My name is Robert S and I am an alcoholic. Being this is October I thought it would be appropriate to review one of the most important steps of AA.Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”The first 9 steps get us to this point. I view Step 10 as a maintenance step that I personally review daily. This step helps me keep my spiritual house in order.
At the end of the day I review what have I done, have I gotten better, did I offend anyone, did I do anything that I need to make an amends for, small or major oops during the day. In some of my reading I came across these “Tips and Strategies” from a Very Well Mind:
1) Stop and think before you speak. This can help prevent you from saying something harmful and help you become more conscious of other’s feelings.
2) Admit when you’re wrong. The act of quickly trying to right a wrong can keep your mental house clean and prevent ego from getting in the way of step 10.
3) Perform an act of unexpected kindness. If you can’t “fix” the hurt directly to the person, try to perform an unexpected act of kindness to another.
4) Take a daily inventory. Set aside time each day to meditate and reflect on your day—both the good and bad parts. Ask yourself: Were you dishonest or resentful? Did you say or do anything that would warrant an apology? What steps can you take to do better tomorrow?
My experience has been this is extremely important in the workplace, dealing with people in grocery stores etc., and especially at home with the people I love the most. It is also part of my “Living Amends”. I couldn’t make complete amends to everyone either because they had passed away, couldn’t be found or in the case of my wife I was such a complete asshole I’ll have to live to be 150 before I have completed my amends to her. That is her number not mine, mine is bigger. I do this by being the best Rob I can be with her. Four of the most important things I do with Debbie are:
Take her coffee, every morning I’m in town, to her before she gets out of bed. If I’m out of town I prepare the coffee for her to brew in the morning the night before.
Sit down with her when she gets home from work and review each other’s day. What went well, what didn’t and anything we, I, need to work on. Actively listen.
If I’ve been an ass to her promptly admit it and try to do better. What is amazing is as I grow spiritually this has happened less and less. Hopefully this also flows to other people I deal with.
Fourth, and probably most important, every time before one of us leaves the house I give her a kiss and tell her I love her. Before we go to sleep at night give her a kiss and tell her I love her. When I’m out of town I send her a text morning and night and tell her I love her. And the end of every call with her I tell her I love her. You never know if that is the last time you will ever be able to do that.
I try to remember that I’m not perfect and I will make mistakes, but I know God will forgive me if I keep moving forward and do things to the best of my ability. And most important I acknowledge those mistakes and take steps to correct them. “Easy does it” and “Think, Think, Think” I try to keep foremost in my mind.
2020 has been a very strange year. To quote my five-year-old grandson Samuel“Papa the Corona Virus, this shit is real”. He’s right and it has made it even more important to stay close to the program. The activity I miss the most, as I’m sure most of you do is to attend regular meetings. The before and after of meetings I miss. I miss the hugs, slaps on the back and the “How are you doing” questions. I contend AA is the only place on earth when someone asks that question they really care.
So how have I dealt with that? ZOOM meetings have been a godsend. Some of the meetings get ZOOM bombed but what the hell we just deal with that. Talk to a member of the fellowship daily. I have a dear friend I talk to every morning. Usually right after my talk to God.
Go to meetings when I’m comfortable going. The first meeting I went to at Alano Hall after it was opened I thought I was back in Kindergarten and we had done something bad the day before so the teacher separated all the desks and put dots on the floor so we couldn’t get close to each other.
My sponsor sends out, every morning, Daily Thoughts and Big Book Quote, it usually is in my inbox around 5am and is a great way start to the day. I read it thoroughly and reflect on it’s meaning for the day ahead.
Last and certainly not least I pick up the phone and talk to other members in the fellowship. Sometimes I do it when I need a boost and sometimes I do it if I haven’t heard from them and I want to know how they are doing.
If we work the program, we will get through this clean and sober. I’m sure most of us will make it and be stronger for it. Some of us might go out to do more research. If that’s the case know that we will welcome you back with open arms and love you until you can love yourself.
Again, my name is Robert S and I’m an alcoholic.
Thank you for letting me share.