Step Ten

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



STEP TEN~QUESTION #1

If you have an AA or OA 12&12, read step #10. Discuss and reflect upon the idea that "self-centeredness remains a dire threat"

LEADERS SHARE:

The steps teaches me to be focused on the needs of others. Being there to be of service to others provides me a sense of self worth and purpose. Giving service in organizations gives me the sense of belonging. An old saying in program is "Service is freedom from bondage of self." This is so true in my life. Growing up, I never had any self worth and I thought I had no purpose whatsoever. I also felt that I never belonged anywhere. Getting outside of myself and giving service and just being there to help others changed my perspective of myself. Today, I feel that I am worthy, I have a god given purpose, and I really do belong. Those who pass me up and do not include me are wrong. I do not have to accept it and I have the right to speak out. At work, I refuse to go out and eat lunch alone. When I go out by myself, I always order the food to go and bring it back to the office. When asked, I answer "I do not eat lunch out alone." The only time I eat lunch alone is in my private office. Sometimes, I close my door, turn on some spiritual music, and read some spiritual or program literature. Most days, I eat lunch in the office lunchroom with coworkers.

I used to like being alone. Nowadays, when I am alone, I feel down and depressed.



STEP TEN~QUESTION #2

Discuss and reflect on the idea that, "We safeguard our abstinence by frequent mental audits." Write a mental audit for today.

LEADERS SHARE:

Today, going to work was a bit apprehensive. There are people who work for me that, in my opinion, abuse the system to see how far they can go with things that, in themselves, are very minor. I reminded everybody in the past that changes in their work schedule needs to be coordinated with me, their supervisor. I indicated that it was not acceptable for people to write on the board that they will not be in after I leave and not show up the next day. A particular individual always seems to take 1-2 hour lunches when his scheduled lunch is 30 minutes. I stated that each person's schedule should reflect what their actual schedule is. I stated that I am very flexible, but we need to comply with the regulations. Changes in their schedule needs to be coordinated with me.

Before leaving for work, I prayed for the right words to say, god's direction, and god's wisdom in dealing with this because I knew that the subject would come up in today's team meeting. The subject did and the person who brought it up is somebody that considers lunch to be the most important part of the work day. I did stand my ground and got my point across. He changed his lunch schedule to 45 minutes to accommodate his extended lunch period. Another person changed his schedule to 1 hour because of my comments. I just became very resentful at various team members who would leave things behind and ignore things that are due in favor of going out to lunch. During the last several months, the issue I dealt with was being ignored. Today, I think I expressed myself well.

Some of their negative traits will be addressed in some of the annual performance evaluations coming up in another 2 months.



STEP TEN~QUESTION #3

If you have an AA or OA 12&12, re-read Step Ten. Discuss and reflect on the idea that, "...those who forget their past are condemned to repeat it..." Discuss and reflect on the idea that self-centeredness continues to create problems in your life

LEADERS SHARE:

My disease wants me to constantly forget my past and go on like nothing happened. My disease wants to tell me that if I have just a little piece, it would not hurt me. My disease tells me that I do not need meetings. Doing these things, I will relapse so fast that it will make my head spin.

By God's grace, I tell my disease to "take a hike!" I must remember how it was like before in order to stay in recovery. I must go to meetings even when I am too tired to go. I also remember that one is not enough and the entire bag is not enough. These things, I do on a daily basis in order to keep my head attached correctly.

Doing the negatives listed above are an act of self centeredness. Also, not getting out and giving service to those in need is an act of self centeredness. Being self centered causes me to forget about others, not care about myself, and let my food get out of control.



STEP TEN~QUESTION #4

Write on the concept of progress rather than perfection as it applies to life today. Have we begun to practice justice and courtesy to those we dislike? Write about how you can start practicing this principle. Discuss and reflect upon the following concept: "Every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. Discuss and reflect on the idea that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it. How have you dissipated some anger in a healthy way today? Write about the idea that: "Pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress." Write about some pain you have been in lately. How did it help you grow?

