OA Story: Surrender


by David P. (originally published in WUIG Newsletter June/July 2007)

“Pray for the willingness to surrender.” “Surrender your ego.”

These are some of the suggestions that I heard as commands in my early days in the rooms, when I was confused and proud and stubborn. My understanding of surrender was: “Never! I will go down with this sinking ship; and I won’t put my hands up and surrender. There will be no white flag above my life….” (I was brought up in a family headed by a Ship’s Captain and came from a long line of career military.)

“My understanding of surrender was: “Never! I will go down with this sinking ship….”


The word means to give in, doesn’t it? I looked it up in the dictionary; I do that kind of thing now.It means “to yield something to the possession or power of another; to give oneself up, or to relinquish to some influence or emotion.” When I first started attending meetings, I was certain I was in charge. But was I? Was I really in charge of anything? My life was unmanageable. I was overweight, in significant medical duress. My life, my body, my health were totally out of control in many different ways. Surrender? Never. There will be no white flags here. I will die before I give up. Wait, wait! Is that what I meant? It must have been, because that was exactly what was going to happen. If I continued down the path I was on, I would die. I would have a heart attack, and die, from this horrid disease that unites us all. I was right on one count.

Surrender does mean to give in, to relinquish to some other influence, to give in to and accept that some other influence or authority has a better way of being, a better way of existing. Surrendering, relinquishing my way, has created a whole new world for me.

I would like to tell all about what has happened since I made a conscious decision to surrender but there isn’t enough space on the page. I have turned my will over to the care of a Higher Power who has a lot more sense and knowledge than I do. On mornings when I surrender and acknowledge that I am a Compulsive Overeater, when I acknowledge that I can only survive if I can admit I am not in control, for some strange reason, the day is easier, softer, gentler, and more serene.

My ultimate reliance is on a Higher Power and that means someone much more qualified to run my life is now in charge. And I can tell you on the days when I wake up stubborn, on days when I wake up with my own ego going full steam ahead, the day simply does not work.

Period. Amen.

What is Overeaters Anonymous of Westchester and Putnam Counties of New York?

Overeaters Anonymous of Westchester and Putnam Counties of New York offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. County wide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.

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