August 29, 2013

AA Step Ten - Continued to Take Personal Inventory

AA Step Ten - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step Ten  
I learned a whole lot more about the effects of my drinking on the people around me and my relationships with them while making my amends in Step Nine - AA Step Nine - Made Direct Amends. Now I get to keep my house clean by doing the daily inventory in Step 10.
I have pulled out few lines from the Twelve Steps and Twelve traditions that really resonated with me. Interesting enough this step is not just about admitting that you are wrong, but a whole lot more that is crucial to our growth as human beings.
Can we stay sober and keep emotional balance under all conditions? -  Forward of the Twelve Steps and twelve Traditions.
Wow, what a question. That seemed unattainable for me in my early sobriety, I mean some catastrophic event - I would think that would make it OK for me to drink, right? Then, in my third sober year, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer and for the last few months of her life I somehow found the courage to stay sober, - you can read more about it: Tulips For MyMom. During that time, I truly realized that there is nothing in this whole wide world that drinking would ever make feel better, in fact, because alcohol is a depressant, it makes things even worse. Instead I was able to walk through this time with clear and open heart and be of service to my mom and my family. The key for me was to stay diligent in my program, close to my Higher Power and connected with other alcoholics! 
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. - Twelve Steps and twelve Traditions,Step Ten, pg. 90.

From Google Images
I didn’t like that statement the first time I read it! Really? Something wrong with me? Not you, not them, not the world, ME? But this is true, and the best example is when I take things personally; for instance when my brother decided to visit a friend for Thanksgiving instead of spending it with us, and I got very upset at him, and wallowed for days about how I have no family and no one loves me – was that the truth? NO, my feelings had to do with the abandonment issues that I suffered through my turbulent childhood, nothing to do with my brother being invited to go skinning in Europe over the Thanksgiving school break. As soon as I recognized what I was really feeling, I was able to let it go and be happy for my brother.

This has become an amazing tool for being in tune with my own self and my behavior. Sometimes my behavior may be based on something very simple, like HALT - hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Sometimes it may be bigger like something reminding me of my childhood, or a way someone treated me. It may also stem from the fact that I am not in acceptance of myself therefore I have a hard time excepting others. Here I need to do the personal inventory; was I unkind? Was I jealousy, angry or resentful? Did I have predetermined opinion? Was I judgmental, or in self-pity? And when I was wrong I need to promptly admit it. Of course like with any inventory we must be sure not to indulge in "pride in reverse" - from Step 4 - where instead of taking an honest look at our wrongs and where we can improve, we use the inventory to indulge in a pity party.
We not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not perfection. - TwelveSteps and twelve Traditions, Step Ten, pg. 92.
Yes! Progress not perfection! Thank god because I can't do perfection, I mean I try, I think I am a perfectionist for sure, but that doesn't mean that I don't make mistakes, most likely it means that I probably make even more mistakes! Lol! So progress not perfection, sounds good, it lets me feel like it's is a moving force that is never still but continuously allowing me to grow and change.
An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek. - Twelve Steps and twelve Traditions, Step Ten, pg. 95.
And the above is definitely my favorite line! That's exactly what this step is about! I love it. I get up in the morning and I feel inspired! That is all I need to do every day!


  1. I just want to let you know that I got this post through my e-mail today and it probably saved my life!!
    I desperately was craving a cold beer or more.....
    I came home, had a nap and when I woke up I read this! I went out and bought the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book. I almost got lost and listened to the damn voices in my head.
    Thank you
    God Bless
    Jen Day 13

    1. Hey Jen! I am so glad to hear that this post resented with you! I hope you are having a better day today. Keep yourself occupied and connected and don't drink no matter ebay! Hugs. And hang in! Email me whenever :)

  2. this is a really great post. Interesting. Thank xxxx

    1. Thanks Mrs. D! I am glad you enjoyed it, there is lots more in this step, I think I might do a second part. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. i still do a Step 10 review of my day every night before bed and try to remind myself to do 'spot checks' in the course of my day (but still have progress to make with that).

    Like you say, Step 9 is a massive Spring Cleaning and Step 10 is maintenance so i don't have to work that hard again!

    Thanks for your insights.

    1. Hi Al! Me too, and you know the 9 steps have gotten much easier for sure! And that is really the best part, it was so hard to do my first 9th. But now it's all just maintenance. Good stuff!


Keep moving forward!