My share on Step Ten:
Perseverance is the principle of Step Ten. Is anyone wondering why I begin my shares of each step talking about the principles? Although I work the steps daily so that I may have recovery, the principles are my guides in living my life. I rejoined OA for the third time in January of 2002 and up to that point, I had no foundation, no knowledge of what it takes to live a “good life.” Oh, I had heard about honesty, faith, hope, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, discipline, love and perseverance but I simply did not know how to use those principles until OA taught me.
Perseverance was one principle that was alien to me. What was perseverance? My dictionary defines perseverance as “persisting” and what is persisting? One definition that I like is “to go on resolutely in spite of difficulties.” Whenever I encountered difficulties in the past, I folded, gave up and went onto something else. However, I learned in OA, if I wanted recovery, I needed to persevere. This coming January will mark my ninth year in program. Day in and day out, month after month, and year after year, I work program. Why? And how do I do that?
In January of 2002, I had no idea where my life was headed and what was going to happen to me. I was 50 years old, weighed 300 pounds and was an unemployed high school graduate. All I wanted from OA was to lose enough weight so that I could find a job. I HAD NO IDEA!
Hope is what kept me working the program those first few years. I heard frequently what OA was promising and delivering. Surely, what happened to others would happen for me? And it did! In June of 2004, I finally gave up the illusion that I could control my eating and allowed my Higher Power to step in and take over my disease of addiction. The miracle was mine and that miracle is what keeps me working program day after day, month after month and year after year.
Step Ten is part of my daily program and has been since April of 2005. Yes, that is correct! For the past six years, I have done a DAILY Step Ten inventory whether I wanted to do one or not. This is part of the principle of perseverance. I need that inventory! Step Ten is a big reason why I am still in recovery. Life has not been any easier for me than it is for anyone else. I have difficulties: health problems, elderly parents becoming ill, my brother dying of lung cancer, job problems and financial concerns. Yet, I persevere. I must, at the end of the day, take a close look at what I did that day, how I felt, how I interacted with others, and so on. If there are difficulties, then I need to journal on them and share them with a sponsor. Sometimes a particular difficulty will have to be addressed by using program. Here is where having a sponsor really helps since sponsors are usually more objective. For the first time in my entire adult life, I was held accountable for my thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Sounds a bit like prison, right? Yet, these simple questions FREED me from accumulative guilt, shame, resentments and dishonesty. The daily inventory gives me the freedom to live my life in a sane, honest, mature and healthy manner. Step Ten promotes good mental health.
I am grateful to be in recovery one day at a time.
Love in recovery,
Step Ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Tenth Step Prayer:
Higher Power, I pray I may continue to grow in understanding and effectiveness; to take daily spot check inventories of myself; to correct mistakes when I make them; to take responsibility for my actions; to be ever aware of my negative and self-defeating attitudes and behaviors; to keep my willfulness in check; to always remember I need Your help; to keep love and tolerance of others as my code; and to continue in daily prayer how I can best serve You.
Principle of Step Ten:
In Step Ten we discovered the value of perseverance in working the Twelve Steps. Practicing this principle in all our affairs today means that we continue to do the things which have brought us healing, even though we sometimes wonder if we still need to. Perseverance brings us the reward of continuing, permanent recovery.
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous: Page 105
To help comprehend the questions, please read the Step Ten chapter in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Also read in the BB of AA, pages 84 and 85 (Fourth Edition)
As part of a daily Step Ten Inventory, my sponsor gave me a list of questions that I was to ask myself. These questions can be found in the BB of AA, page 86. (The questions are actually a part of Step Eleven in the AA book.) I review my day, answer the questions and send it to my sponsor. If there is a problem area, we discuss the matter and how I should proceed with the solution.
Here are the questions to my daily Step Ten Inventory. Select a particular day (either today or the previous day) and proceed.
Step Ten Daily Inventory Questions:
1. Was I resentful today?
2. Was I selfish today?
3. Was I dishonest today?
4. Was I afraid today?
5. Do I owe an apology today?
6. Have I kept something to myself that should be discussed with another person at once today?
7. Was I thinking of myself most of the time today?
8. Was I kind and loving towards all today?
9. What could I have done better today?
10. Was I thinking of what I could do for others today?
11. What did I do well today?
12. Did I look after myself today?