October 1 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "expectations are resentments under construction…" When we feel we are treated unfairly, and have an expectation that we will be seen and heard and understood, get ready for a punch-up either verbally or otherwise. And often the punch-up and the murderous thoughts are under the surface inside our heads festering away…
Video For Today:
I can remember my dad, he used to watch the news on TV, become enraged by politicians and their antics. He used to shout at the TV and depending on how much he had had to drink that night, he would pick up the telephone and dictate telegrams to those in power expressing his forceful point of view about their incompetence. It was quite frightening the first few times as a child seeing this rage, and then after a while it became normal. I could never really understand what was going on, but some of this anger certainly rubbed off, I think all of us in the family developed rebellious and superior attitudes and this led to a lot of agitation and in my case drinking over the years…
In recovery with the benefit of hindsight and the ability to know how I am feeling in the moment, when I start to feel angry about my situation or other people, all I need do is stop the moment before launching into old behaviour and attitudes. First and foremost if I feel ignored and unheard I need to ask myself why. Unless I have something really important to say which can be listened to, I need often smile and say this is none of my business to myself. Or if it is an important issue which is affecting me, I need to learn first to listen to what is being said, and then work out how to be heard by those impacting on me… Spot check inventories are about understanding I have a voice and it can be heard if I work at how to share the message so it can be heard by other people…
Sharing in meetings is really important and being as open, honest and willing to share truth no matter how difficult it may be, offers the opportunity to get feedback and to hear how other people keep sober today. Whether we are new to the fellowship or have been a while in recovery, sharing the wonderful horrible truth, without censorship just in case it might offend, or making people's toes curl with our language really ought not to be the issue. Political correctness and adjusting ourselves to other people's sensibilities, we can't do this when we first get to recovery and everything is jumbled up. And the first part of my spot check inventories this morning with step ten in mind is about tolerance and love. I need to be able to listen to insanity as much to sanity so I may learn the wisdom to know the difference…
Nothing said in meetings is truly offensive unless we make it so, an affront in some way. And if I try to make people behave better, I will never know the truth of them. And people do change through time, haven't we all? So I prefer that people speak as they find on any particular day. It means I know them as they are, not as I might wish them to be. Indeed I don't want people to be like me, and I don't want them to follow anything but suggestions or they will never learn what is right and how to speak and share experience strength and hope that can be heard. And for those who don't change, are still obnoxious people and share it, I know where they're coming from, and keep myself safe today…
The fellowship meetings: no one is excluded, and there are no rules or governors. People learn how to be themselves if they can and have the right opportunities. Number one is letting go self prejudice, and once self prejudice is truly let go, all the prejudices against others are questionable. We all hear things, and sometimes it starts with, "men are from Mars and women are from Venus," "nature and nurture" and all the differences we can find. But part of the script often left out of meetings at the beginning is the suggestion to look for the similarities and not the differences as a starting point to being sober just for a day…
Spot check inventories, help us make progress rather than hinder ours or anyone else. My part in matters, what is disturbing me? Usually if our feelings are genuine and based on the current situation, we can modify our behaviour, make a good choice, walk in others shoes, as long as we don’t get blisters today…
Today I may be able to see your point of view, especially if I take time to do a spot check inventory. The inventory will help me decide and make a better choice, to continue to be included in the situation or “get the hell out of Dodge” due to an emergency in the moment of now… [Imminent justifiable anger usually]
October 1 2010 ~ Step ten our personal inventory of our conduct, not other people. As we live the steps often we can see the apparent "horrors" in other people's attitudes and behaviour, or rather we see in others what we hate in ourselves. Step ten always our part, always needing forgiveness for ourselves and others today, cherish always...
October 1 2010 ~ Am I the problem or part of the solution... We will make mistakes, hopefully as many as we need to make sense of problems and what the solutions in our conduct need to be made. Solutions to our part in life: not contingent on what others do or do not do. Our choices improve as we find solutions today...
