October 10 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "even at my worst I was doing my best, and even at their worst they were doing their best…" Even today when I feel I am doing the best I can, it can be the worst experience for another person. And when another person is doing the best that they can today, it can be a horrible experience for me. That may be the best it can be just for today…
Video For Today:
Hurt people can hurt other people. Happy people can evoke happiness in others. Bad people can evoke others to be bad or provoke others into bad behaviour. There is beauty and ugliness in everything every single day. What can I do with step ten? The daily inventory or simply spot check inventory helps me with my emotional and spiritual well-being or the opposite: indulging in bad tempered intemperate attitudes and behaviour. If I want to step six day, all I need do is dig deep to find some anger and resentment at the world. If I desire a step seven day, working on my shortcomings, I pay attention to how to have courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and developing confidence to learn life in all its contradictions in the moment as life experience unfolds…
In the Alcoholics Anonymous daily reflection, the assertion is "I can fix me, I cannot fix you…" If it were a perfect world and perfect conditions applied I suppose maybe I could fix myself? I don't know that I like the word "fix" too much. With help sometimes or on my own, looking at my actions rather than my intentions will give me a clue to my emotional and spiritual condition. Knowing my feelings in the moment about my current reality, which might be good, bad or ugly, I will feel the way I do about reality. If I'm coping I am likely to adopt a can-do approach and cooperate with the world as it is. If I adopt a don't want to cooperate approach, my feelings about my situation may shut me down a while to chew on the gristle of life…
Sometimes I will be angry and resentful about situations to do with people, places and things which is quite natural as long as I don't get stuck that way. And sometimes I will feel so joyous and free about situations to do with people, places and things which is quite natural I might want things to be stuck that way. Or naturally, we get a bit of the good and a bit of the bad and a bit of the ugly to deal with every single day. The good news is if we can cope in the moment of now we are in our spiritual element, some call "reality" all day long and when coping is difficult we can ask for help with humility from anyone who seems appropriate any time of day…
All emotions are needed, pretending to be okay when we are not okay is simply prolonging our pain. And although it is said, "pain is a spiritual touchstone," "joy is also spiritual touchstone." All emotions are spiritual touchstones as long as we know what our feelings are and they are felt in the moment of now. If I know my mood and my feelings, I know how they impact on my thinking and actions all day long. And I can learn the best response to the situation I am in which can be done in the blink of an eye, or longer if needed depending on how difficult my situation is. Progress comes from practice, and every life situation changes and our mood changes and our actions change in the moment and just for today… Imperfectly perfect in the moment of now…
“It takes a Village to raise a child” and a “Fellowship to keep me sober”
I never had a village to help raise me, and indeed there was no real village for my parents either. My parents, one who seemed to understand life and feel it in the moment, one who seemed driven by expectations, dreams and disappointment. One an alcoholic, drowning their sorrows, the other trying their best to cope with life as it was and is today. One dead before their time: one alive and doing pretty well considering all the hardships and wonders over a long lifetime.
As an alcoholic in recovery, my outlook and attitude to the statement “it takes a village to raise a child” has become more meaningful. In active addiction, and learning life through all those years, I realise I had no village to help me find my path. I had a pub, a bar, night clubs and so many more influences which made me “king” in my own kingdom. It was a very small kingdom, just me. Back in the day I would have argued against the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. Because I felt I knew all there was to know about how to live my life and what to do with it. I could not see beyond my own experience and success.
Sayings like pride before a fall, did not apply to me, until I could not stop falling and falling. Addiction of any type seems to be based on lack of knowledge, lack of awareness. Ignorance is bliss, then we find we are heavily dependent and into addiction. No matter what our background is, addiction can happen and does happen to anyone from any walk of life.
I tried over and over to pull myself together and to pull my socks up. I tried to stop and failed. I did not know how to deal with addiction and my alcoholism.
Fellowship is and remains the key to my sobriety today. I am included, a part of something bigger than me. A society of people who: share experience, strength and hope to help others into recovery from active addiction one day at a time. We can carry the message and not the person. It takes a fellowship to help the newcomer. A newcomer can pull another back into the problem, which is why the fellowship works, “it takes a village of sober people to raise the newcomer out of the problem into the solution.”
Fellowship is essential in my opinion. The many in fellowship help the individual find their way. Fellowship cannot impose anything on the newcomer; individuals simply share their story of recovery. With enough people sharing, we find similarities and then we learn steps of recovery.
Like the village, fellowship is full of different relationships. Some good and some which can prove to be unhelpful if we think we know best. The most unhelpful can be a newcomer feels one person can fix them and their problems. We end up with two people and their problems are twice as difficult.
Experience shows it is the many voices and relationships based on fellowship which help a person find sobriety and keep sober day to day. Constant and always changing, that is fellowship as life changes, with hope we change and meet the challenges of life on life’s terms.
I have the benefit of a global and local village today, and being raised in fellowship, I am learning how to love, be loved and useful as life is and not ever how I imagined, one day at a time…
October 10 2010 ~ Step ten a daily practice, not a daily theory on how we should be. We will be disturbed often by life experiences. Why? If we were always happy, always joyful, surely this is simply half the life story. We need feel the opposite, sad and unhappy, anger and resentment, all normal human living. It is what we do next which defines us today...
