When I first read this step, I was grateful. I was afraid that I was going to do my 4th Step the rest of my life and never feel like I was done. And I thought the 10th Step was there to help me see that I could finish the 4th Step and that the 10th would take up the slack.
I now see that the functions of the two steps are way different. The 4th Step is for historical interactions. If I discover something that was left out, I need to go back and do a little 4th Step.
And the 10th Step is a daily inventory. I never want to have to store all that crap in my soul again. I never want to push it all down with food because I'm too ashamed to face it sober. I don't want something I said today to fester until I have to do another 4th Step.
I still don't immediately see that I've said and done things wrong. (more often said). I might say something at a meeting and then in the middle of the afternoon, it comes to me that it was attention-getting or smart-alecky. Once that thought comes to me, I need to finish the 10th Step. I need to contact the person or persons as soon as possible and apologize.
I haven't always done a formal 10th Step, when I sit down with a piece of paper and go over my day. But my mind has always reviewed my day just before I fall asleep. I have had times when I sat straight up in bed -- "I said WHAT!!?" I have to plan the next step in order to get to sleep.
In Lifeline a few years ago, there was an acronym given for doing a 10th Step. It used the vowels. AEIOU. I sometimes use this format to go through my day.
A is for Abstinence. Have I been willing to accept the gift of abstinence for today? Have I pushed the limits? Am I at peace with my food choices today?
E is for Emotional. My disease is an emotional illness sometimes. I obsess about things. I need emotional health to keep me in recovery. I also need a positive attitude.
I is for myself: Have I done the things for myself that I need? Have I said bad things to myself? Have I exercised my body?
O is for Others: Have all my interactions with others been on a level of which I am proud? Have I gossiped? Do I follow the "Golden Rule?" Is there someone I need to call just because I haven't seen or heard from them lately?
U is for my Higher Power. My disease is given a daily reprieve dependent upon my "fit spiritual condition". How have I kept my spiritual condition fit? Have I done readings? Spent time in prayer? Made a list of gratitudes?
These paragraphs are about the 10th Step in the Big Book:
"And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor (food). If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor (food) has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality -- safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition."
If we continue to do this step we will be given the gift of serenity. The gift of permanent recovery.
STEP TEN ~ QUESTIONS
1. Do you make a practice of doing a daily inventory?
2. Do you believe you can achieve permanent recovery?
3. How prompt do you need to be in admitting your wrongs?
4. Is your sponsor involved in your daily 10th Step?
5. Have you experienced the freedom from food obsession that is talked about in the Big Book reading?
6. Are you willing to "continue" to take these steps?
7. What method do you use?
8. Do you have a 10th Step story to share?