New month, new step, October all about step ten: Our personal daily inventory
Sometimes we can measure our success as “another day above ground.” This was said recently to me as a member of the fellowship walked by where I live in London. Indeed, today is another day above ground, and I have a toolkit to help me keep sober today.
Step ten is our personal inventory to help us make the best choices we can as we live sober. Step ten is about us and our sobriety, our attitudes and ways of behaving when life is good and when life is simply difficult. The danger of step ten like all the other steps is we can so easily slip into judging others and taking their inventory. We can see the problem and the solution is what others need do to make our lives work more easily.
A step to improve the quality of our spiritual living, open and honest, we are willing to change. And this step involves reflection on what has worked today and what has not worked. Understanding the problems and living in the solutions we have. Better choices and a better outcome. As we reflect on each day, we are meditating too. Meditation is part of our spiritual development. Meditation and prayer are more deeply understood as we live step eleven.
Always, steps are about our personal development, our toolkit to live life well, needs met and our wants tend to disappear. Needs met! Steps are not a way to get something we want, wants tend to be what we imagine life should be.
Wants and expectations undermine our living, and often said by many in recovery, “wants and expectations are resentments under construction.” Resentments and anger, serve no one long term. We will get angry and resentful often, that is a problem all humans face, and as we work through our step ten daily, we see solutions and or we learn to let go, see our part in matters, developing our realistic choices by the day.
Step ten helps us understand life. We always have the serenity prayer to helps with our needs and wants in any moment:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change Courage to change the things I can And the wisdom to know the difference”
Words from others on step ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. This step has absolutely no connection with step four. Note, in step four, it calls for a searching and fearless Moral inventory. This step calls for a personal inventory. This step is our daily check on ourselves.
Excerpt from a recovery website: "At night, after you are in bed and the day is over; review your day and pray. Think about your day, what you have done, who you were with and what has transpired. If you find something that you are not proud of apologize. Do not permit these things to go unattended. It is not the so-called "big" things which seriously affect the alcoholic in their new life, but the "little" things. Diligent practice of the 10th every day reinforces that character defects quickly became damned obvious on a daily basis. Admitting a wrong is difficult, we have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our 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. And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have turned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally. That is the miracle of it. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense."
AA Daily Reflections ~ "lest we become complacent... It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. [Big book]
When I am in pain it is easy to stay close to the friends I have found in the programs. Relief from that pain is provided in the solutions contained in A.A.’s Twelve Steps. But when I am feeling good and things are going well, I can become complacent. To put it simply, I become lazy and turn into the problem instead of the solution. I need to get into action, to take stock: where am I and where am I going? A daily inventory will tell me what I must change to regain spiritual balance. Admitting what I find within myself, to God and to another human being, keeps me honest and humble."
Spiritual principles to live life "real" ~ "Forgiveness" "Acceptance" "Surrender" "Faith" "Open-mindedness" "Honesty" "Willingness" "Inventory" "Amends" "Humility" "Persistence" "Spiritual-Living" "Service"
"Step 10: continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it"
This thought brings 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. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime...
From A.A. COMES OF AGE
"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of living experience and are rooted in love." ~ "We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this program works..."
October 1 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’ Feelings are what they Are
How am I Feeling?
Many years ago in a different life, I was lucky enough to meet many professionals who were able to help people with their personal skills. Skills like how to be assertive and not aggressive. How to have empathy: and not be putting our own feelings down for the sake of others. I guess it’s very like my fellowship today… Alcoholics Anonymous.
Yesterday was all about discovery in the meetings I managed to get to yesterday. Close enough and yet with the other parts of doing yesterday, time was just about enough to fit everything in.
In the morning at flood Street, the topic chosen, as it’s a topic meeting of AA, was personal relationships. Most of us in AA have or had lost the art of developing healthy relationships as we slipped into the oblivion of drinking away life. So it’s very relevant and a very sensitive issue. We are all adult in AA, yet we find our way of living has led to underdeveloped understandings some times of the most basic elements of relationships. Not least with ourselves.
