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Old 03-31-2020, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The surrender


Has anyone heard of a surrender involved in AA?

My sponsor just spoke of this the other day when I requested that we talk less, down to once a week. He said I hadn't yet surrendered. To do anything well, play a sport well, you must surrender to it.

It confirmed this sense I have.
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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yeah, i've heard of it

what is this sense you have?
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey fini, how are you holding up?

In what context did you hear it?

I heard it in terms of surrender to the program as a whole. I guess I now view AA as a religion. It has a flexible sort of mystical version and a fundamentalist version. The slogans, the circular reasoning, stinking thinking, the easier softer way, that much of this addenda is also self referencing. There is light and darkness.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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holding up well here, thanks.
there are various “surrenders” i needed to get to with regards to alcoholism, and taking years to seeing the value of “the program”.
i needed to work a lot of my “surrender” out before i ever set foot in AA or did the step work.
i do not view AA as religion.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would think this pertains to Steps 1, 2, and 3. Maybe look up some other versions of these steps and see what it means to you?
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is from Bill's story: "No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master. "

Has alcohol got you beat yet? or is there a lingering thought that one day you will master it? - "The delusion that we are like other people or presently maybe, has to be smashed"

Do you have enough power to beat it on your own? Many people do. Many alcoholics struggle with the idea that self reliance has not worked. It's quite a blow to the ego.

Alcohol beat me into submission. I had tried many things. Nothing worked. The AA solution was presented to me, the only untried option. I threw myself whole-heartedly into the program as if my life depended on it. That was my surrender. Through it I acquired the power to live sober in this world.

I had no reservations because there was nothing else. If you have reservations, maybe you know of something else that might work. By all means give it a try.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Don't use other people's version or interpretation of AA to be your version or interpretation. They can certainly aid and help shape yours, but the end way you view and use AA should be you.

An egg is an egg is an egg, but different people will view and use an egg differently. Some will make an omelet. Some will make a meringue. Some will throw the egg! :~)
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I used to think of surrender in negative terms. It was for losers. Me surrender...never!!! I needed to open my mind. If I jump out of an airplane, I can surrender to the reality of gravity and use a parachute...or I can fight the reality and things won't go well.

In many ways surrender is a starting point rather than an end point. It is accepting (AKA acknowledging) things as being exactly as they are, not how I want them to be, but exactly as they are. From that point, i can make a better determination of what my next action should be.
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Old Yesterday, 07:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just want to know what I am surrendering to. Surrender to reality as the higher power, for example, or surrender to an awareness of what an addictive substance does. I can get behind that. I'm not interested, or hope to avoid, defining what I think others should and shouldn't surrender to. If I have learned one thing from this, everyone is on his own private trip. We must choose wisely, and fools can also become wise.
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Old Yesterday, 07:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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it is for you to figure out and part of the process of doing the stepwork.
the first thing i had to surrender was my conviction that my willpower alone was my way out.
it simply didn’t work that way for me.

chatting with your sponsorperson might be helpful to you.
have you asked them what they mean when they say you haven’t surrendered?
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Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That surrender you speak of came very easily to me. Religious experience was easy, as was subordinating myself to the words of a sponsor, to his particular proscriptions (some of them very eccentric), or to a sense that others, the louder ones, were really on the right track, where I was mistaken. I am coming to see things in another light, this dynamic of authority, advising, accepting advice, the right way and the wrong way, as human beings situated within a broader power dynamic. Like plato's cave. We dare not turn all the way to face reality. We wish to give and to receive, to push and pull within the confines of our own camp fire stories.

You know, I don't think I really ever entertained willpower as an avenue out of binge drinking. I leaped into AA and loved it, and much of what you all say above, I probably would have said.
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davaidavai View Post
... We must choose wisely, and fools can also become wise.
You might be "surrendering" already, to the simple fact we can enjoy the exhilaration of a daily reprieve from the compounding damage of physical allergy and mental obsession, and staying, for one more hour, out of the old groove no matter how tough our circumstances seem to be getting (says he).

If my sponsor wants to hear my chatter less, I can chatter to others as well and they often light up and they often add startlingly welcome but simple advice.

Bill wrote the BB when he wasn't long dry. My sponsor is more religious than me and that's just him! I'm wary of "AA fundamentalists" but I know they know that while the step is the step I'm bound to give it my style. The main danger would be if I was treating urgent and serious matters too lightly for my own good, or lazily.

Now we have covid I'm asking myself if I could have got "beyond"step 11 in all these years. Then I'm grateful I could get this far. Calling myself ever onward and not beating myself (or anyone else) up either. And that my companions could get as far as they have. They too have more sober hours ahead of them.
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Old Today, 08:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Surrender was not a part of my recovery. My recovery was all about regaining control. It was me taking my life back from the alcohol that had stolen it. It was being accountable for my behavior, and taking credit for my success.

The actual definition of "surrender" describes a behavior change and not much more. I don't think it defines surrender as a good or bad. We each have to decide for ourselves if it's the right approach in a given situation.
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Old Today, 08:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think AA is like any other religion. There is a core of usefulness and truth that eventually gets wrapped up, or was wrapped up from the beginning, in a dogmatic super structure of power dynamics, hierarchies and practices. The release from the craving is a deeper conformity to the alcoholic society in its microcosm. This is like one surrender. Quit struggling. Or, leave it behind and understand you have choice to build your life unbound by fear, false connection, the sense that you are doing something wrong or are of the wrong opinion.
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Old Today, 09:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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That said, I think being an AA fundamentalist might be a useful way of breaking the cycle.

Also, I think you can practice the core steps without the other dark elements, i.e. the disease that tells you that you don't have a disease, or, anthropomorphism alcohol (cunning, baffling, powerful). One can come to shape their own practice without constantly submitting to an untrained authority figure or a collective group one.

Bill Wilson wasn't a god. He wrote a text with a lot of sense and a lot of nonsense.
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