Surrendering is an essential part of letting go – something absolutely essential in the process of addiction recovery. It is to stop resisting an entity, and instead, submit to their authority. Once an addict surrenders, he or she lets go of the inner battle driven by control. Addicts are convinced they can control their drinking or drugging, and their oblivion to the fact that they are out of control causes them deeper dysfunction. When addicts surrender, they are effectively admitting they are powerless and handing over power to someone or something else.
Surrender is not giving up
Many people mistake surrender for giving up. When people give up, they are giving in to their addiction; however, when people surrender, they are giving their addiction to somebody or something more powerful than them, saying I tried, I couldn’t, but maybe you can. One doesn’t surrender when they are hopeless, they surrender because they are hopeful that they can overcome their addiction.
There is a universal truth when it comes to power – nobody likes giving it up. Society has taught us that surrender is bad, or a sign of weakness. Society has taught us that if we control everything, we are strong and worthy. As a result of this, many addicts come to a point of Surrender or Die. If somebody held a gun to one’s head, they would have no choice but to do what the person said. This is the case with addicts in recovery.
Surrender to win
Addicts and alcoholics in recovery need to surrender to the program. They need to understand that they are in a battle where they are losing – they do not know what is best for themselves. But there are people who have been professionally trained, and people who have been through their battle and made it out alive, who may know how to help them. Addicts need to surrender to the Alcoholic’s Anonymous program, and that is precisely what the Third Step says:
We made a decision to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Of course, not all addicts believe in God, which is why we use the term ‘Higher Power’ at Hope Trust. The Third Step simply calls for the addict to surrender their battle, and hand over their problem to an entity more capable then them in fighting addiction – whatever it may be. Once they do that, they can move forward with their lives.
Surrender is spiritual
Surrender eventually leads to a Spiritual Awakening, but the process of surrender is hard work. Surrender is almost spiritually synonymous with trust, as without believing that you will be okay, how can you give up control? To gain trust and faith, and move forward with the process of surrender, you should begin by understand what’s holding you back. Usually, fear is what holds people back. Once they face this fear and admit to it, they can start to ‘Plug into the field of All Possibilities’.
Looking at all the possibilities often puts things in perspective. Instead of just saying “what’s the worst that can happen?” addicts need to ask themselves “what’s the best that can happen?” Once they develop a positive attitude, they can relax and settle into their lives while keeping the faith that everything will be okay.
Hope Trust helps addicts restore their faith in a Higher Power, and helps then gain faith in the Program. Individuals are provided with a safe environment where they feel they can hand over control and surrender to their recovery