Al-Anon Meeting Topic: Being Powerless

Surrender to Win

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I Had to Surrender to Find Serenity. © Getty Images

Before I came into Al-Anon the concept of being powerless was totally foreign to me. I never once admitted that I was powerless, not once, ever. After all, I thought it was my job to "help" everybody. To make sure that everything worked right, and ran smoothly.

If everybody would just do it MY way, the world would work so much better!

There was this one little problem -- I was living with an alcoholic.

I Was Trying to Control a Disease

I was sharing my life, my world, with someone who had a disease that caused them to be compelled to do something that was harmful to them. This made no sense, defied all logic, and left me baffled and confused.

Nothing I ever did to try to "help" the alcoholic ever worked. I was whipped. Angry. Frustrated. Lonely. Then Al-Anon told me that none of those things I did or didn't do mattered. I was powerless. I was dealing with a disease that denied it existed and that resisted treatment.

A New Power and Freedom

Admitting you are powerless may sound like giving up. Well, that's exactly where I was, I surrendered! But the twelve steps don't stop with surrender. They continue with a path of recovery that gave me a new power, a new freedom, in realizing that it was not my job to decide when someone else was ready to begin recovery.

There is power greater than myself who is not powerless.

A power that is in control and much more capable than I ever was. All I had to do to get that power in my life was to make a simple decision to turn it over to Him and sit back and watch it work in my life and the lives of others. Which, when you think about it, requires no real effort at all.

That's when everything in my life began to get better, when I finally turned it all over to a power greater than myself.

I know it doesn't seem logical and makes no sense, but that's how it worked in my life.

I had to surrender to win.

-- BuddyT

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