From fear to freedom: learning to surrender

In the last two weeks I’ve felt a substantial change in my experience of sobriety and recovery: I am experiencing healthy surrender in my life. I am creating this thread to share about that; to have a place to get my thoughts out of my head. Welcome to my journey folks! Buckle up.

First note: I am scared. I am scared scared scared. Here’s a list of the things - just some of the things! - I’m scared of:

  • going broke and having to sell my house to repay the loans I took out to start my business
  • not finding the staff I need to do the jobs I’ve booked in our schedule
  • being a failure and therefore being alone, being abandoned because I’m another disorganized and inattentive and scattered man: by far the biggest and deepest fear I have (it’s rooted in the experiences of my father and his father, both of whom had rocky paths for those reasons)

Am I a failure? No of course I’m not. Am I disorganized and inattentive and scattered? Those are pretty broad things to say - I’m a lot of other things too - but even if I am those things at times, I have unique value I bring (in the same way a rose is a rose and a worm is a worm: the rose can’t be a worm and the worm can’t be a rose, but you need both of them to have a garden).

Recently I attended an SA retreat in my province, and hearing the other attendees share about surrender helped me understand what that means for me.

What am I surrendering? The paralysis - the “safe” place of “doing nothing is safer than doing something and making a mistake” :roll_eyes: - that comes from fear. Fear and worry are appropriate at times but if they’re keeping me paralyzed (as they have for years, masked in my addiction), then they’re attachments, they’re like anchors holding me in place, and I need to cut the chains and set sail; I need to set myself free.

To the greater web of life, the powers greater than me, the patterns of the universe, which are always infinitely more directing things than I am: I surrender to you. I am confident the path I will follow, the natural growth, will be what I need. I surrender to that. I accept the unknown and I surrender my attachment to the known. I trust I will get what I need.

More to come folks :innocent:


Great stuff Matt as usual


Beautiful reflection. Surrender is so hard, but once I did, The Promises did start to reveal themselves. The freedom is incredible. I’m so happy for you, Matt.


Thanks. You’re absolutely right about surrender being hard. It’s almost as hard as being married. Not quite, but almost :sweat_smile: :innocent:


I find myself feeling like… I don’t know; like I’m a new space. Like I’m afraid - like I get all twisted around inside, like I’m spinning my wheels, but then there’s this peaceful feeling I find sometimes. It’s kinda disorienting actually.


I understand completely. It’s hard to put into words. The best I can do is describe it as a paradigm shift where I live life on life’s terms, good or bad, with an underlying sense of peace regardless of what life is handing me at the moment.


Exactly. This is exactly it.

There’s this part of me that is timid, fearful, doubtful: “I’m no one, I’m nothing; I’m a dumb, stupid loser.”

It speaks to me with this deeply discouraging voice, telling me I am bad, and I am never going to get it, and I will drown in debt (rather than earn what I’m worth), that I’m every negative thing everyone has ever said about me; every negative thing I have ever heard, every voice saying I’m “carrot-top”, nothing but a red-headed, freckle-faced, blushing, alone, apart, away -

Just Matt, a loser, shy, stupid, dumb, alone.

But even if that were true, even if that were all I am (which is bullshit, obviously, but even if it were) - it doesn’t matter.

A wave on the sea is “alone” too - but also not alone (it is part of one sea - the same sea as every other wave). A wave carries energy that started somewhere else and will be channeled (by the wave) into something (or somewhere) else. I flow through life, through the water, carrying energy that comes from outside me, from something greater than me, and my role is to flow with that energy and carry it. And that’s my life. And that is exactly what I need to be, not more, not less.

I surrender to the energy that created me, and I let it flow through me, and that is enough. Not only is it enough, it is me: this surrender is my life, fully, completely, fulfilled.


I made it through today and I had lots of cravings and… they all passed. I waited them out and texted my sponsor and spent time here on Talking Sober.

I prayed to my Higher Power - the energy that created my wave; the energy that is the reason for my being - and surrendered to that energy, let it go through me so I wasn’t fighting it. It worked.

On to tomorrow :innocent:


It’s amazing how persistent the addict habits are. The voice is in my head saying “come on, it’s fine, just a bit”, like my addiction is some sort of hobby like playing the guitar. That voice has been with me since I woke up today.

Playing the guitar for a few minutes before work? No harm done.

Indulging my addiction for a few minutes? (and it’s never just a few minutes) My day is gone.

I spoke with my higher power and asked for help, and I posted here, and now I’m on to my day.

Yesterday was a positive day with a couple of business wins and though I’m still feeling a little scattered I am trusting the universe has got plans for me. Today is another day and I’ll keep practicing that trust while I do the next right thing.


That’s a lot understandable. It’s okay to feel a bir scared in new place or feeling something new. But believe me - you’re on good way! You’re on way to find new interesting adventures in your life. :]
Keep going! I’m proud of you.

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That’s a good way to look at it, I like that :innocent:

Yesterday was a long day, I left the house at 6:30 and didn’t get back until 9:00. It’s gonna be like this most of the summer. Good for business but man it can be exhausting!

