The question I’ve been asked time and time again is, “how did you get so strong in being able to overcome all of your addictions?” The answer is quite simple. I totally surrendered.
The first time I surrendered was back in 1987 when my mother confronted my addictions to no end. I call it a Divine intervention because it was not a planned intervention, rather it was through a mother’s ferocious love that God worked so masterfully in shattering my denial. The following is a segment I wrote about that unforgettable evening and what ended up being the turning point of my life.
“By January of 1987, I was twenty two years old and my mother had come to visit me in my house in Mexico for a week. She had always known the truth of my troubles but now was compelled to come and see for herself. My shenanigans had evolved into a lifestyle of false grandeur. I was living in a beach house just fifteen miles South of Tijuana and every evening at four o’clock I would head for the United States where I made my living as a topless dancer. I had cleverly chosen a vocation where I had everyone working for me. The establishment provided my alcohol, the patrons delivered my drugs and I was even allowed to smoke. My mother’s concerns were nothing less than a heavy annoyance and as far as I was concerned she was crossing her boundaries while visiting on my turf.
One particular evening as I came through the door, my mother took one look at me and what seemed like out of nowhere nailed me to the wall with the truth. This Divine intervention had an unusual power and wasn’t anything like her usual wrath. I stood in fearful defense denying the truth once again when suddenly all of the lights went out in my house. I screamed with terror as she kept her calm and insisted that I was only standing in the darkness of my own lies. I scurried over to the fuse box and turned the lights back on when suddenly I saw her piercing eyes of raw truth demanding that I was an alcoholic and drug addict. Our bantering went on for quite some time when suddenly she said the magic words that caused me to buckle in admittance. She promised me that I would not have to fight this battle alone and that she would take me by the hand and help me every step of the way. For the first time in a very long while I trusted her. I fell into her arms and sobbed through the night in fear of not knowing what was ahead and spent the entire evening weeping in humiliation of being labeled an “alcoholic and drug addict.” I had not one clue about how to live in this world, however, I finally had hope that this was the end of my fight and the beginning of some sort of new life.”
The fight was finally over for me. As strange as it may sound, I felt a relief in the defeat, however, the flames of defiance from those who are addicted do not die out easily. The very next day I woke up making demands that I would agree to see a psychologist, however I would not give up dancing or my house in Mexico and I would NOT go to AA meetings. My mother arranged a phone conversation with a very renowned psychologist in San Diego. From the speaker in her office, she spoke these harsh words to me, “Young lady, if you want to work with me there are three things you’re going to have to do. You will need to give up your house in Mexico, you will commit to AA meetings and you will have to give up your dancing because I will not accept your dirty money”. I felt an instant surge of rage toward that woman yet her words stomped out the remaining burning embers of my defiance. Yet again, I surrendered.
That was just the beginning and of course the most important surrender of all because I simply had to let go of those deadly addictions and that life as I knew it in order for there to even be the beginning of a new life. From the moment I surrendered, life seemed to magically support us. We were led to the McDonald Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital where I attended my first AA meeting and a week later was admitted into the thirty-day inpatient program. During the course of my first week in detox, I had a spiritual experience that caused a miraculous shift in my perspective. I will save that story for another blog.
The act of surrendering is something I’ve had to learn to do over and over again. Throughout my years, I had to surrender more addictions, my perspectives about life, certain attitudes about myself and others, relationships, my “warriorism”, and the list goes on.
The act of surrendering now is something I’ve grown to cherish and I feel the most connected to my power when I do it. The gifts on the other side of surrendering are tremendous and because I have experienced that to be true over and over again, I have grown to fully trust the act of surrendering. It is my friend and I am in partnership with it.
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