Spring 2024


Welcome to Spring!

We are finally emerging from under the cloak of winter. Spending much of the last few months in cozy indoor environments during rainy or snowy days may have given us more time for reflection. By April, we might feel recharged and ready to start new projects and set some personal goals, such as establishing better habits to gear up for the year ahead. The RI practice is about becoming aware of our thoughts and actions through the daily practice of spotting. Dr Low said that you would never sit down unless you thought that the act of sitting was safe. Secure thinking precedes every action. Spring is a time of action with all its growth and birth. The Recovery practice is action as well.

The benefits RI provides are the proof of changed habits for the better. Your editors were on hand at the recent RI Conference in San Diego to witness just that! We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with many members who had marvelous stories of triumph. In fact, many overcame symptoms in order to attend the conference because they were able to trust their basic functions to overcome their fears and doubts.

Keep spotting, reading the literature, and attending meetings, and please join us for the Spring Book Club session on “Balance,” as part of our 2024 focus on Habits and Trusting our Basic Functions, on Sunday, May 19th. See you there!

Happy Spring,

Your Editors, Dave and Helen


Mark your calendars for the next BOOK STUDY!

Sunday, May 19, 2024
balance of balls - 1

2:00pm Pacific & AZ / 3:00pm Mountain / 4:00pm Central / 5:00pm Eastern & PR / 6:00pm Atlantic / 10:00pm Ireland

Topic: Balance

Join us for the Spring Book Club session on the topic of Balance. If you received an email for the previous book club session, you are on the list. Otherwise, please email davesdecafe@gmail.com to be added to the list. You will receive a reminder email the week before.

(This is a Zoom meeting. The email will have the meeting code - no password - as well as dial-in instructions for those who wish to participate by phone.)

Free for everyone.


News from Headquarters

A Year in Review

It is exciting to see the resilience in our organization and the gains we are making as we continue to recover from the pandemic. In-person meetings are resuming, although many have discovered the convenience of Zoom, phone and chat meetings. Meetings held virtually remove geographic boundaries so we can reach people who are isolated by physical location or do not have the ability to attend meetings in-person. To get back to the feeling of community, we began planning conferences again. Being in-person together offers a sense of connection that we can’t quite achieve through electronics.

As always, if it weren’t for our volunteer leaders, we would have no way to offer RI meetings. You are our bedrock, and we are grateful to you. As our meetings grow, so does our need for qualified leaders in a variety of geographic locations. We have members from Austria, Canada, Croatia, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Sweden, as well as the United States and Puerto Rico. Over 9,000 peer-led meetings were held last year, serving more than 70,000 participants. In addition to the Spanish-language Zoom meeting, a Spanish-language Newcomers meeting was added, as well as a meeting in Japanese.

To support our leaders, we have a strong, talented staff who help us make a difference. Volunteers and staff together have increased leadership training opportunities so that our groups are consistent and high quality. Expanded educational opportunities for our members and leaders enhance the development of our practices.

The group-mindedness of our members, through your generous financial and volunteer support of RI, allows us to continue to provide services to those currently unable to contribute, as we work to return to pre-pandemic levels of giving. The kindness and generosity of those who remember RI in their wills and estate plans ensures a legacy of giving and continued service.

As Dr. Low wrote, mental health is our supreme purpose. It is an honor to work together to help people achieve greater peace in their lives. We are grateful to you for your support in serving this higher purpose, as together we strive for Better. Mental. Health.

Warmest wishes,

Celinda and Karen for Reporter – grouped w signatures

Save the Date for the RI Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 18, 2024
10 am Pacific and AZ / 11 am Mountain / 12 pm Central / 1 pm Eastern & PR

RI Members can join Board, staff, leaders and fellow members via Zoom to recap 2023 and hear what’s new for the future. Look for email announcements to register, or email jessica@recoveryinternational.org or call (312) 337-5661.

Welcome new staff members....

Jessica Sherba

Jessica Shurba

Administrative Manager, Chicago

Vera Kramer

Vera Kramer headshot

Development Manager, Chicago

Welcome to everyone and endorse for all you do for Recovery! For a full list of Board and Staff click HERE.


