload.

I hope some of you will consider this opportunity to give service. If you are interested in becoming a coordinator or coordinator in training for one of the Recovery Group Loops, please contact me at: cheryl_stanley "at" msn.com.

Cheryl S., Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division

More details about these support groups can be found at:
Contact: recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com

On-Line Meeting Division

Meetings Around the World ~ Around the Clock

What is my focus on today? The problem or the solution? The more I focus my mind on defects, late starts, compulsive eating the worse the meeting becomes. But when I try to see what I can add to the meeting, rather than what I can get out of it, and when I focus on what is good about it, rather than what's wrong with it, the meeting keeps getting better and better. (AABB page 419)

We added one new leader this month. We are still in need of meeting leaders. If you can give an hour we need you. We have the Big Book Study each Saturday night at 9 pm ET.

We are also in need of a Spanish/English speaking person to lead Spanish meetings.

If you would like to also to give service as a meeting leader, please write to:

In loving service,
Terri and Audrey
(TRG Meeting Division Chairs)
Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org


We are currently looking for creative, energetic people for a number of our programs. Must have dependability, tenacity and experience at various level with the Recovery Group's programs and services. If you are interested in giving service in this important way, please contact:



It's a privilege to sponsor someone. And it's one of the ways we stay in recovery and work our 12th step on a daily basis.

Serving as a sponsor reinforces our physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with another and our Higher Power. Sponsoring stops us isolating and teaches us how to be supportive of another human being seeking recovery.

As stated in tradition five, carrying the message of recovery is OA's primary purpose. A sponsor is an OA member who shares this message - and her or his own program of recovery - on an ongoing, individual basis with another member, called a sponsoree.

May we, Sponsor and Sponsee, be protected together.
May we enjoy the fruits of selfless service.
May we always be connected to our own Inner Joy and Peace.
May the Wisdom within our Spirits be full of Light.
May we always share our LOVE with one another.
To become a sponsor for TRG please write us at the email address below.

Respectfully submitted,
Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

       Contact: Sponsorsadm@yahoo.com


     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
     / \   / \   / \

Hi Everyone!

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, there is not a better time to work our recovery than right now. The weather is great for being active, and we have the ability to enjoy the naturally healthy produce of the season.

For those of you "down under", now is a great time to get a jump on recovery before that "spring fever" hits.

Before long, the season will change and the holidays will be upon us. Are you ready? Will you have taken advantage of the tools available to you to help you achieve success? Do you have a plan for making next summer even better?

Right now Recovery Telephone Angels are available to answer your questions, address your concerns, and be that understanding friend who is always there to listen and help you find recovery. They are members of TRG who work the steps, and share their ESH with others by telephone or email.

We understand that reaching out is not easy... but it is easier than choosing to do it yourself, or "go it alone". Why not call and make a new friend?

To find out more about the RecoveryTelephone Angels Program, you can visit our webpage at:

Joy and peace in your recovery,
Marilyn (Marils)
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory

The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
Email: Telephoneangels@yahoo.com.


The Twelve Traditions originated with Alcoholics Anonymous and have been adapted by hundreds of organizations, including Overeaters Anonymous and The Recovery Group.

The Traditions are what unite us in our common cause. We have the Twelve Steps for individuals and the Twelve Traditions are for our group. Both are vital. The Twelve Traditions are listed below and you can read the way The Recovery Group implements each at the following url:


  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority ... a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or OA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
  6. An OA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the OA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. OA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television and other public media of communication.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Admitting Mistakes

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday."
    . . . Alexander Pope

Most of my life I had spent in blaming others for all the bad things that happened in my life, and I never learned to take responsibilty for my part in anything. I thought that life had treated me unfairly, but mostly it was because someone else had wronged me. I wallowed in self pity and justifiable anger, and not surprisingly, I found comfort in food so I could get through the pain of being treated so badly by others.

When I came into the program and began working the steps, I was horrified to learn that I was expected to do a searching and fearless inventory of my wrongdoings, for after all wasn't it others who had harmed me and not the other way around? Slowly I realised that I had a part to play in all the events in my life, and that only by clearing up the wreckage of my past and keeping my side of the street clean, did I have any hope of recovery. I had to swallow my pride and admit when I was wrong, and when I did that, miracles began to happen. Instead of feeling hard done by and bad about myself as I had thought I would, the exact opposite happened, and I started on a journey of growth and increasing self esteem that never ceases to surprise me. When I am able to admit that I'm wrong and apologise for my part in any conflict or misunderstanding, without expectation of anything back from the other person, I strengthen my recovery in this program.

I will admit my mistakes whether I believe that the fault is mine or not, because that is the way that I grow in my recovery.

~ Sharon

~ Important TRG Recovery Announcement ~

We have completed 365 original meditations, and have appointed a committee to find a publisher for what we feel will become a special resource for those working a 12-Step program. Please get in touch with the committee if you can provide information about publishers.

Contact: lvillesvik"at"hotmail.com,
Chair of the Recovery Meditations Publications Committee.

Meet Catherine

Hello! I am Catherine (aka TRGCatherine), and I am a recovering Compulsive Overeater.

I joined OA and TRG the beginning of June. I was surfing the Internet, and while I do not remember if it was for anything specific, the next thing I knew I was at OA.org and TheRecoveryGroup.org. I had been searching for spiritual direction for a few years, and on that day in June, I found it within this program. I fully believe my HP led me to this wonderful fellowship.

