How do you know when your ready to move to the next step? Step Ten is one of the "maintenance" steps.
Step Ten in Recovery
This is my experience with Step Ten.
"We continued to take personal inventory..."
Maintenance?!?! How do you maintain the intangible?!?
How easy is this?!? I mean, how hard can it be to take a personal inventory when the mood strikes, after all it doesn't say WHEN I have to do it, right? I can write down the things that bother me each day.
So, after the first day, I called my sponsor with my new inventory.
She laughed. She was highly amused with my thinking this was merely another fourth step, only easier.
"This is harder than you think. Come to the meeting tonight, we will be talking about this very step."
I cannot tell you what was said or who was there, but I can tell you I learned a great deal about this step.
First, the word continued is important. It means there is no end. You take personal inventory throughout the day. You take a "spot" inventory whenever you feel a strong emotion. You take a daily inventory at the end of the day. You take a periodic inventory at throughout the year.
Now I was in trouble. They were telling me that I needed to take inventory constantly AND that there are different kinds.
"I cannot do this." I said to my sponsor.
She laughed, "No one among us has achieved perfect adherence to these. The point is to strive for progress, not perfection."
"I don't want to use again." I whimpered.
"You don't have to. You can stay clean and not be perfect." She smiled.
"I can?" I asked.
"Yes. You are not only allowed to be human, you are expected to be." she hugged me.
I felt as if someone had removed Mount St. Helens from my shoulders. I know of no other way to explain it. She was not just saying that she would put up with my mistakes, but that she would expect me to make them.
"...and when we were wrong promptly admitted it."
This part was easy to grasp, not easy to do.
My mind could easily grasp when I had done something to cause harm to another, but I had an extremely hard time admitting it to another (especially the one I had done it to).
Here was where my mind began to war with the program. After all, wasn't it enough to notice I was doing something wrong and not do it again? Did I really have to go to them and apologize? How could they possibly need an apology, if it wasn't THAT bad? What could I possibly do that would cause me to make an amends, if I am looking out for my harmful behavior?
Let me tell you something, I found that most of the LITTLE things I did were causing the biggest harm! People were letting me know about the pain my actions were causing them and, boy oh boy, I found out that I was NOT as nice as I thought I was!!!!