RI Regional Conference

Highlights from San Diego

The first Recovery International conference in over five years was held in San Diego, CA on February 16th. We were delighted to welcome over 100 attendees from community partners, RI members, non-members, board members and staff as we celebrated the theme “Affirming Our Fellowship and Commitments: Together Again.” Attendees joined breakout sessions and RI community meetings throughout the day and evening. With generous local sponsor support and mental health partners, the conference was filled with insightful topics, meaningful conversations, delicious meals and fun memories. More regional conferences will be announced soon – 2025 in New York State and 2026 in the Midwest.

conf photo collage

So Much to Endorse For!

As part of an effort to give back to the local San Diego community, new socks were collected for the unhoused. San Diego has a large homeless population and socks are among the top requested items. Lisa Garcia, RI staff in the San Diego office, has worked closely with Temple Emanu-El, where she leads a weekly community meeting. Temple Emanu-El has a long commitment to community service. They agreed to help distribute the socks we collected from conference attendees – assuming we might collect 20 or 30 new pairs.

sock collection

Thanks to all our conference goers, and even those who didn’t attend but mailed them, we are proud to announce we collected 800 pairs of new socks – for kids, teens and adults in all styles and colors – covering 1600 feet! This was a true act of group-mindedness by all! Thank you for your donations!

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Fran conf poem v2


New! Dial-a-Spot Symptom Management Phone Line

This recording of Dr. Low's spots may help you manage your symptoms and find calm and peace when you are worked up and can't get to a meeting. For the helpline, call (312) 448-9387. It’s available 24 hours a day!

Dia-a-Spot logo

¡Nuevo! Número de teléfono exclusivo para hispanohablantes

Si necesita ayuda en español, llame al (619) 383-2056.


New! Dedicated Phone Number for Spanish Speakers

If you need assistance in Spanish, please call (619) 383-2056.

Your Recovery Reporter - more to enjoy each issue!

Due to soaring costs of print and postage, the Board of Directors made the difficult decision to publish the Recovery Reporter three times a year, instead of four. We still promise you the news and stories you have come to expect. Digital issues with even more content are available at: - CLICK HERE.


Stories of Hope

I have been attending Recovery meetings for 23 years. I first joined a group in 2001, in a church just outside of Toronto, Ontario Canada.  I was an assistant leader and took over leadership from 2013 to 2016. Out of Recovery and working on myself during and after the pandemic years, I must say that Recovery has been my constant. I was under George’s leadership and to this date, I am so grateful for his mentorship. The spot “Distressing but not dangerous” was a tremendous help with my blurred vision symptoms.

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It seems fitting as we just celebrated family day weekend in Canada and as we head into the spring months ahead, that I write an article as the Recovery family has helped me to get back on my feet again. I work with children with special needs and the school system has had their struggles. I took some much-needed time off from work and decided to attend a meeting run by Cindy. With Recovery, I learned that our work and family are outer environments.  Before the pandemic, I don’t think I truly understood that our supreme goal of mental health is more important than anything else. I also learned, and continue to learn, that we are all apprentices, and we cannot afford the luxury of temper.

I want to wish everyone in our Recovery family a blessed Spring.  Remember to endorse for all your efforts. Also don’t forget the gains you have made since before Recovery.  It is sabotage to not notice the gains you have made.

Laura C., Ontario, Canada



Yaz artwork to go with story

I'm an assistant leader for area 150 in Portland, OR but earlier this year, I joined a new RI group due to the ease of our Zoom meeting options! I call the group “Jersey” as most of the veteran members are from the New Jersey area. I am an artist and painter and because I was so warmly welcomed into this close knit group, I decided to paint them all. Here are the portraits I painted. I now think of these folks as my RI family. One of my paintings even sold to one of the Jersey members. This story warms my heart and hopefully will warm the hearts of our other RI members this holiday season.

Yaz H., New Mexico

Recovery has helped me tremendously. Without it, I would have died by suicide a long time ago. It helped save my life. I first came into Recovery at 22 years old (in 1974). Before Recovery, I lost my temper every single day but now, only occasionally. When I wake up with anxiety, Recovery helps me to get up out of bed and function. Because of the tools of Recovery, I function at a very high level every day.

