From a young age I was very active participating on my local club sports teams. Often a new calendar season brought on another sport that I tried my best to succeed at. Soccer and football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in spring, and then swimming over the summer. Through sports, I was taught at an early age that surrendering, or quitting, was bad. It was what weak-willed people did. It wasn’t the last option, it simply was not an option. You fought and competed to the bitter end, then tried even harder the next time if you didn’t succeed.
Winners never quit
This winners never quit attitude was ingrained in me. Then when my discovery of alcohol blossomed into full-blown alcoholism, my participation in sports came to a screeching halt. While the sports had been replaced by an addiction to alcohol, that winners never quit attitude was still going strong. “I’ve got it under control!” and “I will figure something out!” were often my responses to truly concerned loved ones during my alcoholic spiral down towards my bottom. I simply could not quit and ask for help, because that was what weak people did – I thought. That warped mindset almost cost me my life to the disease of alcoholism and addiction.
I surrendered, and it saved my life
Alcoholism and addiction had me at death’s door in January of 2012. The combination of mass quantities of alcohol and food that I was attempting to numb myself with had me weighing over 430 pounds. I couldn’t sleep due to withdrawal and sleep apnea. Anxiety attacks followed by panic attacks were occuring round the clock due to exhaustion and extreme physical distress. Then on January 30 I connected all the dots, finally admitted I needed help or I would die, and swore off alcohol and drugs. I have not drank or drugged since. Surrendering and admitting I needed help, first to myself, then to my doctor and family, then in the rooms of AA – saved my life. It was the single most important thing I have ever done in my life.
The Paradox of Surrendering to Win
The concept of asking for help, of surrendering my will and my life over to care of anything besides myself, was completely foreign to me while in my disease. Overcoming and embracing that paradox is what has led to all the blessings in my life. I am not here to list life-in-recovery accomplishments, but let’s just say I am left in awe each day at the beauty that exists in our world and I thank my HP for the opportunity to simply be a witness to it. Surrendering to the fact that I could not beat the disease of alcoholism and addiction on my own, gave me a chance to live. Continuing to surrender allowed me the chance grow within that life. If it worked, and continues to work, for me – it will work for you.
Joe McQ said it best
If my words are not adequate, before his passing the author and well-known three decade plus member of AA, Joe McQ, put it very plainly and yet profoundly, in his Twelve Step supplemental book, The Steps We Took. Found HERE on Amazon.com
“A lot of people see surrender as a weakness, but those of us with some experience know that it is the way we get true strength. All the people remembered as successful military commanders, for example, had one thing in common: they knew how to surrender or retreat. Custer didn’t, MacArthur did.” (McQ, page 23)
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