51: Step Ten – Continued to Take Personal Inventory and When We Were Wrong Promptly Admitted It (Sort Of)

10/4/20 Step 10 conversation that gets to the reasoning for doing the 10th Step. Why do we continue to look at ourselves, actions, emotions and attitudes regularly? How do we take this look? What types of things do we look at? What is the purpose of the Tenth Step? Do we keep working the steps again if we have Step 10 to keep us in check? We talk about all these topics and more.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy in long-term recovery and i’m billy i’m also a person in long-term recovery and uh so we’re here today obviously first episode of october it’s time to talk about step ten tenth step however you’d like to say it i always wonder when i’m writing out the titles i’m like should i write it in numerals should i write step one zero should i write one zero t h step should i write t t-e-n-t-h-step i’m like oh my god i overthink everything it’s ridiculous yeah and i wouldn’t care how i wrote it it would just have to be the same throughout every episode well and that’s what i end up doing i go back and i look and i’m like well what did i do last time because i don’t remember but i guess i’m always trying to figure out like what is going to what are people going to search for more like which version is said most often and i really don’t know i think step space 10 like s-t-e-p and then there’s there’s step space t-e-n so then there’s that like do people like yeah oh nobody does that non-americans probably spell it out ah those american people just use the number keypad i’m gonna ask our british friends i’m gonna say what do you guys spell it out or how do you do that over there uh so we got recognized uh and i did not pass this on to you yet so i will now we got recognized on twitter they were doing for recovery month uh like a recovery hero every day um and shouting somebody out for that you know does good in the recovery community and we got recognized for putting the effort we put into the podcast and nice you know what’s crazy it is nice but it’s like every day when they did that i was like oh that’s so cool for that guy right like he i’ve seen him around he does always respond to newcomers on twitter or he is really friendly or i’ve talked to him or they wrote a book and they’re awesome right and then as soon as the word hero gets thrown around in my direction i’m like i don’t know about all that that less than feel and every time it was just it crept in instantly i thought it was super sweet for everybody else and then for me it was like i don’t know about hiro that’s a little much yeah well is that for your i mean so jason does most of the twitter stuff i occasionally get on there and read or look at stuff but is that for your replies and comments to people no that was for the podcast itself and and when i commented thank you uh they they definitely made acknowledgement of billy and said thank you that definitely includes billy too and i you know gladly will share that with you oh well thank you i appreciate your efforts in the social media stuff it helps yeah yeah it’s cool sometimes sometimes it’s a little busy and hectic but that’s all right um so just to to get into the tense step you might say especially if you have not worked one yet or if you were not in a program at all what the hell is the tenth step right and so continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it and so you know we we did one through three we talked about our powerlessness we talked about hopefully something bigger than us can help us be restored to sanity one day we turn our will in our life over the care of this bigger power we get into four and five and we talk about uh you know a good look at ourselves and what’s really going on and where our actions don’t line up with the things we think we’re supposed to be doing and five well why is that why don’t they line up well because we’re terrified of life and of people and you know we might look bad and then six and seven we we look at oh man all these different ways that that comes out sideways right these pieces of our character that that are defected that act in abundance you know too much at the wrong time and then seven the realization that like we’re not gonna remove those defects of character and and hopefully something else can help us and then eight and nine we’re talking about all the harms we’ve done and and cleaning up that and so we kind of finish up with our our history assessment at that point and move into the present where we want to keep these things we have which i i gotta say i’ve always found it weird and i don’t know how you feel about this like we do a 10 11 and 12 which are like the maintenance steps right they’re the steps that keep us so that we don’t have to work as thorough i guess of a four through nine the next time through but they always like we’re working the next time through anyway like you’re supposed to keep going with the steps and work them again so why do we have these three at the end to keep um so i can say i think that’s i don’t know unique to all of n a the reworking of the steps but i know not every program does that or i know not everyone believes that you keep going back and working the steps over and over again really i know in other 12-step practices you go through the steps and then you go into the the maintenance and 10 11 and 12 like so the idea is you’ve now by working the previous steps gained all the tools to build a better life now through 10 11 12 you put all those tools into action and live that better life you’re taking all those tools of you know acknowledging your defects taking ownership of your faults you know making amends when necessary you’re taking all those things and now applying them into everyday life what we talk about in 12. so do you think that works like without working the rest of the other nine over and over again you think you can just stay in 10 11 and 12 and and stay okay for me or for i i don’t know i mean okay so i’m gonna give myself an easy out and say there’s never a one size fits all to anything um the easy out just because someone worked through the all 12 steps five times doesn’t mean their understanding or application of the principles is better than somebody that worked them once formally right you know so it’s not the quantity of work that we do it’s the quality of the work um if you’re actively addressing i mean when you read through the tenth step because i just did before we came on in the basic text you know it really talks about you know addressing your defects and making amends when necessary and and doing all those things that we took in my case years to do you know up to the point of a 10 step now it’s like all right now take all that [ __ ] and instead of trying to take years to do it start living that way every day every day you know you don’t read the 10th step every day no uh no i’m so i’m just sitting here thinking i’ve always been a fan of like you know continuously working them i i think for me 10 11 and 12 are great