Elizabeth B., New York


Wisdom of Dr. Low

The Courage to Make Mistakes
Dr. Low photo

Mildred subscribed to the philosophy of exceptionality. This is nothing uncommon. There are very few people who do not think of themselves as being of a superior breed, as ranking above the "common herd," that is, as being exceptional. With most of them, it is merely a dream, an ambition and aspiration. They hope to be exceptional but know they are "nothing but average." In their dreams and fancies, they are romanto-intellectuals, but in actual practice, they behave as realists. Their sense of exceptionality is properly controlled by their knowledge of being average. If you keep this in mind, you will realize that most, if not all, people embrace both the philosophy of exceptionality and that of averageness. The average person adjusts and balances the two philosophies in such a manner that the one (averageness) is leading

and controlling, the other (exceptionality) is led and controlled. If this is done, then, decisions and actions are balanced and adjusted on a practical level, while dreams and fancies are given free play on an imaginative level.

Mildred had no leading philosophy of realistic averageness to tell her which of her decisions were correct, which of her actions were feasible. In her mind, the two philosophies were not held apart, they were not properly distinguished, the one from the other; they were permitted to merge and fuse. The free fusion of the two philosophies produced a confusion of the mind. What directed her behavior were her dreams and hopes, her wild aspirations and vague ambitions. With these unrealistic leads to guide her reactions, her decisions became fantastic (to act, at one and the same time, on four separate jobs in four separate places). As a result, her actions became tangled, involved and as "hopelessly gnarled" as was her clothesline. In the end, she despaired of ever reaching the correct decision and became lost in a sea of confusion.

From “The Courage to Make Mistakes,” Mental Health Through Will-Training.


Recovery Examples

Step 1 - I went out with some friends and heard something that made me feel uncomfortable. That’s when I worked myself up!

Step 2 - Angry thoughts about the comment that was made! Fearful thoughts of worry. I had the impulse to walk away - which I did.

Step 3 - I spotted angry temper in the form of hatred and disgust.  The spot I used is “Temper is among other things, blindness is to the other side of the story.” I spotted fearful temper in the form of worry and fear of damage to myself.  The spots I used were “Do things in part acts,” “Decide, plan and act,” “The judgement of ourselves or others robs us of our inner peace and self-respect,” “If you can’t change a situation, you can change your attitude towards it.” I endorsed for walking away from a tense provoking situation!

Step 4 - Before I had my RI training, I would’ve been really nervous and afraid. But now that I’ve my recovery training, I just walked away and didn’t say anything!

Alison P., San Diego, CA

Step 1 -  Everything was going great lately. My routine and study were disciplined. My exams were due soon. I was studying for my exam but then suddenly had a severe headache. I began to work myself up.

Step 2 - I had sweaty palms, and I got very scared. I used to have these symptoms when I was severely ill. My exams were in a few days, and I became anxious about the preparation. All the past flashed in front of me. My heart started pounding.

Step 3 - Shortly after, I understood my symptoms and started spotting. I spotted sweaty palms and heart pounding. I reminded myself of being self-led and not symptom led. I realized my thought patterns, and I started retraining my brain. I remembered that such a situation rarely manifests. My fearful anticipation is worse than the realization.

Step 4 - Before my RI training, I would not have calmed down, and it would have affected my studies. I would have been anxious for days. But after the Recovery tools, I felt peace within. I studed again.

- Anonymous

Step 1 - My mother asked me to get milk. So, I was walking to a nearby store. I was walking on the road. There was a group of three people chatting. They were walking behind me. They were very loud. Suddenly someone mentioned 18,000 rupees. I got very scared. I thought they were talking to me. I thought they were asking me for that amount of money. Then I started to begin working myself up.

Step 2 - My heart started beating very fast. I got disturbed and stressed. I was confused for a while about what was happening. I thought those people were asking me for money. I was scared about how I could provide them with the money. What will they do if I do not give it to them?

Step 3 - But soon, I started spotting. I realized that my feelings were not facts. My supreme goal is maintaining inner peace. I understood that I could change my insecure thoughts to secure thoughts. I don’t have to worry about every thought that crosses my mind. I can reject, suppress or drop thoughts.

Step 4 - Before my recovery training, I would have run away from the road and headed home. I couldn’t have brought milk from the store. But since I spotted it in time, I could finish my chore. My mother and I enjoyed tea together.

- Manjiri C., India

Click on the icons below for more examples and stories from RI members.


