Are you tired? Tired of being sick and tired?
Are you tired? Tired of being sick and tired? Tired of the lies, the manipulation, the conniving?
If your answer is Yes! Yes I’m tired, then it’s time to understand how surrendering is actually winning!
Surrender. A word that implies to lose. Lose, loser. Surrender also implies weakness. Quit, submit, give in….all words that create a negative feeling of failure. In practical terms our entire lives are spent focusing on winning, succeeding, and relying on strength and perseverance. So, surrendering has never been a practice or tool that most of us know how to access. Yet the answer is told over and over again a requirement for lasting recovery is the ability to “surrender”. Surrender! Let go! Give up? Throw in the towel? But how?
Relapse, it is said, is part of the disease, yet does it have to be? No, it doesn’t! However, struggling with relapse is real and as the Big Book of AA states, the disease is cunning, baffling, powerful! First the choice has to be made to stop, stop drinking, or using, or both. Yet over and over again, after the choice is made, we find ourselves picking up, drinking or using, just to numb out our pain and suffering. Just don’t feel it, the shame, the guilt, the lies, the blackouts, being carried off to jails or institutions and still when those feelings of craving and obsessing flood the body we give in, to the disease that binds us. So the struggle manifests in the inability to “let go” and surrender. Such an easy concept really, if two people pick up a rope and pull on each end of the rope it creates tension. The way to relieve the tension on the rope is to drop it, drop the rope.
Surrender does finally come when we can admit to complete defeat. The defeat is in the inability to quit drinking and drugging despite the negative consequences of our behavior. Surrender comes in accepting the fact that my best efforts, my vain attempts, my best thinking, could not keep me sober. By admitting defeat, by declaring “I surrender” and by letting go and “letting God” we surrender to the fact that we have a fatal disease. The first step in getting sober which actually comes before the First Step is, Step 0, this shit has got to stop!
Surrender takes on many forms which include willingness and desperation. It is through surrendering that true freedom is found. Freedom from the bondage of self, the drink, the drug. Freedom is a gift of surrendering. Freedom comes when the mental obsession is lifted. The planning, the scheming, the lying, the plotting all that energy that goes into using. When surrendering takes place all those burdens disappear.
Surrender can also be viewed as a form of release, release and let go. When a parachuter is going to jump from the plane the action is in letting go and falling freely into the sky, or when the current of the ocean is strong and instead of fighting the current you turn over and float, let the sea carry you. Surrender is a decision. Surrender is a process. Surrender is jumping, it’s floating, it’s letting go.
From the act of surrendering comes the gift of acceptance because when you admit to your inner most self the defeat of living life as an addict you can begin to accept life on life’s terms as a person who can’t use substances to get through life. Acceptance comes right after surrender.