but i almost need like a a whole wipe the board clean you’ve dealt with that layer and aspect of your life now let’s look at how this is manifesting in other ways in your life right like you so the first time through maybe i just worked it almost all about drugs right and so after 12 it’s kind of like okay let’s wipe that off now how’s the disease look in your life right let’s really go back to square one and look at this all over again fresh well now you use it with women right now you’re using it with food or the gym or gambling and so i almost feel like i need to go through over and over again i always have up until now but now i’m sitting here wondering maybe if i didn’t put so much effort into reworking them maybe i could do it better 10 11 and 12. focus more on yeah your daily application of principles rather than a formal working of each step i don’t know it’s possible yeah and and i’ve heard not that you shouldn’t work them more than once obviously i don’t know that once is enough i don’t know how many times is enough but you know i know you know my wife is now 30 years clean and her sponsor has a few more years and she will she doesn’t just keep working through the steps and then go back and work them again and go back and work them again i think if i think if i have this right she’s been through them four times and she is going to get ready to start she said she’s ready to start and go back and go over them again but probably for the last six or seven years she’s just been her sponsor’s had her on a maintenance of 10 11 12 that’s what we do and she could explain more of what that means and looks like in her life but she hasn’t like actively been you know quote-unquote on a step in a number of years and she had the nerve to call me out about my anniversary

unfairness she has been through them a couple of times right and she’s good and again for her that’s important to her like she feels like now it’s not anything her sponsor told her to do she’s just like yeah i think i’m just i’m ready to go back through them again and so she wants to do it again so she falls heavily into your camp your you know course of belief and when her sponsor actually first told her that she was kind of like wait what you know she had never done that in 20 plus years of recovery it was always you’re on a step and then she got this advice from our sponsor and say well maybe i’ll try it and see what happens i i took a little break in between a set of step work uh first i was going to work the traditions and and then i kind of did most of them with a guy and it just sort of fell through it wasn’t all that interesting honestly um and i and it wasn’t with my sponsor because he had never worked the tradition so i went somewhere else and tried it and i think i got through eight or nine and it just it wasn’t as uh informative as i was hoping it would be it was pretty basic information that i felt i already got just from reading the chapters i was like this is i don’t know and then i just kind of set everything down for like two three years and yeah my life got unmanageable and so well so the trick is 10 doesn’t mean we take a break quite the contrary

10 isn’t now we get to 10 and take a break or you know now we complete all 12 and then take a break like the idea of 10 is that’s the daily one like we’re supposed to be you know actively engaged in self-reflection and self-discovery and you know taking ownership of our wrongs on a daily basis and and i think so that’s what i think so if we’re talking to earthlings right now right and we say continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it um this isn’t like you know it sounds kind of funky the way they say it continued to take personal inventory like this is like looking at your actions without you in the way this is looking at my actions without me trying to justify all of them right because i feel like that’s generally what i do in my life is i live i do things and then i’m like well i did that because right and this is without any of that justification how do you really feel about that how would you feel if somebody else did that how would you feel if your partner did it to you how would you feel if your kids live like that would you have a good view of them like this is something i honestly just don’t think many people in the world do i feel like we just live and i was really thinking about this today all these people with the politics and the facebook and and wherever they’re at and i don’t think there is any self-reflection at all i think we just have this i’m right attitude and we’re you know blinders on straightforward everything i do is justifiable because i’m right and you’re wrong and that’s just the way it is i can treat you like [ __ ] i can talk about you badly you believe in a different candidate you must be an idiot it’s like i just don’t think we have any self-reflection and it and it blows my mind but i totally understand because like you said when i’m taking a break i’m not really i can say right now i’ve worked a 10 step a few times i can’t tell you that every day or even half the days i really sit down with the intent of looking at my actions yeah and i think that’s what the difference is between actively living in 10 11 12 and trying to do that maintenance steps and taking a break right do you do you regularly like sit with the intent of just looking at what you’ve done for the last day or two

um somewhat so probably i’ll say not nearly as thorough as i probably should there has been times in my life where i’ve so in the n a fellowship there’s an ip it’s ip number 10 it’s living the program um i think that’s what it’s called yeah and uh that has you know the 10 step inventory kind of in it that is lengthy um and there have been times i actually kept it on my phone and there’s been months of time where every night i would just go through that and i didn’t write it down which i’ve heard people say you should write it down i didn’t write it down i pulled it up on my phone and i just went through and answered the questions in my head it was more almost like a prayer type thing at the end of the night like i wanted to actively go through my day and see you know how am i feeling what am i doing what am i thinking you know where am i at and that was very beneficial um i think i had a lot of just growth or you know noticing certain things about my behavior or attitude or or you know man i’ve said that i am in a bad mood for a lot of days in a row now you know things like that um now currently most nights i lay down when i go to sleep um or before i go to sleep i i’m going to use the word prayer really loosely but i do kind of say like a gratitude prayer right and i will kind of look through my day and think you know did i cause any harm today is there anybody i heard is there anything i regret you know is usually kind of how that goes and then i go into all right so these are the things i’m grateful for you know my wife my recovery my kids you know my family right so i i like to think that as i get better my i call it the moral