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Few of us welcome the idea of surrendering to anyone or anything. We view surrender as a sign of weakness – a coward’s action in the face of a stronger and overpowering enemy. We’ve been taught to believe that the strong, brave, and courageous among us fight to defeat their enemies, so we resist surrendering for fear of seeing ourselves – or being seen by others – as weak.
The act of surrender in recovery from addiction is a willingness to give up the fight against a perceived threat and to feel whatever our addictions have allowed us not to feel – fear, pain of the unknown, and lack of certainty. Addiction is often driven by a desire – for more happiness or less pain – that has become self-destructive and out of control. The disease of addiction continues to progress in a fruitless journey of avoidance, regardless of the consequences. By continuing to use, the fear of facing ourselves and the struggle associated with abstinence pushes recovery into some imaginary time in the future.
Surrender is the foundation and ground upon which recovery is built. Recovery begins with surrender since without it there is little possibility for change. It is the platform on which we build new, changed, and sober lives.
Before program, what did you think of the concept of surrender?
When you first came into the program,
what did you hear about surrender?
Slogan – surrender to win
What were your initial thoughts/feelings about surrender?
When did you first surrender?
What did you surrender to?
Surrendered to my consequences
Did you experience any anxiety when surrender was discussed as a recovery tool? Why?
Did you experience relief when surrender was discussed as a recovery tool? Why?
How is acceptance and surrender related?
How are they different?
How is being powerless related to surrender?
Is turning your life over related to surrender?
How is surrender and your higher power related in your program?
How is service work and surrender related in your program?
How is prayer related to surrender in your program?
What do you need to surrender to today?
I have to surrender to my path
The persistent illusion is commonly read before meetings
The Persistent Illusion or the beginning of Chapter 3 More About Alcoholism
Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.
We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
How does this statement relate to surrender?
What would you say to the new person about surrender?
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