Roaming the Globe

We acknowledge all our affiliates - Recovery Canada, Recovery India, and Recovery Ireland - for all the work they do keeping the Recovery Method active in their countries.
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Scott Bushbaum Love Shack event 2


On a cold and sunny Sunday, February 18 morning in downtown Dayton Ohio folks were welcomed at the PNC Annex on Second Street to talk and gather at "Love Shack 2024," the annual occasion that celebrates community spirit, holistic wellness, nurturing touch, sound therapy, meditation and more. Recovery International hosted a table this year, as we have for at least four years. I thanked organizer, Misty Brown for her

work to have RI at Love Shack 2024. Here is her response, “Hey Scott! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me that message. It truly meant a lot. I'm grateful to you for spending your day connecting with people and giving out resources. I'm so happy to hear that you were so successful! One of my favorite parts about Love Shack is giving other people a platform to share what they love. Thank you for being a part of it and know that you are welcome to return anytime we do an event. I usually do them three or four times a year."

I counted at least 83 people in total at one time at Love Shack! Knowing that so many came out in the cold to be together felt warm, reassuring and fun! Let's look to more from Love Shack as we volunteer our cause to bring better mental health to anyone who stands to benefit from Recovery International!

Scott Bushbaum, Area 141 (Ohio)

New York

Holly Weiss, Area Team member for Area 130 (New York City) was interviewed by the local Queens Chronicle newspaper about the newly opened RI community meeting she and co-leader Joe Marino host weekly at the Howard Beach Library. Holly reports that she has already had some new people join the meeting because of this article. Contacting your local media about meetings you hold is good for your meeting attendance and great public relations for the Recovery Method and breaking down stigma. Kudos, Holly!

(Read the full article HERE - page 25)

India banner flag

Dr. Palavi Gambhir attends Zoom meetings in Pune, India where they practice the Recovery Method. She has written many poems, some of which have been published in the Recovery Reporter, as well as contributing her story of hope. In January at a mental health gathering that included a prominent psychiatrist, she was given an award for her poems. Congratulations, Dr. Gambhir!

Pallavi award
Average poem
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Recovery Canada Updates

  • Recovery Canada National Leaders Convention will take place Sept 26, 27 and 28, 2024 in London Ontario.
  • Recovery Canada hosted their first ever Canadian National Leaders Meeting on Feb 4, 2024.
  • Recovery Canada has recently updated their website - www.recoverycanada.ca
  • Recently the British Columbia Area Zoomed a Panel presentation to BC’s largest health care provider with the goal to be their go-to for post program after care.
Angela and Billy

Billy Niven, Recovery Canada Board member, attended the RI Conference in San Diego. Pictured here with Angela Sullivan, Chicago Headquarters.

Recovery Canada has a quarterly email newsletter. Click HERE for the Spring issue. Email danielle.almcasey@gmail.com to receive the latest copy and to be put on their email list. 



In Memoriam

May Their Memory be a Blessing
Judith Bassette

Judith Bassett

(Grand Island, NY) Judy spent her career as a Spanish and Latin teacher. She was involved in RI for 44 years and led a Recovery International community meeting at Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island, NY. Judy advocated for RI and was the publicity chairperson for Area 135 (Western NY). She conducted demonstration panels, met with civic groups, and was able to get the meetings listed in the Buffalo Newspaper. She was featured in the Spring 2022 Annual Report highlighting her generosity as a donor to RI during the pandemic. She was a dear friend to many and a very special person who will be missed.

Michael Battista

Michael Battista

(Bayshore, NY) Michael was the Area Leader for Area 131 NY (Suffolk) since 2021. It was not long after taking that role that his health issues caused him to step down from leadership, but he remained committed to attending meetings as much as possible. He was a gentle soul and a kind-hearted person. Bob, one of the leaders in the area, said, “The first time I met Michael, he greeted me warmly, and said I should endorse myself for coming. Since then, I have found Michael to be a positive person, and a solid leader. His presence at our meeting will be sorely missed.”  (Michael pictured with his wife, Jeanette.)

Anthony (Tony) Cerone Photo

Anthony Cerone

(Newburgh, NY) Tony was a member of RI for many years and eventually became a member of the telephone groups, where he attended several meetings each week. Tony became a vital member of the groups he attended, clearly demonstrating his knowledge of RI spotting techniques. He practiced with ruthless determination, just as Dr. Low taught us. His favorite tool was "humor is our best friend." Tony was an inspirational force in our meetings. He reminded us not to "take ourselves too seriously," and "to get on with the business of life with inner calm and culture." Tony was a blessing to both leaders and panel members alike. He will be missed.