October 10 2010 ~ somebody hurts us and we are sore. As the song goes, "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone, It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone, but when I see you hanging about with anyone, It's not unusual to see me cry, oh I wanna' die" To love, be loved back and useful is "as perennial as the grass" ~ Max Ehrmann
To 'Go Placidly Amid the Noise and Haste'
The line goes "progress not perfection" in practising the steps. Many choose "progress through deception" which means "omissions of truth" defeat and stop our spiritual progress. And of course self-deception covers up dishonesty, closes us down and will gnaw are our soul. We still make progress; it just takes us longer to get to the reality of today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "FIXING ME, NOT YOU, If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 90
What a freedom I felt when this passage was pointed out to me! Suddenly I saw that I could do something about my anger, I could fix me, instead of trying to fix them. I believe that there are no exceptions to the axiom. When I am angry, my anger is always self-centred. I must keep reminding myself that I am human, that I am doing the best I can, even when that best is sometimes poor. So I ask God to remove my anger and truly set me free.
October 10 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ What Was Eating Me Up
What was Wrong with me?
Indeed how does a person who seems on the outside to be successful and able to hold a good job down, feel like life is just impossible to deal with. How was it I felt so empty in those years to my destruction and alcoholism.
Death of my Dad, and the loss of my partner in the space of three months. That was 1991. My Dad died, fortunately the woman in my life then did not die and is happy these days I can only guess. It is not helpful to me or her to open up dialogue, because as we split, it was done for every good reason, even I could see it was so and neither of us has blame in this. Yet the utter devastation of Dad dead and my partner gone. It was too much.
Drink helped me feel the utter misery I would deny as I tried brave face my situation. As Dad could not come back, and my partner, the love of my life made decisions which meant the relationship could not be ever be mended in my eyes left me with nothing worth living for. Those were dark times. My Ego roared and my serenity was non-existent for a few years as the hell of grief was all consuming.
Two elements of - A Rush to Alcoholism
The emotional loss was beyond my ability to deal with, as all grief, well it settles in.
Work and Relationships
I became a workaholic, and a nightmare in relationships. I worked as hard as I might, and just took on more and more.
At the same time I started many new relationships, so many I can cringe and look back at the man I was, shallow and desperately seeking a new lover and partner who was like the one lost. For all their charm and wonderful femininity I was not able to connect as before. Grief and denial kept me looking and made me very difficult to know.
If it was not work, it would be a new relationship, made good on good times and not in emotional security or commitment, and during those years I could not let go my partner or her memory. And it was for knowing she was out there somewhere. I wanted her back and it could not be.
As time went on, womanising, workaholic, busted inside and quite driven to fill my life with success and outward trimmings, I really never dealt with my own grief. And drink was a constant companion.
My heart was definitely broken. And no amount of love could mend it. Just time. I know the girl of my dreams can never come back and am relieved these days she has a good life elsewhere. Yet love never fades with some we meet. Most likely I realise now, all we meet and form relationships with, love is constant even when we are not.
Loss of a parent and also my soul mate. She was gone and Dad, ashes.
My Dad was not unusual and his drinking and fear of life rubbed off on me. Listening to others last night, they too have stories like mine. And it seems I am not alone in any of my experiences which led to alcoholism. I am glad to be in good company these days. We learn to grieve and love again as time heals and we make simple progress a day at a time.
Email to a friend:
[ Some years ago, I was given ant abuse(alcohol repellent) to take, and a friend of mine has had the implant. Living on my own, of course I just stuck it away in the cupboard and pretended I was taking it, that was a long time back. The friend with a six month implant, just waited the six months and was back on the sauce as you describe.
And of course you have hit the nail on the head, it is was we do with our free time when we stop!
For me I am truly better being alert and awake and dealing with life. The gap we have though needs quality experiences to fill it.
My drinking in the end was a way to fill the actual problem, which for me was clinical depression. And actually it has been with me from birth it now seems.
I was talking to an ex-soldier from another country last night and he has finally got mental health checks on the agenda for his post-traumatic stress disorder caused by war experiences. He realises he needs help to get close to where other people call life normal, and also then keep with AA to tackle the drink issue. In the vernacular of the NHS, he has dual diagnosis.
And actually the interesting thing for me was always wondering why I felt below par and why others just seemed fine with drink and life.
Also the shares from others last night made clear quite a few people have attention deficit disorder which simply means we move at a rate through many matters as we approach our living. And of course seem to be off at tangents in our thoughts which can be seen by others as unhelpful.
Meanwhile it’s a day for reflection and sorting stuff after my recent move, and a surprise visit to see my mother shortly.
Quality is a key to filling our days, quality best found with a clear head for me just as it may be. And always just for today, cheers and thanks, Don]
10th October 2006 [all about last year]
Another day in the life nearly done..
And when it’s near the end of day, we might be more reflective as we wind down and aim for rest, relaxation, or maybe a little excitement? As we find acceptance, there is good and bad in all us good people.
