Originally Posted @ http://www.newbridgerecovery.com/793-2/
One of the biggest paradoxes in recovery is the idea of ‘surrendering to win’. In our society, the idea of admitting defeat is seen as a sign of weakness. When it comes to addiction and alcoholism however, conceding to the fact that you have a disease is the first step in getting and staying sober.
Many people struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse are experts at rationalization and denial. Working at a detox or treatment center, it is common to hear people argue “I don’t have a problem, I can stop when I want!” or “It’s not like I got a DUI, it can’t be that bad”. In fact, almost every person struggling with substance abuse issues try to come up with excuses as to why they don’t have a problem. An addict or alcoholic in denial may say things like “I have a job and a house, I’m not an alcoholic”. Often times people think of an alcoholic or drug addict as the dirty old bum panhandling and sleeping under a bridge drinking warm wine out of a brown paper bag. The reality is that addiction comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. One thing that research into addiction has discovered is that substance abuse seems to not discriminate between race, gender, or economic status. It has also become obvious that addiction is a progressive disease, and that some people can function at a high level, be very successful, and still struggle with addiction.
Getting sober, it is important to come to terms with addiction as a disease. I encourage people to research the disease concept of addiction, and to realize that addiction is not a matter of willpower or strength, but instead a medical anomaly that the person suffering can’t control. This is where the concept of surrendering to win comes in. Once the person comes to terms with their situation and accepts that they can’t fix their substance abuse problems on their own, a foundation for sobriety is laid. In 12 step programs the first step is about admitting our powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. This is very similar to surrendering, because it requires the person to admit they need help and can’t handle it on their own. Once they become willing to take suggestions and become open-minded to new things, recovery can occur. Some people find strength in therapy, spirituality, fellowship, or service. When surrendering occurs, the previously close-minded person is often more willing to try unfamiliar actives that will ultimately bring them relief and strength.
When it comes to recovering from drugs and alcohol surrendering is actually a sign of strength and courage. It goes against our human nature and society to admit defeat, but in doing so we actually become willing to overcome our setbacks. Admitting powerlessness over substances does mean you have to be a slave anymore, instead it is a sign of upcoming freedom and growth.