I am a sugar addict from Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
Back in 1934 when the founders of AA were creating the AA program, surrender meant to yield or give up. Lois Wilson needed her husband Bill Wilson (AA cofounder) to surrender or yield himself to God as he understood God. Bill needed to surrender or give up his futile attempts to control his drinking, which he was able to do when he finally saw that he was powerless over alcohol and his life, as he was try to manage it, was unmanageable.
When I originally saw this word surrender included in the 12 Step and recovery jargon, which I was trying to grasp and learn, the word surrender offended my precious ego. I thought, I have given up so much, now I have to surrender as well? Given my history of encounters with law enforcement, this word incited fear and anger inside of me as a newly recovering person. I am so glad I stuck around until the miracle happened!
So just how do I surrender? I am a sugar addict. I know from my experience that sugar, flour, starches, and most high carbohydrate foods bring on an uncontrollable need inside me to binge and eat as if there is no tomorrow. I know my sugar addiction is a disease (Dis–Ease). I am uncomfortable in my own skin and although I have over 26 years of blessed sobriety from alcohol and drugs, I am still a sugar addict.
With alcohol, I was able to surrender my power and admit powerlessness and unmanageability in order to get sober. When I surrendered to alcohol, I was at my bottom. I was powerless over alcohol and drugs and I was now their prisoner. I yielded my control over my life and admitted it was unmanageable. When I did this, I got better a day at a time and was able to receive and live the promises of this program.
This surrender is exactly what I have had to do in order to achieve abstinence in Sugar Addicts Anonymous. Last fall in 2017, as I struggled to stuff my sick and large bloated body into a suit that no longer fit me, I was driven to my knees in frustration and despair. Food no longer worked for me and just like alcohol and drugs, I was sugar and flour’s prisoner. Sugar and flour had me on a road to more pain and suffering. I reached out for help, but this time it was different. Not different because of a different 12 Step program: instead, I was finally willing to be helped and knew that my way of eating was not working. I surrendered my way of eating and owned my powerlessness and unmanageability over food. Thank God I reached out to a sugar addiction specialist professional, who referred me to the SAA program.
Through surrender, I have been able to give up my ego and become teachable. I follow the SAA program and use a tracking tool to track and plan my meals. I send my food plan daily to my sponsor and talk with my sponsor and others in the program frequently. I surrendered by yielding my need to run my life on self-will and began looking to learn and to live God’s will for me with my food, just like I have always done in AA.
Surrender has brought me almost 9 months of blessed abstinence on a daily basis. In yielding my need to control my food and by giving up sugar, flour, and starches I have been set free. The blessing for me is that while everyday can bring change and chaos, I no longer need to let people, place, things, or situations dominate my mind and emotions to create unneeded stress, anxiety, and ultimately relapse to a binge. I now simply give my stress, fear, and anxiety to God and see what He needs me to focus on. Thanks to God and this program, I have surrendered!