LEADERS SHARE:

I must remember that progress is a process of personal growth and it is not an excuse. Because I made a mistake, I cannot brush it off by saying I am not perfect. I do not beat myself up either. Rather, I use the opportunity to first admit that I am not perfect and I learn from the experience. To me, life is a constant learning exercise. There are those who make me uncomfortable for various reasons. I make every effort to treat these people very professionally, sticking to the principles and keeping out of the personalities. About 2 months ago, I read something that said "Do not respond to evil with evil, but act in such a way as others will see you as honorable." This is my main approach to people that I deal with that I consider to be less than trustworthy and/or honorable. I must maintain my principles and integrity. When something gripes me and is on my mind, I cannot sleep or focus on other things. The solution is always to pray about it, and talk to others about it. If I keep it inside of me, then I will be the one suffering. If I give it to God and share my feelings with my fellow human beings, then I can move on. Justified anger is something I cannot handle, just like sugar, flour, and alcohol. It has the same effect by shutting me down and causes me to act in ways that I would not otherwise act. I release some anger this week by confronting a situation head on at work regarding an employee who takes advantage of me and encourages the other employees who work for me to do the same. First, I prayed a lot about this asking for the words to say. I also asked God to pray for that person. I had another employee challenge me during a team meeting this week. I was given wind that this topic may come up, so I prayed and asked God for the words to say. I also prayed for each member of my team. I am happy to report that the problem employee became my spokesperson acknowledging to the other team members that he though I am correct and he considers me more than reasonable. This person really wants to do well under my supervision and he does not want to do things that are not right. He is an individual that get way carried away about even the smallest things.

During the last couple months, I experienced a lot of pain as a result of things that came up from my childhood and adolescence. The memories were so painful that they did not dissipate quickly. I kept praying about the pain and expressed to God that I was hurt badly and it hurts now. I expressed my pain to God and how it made me feel sad. I asked God to help me forgive those who hurt me and I asked God to forgive them. To me, forgiveness is the secret of getting over the pain. I, of course, still acknowledge to myself and God that what was done to me was wrong. After a while, I no longer felt this pain and sadness. Today, the pain and sadness is gone. What is important to me is to recognize that my experiences really did hurt me inside and that there is a solution. God also allows me to share my experiences with others. I believe that though the cause of the pain and sadness was not from God, he allows me to share my experience to be able to help others. One book that I recently read states that "God never wastes a hurt." The point in this book, is that god allows me to grow by sharing my past with others.



STEP TEN~QUESTION #5

Save this question. This is one question that is suggested each of us answer periodically. I would like to suggest that after answering this question, re-answer this question monthly.

The purpose of Step Ten is to continue our daily inventory and check our daily progress. Name some things you need to guard against if you are to continue your progress. Have you stopped trying to make unreasonable demands on the ones you love? Write on the last unreasonable demand and the results of that demand. How do you tell what is reasonable and what is unreasonable? Most feelings or defects of character will come under one of six categories: fear, jealousy, anger, resentment, pride and sex. To continue to take personal inventory, fold a sheet of legal sized paper into three sections. In the first section write, WHAT IS IT? In the second section write, HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME? And in the third section write, WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT? Identify the problem. For example -- fear of failure. In the second section write as much as you can about "How does it affect me?" Go to extremes in your writing if you are able to. Now ask God, "What can I do about it?" If you have a copy of the book "As Bill Sees It," read pages 39, 65 and 89.

LEADERS SHARE:

An unreasonable demand is hard to detect until afterwards. I rely on feedback from others to tell if I am being unreasonable. If the other person disagrees with me, I ask them if they can please give me their point of view along with the reason they feel that way. After they are done, I present why I said what I said and some background if applicable. Most cases, I am able to reach an understanding with the other without either one of us having to give up the store. If the other person wants what is best, then this process will work almost every time for me. If the other person is stubborn or close minded, then I will never make any headway at all.

