Step Ten

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong,
promptly admitted it.


Dear God,

As I reread step ten, memories flooded my mind to all the times this simple procedure was unknown to me, and what a mess my life was. As I sit here this day, I am unable to think of one person with whom I have any issues or I need to avoid or ignore. Doing those things are hurtful and spiteful using too much energy. This is the step that saves my life every day because I make mistakes, a lot of them, all the time. I do not have to carry them around with me, nope, not any more. This step is specific and states: promptly admitted our wrongs. Not next week, month or when convenient, but promptly. Sometimes when I do this, the other party will jump at me with verbal abuse. Well I'm not doing this for him, and by making things right, he is losing his well-deserved anger. Not my problem, once I've cleaned off my side of the street. Guilt-free living - what a concept!

It was by making step X a reflex rather than a chore that serenity enveloped me. Do I still have bad days? Sure I do, and most times not of my making, because when I make mistakes they are admitted to and repaired, if possible. The woman God sent to run my life gets the anger, when I'm angry at the kids - I want her to fight my battles so I remain the good guy. One of my most glaring defects is my being an emotional coward. I used to allow all the hurts to grow into major resentments, and then one fine day, allow them to explode into a rage, remembering all the hurts as if they just happened. The recipient of my rage usually had no idea of my hurt because I did not tell them immediately why they hurt me. Most of my resentments stem from not sweeping my side of the street right away.

One of the daily practices in my life is writing whenever I'm jittery inside and confused as to why I am that way. Once pen is put to paper the reasons come to light and they are always smaller and easier to handle than I thought they would be.

At one point in my life I was a crackerjack commercial credit and collections manager. I always told my employer I was the best and if not, then close to it. He had to make a decision to have a tough credit policy or a tough collection policy. The tenth step is much the same - do the right thing and there is not much collecting to do. As my system became the rule for the company, my services were no longer needed. Step ten should be like that, so common place our mistakes are handled immediately - we know when we are wrong.

I now stop myself in the middle of a sentence and correct what I'm saying, admitting that my truth is not in accordance with the facts. I no longer get all excited at a chance to better myself at the expense of another. We recently sold one of our homes and after some negotiations, agreed on a price. An inspection done for the buyer showed some repair was needed. My guy pointed out to us he had missed something that would cost a few hundred dollars to repair. There was no way I wanted another 10th step to do, so all repairs were done. I will walk away from that situation with a clear mind and heart. Nice way to live. Am I treated the same way? Probably not, but that is not my problem.

We fellows who share this program have a pretty good question we ask before taking advantage of a person, place, thing or situation. How many pounds will I put on my body if I do this? There is no longer any question but that the "next right thing" is the way to go. Since step ten has become instinctive, it is used less, or it just feels that way. Looking back, this is the step that ended those occasions when I would wake up with that empty feeling. I would be anxious over some unknown thing, person, place or situation. It happens every now and then, but is quickly laughed off as just a feeling which may be killed by ignoring it.

As each day progressed into weeks, into months, into many years, this step has kept my defects in check. Thanks are in order because this is the step that allowed me to say I am a grateful compulsive overeater. This disease has granted me the opportunity to live a sane and useful life. I am a better human being because of the people who are here reading this as well as those who are gone. It was the serenity I saw in the eyes of my fellows that drove me past the fear of being both lost and empty, if I followed this path. Lying, stealing and cheating are no longer my things to do. Surely my playpen has gotten smaller, but my toys are first class!

Somewhere out there sits someone, maybe you, saying, "I can't do this," and maybe you can't, but you can try, yes you can. Just leave the results up to the God of your understanding and go from there to where I am, if you are still alive and capturing some of the promises You must, yes, must, do these three maintenance steps and give away what you have received. Share your experience with us; save a life or two; make God smile. Hang around and sponsor the next person who is sitting somewhere scratching their head asking what the hell are they talking about. What is abstinence, and what do I need to do to get it? What is and how do I get a sponsor, because it is obvious I need help. Please read step ten from either the AA or OA 12&12. This is the way to go for a happy and serene life. Share your ESH, and remember when you asked, "What the hell is ESH??" :-) AND WHY NOT.......Danny

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