compass but i’m more in tune with what is right for me and so i just noticed throughout the day when i if i walk away from an interaction with my you know kids where i feel like i was just a little harsher than i needed to be like it’s obvious right it sticks right out to me i don’t have to like think too hard about it but i tend to fall into this uh i guess lazy-ish behavior of like oh i’ll know it when it hits me so i don’t have to really actively look for it right and and so my buddy jack brought this up to me um it doesn’t say continued to take personal inventory and if we were wrong probably admitted it it says when right like this is gonna happen and so i would say if you walk around and you haven’t been wrong for a few days maybe you’re not looking right like because chances are you have been in somewhere and that was part of that living the program ip and i learned a lot from doing that because you know that was part of it it’s like what did i do right today what did i do wrong today you know and it’s yeah like i’m not perfect so every day i’m done something wrong i was gonna save it for later but since we’re there i have it pulled up so it says am i clean today how have i acted differently did my disease run my life and how what did i do today that i wish i had i had not done what have i left undone that i wish i had done was i good to myself and how was today a good day was i happy was i serene did i talk to my sponsor did i attend a meeting did i share my experience strength and hope who are the people in my life that i trust who has trust in me did i read from our literature what steps did i consciously work did i admit my powerlessness was i able to put my trust in a higher power what did i learn about myself god i’d have been asleep by now um did i make amends did i make any amends today do i owe any did i admit fault to anyone today did i worry about yesterday or tomorrow can i accept myself as i am did i feel like i was part of humanity today did i allow myself to become obsessed by anything today holy schnikes there’s more uh what has god given me to be grateful for have i done anything to cause harm to myself or another what was it am i willing to change did i pray or meditate how did this affect my life you’ve literally answered this every night and we’re not done yeah what spiritual principles have i been able to practice was the most important thing in my life staying clean have i given up myself today without expecting anything in return was there fear in my life did i feel intense joy we’re almost there people did i call or visit someone in the program did i pray for the well-being of another was i happy didn’t they already ask that uh definitely answer about peaceful or something have i been peaceful today i swear they asked that already there’s a couple of them that are did i consciously remember that i have a choice today and that’s the last one thank god yeah so if you look at they’re broken into sections you know it does it in kind of little sections oh yeah like the just for today right so each of those sections applies to that part of my life and if i remember it right because i didn’t pull it up that quick it was like myself and then others or something like that yeah that’s that’s a lot to answer every day especially if you’re writing it i’m not gonna lie yeah the writing always seemed like a lot but like three quarters of that are kind of yes or no answers you know what i mean did i go to a meeting today yes or no did i call my sponsor today yes or no like i wasn’t looking for a bunch of justifications and rationalizations of my behavior to myself it wasn’t like i needed to go well did i go to a meeting no but i thought about it and i was going to go but then the kids and the like i didn’t do all that i just said did i attend a meeting today no did i call my sponsor today yes yeah or no you know whichever applied and i just answered them that way and then that’s like that’s another thing about like meetings and sponsor like you start to realize [ _ ] i’ve been saying no to like talking to my sponsor a lot of days now like that’s and it starts to weigh on you and it’s like man maybe i just need to make that phone call maybe i need to get to a meeting i got you i got you that’s i just for me i guess i feel like this is one of those things where i’ll do it thoroughly for a time you know like if it’s an assignment or my life’s unmanageable i’d be like yeah yeah i’m gonna pick that up and do that that’ll be great for my recovery and then three weeks in i just find myself phoning it in i’m like nope nope yep sure yep all right bedtime like and there there was definitely some times that that happened you know definitely times it happened but it’s like prayer or anything else if i work it in or meditation you know i meditate pretty regularly some days it’s good some days i’m phoning it in you know but i still do it and i still get the benefits of doing it even if i’m just phoning it in it’s funny you say meditation because this that’s just what i was thinking of too is that this kind of reminds me of a meditation in a way in the sense that like i i just can’t i can’t say enough how important i think it is and yet i don’t do it anywhere near as often as i’d like that’s why you got to go back and do the steps again there’s still some level of self-hate right right i just can’t work this every day so i just keep working them all yeah i’ll say this everybody i know who stops working the steps or who says oh i work them every time i go over them with a sponsee uh they either use even after many many years clean or they’re just miserable old [ _ ] honestly like that’s the two people i know who don’t actively write steps today they’re just unhappy there is such an important part in the self-reflection piece you know what i mean like going over steps with sponsees is is great i’ve gained a lot of insight and stuff but that doesn’t tell me about myself that we’re not most of the time if i’m doing my job we’re not talking about my defects of character you know when we’re going over a six step we’re getting into theirs you know and i’m helping them with theirs and i might share one or two but it’s not like i’m not going to turn that into my time for self-reflection you know i’m trying to listen and be attentive and so this step i think is important for that it’s it’s important for that self-reflection to look at what i’m doing how i’m acting what’s my attitude what’s my behavior well if you’re not actively writing steps and working on yourself you probably wouldn’t have any trouble taking over your sponsor’s step work time to talk about you that’s probably true no i don’t know it’s uh it’s interesting to me how these things fall by the wayside even though they seem like such crucial parts of working towards being who i want to be on a daily basis and yet it’s just so easy to fall into that my wife was the reason i was agitated the last week every day or my kids are the reason i’m agitated because they do this or that instead of ever looking at my part in these