My counselor asked me to take some time this week to write about the word “surrender.” In the context of surrendering to your addiction in order to overcome it.

The dictionary defines “surrender” as:¬†cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

In my Hazelden app with daily meditations, it describes surrender as an acceptance. We go through a tumultuous amount of emotions to get at the core of what we are feeling, and then we finally accept ourselves as we are. Then, we are able to let go of our anxiety about the past and future.

While I don’t believe my addiction had authority over me, I know for sure that it had power. And you could consider submitting to authority as asking for help. Taking advice and following measures requested by counselors, psychiatrists, loved ones and experts in the field. I resisted a lot of that advice for a long time.

As for ceasing resistance, I ceased to resist my own willpower. I stopped giving in to my addiction and its power over me.

After my first stay in rehab, I didn’t know it at the time, but I had not yet surrendered at all. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was resistant to finding a higher power. And I was resistant to using medications to help my depression and anxiety. I was pretty sure I could handle this simple thing called sobriety all on my own.

Just prior to my first small relapse, I resisted the idea that I couldn’t ever drink again¬†ever. I thought somewhere down the line it would be safe again. That I could learn to moderate again. I just didn’t take stock in the idea that that was it for me, for real.

Even after my first relapse, when I was asked by my husband and counselors to return to rehab, I resisted. It was just one small bump in the road, I thought, I’ve got this.

But, after my second, and very grand, relapse, it became clear to me that I had to give in. I returned to rehab. I started taking all suggested medications. I took every step anyone told me to move toward a real and true sobriety.

I had at that point really and truly surrendered. I recognized the bottom I had reached, and that I needed all the help I could get to pick myself up again. I feel like in that moment, I got to the core of my emotions and was ready to accept myself as I am. And I do feel a great deal of relief and peace.

Surrendering is difficult, but once you’re there, your life will improve greatly. Accept the fact that your actions are the only things in this world you can control, and by getting sober and making good choices you can improve your life and your world. Here you will find the peace you’ve been searching for all along.

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