"Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." — Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Step Ten
Note: In this blog post, we reference Step Ten as outlined in the Big Book of AA interchangeably with Step Ten as outlined in the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Basic Text.
Anyone can benefit from taking a daily inventory. For those in recovery, however, a frequent personal inventory is critical. We work to identify our emotional disturbances and resulting behaviors regularly and “nip them in the bud” with immediate action. By tending to these concerns on a frequent basis, we avoid an “emotional hangover”—which can threaten our sobriety—and we continue to make spiritual progress in recovery.
Regarding Step 10, the Big Book recommends remaining vigilant about our potential “selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.” When we’ve identified such an occurrence, we
- ask God (or a higher power of our choosing) for help.
- discuss the occurrence with another person who understands.
- make amends quickly if another person has been harmed.
- turn our attention to someone we can help.
According to the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, inventory types can be distinguished by the factor of time, including the
- spot-check inventory, performed “on demand” whenever an issue crops up throughout the day.
- daily inventory, typically performed at day’s end.
- semi-annual or annual housecleaning, performed once or several times each year.
When completing our regular inventories, we can gain insight by regularly asking ourselves these questions:
- Am I practicing courtesy, kindness, love and justice with others?
- Am I rationalizing my behavior with “justifiable” anger?
- Am I treating others as I’d like to be treated—just for today?
- Am I also considering what I did well today?
In learning more about the importance and meaning of Step 10 as well as some “probing questions” that can facilitate deeper thinking about our inventories, we are further equipping ourselves to build a strong life in recovery.
For further reading on Step Ten, check out the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (pages 88-95).
If you’re in need of addiction treatment, First Step Recovery can help! Contact us today at 330.369.8022!