Spoke with my sponsor and called a couple of sober contacts yesterday. I’ve got another call planned for later this morning too.

I’m still learning what it means to surrender and invite my greater power in. (I’ve even been talking aloud in the car to my greater power!) I’m realizing I’ve been holding on to my addiction like some kind of safety blanket. It’s time to let it go.


I’m afraid of tanking my business, going broke, and being a failure. (I know I’m not really a failure but that is the fear: I’m a disorganized mess and will never get myself together.)

I’ve been consciously surrendering for a little over a week now: recognizing the irrational fears and paralysis I’m clinging to (my “safe” place where I hid with my addiction), and surrendering those to other humans (recovery contacts) and also to my higher power (or external power - whatever it’s called - the power that pushes me forward like a wave).

It has been hard; especially the weekend was hard, because this is my first busy week of the summer and I am/was scared of not carrying through and finishing projects.

I have had a lot of things go positively this week:

  • a job I’d scheduled to be done today was actually done yesterday, ahead of schedule, by an experienced crew I hired recently, and they did an excellent job (I love it when a crew does excellent work without needing to be supervised as much as some crews do)
  • I got paid in full today on a big job, and it’s nice to have money coming in
  • I have interviewed a few promising staff and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do on our jobs

All of that is the type of thing I wouldn’t have done (or wouldn’t have done as smoothly) if I was actively holding on to my paralysis, my fears; if I was actively in my addiction.

Sobriety rocks! :smiley:


Helpful today, as a result of surrendering so that I can get things done in the real world (and not stay stuck hiding in my head)

  • got paid in full on one big job and got a deposit on another, totalling 2.5% of my annual revenue goal (in one day!) - not a bad day sales-wise
  • spoke with one of my sobriety contact and called another; that helped me get out of my head when the addict voice was speaking
  • through a combination of reaching out to sober contacts, and talking to myself and my higher power aloud in the car while I was driving, I worked through a very long day today without turning to my addiction (this was possible specifically because I surrendered my addict thoughts - I said, these are my thoughts, whether I want them or not they are here, I surrender these so that other people know them - my sober contact - and my higher power takes them - and by surrendering that, I can get back to my next constructive step)

Unhelpful today:

  • I spoke sharply to my wife. I lost patience and I lost my composure in our telephone conversation this afternoon. I apologized when we saw each other later in the day, but I need to dig into that. It was not appropriate and it was harsh.

Is that true and if yes can you get someone to help you improve your organisation. I mean there is the negative selftalk and there can still be an issue with organising things.

It’s great to see you getting into the work. We are always good at analysing and it’s so damn hard to accept the results and get into going, isn’t it? Baby steps. :sunflower:

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Oh my god this describes me so much. You hit the nail on the head. The over-analyzing becomes a kind of avoidance sometimes :sweat_smile:

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You’re absolutely right Franzi :innocent:

I hired a bookkeeper (urgently needed) and she will take care of my bookkeeping and my payroll (which are things I lost track of easily).

I have listed a job description for an “Operations Administrator” whose role will be to help with day to day operations in the busy season. That will help.

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Nice thread Matt. This is a real deep issue and it can make me destabilized and i have a hard time finding ground, feeling safe and i can “spin” out a bit in my mind.

Im sure you’re doing well , i look forward to reading you. 🩵

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Thx @mx_elle I appreciate you commenting :innocent: I have read some of your posts about your journey in sport and motion, of embodied living, and other journeys you’ve had carving out spaces for action and impact. I admire your tenacity and I appreciate your insight.


Good morning Matt, great thread!!
Congrats for taking on the effort of business owner and sobriety of course. Thanks for leading by example​:+1::+1:
Just curious about talking to HP, I’m a bit new to this and curious what you and others feel HP wants to hear from us, I’m a bit saddened that it can feel like a one way conversation as I like the instant response , us addicts do right?
Blessings to you Matt, keep up the good fight :peace_symbol::heart: JFT :pray::person_in_lotus_position:

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We definitely do :innocent:

I’ve been reflecting on what higher power can mean too, especially in relation to surrendering. Personally I think the way I surrender to my higher power is the same way a wave surrenders to the external power that created it. All waves are created by an external power (for example, seismic activity on the ocean floor can make waves, or you can even make waves in your kitchen sink by filling it with water and dropping something into the water), and the wave / the water surrenders to that external power; it makes waves.

The wave cannot choose to be shaped like a maple tree. Waves do not have the same shape as a maple tree and if a wave spends time battling its natural shape, trying to force itself to look like a maple tree, it’s wasting its time.

Surrender, for a wave, is the choice to be a wave, fully, and not fight it. Flow with the energy that the external power (the “higher” power) gave you.

For me I find myself talking aloud while I’m driving or any other time I want to connect with my higher power. It does feel a little one-sided at times but I suppose it’s always like that, for anything trying to speak with its creator (imagine a baby in the womb trying to have a conversation with its mother; they’re definitely connected but the conversation isn’t the same as a spoken conversation between two adults not in the womb).

It’s a learning experience :innocent:

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