Before ANY alcoholic (or addict) can truly get sober, they have to surrender to the fact that they ARE alcoholics (or addicts.) They can’t just (in a moment of frustration) say, “Okay, okay, yeah, I have a problem….THERE I SAID IT!” They MUST completely surrender to the fact that they DO have a problem that they can’t control ( and never will control) in addition to the fact that they must know they can’t do it on their own.
My own surrender came when I saw my inner demon right there in front of my face. It was at that moment that I knew I was completely broken and could no longer deny the fact that my alcohol consumption was more than a problem, I was completely out of control. I did not recognize the person on the TV screen and if it weren’t for my “ink” I would have swore that person was not me. My hands and face were swollen from all the alcohol consumption, I couldn’t hold myself up even in a sitting position, my face was literally distorted and my eyes looked soulless. . When I sought help, my attitude was, “Okay, I’m broken, how do I get fixed?” I surrendered to the fact that I not only had an uncontrollable problem, but that I couldn’t let my pride and ego consume me anymore, I had to seek help from outside sources, otherwise I was surely going to die.
Everyone surrenders differently. It’s like that ahh haaa moment when you realize you’re not kidding anyone, especially yourself anymore. You can no longer justify, lie or manipulate your way out of the reality check that you’re out of control. All those black outs & all the hangovers, are no longer funny, you suddenly see them in a different light. You’re suddenly seeing your actions for exactly what they are. Now if you get to this point, and you STILL continue to do what you’ve always done, you’re on a one way, dead end street doing 200 MPH down a steep hill. At the bottom of that hill, is a brick wall…You figure the rest out.
Actually realizing and then accepting the fact that I was an alcoholic was two totally different monsters. I was a total control freak, I could handle anything. I couldn’t accept the fact that this was something that had me licked. Because of that fact, surrender for me was a slow process. Once I finally came around and I did surrender, there was a part of me that was terrified, yet relieved. As scarey as it may be, facing the demon head on is a lot easier and takes up a lot less energy than running from it.
Most of us who suffer from some kind of addiction firmly believe that admitting there’s a problem and then seeking help means that we’re weak. Let me just put this out there…..Surrendering does not mean you’re weak. It means that you’re a fighter and are now willing to fight to live. With the exception of a few rare occasions, the disease of alcoholism and addiction is a very slow process and usually takes quite some time before it actually kills you, but KIILL you it will, make no mistakes about that. Thinking that you can handle it and you’re not like those other people is a huge and dangerous misconception.
I was a binge drinker which made accepting I had a problem even more difficult. I didn’t drink every day, I wasn’t sleeping under bridges or out there robbing to get my booze. That’s exactly how I justified it for decades. But I was “one of them” Once the booze touched my lips, I was off and running. I literally could not stop. The last thing I clearly remember from my last binge was being handed a shot and NOT being able to put it down no matter how much I knew I had to or even wanted to. That’s when I knew. Seeing the video the next day was just the aftermath confirmation I needed to push me over the edge and surrender to the fact that I was defeated.
You can’t get sober for anyone else but yourself. You can’t do if for mom, the kids, the wife or husband. You can’t do it for your job or any other reason you can come up with. It MUST come from within and you must be so broken that you become willing to do whatever you need to in order to save your own life. There’s no room for egotism and pride.
I can’t speak for anyone else, I can only speak for myself when I say I honestly believe the reason I took to the help I needed with some ease once I surrendered was because I was finally ready. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and I had this overwhelming desire to suddenly fight for my own life. To admit defeat meant I now had a fighting chance to live and I was ready to join the fight with my loved ones. I was finally ready to become a part of the solution rather than being the problem.
No one is exempt from addiction. It doesn’t matter how you grew up, how much money you have, how much of a success you think you are. Alcoholism and addiction has the power to affect ANYONE. On the flip side, ANYONE can get clean and sober, but in order for that to happen, you have to admit there’s a problem and surrender to it. Waving that proverbial “white flag” is just what needs to be done in order for you to have any kind of chance at true sobriety. Breaking the chains of addiction will allow you to live “happy, joyous and free.”