~ RECOVERY WRITING SERIES ~ INSPIRATIONS ~
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
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
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
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
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. ~
~ TRG ADMINISTRATION ~
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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Dodee and Nancy
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:
The Recovery Group
~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~
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
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:
ODAT Division Chair
Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html
~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~
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
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:
~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~
(\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
/ \ / \ / \
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
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,
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory
The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
~ TRG'S 12 TRADITIONS AND TRG GUIDELINES ~
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:
THE 12 TRADITIONS
OF OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS
- Our common welfare should come first; personal
recovery depends upon OA unity.
- 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.
- The only requirement for OA membership is a desire
to stop eating compulsively.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters
affecting other groups or OA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its
message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
- 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.
- Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining
- Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever
non-professional, but our service centers may employ
- OA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create
service boards or committees directly responsible to those
- Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues;
hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public
- 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.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all these Traditions,
ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
"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.
ONE DAY AT A TIME ...
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.
~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER ~
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
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.
OA's "Lifeline" magazine, March 1998, p. 7
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!
A subscription to Lifetime is available
from the OA website, at: www.oa.org
~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~
"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