So as the topic picked and spoken about was done by someone who shares bluntly about their outlook, it was offensive to one or two who left. And I don’t blame them. Whenever we talk about intimacy in relationships, we probably shudder inside because its painful and new and difficult. And worse our experiences may be just horrible in the past. Intimacy is where most of us found our ruin one way or another. So people can be switched off very quickly.
And of course intimacy is something we need develop with ourselves first to understand what makes us tick. And open and honest sharing can lead to real discomfort in mixed groups.
We were lucky as a balance was shared by both men and women. And of course it’s about basics, so every element seemed to get aired. There is no point here trying to relate the experiences shared generally. But what seems very straightforward is we need to find our own sense of self first.
Who we are and how we feel about today..
So the simple message seemed to ask myself, how am I feeling? Why? What can I do?
How am I feeling? Why? What can I do? Three simple questions for me to learn each day, a little more about me and myself. It helps me assert my "self." this may seems like simple stupid, but it took me a long time to realise that I went about life on auto pilot and drank away my sadness forever.
It’s something we don’t do very well, simply because we don’t try it and utilise it. it’s a touchy feely thing we don’t like, it’s about us. So asking these simple questions is about asserting our needs and wants. We cannot expect though to succeed if they involve others.
We need empathy and communication. So as we ask ourselves How we feel why and what to do, we can ask others these simple questions transparently and honestly. Some people can share back and a simple understanding develops. Asking ourselves, how are we feeling now? Why? And What can we do? These simple questions almost never asked and never understood can help us find our way on a daily basis and develop better interactions with ourselves and others.
Easy to Write, Hard in Life
We will get knock backs on this type of assertive and empathy behaviour because it leads to us confronting some simple truths. And the outcomes can be a rather hard lesson in reality.
So it’s a daily process for me about living to these simple questions. And I can be evasive as anyone can, for a quiet life, but still not living to my needs.
Its practice over and over just like the fellowship of AA suggests. A day at a time makes a small difference as we change and find our path in life.
I did some basic stuff yesterday, tried to fit a London bar to my door, but it was not going to happen. Then lunch with my mother and sister, Sunday Lunch was lovely.
I took a few photo’s up and down the Kings Road in the afternoon. Some seem ok, but I never know quite how they will turn out.
A meeting before bedtime
A finally to a meeting in the evening. Solid and basic AA sharing around being human and living by the day, the simple solution for complicated people like us all.
As insomnia has been a constant companion in my living all my life, I am surprised I got to sleep for eight hours with a break half way for a glass of water. Unusual and very welcome. A head all woolly this morning as my cold and system is very fatigued by so much change these last months. Not surprising with death and life changes a plenty..
October 1 2006 [Last Year]
Doing a Chair - Insightful Painful - Cathartic
Oh my God, will it ever be so? To speak the unspeakable past, to share the awful truth of me.. Well there are some grim moments to recollect and share, and some hard truths. And there will always be more to tell, after all a career and what a career of thirty five years and more.
And when I mention a career, my working life went hand in hand with a drinking life and culture. Somehow between the two, life went along with a lot of success. And so I related my story, how to be a success in working life, and how this led to a life involving an ethos of live hard and play hard.
I suppose it was very much the way to be, all the people, places and things we were about. All involved working as hard as it took, and then celebrating success. And the celebration pattern most likely reinforced my dependence on the drink.
I am not sure it would have been any different had I been a failure, maybe my passage to alcohol would have been quicker to alcoholism? Who knows. What I do know is at the beginning of the millennium, when my life had gone pretty off and clinical depression was as much a part of me as anything, oblivion from the awfulness of life was just the only way to survive.
From being comfortable and reasonably ok, to being uncomfortable all the time and very worn out, and poor! That is the gist of the story. And I don’t really know how cathartic it is to tell it. Maybe if I were less self-aware it would be cathartic to get a grip on truth. Truth is simple I was worn out and an alcoholic. From age 12, with a pattern of work, sometimes for my Dad and then in various jobs in retail, distribution and finance, actually working life had been pretty constant until 2002. At least 35 years of hard work. And nearly as long drinking. No wonder my head and heart were pretty mashed up. There is no resentment in this, merely observations.