situations um i’ll say one thing i’m it’s it reminds me a lot of like living unconsciously it’s just that not being focused on yourself and your actions right like not seeing reality clearly and it kind of talked about that i have a quote about that i will get into it i’m sure but just one of those like we tend to go back to that default when we’re not paying attention right and 10th step is seems to me kind of like a hey i know you spent half your day living in your resentments in your head and then there was the other you know 49 percent of the day you spent worried about the thing you got planned for next week let’s just take this one percent of your day and bring you back to right here and now and look at what’s going on yeah and doing any maintenance type things recovery and it or or recovery oriented or otherwise is really difficult i mean you know things like for me it’s been like i suffer from seasonal allergies and over the years i can tell you how many times i deal with like i take allergy medication i do it pretty regularly then i either run out or i stop taking it or we go away for a couple days and i don’t take it and then as soon as i stop i’m done i don’t do it again for a couple of weeks and then before i know it you know i’m getting sinus infections and my eyes are itchy and i’m sneezing and coughing all the time and i’m like what the hell just happened like how how did i go from taking this every day because i feel good you know to to now i don’t take it anymore and i’m suffering like and i don’t i’m getting better at catching that transition but i don’t always see that transition until it’s too late and i think it’s very similar with any of the maintenance kind of things whether it’s diet exercise you know prayer meditation working steps you know which in this case would be this step this is the one step that you’re supposed to do on a daily basis this is your you know continuing to take a personal inventory at least my understanding is this is what you do daily you know right so you you just hit on another one of these quotes that i have so let’s go ahead and take our break and then we’ll come back and we’ll we’ll get into our quotes

this episode has been brought to you by voices of hope inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in maryland voices of hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at www dot voices of hope cecil md.org and consider donating to our calls

all right we’re back and so uh to get into our you know basic text uh the general reading that we do which is where we’ve been pulling from for all these steps so far so step 10 frees us from the wreckage of our present if we do not stay aware of our defects they can drive us into a corner that we can’t get out of clean and i pulled that out because if you’ve ever been to an n a meeting and quite possibly any meeting anywhere ever uh i think this is like a a go-to saying you talk about getting backed into a corner that you can’t get out of clean and here it goes it comes from the tenth step and i i think this is interesting and so i don’t know that maybe the earthling people could relate to that like they’re not worried about oh man i better stay on top of how i’m living on a daily basis because if not i might go back to using like no you’ll just go back to being an [ _ ] probably or doing something else but i i think that’s what happens when we live i’m looking at this step really as living consciously as living here and now actually being here physically mentally spiritually in the moment and when i stop doing that i run the risk of those unconscious programmed behaviors whether it’s program from nature or my upbringing but i go back to that and that’s the same stuff that led me to feeling bad to begin with that led me to use to escape it yeah so my understanding of addiction you know is that it’s a physical mental and spiritual disease and you know the spiritual aspect of that is my total self-centeredness you know and the self-centeredness piece is like i’m always thinking about myself first how does this affect me what is this going to do to me how am i going to get what i want who’s going to give me what about me you know and i don’t put a lot of consideration into how i’m affecting other people around me right you know so this work that i do in recovery helps me stay in position to not be so self-centered to not be so caught up in myself to try to think about other people but left to my own devices i resort back to that nature of self-centeredness right i mean just like i was telling you outside so uh my mother calls me this morning and wants to stop by my house to drop some stuff off because you know my i don’t know if this is all mothers but she’s always got bags of stuff for me to bring to my house which is you know whatever uh and so she’s telling me about 4 30 i’m like yeah you know we’re kind of busy during that time but if you need to sure if you’re just dropping stuff off she’s like well maybe we won’t maybe we’ll just wait till the weekend but maybe we will i’m like all right whatever so whatever i make dinner i’m getting the kids ready i’m watching the baby you know my wife’s busy for a few minutes and then 5 15 i’m like dinner’s coming out of the oven it’s like mixing up some mashed potatoes and i’m right in the middle of that and then she’s here and she’s in my driveway and i’m like what the [ _ ] right here we go i’m gonna be late to record i’m supposed to meet somebody at six it’s 5 15 i haven’t even eaten yet and uh and she had new puppies and she got a new car and she was showing them off to the kids and she wanted to show me how cool and the updated technology in the new car which was pretty [ _ ] cool by the way but i just didn’t have time for that [ _ ] right it was not the right time in my life and so it’s very easy for me in my life like you said to think about how everybody is affecting me like you are [ _ ] up my life woman like i got [ _ ] to do this is not part of my plan uh and there’s many times in my life when i will act like a jerk in that situation and and mad why’d you stop by blah blah blah and thankfully today wasn’t right today was the day it was like i let her show me the puppies i let her show me the cool stuff in her car and then i you know i also didn’t let it really negatively impact my life i said hey look you guys are welcome to come in for dinner or you can roll out but i gotta go in and eat like this is what i need to do and i just did what i needed to do and but i could have very easily like reigned all over her parade or or even worse just [ _ ] on her parade right like get your [ _ ] new car and your puppies out of here i’m busy all right i got [ _ ] to do yeah and she’s only she’s just excited and trying to share with me right and all i’m worried about is how this is affecting me and it took me thinking every five seconds billy will be all right if i’m a couple minutes late like it ain’t gonna be that big a deal right uh i’ll eat this food i’ll be close to on time right even driving up here i want to get anxious when i’m driving right i’m like just [ _ ] relax you’ll get there it’s okay and then he doesn’t tell you i sent him a text i’m going to be like five minutes late

