We hear the word “surrender” quite often. We hear it in our history classes when we learn about wars. We hear it in church when people talk about God. We also hear this term in regards to recovery. But how do you actually surrender, and what or who is it that you surrender to?

The Opponent

When it comes to substance use disorders (SUDs), our biggest opponent is ourselves. We are our own worst enemy without even knowing it. In recovery, we learn that at many times throughout our lives, we’ve been in constant conflict with our thoughts. We wanted to get better, but we felt that we could not. Many times, our best ideas got us in a heap of trouble. We tried to blame it on other people or circumstances – yet in reality, we were only fooling ourselves.

Surrender is an Action Word

In recovery, the word “surrender” has a completely different definition than the one we’re used to hearing. But how can one surrender if the combat is internal and within ourselves? It’s actually much simpler than we make it out to be.

We have to surrender our ideas and judgments about ourselves and the world. We have to surrender to the fact that we have a SUD that doesn’t have a cure. The only freedom we can find from our disorder is admitting that we have a problem with substances in the first place. We have to fully concede to our innermost selves that we are powerless. Of course, we also have to admit that we need help – the type of help that comes from a higher power and from the people around us who love us.

This action word requires us to give up our skewed perceptions. It doesn’t mean that we have given up or failed – it is a humble word that is absent of ego. In this case, surrendering means we are simply conceding that we don’t know everything and that we can’t manage our own lives this way. Behind this action is a willingness to accept situations and people for what they are. It’s a newfound willingness to allow something other than ourselves to dictate our lives.

When we surrender, we begin to know new words like freedom and serenity. These words become part of our daily lives, and life takes on new meaning and purpose.

The Serenity Prayer

The serenity prayer and the Alcoholics Anonymous promises are good measures of what surrendering entails. We immediately stop fighting everything and everybody. We are able to handle situations that used to baffle us. We accept the things we cannot change and have the courage to change the things we can. Having the wisdom to know the difference is where we surrender.

If you’re ready to seek help, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

Alta Loma implements a long-term continuum of care and 12-Step methods so residents can learn the necessary healthy habits and coping mechanisms they need to respond to their triggers appropriately. Our goal is to help our residents achieve emotional and psychological stability, empowering them to find hope as they progress towards recovery. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.