The first step of the 12 Steps is “We admitted we were powerless over alcoholthat our lives had become unmanageable.” This involves surrendering to your addiction. By surrendering to your addiction, you are admitting that your addiction is out of your control and that you need to place your control in someone else’s hands.
When you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are on a never-ending quest for your next high because your addiction leads you to believe that you will not be happy without it. Addiction affects what is right and what is wrong. There may have been times where you have told your family and friends that you can stop at anytime and that you are a self-healer. The truth is that if you were able to overcome your addiction without help, you would have by now.
People think surrendering is a sign of weakness and we have been taught to never give up. That surrendering is like telling the bad guys that they have won. People like to be the ones in control and they feel if they surrender, they are trusting someone else to have that control. Surrendering is not about giving up in yourself but being willing to give up your addiction and giving up the idea that you are in control of it. Some things are too big to be able to control on our own and by surrendering, you are admitting that you cannot win the battle against addiction by yourself.
When you try to fix things yourself when under the influence, you cannot recognize your limitations and your vulnerability because your thoughts change despite the terrible choices made. Surrendering is about telling ourselves that we cannot control our addiction and that we need to place our trust in someone else such as in a Higher Power or rehab counselors to give us help and advice to overcome this. Surrendering is about learning how to trust, connect, and have faith that you will get better. Because abusive substances stopped you from feeling emotions like fear of the unknown, pain, and fear, surrendering is telling yourself that you are ready to feel these emotions that you have been trying to hide from. It may be scary walking into the unknown of not knowing who you will be without your addiction but being willing to take that risk is the first step into recovery.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig treats alcoholism and drug addiction as an illness and promote abstinence as essential for long-lasting recovery. We help patients recover through an intensive, personalised programme that combines medical treatment, 12 Step therapy, CBT and other psychiatric therapies and complementary therapies. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020