Please note that while we post in this specific blog about alcoholism, we believe that all chemical dependency is driven by the user’s substance of choice. In other words, chemical addiction behaviors differ collectively only in the chemical used.

Back in the 1930s when Alcoholics Anonymous started there were many alcoholics that could not get or stay sober. Dr. Silkworth and others in the medical community that followed the fledgling organization observed many things. Dr. Harry Tiebout, an MD and psychiatrist was one of the medical professionals that took interest and made some crucial observations that still are apparent today.

Alcoholics and addicts possess defiant behavior, and it is only through humility and a true “hitting bottom” experience, can their “unconquerable ego” be deflated to become humble says, Dr. Tiebout. What does this mean? Why can’t I get sober or clean? It is my experience that 100% of the people that can’t get sober is because they are unwilling to give up one or more facets of their life completely. It is a resistance to surrender that causes the person not to get or stay sober or clean. Many concepts swirl around the notion of surrender, submission or compliance, and acceptance.

Dr. Tiebout in a written series called surrender vs compliance says that we must differentiate between submission or compliance and surrender. He points out that surrender is essential to wholehearted acceptance and that unconscious compliance, which is half-hearted surrender, can be a vital block to genuine surrender. Unconscious compliant trends show that the person will not meaningfully respond to treatment.

Where are you? Being compliant means holding onto things that will keep you stuck from recovery and a better life. Surrender says I can not do this on my own and I need others to help me change my thinking.