My meeting tonight was a step meeting where we cover a particular element of recovery. We can become elaborate and complicated but this step, which some suggests sorts out the courageous from the less inclined to face truth. Well I reckon with the right encouragement we all have this step in us. To recognise we are truly human with every quality and personality trait, and choices made with good conscience hold us to recovery and serenity, just and only for a day. The Step, number six,
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
It’s been an odd sort of day. I am not struggling beyond the ordinary of living at the moment and it feels a bit weird to have a day which makes no dent either way, a low or high, just sort of ok. Managing a range of diseases would be an obsession if it were out of the ordinary and I were the only one. But around this world people have bigger and better things to contend with, bigger and worse, as big as imagination. Smiles from me, we all have our defects one way or another. And the biggest one maybe is fear of fear itself. To be fearful and not understand what it is. My diseases are not out of the ordinary, or extraordinary to me, they have become part of me and I deal with them as they manifest. Not fearful, maybe a little impatient with myself, a little this or that from time to time, but right now its ok to be me.
I have been and made tea for a lot of people, coffee and other drinks as they wish. I like it, enjoy the urgency which lasts but a few minutes, and they are all happy and it’s done. And I have made this commitment to make the tea at my meeting tonight for a while at least. Sometimes there are 50 odd there, and most have a brew. Service it’s called, I reckon it’s more a pleasure than a service. And this comes down to how we see our world. Defects of character our subject tonight.
What I know
Put me in a situation of danger, of some concern and a need to make things right as I see them, and every defect we might consider can come into play. Mostly the inclination to take control and shape things to my view and way. And when there is danger to me, I might react as I did when a car pulls out in front of me on my bike from a side road and my anger spills out. Or more likely I am aware that they will drive their car as they do, not as perceptively as I might wish and accept their mistake is just that, a mistake.
I have every defect of character ready and able in me at any time and given circumstance I may react, rather than respond. And the biggest defect humans have today is not seeing their inside workings, their inside inclinations and their self centeredness.
Like most I like things my way, and often accept things the way they are, because that’s life. So over time I accept how life is and enjoy every moment which offers enjoyment. At the same time I do much simply because it needs to be done and that’s life. And so is depression when it grips me like a vice, there is acceptance of this too.
So tonight listening and having made the tea it was good to hear how others see their defects and what they might do. Some so literal and pernickety, some as broad as life itself, a bit like me. But overall all needing to find a gentler path to this thing called serenity.
Is a state of mind achieved from time to time. It’s not a constant for we are not expected to be serene all the time nor is it possible. We are hardly serene when faced with alarming situations and danger for example. Or maintain some state of consciousness which bears no relation to our situation!
Serenity is usually based on doing the next right thing as we respond to our living and our circumstances. By taking a view, getting feedback and feeling and thinking about what we are doing. Above all serenity is about human being. Being ourselves once we understand what we are. Equal and right sized with life, and subject to every frailty that comes our way. And acceptance is doing the right thing as we learn to make life work, interdependent with others and society. That’s where serenity keeps us secure.
Chaos and Obsessions
We have those too and we might recognise where they come from. The seven deadly sins come to mind here: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth. And of course the seven virtues: Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, Justice, Faith, Charity and Hope.
Somewhere in all these sins and virtues comes human doings and human beings. We learn our path as situation and circumstance teach us. And our learning is as long as life.
For an Agnostic Chap like Me?
Well what am I to make of these words and the obvious leaning towards the good I might endeavour. As I have all the sins and virtues of life and living in me? What might I surmise about this particular step in recovery?
For me it is simple, and with an inclination to “good conscience“, to know what is in my mind as I make my way in life. And with this inclination to good conscience as my guide to good living, then my path is made as hard or easy as I choose. Choices are made best with the benefit of time, and where reaction might make for excitement my response keeps me to my good choices and my “good conscience“.
Providence and Nature
We are what we are, by the simple fact of Nature, and Providence gives us a start in our living, to the good or bad as we might view life choices. Some would suggest that a divine being is involved. And for them they will make their appeal not to good conscience, but to a God of their choosing as life offers the good and the bad.
For me, whenever people suggest God is their guide, it’s my shorthand for the “good collective conscience“ of mankind as a whole.
God and Good Conscience
Whichever keeps us on our path to serenity in our matters of living, an appeal to God or Good Conscience offers us opportunity to consider our actions long enough if we are fortunate to come to a good choice in our life endeavours.
But for the grace of Good Conscience and a God of your choosing go I…
I am happy to be me, and let others be as they wish. I need not make my world more complicated with dreams and wishes others have for me or I to wish their lives other than what they are. Life is for living as we endeavour to good conscience or not as the case may be. Wherever we end up usually is by our own hand, providence and nature. Happenstance and serendipity, will always figure as plans turn to dust and memories make good our understanding with ourselves and history forgets us. As in all living, endings are forever. As to my defects of character, they are forever present and so are my virtues, and time, well a day at a time, and good conscience, the best is made of what and where I am, in the here and now…
Just For Today And Every Day, 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 semi-annual 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:
October 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :
October 2012 | Playlist All About Step Ten :
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: