5. I learned how to surrender in order to "win."


The idea of surrender always seemed like a loss. Like I’m giving up and having a feeling of defeat. The paradox of how learning how to surrender in order to win was a pivotal part of my recovery.
At first, this did not make sense to me at all. I would hear people in twelve step meetings sharing about this, and I would just think to myself “well thats just a stupid idea.” It wasn’t until my sponsor sat me down and started to discuss some of the step work around step two and three. While learning about myself, my disease, and the program of action that my sponsor was lining out for me… I started to buy into this idea. 
I came across this realization that what I needed to surrender was my old lifestyle, my old way of dealing with life, my old way of manipulating and sabotaging areas of my life. Essentially, I needed to surrender the idea that I knew what was best for me. My thinking was sick, and I couldn’t rely on it. But what I could rely on was this idea of a power greater than myself having better plans for me. So I slowly started to implicate this spiritual idea into my day to day activities. And one day it hit me! That if I can come up with an idea of how I’m supposed to live my life and be successful, then it’s like me tapping into a power equal to myself instead of God. 
Thankfully, my step one experience around my addiction proves time and time again that although I may have great intentions with my thinking, it’s never worked out for me. That’s what convinced me that a power greater than myself was needed to tackle this addiction. Especially since I met, and was being helped by, people who were once just as hopeless as I was and found a way out. They were my beacon of hope, the community I would seek counsel from… the proof I needed to believe in a power greater than myself. 
Then it became simple… I started to become open minded to how my higher power worked in my life. I started to be less rigid with how I think things should be. I started to enjoy life and this recovery journey. Yes, I would come across some difficult times but that’s when I would lean into this idea of surrender even more. And it just kept on working… year after year would go by and I just kept staying sober while also growing my spiritual life. 
It felt good… like I had an inside joke with my higher power on how my life is meant to be lived in order for it to be fruitful and, above all, my testimony gets to help others.
Ten years into this new lifestyle, and this spiritual principle continues to work for me. I get to explore it in new ways with new circumstances and it never seems to get old.