Endigar 660 ~ The Victory of Surrender

From the Daily Reflections of January 6;

We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.   (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 21).

When alcohol influenced every facet of my life, when bottles became the symbol of all my self indulgence and permissiveness, when I came to realize that, by myself, I could do nothing to overcome the power of alcohol, I realized I had no recourse except surrender. In surrender I found victory — victory over my selfish self-indulgence, victory over my stubborn resistance to life as it was given to me. When I stopped fighting anybody or anything, I started on the path to sobriety, serenity and peace.



—————————————————- 123f In one of my early relapses, I went to a meeting intoxicated.  I was just concentrating on not falling out of my seat and keeping myself from speaking.  I had witnessed active alcoholics embarrass themselves in meetings by talking and having to be silenced. My face was a mixture of stupid grins and flowing tears.  After the meeting, I was leaving and someone caught up with me.  He told me that at some point, I am going to have to surrender.  That word just flew all over me.  “I am in the military!  You only surrender to an enemy!  Is God my enemy?  In the military we do not surrender!”  And with dramatic effect I punched the side of my pick up truck.  As I was leaving, my recovery friend said, “at least let me call you a cab.”

“I drive better when I’ve been drinking.”

That night, while sitting in  jail from my very first arrest, my first DUI, and a very sore set of knuckles, I wondered if I might need to reconsider my concept of surrender. Military forces do surrender to an overwhelming enemy when all other means of resistance have failed.  The hope is that we will live to fight another day.  Retreat is a legitimate military strategy.  It is not weakness, it is a life giving necessity to recognize when you are beaten and seek the most favorable terms of surrender.  The 12 Steps of AA offers some pretty damn favorable terms.

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