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Surrender: A Recovery Story

I was not one of those who was confused as to why my world was falling apart around me. I knew. All too well. It was my addiction and alcoholism. I remember exactly where I was when I looked myself in the rear-view mirror of my truck and admitted I was an addict and an alcoholic. In a bizarre way, I found some relief in admitting this to myself. I knew I would die alone and defeated. My solution was to get another drink and another hit. I didn’t know there was another way.

My world was very small and dark. It had been for years. I had pushed away and lied to virtually everyone I loved and who cared about me. Form the time I came to until the time I passed out, every waking moment was occupied ultimately with feeding my addiction. I knew I was its slave. This went on for years.

I was arrested a few years after admitting to myself that I was an addict and alcoholic. Within days, I found myself in a 90-day treatment program. I am convinced to this day that, had I not been arrested, I would be dead. “Arrescued” is a more appropriate description as to what happened to me that day.

In treatment, I learned about the 12-step program of recovery. The first step, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol [or our addiction] – that our lives had become unmanageable,” was not a difficult step for me to take. I had already taken it in my truck years earlier. I knew then that I was powerless over my addiction and alcoholism. However, admitting I was powerless when I was just a few days clean and sober was a profoundly different experience. It was liberating and, in fact, empowering. This is because of the remaining steps, especially the second and third steps: “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” and “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand him.”

You see, because I had already admitted I was powerless (although I didn’t use that word), I had also already come to believe that my addiction and alcoholism were far more powerful than me. And, yes, I had already turned my will and my life over to that greater power–the dark power of addiction and alcoholism. With a few days of sobriety, I realized that there had to be and in fact was a good power in the universe and that it could restore me to sanity. Because I was clean and sober, even just for a few days, I had choices now. I chose to turn my will and life over to the care of that greater, benevolent power. And that has made all the difference. I now have the power, on a daily basis, to hold the disease of addiction and alcoholism at bay. Becoming empowered over something over which I had no power is truly nothing short of a miracle.

By a LAP Participant

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