Item 1:
What is it- Being passed up for promotion for the last 15 years because of my hearing impairment. Some people in upper management are uncomfortable being around me. Others are uncomfortable socializing with me because of my hearing aids.
How affects me- Affects my retirement when I am eligible in five years. Also affects my current pay and self-esteem.
What can I do- My case is waiting to be assigned to a judge to hear it. I share how I feel to employees who listen to me and accept me as I am. I constantly turn over the results of my case to God.

Item 2:
What is it- People who work for me who like to take advantage of me. Others who talk down to me at work.
How affects me- My self-esteem and not feeling accepted.
What can I do- Establish strict policies on my team in areas where people been taking advantage of me. Documenting this in their performance appraisals. Ask God for the words to say and use. I also pray for all of the team members.

Item 3:
What is it- My wife running up over $20,000 in credit card charges.
How affects me- The bills ruin my standard of living.
What can I do- I took the cards from her. I established a plan that will pay off the cards within 3 years. I remind myself that some of her friends do not think I deserve much because of their cultural upbringing. I constantly remind myself that I deserve to be financially sound and not a slave to her obsessive charging.



STEP TEN~QUESTION #6

Are you able to stay abstinent, "Keeping emotional balance and living to good purpose under all conditions?" What are some of the ways that you work on keeping emotional balance? List your assets and liabilities. How can you convert "The pains of failures into assets?" Think of a specific example where you have done this. What can you do to stop having emotional hangovers? Write about the last one you had and the state you were in when it was caused. How can you acquire the habit of accurate self-appraisal through Step Ten?

Step Ten talks of "dangerous exceptions" for our recovery. What are your dangerous exceptions? How are you developing tolerance? The release of rationalization? The Tenth Step says to "spot, admit and correct flaws is the essence of character building and good living." In the essence of character building, develop a gratitude list now for your "blessings received."

LEADERS SHARE:

Yes, I am able to stay abstinent from sugar and flour. I talk about what's bothering me and I pray to God for guidance and direction to deal with things that "irk" me.I attend a men's f2f step study sponsored by my church. this is a very intense meeting where we can each share anything and it stays there. We all help, guide, and support each other as we are on the road to recovery. The pains of rejection, loneliness, isolation, and not being accepted are things I conquer on a daily basis and God provides people whom I can share this to. I share with others how I overcome these feelings. The memories that came up while working step #4 are now past me. I prayed to God to give me the willingness to forgive the people who hurt me. I also ask God to forgive them Himself. Of course, I acknowledge to God what was done to me was wrong and it really hurt me. I express to God how sad it made me. After several days praying this, God lifted the feeling out of me and brought in feelings of love and acceptance. I thank God for being with me even during my darkest days. The last emotional hangover was a week ago when a problem employee returned to my team. This person encouraged others to take advantage of me and people were trying to walk all over me. I prayed about it and asked God for the wisdom and the correct words to say. I sat this person down and we had a nice conversation. It was not me talking, but it was God. I could not have done this myself. Later during the week, he became my spokesperson because he acknowledge that my concerns did have merit. It is amazing when we all keep principles before personalities when we must confront a situation.

I share what's going on with others who are well into recovery during my step study or during the eating disorders small group. In our small group, we are starting at the very beginning of step #1 and it takes 6-8 weeks to go through each step.

Anger and resentment are my two top hitters. When I see that I am angry or resentful, I must immediately turn to God for help. When I first noticed that I did something wrong, I first acknowledge it and make any amends that are necessary. I have a number of blessings that I am grateful for. They are:

* I have loving sponsees who really do care about me as much as I care about them.
* I have friends at church who are in recovery and they call me their brother.
* I have a special f2f men's step study where we pull out the heavy machinery and deal with the real issues.
* I am able to give service to others in the disabilities program at my church.
* For the first time in my life ever, I have a church where I feel that I am accepted just as I am.
* I have a good career that pays me well and has a good retirement for me in five years.
* I am abstinent.
* I have God on my side, and He was always with me no matter what I am going through or doing.



Love In Recovery,
Dennis

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