Step Ten

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

AA Big Book, Page 85...the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

AA Big Book -- Page 84 and 85
AA 12 &12 -- Step 10
OA 12&12 -- Step 10

So we have attained recovery -- but can we keep it? Not unless we stay in fit spiritual condition, and steps 10, 11 and 12 tell us how to do that. In these steps we develop some repetitive practices that will keep us there.

Step 10 gets us started by putting our relationships with others on a more spiritual plane by asking us to do steps 4 through nine over and over again on a minute by minute basis. It is a matter of staying vigilant.

AA Big Book, p 84
This thought bring us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit…

This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for a lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. When these crop up we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.

That is ALL the BB asks of us.
Work the Step
When we feel restless, irritable or discontented, which we know comes from our character defects (selfishness, dishonesty, resentment or fear), we follow a five step process immediately. Not at the end of the day. Not tomorrow. Not later on. Immediately.

  1. We recognize our character defect by looking at our restlessness, irritability and discontentedness (RID)
  2. We ask our higher powers to remove the character defect.
  3. We discuss them with someone immediately. Usually this is our sponsor, and our sponsor can help us understand the situation in which we feel RID if we are not able to identify the character defect underlying the feeling right away.
  4. We make amends, if needed, immediately.
  5. We turn our thoughts to someone we can help. I don’t think it is enough to think about this -- we need to actually help someone. If it can be the person to whom our character defect was directed, then that’s great. If not, an act of kindness to anyone is needed right away.

I see that Schlomo has reposted the sponsor list. It really is important to have a sponsor if you haven’t had one yet. As we maintain our recovery, our best bet is to do this with a sponsor.

I know many sponsors and the OA 12 & 12 recommend that this step be done only as a daily inventory at the end of the day. That’s not what the AA Big Book -- our source document -- recommends. It recommends this “stop, drop and roll” method, and I can say this is what worked for me. I text my sponsor -- usually something short -- like ‘selfishness, working it”, but if I don’t know what my character defect is, I will include the details of the particular situation, and she’ll give me perspective by asking questions until I can pull out the character defect. If she’s not available, I write it out on a 3X5 index card that I carry for that purpose.

Here’s one reason to follow the directions of the Big Book: We know from the AA records and the Big Book itself, written in 1939 that the initial recovery rate was about 75%. Really -- 75%

AA Big Book: Forward to the Second Edition, page XX
Of alcoholics who came to A.A and really tried 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few AA meetings and at first decided they didn’t want the program. But a great numbers of these-about two out of three-began to return as time passed.”

The success rate in OA or AA, or any program that follows the 12 steps doesn’t look like that now — it is about 5%. (I don’t know the recovery rate for TRG, which is not patterned on OA, but on the Big Book). We have a book called Alcoholics Anonymous that contains a proven- successful program for recovery. Other people who read that, wanted that! So a lot of fellowship groups formed to use the book for recovery. The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous or Overeaters Anonymous, and so on, became different from the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as the fellowship moved away from the program. Many OA meetings do not even talk about the steps. In my area, when I go to a step meeting, the stories in the back of the book are read, and not the actual steps. I came to TRG and WTS so that the emphasis could be on the steps. And it has been -- all the leaders have had their different take on their interpretation of the steps; all are wonderful, aren’t they?

All this by way of saying that the “Stop, Drop and Roll” method of the 10th step is the precise direction we need to stay recovered.

The AA 12&12 was written 14 years after the BB, and from all I can find about it was written for a few reasons

  • To help sell the Big Book and make it more appealing to as many people a possible.
  • To update the language so that there was less emphasis on a capital G God, and more emphasis on finding your own higher power. In this sense, it is a great book for people like me.
  • To keep folk true to the principles of the program
I am sure there are many other and more accurate reasons for the 12&12.

The point is, that it is in the 12 &12 that we find Bill W adding that daily inventory to the “Stop, Drop and Roll” practice described in the Big Book.

AA 12 &12, page 89
There’s the spot check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There’s the one we take at day’s end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done and chalking up debits where due.
Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual advisor, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time.

Work the Step
We communicate with our sponsors as our RID crops up. Many phone, many text, and some email.

What we get in Step 10
Please read the AA 12 and 12 -- it offers a narrative from pages 89 through 93 about how our emotions will be calmed, about how our outlook will change, about how we can make courtesy, kindness, justice and love the keynotes by which we may come into harmony with practically anyone. (AA 12 & 12, p. 93)

The promises of the AA Big Book are what really are amazing. They are found on the 84 to 85 of the Big Book, Be sure to read this with your own name, the pronoun I and substitute the words alcohol, drinking and liquor with compulsive eating. I put in the bold print. These are some magnificent promises!!!

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. 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 drinking 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 our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

What I see as a warning of not staying in fit spiritual condition follows the promises --
We are headed for trouble if we [rest on our laurels], for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

Read pages 89 through 93 in the AA 12 & 12. What stood out for you in those pages?
Read the Step in the BB -- From the middle of page 84 through the last full paragraph on p. 85. What stood out for you in those pages?
Do you practice Step 10. If so, what is your practice? How did you develop it? If you don’t, how will you develop it?
Comment on how the Step 10 promises have materialized for you.


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