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Surrender Admitting I Was Powerless Over My Addiction


Posted: Mar 12th, 2019 |Comments: 0 | Views: 17

The very word Surrender is synonymous with defeat – Many people, especially addicts, live their entire lives in denial, refusing to give in.

I believe most individuals understanding of the word surrender means to ‘lose’. No one likes to lose to anyone. An addict’s most terrifying enemy is often themselves.

One definition of the word ‘Surrender’ somehow seemed to sidestep two emotions interlinked with my own denial and which for many years proved a constant obstacle in my attempts at sobriety – My Pride and My Ego: “If you surrender to an experience or emotion, you stop trying to prevent or control it” (Cambridge Online Dictionary).

This definition, which allowed me to view Surrender as a genuine choice rather than something forced upon me against my much defended, and destructive, ‘Self-Will’, was perhaps the single greatest step I have taken towards accepting my problems with addiction for what they really are – A poor choice even more badly perceived. Perhaps this deluded self-perception held the key as to why my attempts at overcoming my demons seemed so futile for so very long.

This definition is interesting because I did not find myself bristling against the very concept of it; but I am also aware that it aligns very closely to a phrase which was repeated to me many times whilst I was in residential treatment for heroin addiction in early 2018:
“… this is the only battle you need to lose in order to win all of the rest…”

Day after day I had wrestled; refusing to surrender to the fact that I, as an apparently intelligent man, who has historically proven himself capable of notable achievements, considers he has something to offer the world on many levels, could not, use any mind or mood altering substances ever again without destroying my life.

I am a heroin addict who has lost all I have worked for not once, not twice, but on numerous occasions in the forty years since my birth to loving and devoted parents.

To ensure the above statement is quite clear; these loses are not purely financial;  so unfathomably desperate have been my behaviours at times that I am daily grateful not to have been disowned by my family, and indeed to have ‘escaped’ with my life.

The reasons for the problems outlined above can be directly attributed to my repeatedly returning to the borrowed comfort of heroin. The guaranteed temporary safety, the insulation from the nervous energy on which I operate so effectively under certain conditions, but which can also become too real, too frightening …

Once I had discovered heroin many years ago it formed an originally subtle pathway in my mind. However, established it was, forever: A guaranteed short-cut to temporary, comfort. An escape, from not just all around me, but myself too, and the possibility of failure, of not being good enough – of not meeting expectations ….

Looking back at my pre-addicted adolescent thought processes, with which I justified my using, given the proven evidence of the damage this drug can and will inflict; my behaviours were at best delusional, and at worst, simply insane.

Yet, it was many years of failures, lying, cheating, suffering and loneliness before somehow, somewhere in my mind – Upon being told I need only lose this one single battle – that I came as close as I have yet come to having what some may refer to as a spiritual awakening.

However, what ultimately does remain to this day is the fact that at that moment I took a very tangible step towards truly securing some hope of entering into what is recognised by 12-Step Fellowships as ‘Recovery’, from the disease of addiction.

For many individuals, admitting that they are truly powerless over their using feels alien – for so long they have operated on ‘Self-Will’.

The reality is that by the time one is beginning to ask themselves questions surrounding 12-step recovery, there is a very high chance this remain the only true means of escape. As is often asked within the Fellowships:

“Do you not think the time has come where you require some external assistance – After all, it is your very best thinking which has got you here?”

When I was first asked this question, I was seated in a small circle of people suffering from similar problems to my own: I was facing the very real prospect of homelessness; was physically and mentally dependent upon multiple substances to exist day to day, had recently been arrested for the first time, and was where I was due only to the unconditional love and generosity of my family.

My battle is far from over – but what I do now possess is an understanding that the affliction from which I suffer meets the definition of a disease: “Progressive and incurable, but through treatment a condition which may be arrested”.

Substance Rehabilitation Ltd. provides a dedicated private service to those suffering from addiction to drugs and / or alcohol. Through a single phone call we can facilitate access to our Professional Network of life saving treatment centres – Our clinics span the whole of the UK.

The S.R. Helpline is operated 24/7 by addiction specialists and we can provide rapid assessment and admission to one off our clinics exactly when required. Nearly all of our treatment centres are based around 12-Step Philosophy. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

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