so i just pushed the button a little further but uh no but that’s the beautiful thing about recovery like to me that’s a beautiful story of recovery because we tend to sort of fall into this notion that i’m going to come in i’m going to do this work i’m going to work all these steps and i’m going to turn into this spiritual person and i’m gonna be great in every aspect of my life and that’s just not reality you know the reality is i still have this sort of self-centered sickness at my core and what the steps and this recovery teaches me to do hopefully is not to let that get the better of me you know and then like if if i were you and and that was the case you know i had a situation like that like i go home at night and think man i’m really grateful you know like that’s a moment to really be grateful for because not only did you not cause additional harm to your mom but you let that build some like intimacy and and build into your life and your kids lives and your family’s lives probably made her feel good and special and you know all these inter like we talked about last week these little indirect benefits come from just not being an [ _ ] right you know so it takes just don’t be an [ _ ] and all these nice things happen around you i forgot to mention that my kids the whole time can we have a puppy can we get a puppy 18 times in a row i’m like shut the [ _ ] up no obviously no we’re not doing that she’s got puppies right exactly so uh the next one is continuing to take a personal inventory means that we form a habit of looking at ourselves our actions attitudes and relationships on a regular basis and i don’t think that needs a lot of explanation it’s just a pretty good definition of what it means we form a habit of looking at ourselves our actions our attitudes and relationships on a regular basis and i i think that’s what it gets to later too it talks about the differences between some of these like sometimes we feel different than we’re living and sometimes we’re living different than we’re thinking and all these things are different like the whole time that thing with my mother happened i was not thrilled in my head right i’m like this is [ _ ] annoying but it didn’t matter because that’s not what i lived and like none of that’s relevant it was all just garbage that was going through my mind right and when you go home and lay down tonight in bed you can feel good about the person you were versus feeling like [ _ ] now i have someone else to add to a list all right now i gotta take our card saturday right uh the next one is we are creatures of habit and are vulnerable to our old ways of thinking and reacting at times it seems easier to continue in the old rut of self-destruction than to attempt a new and seemingly dangerous route and i think this is what i was talking about earlier when i say like we revert back to that unconscious state right that state we were we were brought up in i was just reading about it in uh for a social work class this week it’s bowen family systems therapy or bowen family systems theory where he talks about like these attachments that we get in childhood and we live these adult lives and we’re like that’s has nothing to do with my parents right i i’m grown up i’m out of their house my my relationships since my adulthood have nothing to do with them and if we really look at it almost all the time it’s directly related to exactly what happened in our house and and what we were lacking or getting too much of or or these maladaptive attachment patterns that we have yeah and you know for me a lot of that stuff is like i react to life a lot of times just on instinct on feeling and gut reaction right and what i’ve learned is that doesn’t serve me very well you know shocker like that’s my problem with addiction like ah [ _ ] it i wanna go get high so i’m just gonna go get high and i’ll figure it out later you know yeah and i’ll tend to live a lot of life like that like well this is how i feel in the moment so this is just how i’m gonna act and i’ll figure the rest out later there was an old simpsons episode where like chief quimby or whatever is it chief quimby i don’t know whatever the police chief was like riding around eating a donut in his underwear in the police car and it was like if you feel good do it like that’s how i live my life it didn’t work too well right

so part of it this is a part of the questions in the basic text it says do we feel trapped are we setting ourselves up for trouble are we too hungry angry lonely or tired that’s halt um are we taking ourselves too seriously are we judging our insides by the outside appearances of others do we suffer from some physical problem and so two interesting points i thought in there they point out the halt hungry angry lonely tired like generally those are things we gotta look out for because when we become too hungry too angry too lonely or too tired those are like warning signs it’s like alarm bells it’s like a smoke alarm for your you know disease of addiction it’s like you are not going to act right if you were feeling these things and i can say for me at least if i’m too tired too lonely or too hungry i’m already too angry too because i’m constantly angry by that so i rarely feel one of those at a time it’s usually at least two yeah and i i mean just that i’ve learned you know just at my job for example like i get busy and you know it’ll be around lunchtime and i don’t eat and then by like 12 30 1 o’clock like just anything anyone says is pissing me off and i’m like well wait a minute all this is is that you’re hungry why don’t you take a break go get something to eat readjust your head and stop you know taking it out on everybody else like and that’s a result of recovery like learning to take that inventory and look at you know it’s not just like i’m angry so i’m allowed to be angry and treat anybody like i want it’s you know well i’m angry why is that why why do i feel this way you know right when talking to my buddy jack he he made them sure to mention that like there’s nothing wrong with feeling hungry or angry or lonely or tired it’s when we get too much of these feelings right we we kind of delve out into left field and we start thinking we can use that to justify any of our actions at least that’s how i get i i can start thinking i’m so angry that anything i do right now will be justifiable because of the way i feel inside and that’s just not the case and so it’s not that it’s like a problem to feel these emotions or or these feelings it’s just we need to address them as we start feeling them so that they don’t get out of proportion right the other part of this that i really liked is are we judging our insides by the outside appearances of others and this is one of those i don’t hear said too much anymore but i think this is good for every person on earth and if you’re living on mars there too right like i tend to look at people’s outsides