In that time, a hardworking and diligent individual, me did his best to make it all stick together. But the glue came unstuck. I realise my feelings and my heart never really got over a lot of hard knocks along the way. And the result in sobriety has been a return of my feelings about life and living and how to make the best of the time I have now. This is what the AA programme gives me today. A purpose and way of living a day at a time.
What I know from the pathology, gone through with specialists, is I have always had severe depressions along the way, the exact nature of them, and what classification they may be, well it matters not. But my way through them was always to self-medicate away hard pains, and get through to the next best time. Sometimes it was years in depression and certainly most of the 1990’s, well they were a nightmare, working hard and seeking some way out of a place where no one functions with much joy. A time of desolation.
But now with help. And the right outlook, the day at a time programme and the fellowship, each day works as it may. I know what is wrong and right in me. I know what causes low mood, a chemical imbalance in my physiology, and the chemistry can be kept as well as it can, with specialist help. I work with professional help, rather than avoid it these days.
So what makes my life work? AA and the fellowship for my emotional and spiritual care. Spiritual to me is making the reality of now the experience, and not just oblivion it used to be. This means I get the good and bad as it comes my way, and just deal with it a day at a time. For my physical I do rely on modern science and Type 1 diabetes needs day by day monitoring. With help support and encouragement, from professionals and friends to make sure I am on track, it can work a day at a time.
Over the last year, there have been months when I was in so much pain, I could hardly walk. And now with the right analgesia, I am walking better, but not without pain and not very far. It was a long time getting confirmation of what it was, diabetic neuropathy, and this is now managed as well as can be for now.
I don’t know whether I have really got acceptance over the disabilities and reduced capacities I have or what this means beyond just the day. Every part of living is affected. And this really has not been my priority, as surviving was all I could do for a while. But there are some things I need find out. And soon, or I may find myself with worse problems, work and where I may live are a concern for me.
The concern is not how I feel about what next. Its more to do with what is expected of me now. And how much I can do to keep making life work. I feel I need work at something, where I might live, I am still registered homeless in emergency accommodation. And with three things to keep monitoring and living with, recovery, clinical depression and type 1 diabetes, with the physical impairments which will never get better, well I reckon I better ask sooner rather than later. Advice, it’s a tough one, and where to get it.
Meanwhile as the mood is always lower after this cathartic exercise, which others find lifts them up and does the opposite to me. I best take a bus and feed the cat, and then go on to a meeting and be silent and listen a while.
I am lucky to still be alive. And there are some days which work better than others, sort of ordinary days, and they are worth having and living.
One thing is really bothering me, and that is the loss of that sharp edge I had before the analgesia for the neuropathy. Its early days and with a change in medication, it may sort itself out, and will seek advice on this. But there is some trade here, between walking and a sharpness of mind. And I am uncertain for now, which is ok, what happens next. Sometimes the pain is worth it, but not for months on end? I am a reluctant acceptor of this hard choice, and I feel it will be acceptance of the pain, as one faculty wins in priority for me, and that is clarity of mind.
Step Ten, AA 12 Steps, Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps AA, Addiction And Recovery, Addict, Alcoholic, Alcoholism, DonInLondon, Life Works
Just For Today, cherish always…
Step 10 "Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. 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 adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semiannual house-cleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.”
October 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Ten Reading Video Link:
October 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
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I do not speak for Alcoholics Anonymous I speak for myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of unique and authentic people who speak for themselves where they will to share experience, strength and hope about recovery on a daily basis. Anonymity affords sanctuary to find how to live sober and be open, honest and willing to learn life day by day. For me "truth," "love" and "wisdom" offer the best spiritual experience by living reality today. Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Traditions: steps to be open, honest and willing to learn, traditions to live unity, service and recovery.
Spiritual principles ~ Forgiveness Acceptance Surrender Faith Open-mindedness Honesty Willingness Moral-inventory Amends Humility Persistence Spiritual-growth Service
About Psychosis And Depression: