Saturday, 5 November 2011

Step 10

Last night I visited a meeting I don't often go to.  I'm thinking I ought to go more often plenty of friends there who I don't see as much as I used to, plenty of strong sobriety etc.  I felt wonderfully at home and happy.

I was asked to be the initial speaker on Step 10.  It was funny I was asked on Monday and said "yes" as any good AA member should do.  But Tuesday and Wednesday I was thinking, not for the first time in my recovery, maybe I shouldn't do this - I'm a bit of a fraud I don't do it the way it should be done.   Hang on, what way it SHOULD be done, it is a programme suggested not mandated.  Anyhow on Wednesday night at my home group a young AA talked about his first year in recovery and touched on the steps including Step 10 and said like all the steps he needs to do it every moment of every day when needed.  I woke up at that and thought - "Exactly that is how I live it".

He was at the meeting last night - Kismet - another of those AA coincidences that do stretch my militant agnostic views to the limit at times.

Step 10 is about keeping personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitting it.  The 12 and 12 book (essay on all the steps and traditions) talks more about the spot check inventory than either a daily reflective balance sheet or a longer term periodical review.  But it is how I have to live these days - working at this hard in early recovery once I had learnt I could live with out the booze but "what now?".  If anger rises I have to look at me - pride, selfishness etc. often at the bottom of it.  Anger is no good for me that route lies drink.  Interestingly the sharing in the meeting had some polarizing views (not surprisingly there are as many programmes in AA as alcoholics!).  I side for me with the argument that anger is not good, it is a natural emotion but it is not the way to let it out etc.  I used other thoughts at these times, stuff I learnt from a psychiatrist on a course about interpersonal skills which had a lot about Transactional Analysis in it.  Rebellious Child, Critical Parent - these are modes where the anger in me will take me and it is not profitable in any relationship.  Saying how I feel is ok "I don't feel you are listening, appreciating my position here".  "I am frustrated that you can't get x done sooner" etc. that helps.  Tell them but get it away from me for a more productive conversation.

Also one great thing that I learnt from someone very early on... "You have to give everyone the right to be wrong"...  True!


  1. Good for you! And allowing other people to be wrong is huge. I also think allowing someone you care about to be right is important. We all must be able to win sometimes. When we give a chance to someone else to be right (though they may technically be wrong in our minds) it shows respect. Then we all win. ARGH. This is what I believe, but it sure is hard to do. But you know, what's wrong with having ideals :)? Every now and then I remember at the right time to use them!

  2. An inspiration, as ever. Wonderful post. :-) P

  3. @She - the ideals is good... as the AA programme says it is about "progress not perfection" strive for the ideal always that is a good thing

  4. Great post.

    Would have loved to hear you speak if you weren't all the way across the pond.

    What I love best about the program is how open and accomodating it is. I know I'm doing it "right" so long as I feel that sense of peace and good.

    Likewise, that openness rubs off on me and helps me remember to be more tolerant and forgiving with others and myself.