right the way they look to me the little bit of their life that i know about and i judge my thoughts and feelings by that and so and and this you know social networking has only confounded this you know and compounded it like a billion times right it’s made it that much more unclear because i see these pictures and these people are going to disney world with their kids and their super mom and their you know the the dad like plays catch with his son every night and and like everything’s perfect and i’m like [ _ ] i don’t even want to play catch with my son that little bastard gets on my nerves right like he talks me to [ _ ] death and i’m like there’s something wrong with me and so that’s what happens i can see people at a at a meeting or at the mall or whatever and i’m like oh they’re they seem so happy right i don’t know what the [ _ ] they’re thinking they might be miserable right and and i just don’t realize that people think the same about me they’re like oh man you’ve got your life all together and i’m like i don’t [ _ ] feel like it right and so i can’t judge the way i’m feeling internally or my internal thinking by what i see yeah yeah that’s trouble i mean i definitely think we can fall into that i would like to say i i’ve i don’t do that as much i used to do that a lot more currently i i try to just balance like how i feel off of how i’m living myself you know right so try to stay there that’s a good lane for me to be in it was it was easier for me when i was doing more talking about it because when i talk about me like in my internal insecurities and and shortcomings and all that other people generally are receptive and and they you know join the conversation and share about themselves as well and i feel like without the in-person meetings there’s been less of that and then i mean when i was in my internship of course you know i’m providing therapy for people and so it’s like i’m hearing normal people all the time and i’m like oh good thank god i’m normal too right but now without that i actually found myself doing this today i was having a conversation and i you know i said something about how i’m kind of selfish in this area and the response was i think it’s pretty human to be that way and i’m like [ __ ] it

i was like beating myself up over being a selfish guy and i’m like i guess that is pretty human to feel that way i don’t really live that way so that’s all right yeah and i think is i mean all of our feelings i think as you know whether we’re addicts or not are our normal human feelings i think just as addicts it’s the self-centered part that gets us you know into trouble it’s the fact that like when i’m sad like no one’s ever been this sad right now or if i’m angry like no one’s ever been this angry or wronged you know yeah how dare they to me you know and it feels so intense nobody knows

next one is the tenth step can be a pressure relief valve we work this step while the day’s ups and downs are still fresh in our minds we list what we have done and try not to rationalize our actions this may be done in writing at the end of the day see it says oh it says maybe but that’s a strong suggestion uh the first thing we do is stop then we take the time to allow ourselves the privilege of thinking and and i like that i like that it says we don’t rationalize our actions because that’s the first thing i do when i run through a list of anything i’ve done i’m like well i did that because they were a dick to me right um and i like that it says we need to stop and take the time to give ourselves the privilege of thinking we need to be here we need to be looking at it for what it is

nothing huh yeah no i was just thinking about the the writing out that 10 step and like man doing that every day would be a lot yeah and if if i should do it sorry i got caught in my own head because i remember hearing a lady share in a meeting that she had done that for she says for years she has notebooks of 10 step written keep stuff i thought you would burn it i can’t do anything every day i’m terrible with that stuff yeah i don’t know of course i say i can’t i’ve gotten good at it the last couple years i guess people journal every day so that’s similar it seems like it would be easier journaling maybe if i just glanced at the questions and kind of like answered some of them that seemed pertinent as i journaled i just can’t imagine just sitting down and writing like answers to questions every day that seems meh yeah it’s not very interesting well and i mean of course it was me so i like the way i did it just answering the questions like and trying to keep it fairly simple and i think you know what i talked about in there is what i tried to do is like i tried not to like rationalize and justify and and make a bunch of excuses for why i was or wasn’t doing certain things i just tried to answer the questions honestly i’m gonna write it like dear diary i saw a cute boy today i said hi no um yeah i don’t know i guess it would be helpful maybe i i do like video journals every so often but they’re not really with this purpose in mind so i don’t think i can count them even though i’d love to count anything as getting credit uh it’s more for like it’s kind of kind of morbid before and i die so my kids will have like little check-ins from their life like hey yeah that’s a little weird but i don’t know something i thought about doing so i’ve been doing it um oh we often find that we’ve been doing better than we’ve been feeling this is crucial it’s one of my favorite parts because it’s it’s that realization right so and maybe for an earthling this might be a little different i guess but for a guy like me i’ll walk into a meeting and i’m i’m sharing you know uh man life has been really hard lately i’m struggling you know maybe i even thought about using and it’s just it’s getting hard right and then somebody will point out well okay that’s rough but you just called your sponsor on the way to the meeting to share honestly about that you just came to a meeting you just shared openly and honestly in the meeting that that’s not what you want to do and that you have been having those thoughts like you’re getting rid of the secret that could eat you up and fester until you do it it’s like you picked up your step two days ago and we’re writing answers to it you prayed this morning it’s like all these things that i’ve done are great right like i’m living all the exact right things you would want somebody to do i just don’t the feelings haven’t caught up yet they don’t match up yet yeah and i i mean that’s where i i think the normal people feeling stuff you know comes in it’s like regular people wake up some days and just feel blah or don’t feel good or you know maybe have bad days like that’s not unique to us right and i think you know that again when we’re caught up in the self-centeredness it’s so hard to see outside of ourselves we think that we’re the only ones that we’re the only thing that feels the way we feel suffers the way we suffer you know do you think that that that the earthlings do you think like