Ah, surrender. One of the biggest hurdles I have had in this recovery process. And I am so not alone in that struggle. The concept of surrender. In fact, I had to do it before I even knew how. Or even knew what it meant, for that matter. My way was always the best way. The only way, really. So why concede? What was the point? I knew that if I was going to emerge victorious over this disease it would be because I fought the good fight and won.
Is it giving up? Is it giving in? Is it giving up control to someone else? No longer owning the sole responsibility? In some ways, yes. But life is all about perspective, now isn't it? In the depths of my active addiction, no one was going to tell me how to live my life or what decisions would be "best" for me. Even today, while in recovery, I fight this battle. But I have heard time and time again, and it couldn't be truer, my best thinking got me, and kept me, drunk. I justified it all. It made sense to me to hold onto whatever bountiful control I may have thought I had. The reality was that I was dangling there, all alone. And didn't want, nor thought I needed, another branch to help keep me from falling.
But there is so much irony in this whole idea of surrender. When I finally made the decision to relinquish whatever control I had, I had no other choice. I am powerless over so many things in this world. And funnily enough, I ended up having more control by giving it up. I was completely out of control but I couldn't see that. But I didn't need to get a DUI, lose those I love, or worse, to hit my emotional and mental bottom. I simply had to get to a place where I faced reality and said, "I'm not doing this alone." Fact was, I hadn't been "doing this" at all. I was sinking. And fast.
And make no mistake, I didn't decide to surrender and check it off a to-do list. No. This is on my list of things to remember every minute, every day. It never stops. I didn't surrender to a person. I surrendered to a process. I surrendered to possibilities. And oh my GOD am I grateful I did!
What a sense of relief! To catch the life raft when you're sinking instead of throwing it back, frantically treading water. I grabbed hold and took a deep breath. And I could surrender in one of two ways. Accept the life raft and survive. Or accept the end of a struggle and sink. The fight was no longer mine alone, but rather one to be shared. It's not to say that I absolve myself of any responsibility because that couldn't be farther from the truth of what this is. It is accepting help and offering what you have. It is putting yourself in position to receive a miracle.
And I know this is a little heavy. Not totally the direction I want this to go in. BUT, I think it's important to lay the foundation on which to build anything and everything. And it isn't all going to be unicorns and rainbows! While pretty and tempting, one's imaginary and the other, impossible to follow. Sometimes we have to sift through the shit to get to the good stuff. Consider this shit-sifting!
So now we float. We float up to bigger and better things. We move up. Weightless? Not really but certainly a hell of a lot lighter than before. And what's more...we have people to swim with who won't let us sink. Won't let us drown. How cool is that?! I looked around and decided there was much more fun to be had up there. So I gave up and joined them on the other side.