I have just begun my path of recovery, but I have also fully immersed myself in the program. The miracles and blessings have already started for me. I am participating in the Newcomers Loop 12-week class that began on July 1st. It is a fantastic learning tool for newcomers. Every week of the 12-week period we discuss a different topic related to OA and TRG. I am listed as a TRG Buddy, which has brought about several wonderful recovery relationships. I normally attend one online meeting a day and attend at least one local f2f meeting a week. I have started leading one TRG online meeting per week as well.

I have grown so much from fellow OAs in meetings. I love that I can take what works for me and leave the rest. My abstinence plan is multi-faceted to include physical, emotional, and spiritual components to help guide me away from compulsive overeating. While I know it is not prefect, it is progress in the right direction. I do find that when I track something too closely, I am caught up in the counting and I fail.

I have found that the fellowship, abstinence, literature, and all the tools of recovery have started to build a solid foundation of recovery for me. I am excited to be able to give back just a little bit of what has been given to me through service. All of these things have become part of my life and have helped me to avoid compulsively overeating. I pray to my HP daily to have the continued willingness to 'Keep Coming Back One Day at a Time.'


Note: Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST

~ Lifeline Excerpt ~
Grateful For Life

I am 20 years old, and I have been in OA for a year and two months. Thank you OA for the life I could not have imagined when I was still in my compulsive overeating, starving, overexercising disease. The miracles are too numerous to count, and I know that more await.

Throughout my life, beginning in fourth grade with my first diet, I have been obsessed with food and weight. In high school and college I would binge in the morning, exercise it off the rest of the day, or vice versa. One day, alone in my dorm room after days of isolation and food, saying I was sick (how right I was), I got on my knees and said to whatever power there was, "I need help!" A few moments later, I discovered in a magazine an eating disorders hotline that referred me to OA.

Since my first meeting in OA, through no will of my own, I have been gratefully abstinent, even through a year living abroad and my sister's wedding. My relationships are better, my fears are lifted and my dreams are rediscovered. I thank OA and my Higher Power. I am a member for life!

OA's "Lifeline" magazine, March 1998, p. 7
A subscription to Lifetime is available from the OA website, at:


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     (WARNING: Off-topic Dieting Discussed)
      Editor's Note: A humorous account of a COE who has never heard of the Twelve Steps; true Story.



The first thing I do every morning is to check my weight. If I like the reading then I stop. If I don't like the reading then I move the scale to a different place on the floor and try again. If this doesn't help then I give the scale a small kick to let it know that I am not happy. If this doesn't work then I step quickly up and down on the scale so that the reading only goes up to a maximum of approximately 114.

If this doesn't work then I grab the scale and shake it with a little more vigor than the kick. If this doesn't work then I choose the lowest of all my readings and write that as my weight for the day. If I can't live with this final reading then I give the scale a final hard kick, and then I snarl a few dirty words at it. By then I have become irritable enough to remember not to eat very much that day.

I never eat anything that I don't like. I don't care if it is good for me or not. Usually it is not good for me. Some people tell me that I should eat healthy food or I will die within three days. I tell them that tomorrow morning I am cutting them out of my will. Also, my plan works the other way: If I want to eat it then I eat it. The result of this plan is that I never have a shortage of good food to eat. If I go to Starbucks and feel like it, then I will eat a chocolate chip cookie and a Danish. I have to be hungry to do that. Their food is not that good.

I don't eat common ordinary breads or cereals. It's amazing how much of that stuff gets around. Most of it doesn't taste good, but it's very sneaky.

People have to feel that they have plenty of food. They have to feel that way all the time. Any plan that makes them feel a shortage of food will not work. Any plan that tells them what they should eat will not work. Any plan that tells them what they should not eat will not work.

People will have to give up some food in order to lose weight. They should give up some foods that are relatively easy to give up. Don't give up favorite foods. It won't work.

Don't go to a restaurant or a Christmas party and then complain about being on a diet. You knew that before you went there. It's like walking into a cave and complaining that it's dark inside.
BH ~ Seattle


"We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill. Nearly all have recovered. They have solved the drink problem. We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain's table. Unlike the feelings of the ship's passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined."

The Big Book, Page 17


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
E-Mail Address ~ info@oa.org

"I put my hand in yours ...
and together we can do what we could never do alone."
~ Rozanne, OA CoFounder ~


~ Visit our beautiful scene for September ~

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Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Serendipity Subscriptions (non-TRG members) ~ SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Group Adminstrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@TheRecoveryGroup.org
The Contributors for this Edition:
Athena, B.J., Carolyn, Cate, Catherine, C.H., Cheryl, Clem, Dodee, Donna, Dressy, Hope, Janice, Lily, Marilyn, Melissa, Nancy, Patt, Pete, Virginia
Also, The OA 12 & 12, Henry Ford, Rensis Likert, Eric Severeid, Alexander Pope, The Big Book, Rozanne, OA WSO

"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."


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 Recovery Group Members receive Serendipity monthly.
Individual subscriptions to Serendipity may be requested by sending a blank email to:

Yours in service,
The Serendipity Team
CONTACT: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

Volume 8 Issue 9 © Copyright 2006 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.