Ebby T.’s Surrender Problem

Ebby T.’s Surrender Problem

Ebby T.’s Surrender Problem

Good morning family…

I was sitting down this week looking at some of our A.A. history with another member and ran across an interesting writing about Ebby T. After reading it, we both thought how sad that some people simply cannot surrender enough to “get it.”

“Ebby T. had originally sobered up and “given his surrender” on November 1, 1934, and then, a few weeks later, carried his message of recovery to Bill W. But, in April 1937, he fell off the wagon and, two months later, found himself in Towns Hospital trying to get off the booze one more time. At first, Ebby’s efforts were successful; but one month later, when he left the protective arms of the New York fellowship and returned to his job in Albany, he almost immediately started drinking again, this time heavily and continuously, and he went on doing so for most of the next year. By mid-June 1938, alcohol had once more brought him to his knees and he was desperate to stop. Whenever his drinking overwhelmed him, Ebby turned to the one man he knew he could always count on for help, arriving at Bill W.’s household on June 14—just in time to make an appearance at the Tuesday night meeting. Given the contrast between Ebby’s sudden reappearance announcing his desire to get sober again and Hank’s report that Jim B. was out drinking again, it must have made for a very inspiring meeting that night in Brooklyn.”

It reminded me that our program of action is about so much more than just going to a meeting, or that it’s reliant on any one human being. It appeared that Ebby placed a large premium on his relationship with Bill and the alcoholic squad. While I too, have at times, relied on my fellow alcoholics to help me stay sober on a given day (through one-on-one sharing, or in meetings, etc.), ultimately what worked for me was complete and utter surrender to a Power great than myself which gave me a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism that changed how I reacted to life.

When I hear someone tell a newcomer “just don’t drink and go to meetings” (which I don’t hear as much as I used to thank goodness), I typically will follow up with that newcomer and suggest that’s only 2 parts of the 4 actions I needed to take:

1.) Don’t drink…
2.) Go to meetings…
3.) Get a sponsor…
4.) Take the Steps…

It doesn’t matter what I THINK my problem may be in any given moment; the IRS chasing me down, I lost my job, my mother died, my spouse left me, my candidate didn’t win, I can’t pay my mortgage… in truth – the only problem I ever have is separation from God. Fix that and I’m golden.

I believe that everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to in God’s world, but I sometimes wonder how different life might have been for Ebby if he’d just been able to fully surrender to his Higher Power. That then begs the question, how would my life be different if I’d just do the same?

Have a glorious day in God’s world today family!



  1. Avatar

    Joe B.

    Says November 11, 2022 at 10:22 am

    I have a theory that there are actually 2 surrenders. And to be successful in our beautiful program, I have to subscribe to both.
    Let me explain.

    I have to first surrender to my problem, alcoholism. I have to understand what alcoholism is, and “concede to my innermost self” that that describes me.
    Second, I have to surrender to the solution, the steps/program.
    We’ve known folks who surrender to the fact they are alcoholic, but believe they can still do the deal on their own, or if it truly gets bad enough I’ll then try it your way!
    We have also known many who hear what we say about alcoholism, and the solution we have found, and then decide to do the steps. However, if they really never conceded to their innermost self they were alcoholic, they will eventually drink again.
    I have no idea if either of these were Ebby’s problem, but I suspect it was one or the other, possibly both.

    Joe B

    • Avatar

      Rick W.

      Says November 11, 2022 at 10:30 am

      Joes, thank you for sharing your experience – that is beautiful and certainly apropos. God bless you my friend!

  2. Avatar


    Says November 11, 2022 at 10:24 am

    Love this blog post.

    My immediate reflection: The Keystone. Without it…all the other stones will fall.

    • Avatar

      Rick W.

      Says November 11, 2022 at 10:31 am

      Thanks T! It is absolutely the keystone!!!

  3. Avatar


    Says April 02, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks Rick….Love this….❤️

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