so they might have a feeling but they’re able to just step back and say it’s a feeling like all i’m going to do is get up and go to work today i know i don’t feel like it i know i’m in kind of a bad mood i’ll try maybe not to talk to as many people so i’m not rude because i know i have an attitude i only got two hours of sleep do they just do that naturally like because i just start thinking my world’s falling apart if i’m feeling off right like i don’t realize that i’m still living okay i just well i was gonna say exactly that yes at least that i work with a few earth people that aren’t addicts and they’ll all have that yeah i didn’t sleep well last night i’m feeling awful [ _ ] today you know they’ll say stuff like that you know and that’s just normal and they just recognize like okay today’s not gonna be a great day i’ll get through it tomorrow will be better right for me it’s like i gotta give myself a whole freaking pep talk to get through all that [ _ ] yeah it’s i and that’s so and i don’t think we’re too far off from earth people i i honestly really don’t i i know we have this debate frequently about like how different we are and i really don’t think we are that different but i i will say it does seem like we have these really strong feelings about our feelings right it’s not enough to just feel something in the first place then we like judge and qualify that beyond that and i i’m not saying earth people don’t do that i think it really is a mental health thing and i and i know some people who have never ever gotten into drugs that still have those kind of judgmental thoughts of themselves so maybe it’s like just a level of you know how much people do it or not i don’t i don’t know it’s really interesting though that we can we can’t just have a feeling and accept it it’s like having a feeling and then judging and having another feeling about the feeling and then getting mad that i’m judging the feeling and it’s like what the when the [ _ ] does that end yeah and i mean there’s something to addiction where like i think everything’s supposed to feel good all the time yes you know i think everything’s supposed to feel good it’s supposed to be good i’m supposed to be happy and if that’s not going on then something is [ _ ] wrong you know and something’s got to be fixed you mean that’s not correct so interestingly enough here’s the next quote we need this step even when we’re feeling good and when things are going well good feelings are new to us and we need to nurture them in times of trouble we can try the things that worked during the good times the good times can also be a trap the danger is that we may forget that our first priority is to stay clean for us recovery is more than just pleasure i’ve missed that line the 14 times i’ve read this i still think recovery is supposed to feel good damn it all the time yeah and it’s not it’s it’s about doing these things regularly right it’s about praying and meditating on a daily basis it’s about taking a 10-step inventory it’s about showing up in a 12-step active service even when i don’t feel like it as long as nothing else in my life is in the way of it it’s this vigilance to do these steps recovery is not feeling good all the [ _ ] time recovery is the vigilance to do these things over and over again because ultimately if you look at the graph on a hole i feel a lot better normally right maybe that doesn’t all take place on you know wednesday the 30th of september maybe that’s the day i feel like [ _ ] but in general most of my days are better because i’ve put in this vigilant action regularly and i’m not criticizing or judging any of you right now so if you’re taking this personal i’m truly sorry that maybe you should look at that but i mean i don’t live this vigilant perfectly all the time for sure and i pay the price for it and i feel it when i do yeah and

it’s it’s again difficult to do any of this like consistently every day all the time it just it takes a lot of uh discipline you know and if you notice in there it says you know we gotta watch out in the good times and we gotta watch out in the bad times and we gotta watch out in all the times in between and it just reminded me like one of my favorite sayings i think it’s in the second tradition in the in a uh basic text it says we are miss managers and not one of us is consistently capable of making good decisions you know and it’s talking about you know trusting in a group conscience and a power greater than ourselves and you know i am part of that we are miss managers and not capable of consistently making good decisions you know i am not capable of consistently making good decisions in my own life right you know i’m not i don’t necessarily get better at it because i’m doing better and i don’t get better at it because i’m doing worse you know like doesn’t seem to matter at any time that self-centered piece just creeps right back in there and i will make some bad choices it’s i i i’m glad they point this out i don’t know that it ever helped me any i don’t know that i got to like a good time or a good feeling in my life and i was like oh yeah i got to do that 10th step because they reminded me of that like i probably still forgot all about it but i i do think it’s hugely important and and it’s very strange that for whatever reason when life goes well i tend to just run with it and it feels good and i don’t have to do anything right now it’s like ah it’s all i don’t need to work on anything it’s going great like i work on [ _ ] when it’s broken right and i don’t know why that is but there’s definitely times when things are going well and i feel good that i’m actually like you know it’s like going 120 miles an hour into the brick wall like it’s coming right that brick wall is coming i’m gonna hit it and i know that and i just sometimes can’t stop myself yeah and i guess the at least the way i would explain this would be like dieting let’s take dieting for example if you just get on a diet and eat pretty decent you know for a lot of days you don’t have to go on some big giant crash course diet when you’ve gotten 70 pounds overweight and now you’re in like heart disease mode you know what i mean and this for for the way that i applied in my life is like the the daily maintenance part like hey you know what kind of food am i putting in my body now what kind of what kind of nourishment am i giving to myself on a regular basis and if i’m not paying attention before i know it you know i’m in a really unhealthy place and there you go hopefully you didn’t turn this podcast off before that because that right there is the shot you’re gonna work steps steps one through nine are cutting all that shitty food out of your life drastically and and drastically lowering your calorie intake diet and then when you get to 10 you don’t just start loading up on [ _ ] ice cream again right you got to eat some fruit some vegetables some nuts you gotta take in the right stuff on a daily basis so that you don’t go have to go back to that you know i’m only going to eat lettuce for a week diet because