Michael Disponzio

Michael Disponzio

(Hernando, FL) Michael was a member of Recovery International since 1993 and a peer counselor in New York for 12 years. He was a strong advocate for the benefits and rights of mental patients when mental hospitals were closed down. Michael was an Assistant Leader to Joan Spelter’s Zoom meeting – continuing in that role even when he moved to Florida to take care of his father when he was ill. He worked very hard on both his Recovery and AA practice. Joan described him as an “angel with the sweetest voice and he even called me weekly before each meeting to check that all was good to go. He was a beautiful person.” Michael was willing to help anyone, and he will be dearly missed.

Frances Lee Miller

Frances Miller

(Kalamazoo, MI) Frances was a registered dietician and helped write the nutritional element of the Michigan Model for Education and worked for Community Health, supporting low-income mothers and their children. Frances was a leader of a Recovery International community meeting in Kalamazoo, MI. Not only an avid reader, but she also sought out knowledge in all forms and soaked it up like a sponge. A brilliant woman, she was also a kind and patient teacher. She had a huge and wonderful impact on this world and will be terribly missed.

Hector Sollivan

Hector Solivan

(Ponce, PR) Hector first attended a meeting in his hometown after watching a TV show in Puerto Rico about Recovery training. He had no plans on attending that meeting, but by chance he passed through the front door and decided to go inside. He practiced Recovery for 40 years, becoming an Assistant Group Leader, then named the Area Leader, and was even a member of the Board of Directors for two terms. When diagnosed as legally blind, the RI Method provided him with the tools to cope with this disability. The practice helped him cope with the nervous symptoms that occurred due to his illness. Hector was a kind, gentle soul and will be missed by all.


Submit to the Recovery Reporter

Call for Submissions!

Have you or someone you know dedicated 25 or more years to practicing the RI Method? Help us honor our longtime members here in Members’ Corner!

Send us:

    •  photo
    • A short description of yourself
      • How has RI helped you?
      • Do you have any favorite spots?
      • Why would you recommend RI to someone else?
      • Have you taken on any leadership roles in RI?
      • If there is a specific meeting you have attended regularly, please let us know.
  • Please also submit your Stories of Hope, Examples and local news for Roaming the Globe for the next Reporter.

Submission Guidelines!

We would like to thank all of our contributors, without whom the Recovery Reporter would not be possible. Before sending submissions, please read the following submission guidelines.

  • Please keep submissions as short as possible, roughly 3 paragraphs in length, or approximately 300 words.
  • If you are making the submission, you can choose whether to use your first name and last initial, or your full name. If you are submitting for someone else, please only use their first name and last initial. Please identify all submissions with phone number, city and state, or city and country if outside the United States.
  • Photos: Please submit clear photos that are at least 300 dpi.
  • Please do not use bold or italics unless grammatically required (i.e. the title of a book or film).
  • Please adhere to the deadlines for each issue.
  • When the volume of submissions exceeds our page limits, it may be necessary to exclude some submissions. We regret that we cannot print all submissions.
  • Please send only submissions pertinent to the Recovery Reporter.

PRIVACY: Please be aware that the content you submit is NOT private because we cannot control how it is shared. It may be accessible to the public. We do print last names now as we continue to work to eliminate stigma. However, choosing whether to have your last name published or not is a personal decision. If you submit your materials to us with your first and last name, we will likely publish your first and last name unless you tell us in writing otherwise. If you submit first name and last initial, we will only publish that. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation!

The views and opinions expressed by authors of articles appearing in the Reporter are those of the author of those articles and they are not necessarily the views and opinions of Recovery International or anyone affiliated with Recovery International.

Email your submission  to editor@recoveryinternational.org.

Mailed items should be sent to Headquarters:

Recovery International
1415 W. 22nd St., Tower Floor
Oak Brook IL 60523


If your email or address changes please be sure to notify us. If you are a Canadian member you should also notify Cindy H. at purple74@xplornet.com.

If you, or someone you know, is a paid member and isn’t receiving the Reporter, please let us know at info@recoveryinternational.org