Sunday, March 22, 2009


At about 6 years sober, I went on a what was, in retrospect, a year-long exploration of the concept of surrender.

I still remember the day that it started. We were at a conference in Prescott, AZ and it was just a girl's share at a discussion meeting. She said:
"...I come from a family with 7 generations of military service. When I joined the service, I took an oath that I would not 'surrender of my own accord'.

When I came in to AA, y'all told me that I have to surrender my will and my life to the care of a God I didn't know and I had a problem..."

I don't remember much else about her share but I was impressed. I'm not all that close to the military but it made sense what she shared - it would be bad form for a soldier to show up on the battlefield and just decide he/she was just not going to fight that day.

The year after that was challenging for me - I had to grow up and make some amends that I'd avoided and it just seemed that work, relationships and my life in general were not moving in accordance with Ed's plans. I was sitting in a 9:30am Saturday meeting a year later when, suddenly, the insight hit me:
I am the one who gets to pick the time and place of my surrender in AA.
The old idea that I had was that I couldn't stop the fight (surrender) as long I had any troops left, any tools of war in my arsenal, any strength left, any means of prolonging the fight - it was just not allowed for me to surrender until I was "through" - completely spent.

I realized that, if I wake up one morning and decide I don't want to fight, I can say - "I surrender".

The other realization that came with this one is that surrender just means that I don't get to make the choices any more. In very few cases - even in the crazy warfare of today's battles - does surrender equate to sudden and certain death. Usually, surrender is followed by orders something to the effect of "put your weapons in the pile over there and then go sit in that place until we tell you what to do..."

So, why does my ego fight surrender so?

More is being revealed...

One of my guides in sobriety told me when I was about 10 years sober that his life after 10 years in AA was one of "...moving from surrender to surrender...". That certainly has been my experience as well.

I should hope that I'm getting more graceful at this surrendering thing but some days are better than others.

I think the whole blog thing is something of a surrender for me - I've needed to express something. As I read some of the stuff I've written, it's just not for meetings or other places in my life, so, I guess I am to let go of what my life and my program look like and try writing for a while...

Maybe... see, I don't think I get to choose ;-)



Scott W said...

Excellent. A serene life is a constant series of surrenders.

Mary Christine said...

It is nice to read about your journey as a sober blogger.

steveroni said...

Please...keep blogging along.

Lou said...

I'm glad I stopped by, to meet you & to find the 36principles link. I loved that post about being "on time" although it was not the kind of being on time I expected.

Syd said...

I'm glad that you are writing. And thanks for the thoughts on surrender. I hadn't a clue about how to do that until I was so beaten down that I simply gave up.