Surrendering, for me, was such an opposite to what had been my experience before recovery. I struggled with life from the time I was very young. I struggled to be accepted, I struggled to fit in, I struggled to be liked by others, I struggled to understand life, other people, and I struggled with the concept of God – who was this power greater than anyone??? And how was I to get sober by giving up? It was giving up, or giving in to others. “On the face of it surrendering certainly does not seem like winning. But it is in A.A. Only after we have come to the end of our rope, hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives beyond which we can go no further; only when we hit “bottom” in despair and surrender, can we accomplish sobriety which we could never accomplish before. We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.” (Taken from “The Professor and the Paradox” Alcoholics Anonymous, Second Edition, pp. 341,342)
But that is exactly what it took for me to claim any amount of sobriety. I had to give up trying to control people, places and things. I had to give up trying to control my drinking – King Alcohol was winning every bout I had with the bottle. I thought for sure that I would need more “control” instead of less – but it was in the surrendering that I received the power to recover from my addiction to alcohol. I came to the tables at the end of my “rope” A.A. was the last house on the block – there was nowhere else to go. I came to A.A. willing to try something new, something different. The rest of my life was before me and I wanted desperately for that time to be free of the chaos, the pain, the absolute lunacy of continuing to drink myself into the pit I was in.
I know today that I can’t but we can. I know today that I must surrender to win. There are many aspects of the Program which took me a while to comprehend. . . that’s why the three most important words you will hear in a meeting are “Keep Coming Back.” Recovery is a life-long process that continues to unfold, day after day. It is my hope and my prayer that I continue to grow, continue to change and continue to be blessed with the knowledge that without my Higher Power, without A.A. I will not survive.