Recovery starts with surrender to the fact that binge food will always have control over us. We are ready to surrender when we accept that we have no power over our eating and recovery is the only alternative we have.
I remember the moment that I was finally willing to surrender. It was more than 9 years ago. I was 90 pounds heavier than I am today and totally desperate. We had a weekend planned in Las Vegas, and I got Kay’s book “From the first Bite” on the day we left for the vacation. I took the book with me, and on my way to the airport I called the woman I chose to sponsor me and asked her if she would work with me. She asked me to read the book and to call her when I’m done and am ready to start. I spent the weekend eating like crazy (there was an unlimited amount of sugar, flour, and wheat products offered on the buffet-style meals we had) and I felt sick to my stomach. I had a big dessert on Sunday night and then felt terrible both physically and emotionally. I finished reading the book on Sunday night, after eating all that junk, and I knew that my only solution was to surrender to the program. It was in that moment that I realized that I cannot feel worth the way I was feeling at that moment, and I was willing to do whatever it takes to truly live. I called my sponsor (to be) on Monday morning. I got abstinent and we started working together.
My recovery began on that Sunday in Las Vegas when I was willing to surrender and accept help.
My definition of surrender has emerged through the years. When I was new to recovery, I used to see Surrender as giving up. My image of Surrender was very passive, like carrying a white flag cresting a hill or peeking around a corner in hopes of not being shot. I used to think that if I turn things over to a power greater than myself, I am ok to sit quietly and wait and the rest would take care of itself.
Reality made me change my definition of surrender. I know now that it is an active process that requires action.
The AA 12 & 12 (page 24) says:
“few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program unless they have hit bottom. For practicing A.A.’s remaining eleven steps means the adoption of ATTITUDES and ACTIONS that almost no alcoholic who is still drinking can dream of taking.”
I love those words – “attitudes and actions”.
Once we make the third-step decision, we actively work steps four to twelve.
Today, surrender means for me that I say “YES” to life by turning things over to God, as I understand God, and I’m following directions for taking actions. Working the steps, attending meetings, planning my day, cooking my food, and other activities which are related to recovery are all the active part of surrender.
Surrender is the foundation and platform for successful recovery. But it only works if you work it!