that sucked ass and then you get into 11 and 12 where it convinces you that vegetables and healthy nuts and fruits are all that you should be eating because that’s good for you oh my god yeah wow don’t ever eat ice cream in fact 11 tells you that you won’t even want to eat ice cream of course i do hot fudge uh so that kind of ties into this one the more we work this step the less we will need the corrective part of this step this step is a great tool for avoiding grief before we bring it on ourselves we monitor our feelings emotions fantasies and actions by constantly looking at ourselves we are able to avoid repeating the actions that make us feel bad i think that’s just crucial right i i don’t have to continue doing things that don’t make me feel good and that’s kind of i mean to you know if we want to stick with the diet thing like i generally have felt good in times when i’ve eaten healthier and whether i needed to lose a little weight or just eating healthier even like my my mental health symptoms felt better and i don’t know maybe i make all that [ _ ] up but it really felt that way when i was in it i was like god i’m not not half as anxious about like what i normally feel anxious about which is everything this is nice and so if we just keep their actions going right if we can keep tabs on what we’re doing and say oh look when i got here here’s the main thing when i got here i would just feel like [ _ ] at the end of my day and i wasn’t really sure what part of my day caused that right like was it when i talked bad to my mother was it when i was rude to my friend was it when somebody stopped by to show me their new car and i didn’t give a [ _ ] and i rushed them off like i couldn’t even tell you but now it’s the ability to kind of see each situation one at a time and say oh okay yeah when i when i do that when i’m when i’m not listening to my son because i’m trying to read a news article on my phone and he’s just yapping the [ _ ] away about roblox and i’m like i don’t give a [ _ ] right like i don’t feel good after i do that right i do feel good after i take the time to like set my phone down and i’m like hey buddy you know let’s talk about that for a few minutes and then i leave and go read the article on my phone somewhere else where he won’t distract me but it it’s knowing which ones do which for me so that i can do the ones that feel good more often yeah or recognizing too that sometimes it’s not the things going on in our life that make us feel you know necessarily good or bad it’s like we just like some days i wake up and i just don’t feel great and my uh intuition is oh i don’t feel good so i gotta do something or fix something or get something to make me feel better right and sometimes just recognizing nope i’m just having a a day and this will pass and i don’t need to go buy something new or you know eat a bunch of bad food or do some stupid thing to make me feel better you know i i can just sit with it and feel it yeah and damn feelings supposed to be felt i hate that uh so and then the the last one i had was we need to remember that everyone makes mistakes we will never be perfect however we can accept ourselves by using step 10. by continuing a personal inventory we are set free in the here and now from ourselves and the past we no longer justify our existence this step allows us to be ourselves and i thought that was a nice closing for it i mean that’s what what i’ve heard at least in meetings you know the ultimate goal of recovery is to figure out who you are and do it on purpose and it’s like that’s when i heard that the first time i was like you don’t [ _ ] want me to be myself trust me like that’s a terrible idea um but that is mostly my goal today i still there’s still a part of me that doesn’t like parts of me and doesn’t want to accept them and work on them right it’s like i just keep wanting to pretend that isn’t real right if i just ignore it long enough and and look the other way it’ll go away or something but most of me i like like there’s a lot of parts of me i do like i mean i would have never come out and done a podcast before in my life i’d have been like oh hell no people will judge me and i’m terrible now it’s like [ _ ] it this is what i got right neither people listen or they don’t and that’s you know the point of of the inventories we do you know before this back and forth and then getting into six and seven and realizing like what are defects and what things do i need to cut out of my life and then what things are good in my life that are worth hanging on to or nurturing and developing in myself you know we we figure those things out through the inventory process through six and seven and then we get to this point uh i think especially in long-term recovery like my goals and aspirations and things i like to do have changed over the 20 years that i’ve been clean you know so now i can take an inventory and say well what things do i like to do today you know it’s not the same things that i like to do before it’s different now and i can look at that a little bit take ownership of it right right so uh just a couple of things i did as my buddy jack had he said prompt means we don’t we don’t want to let too many unaddressed wrongdoings uh accumulate he talks about the principle seems to be integrity basically uh do the right thing even if no one’s looking because we’re the ones that feel the toll of that at the end of the day like we talked about um and so i wanted to take this back to you talked about in six like or six and seven i guess that like i have this shitty furniture in my house right and i can’t do anything about it until i seek something bigger than me right until i ask a friend to come over and help me move it or help me restore it or i go and buy new furniture like whatever it takes that shitty furniture’s there until i work six and seven right and so now we have this nice furniture in our house and in ten like we gotta do the upkeep right i gotta dust when the dust occurs i gotta uh get the wet vac out when i spill the [ _ ] iced tea on the floor in the carpet right or or the couch cushion and i gotta do this upkeep because in 11 i’m gonna ask this higher power to come stay with me in my house right i’m gonna invite him in and i want the house to look in order and that’s the point of ten is so that we can keep this house in order right so i liked your analogy in sticks i was like i gotta find a way to bring that back in god damn it yeah it’s pretty good well and we talked about you know last week a little bit um for me like i don’t as much formally work the 11th step out of the ip nowadays and i think a big part of that is meditation um and meditation helps me um it was i hate to say it was in the last thing that you read before the final closing of the 10th step you know that one saying in there where it talks about when i’m sort of living in the here and now living in the present taking like active awareness into how i’m treating people what i’m doing with my life what’s going on in the here and now you know i’m less likely to need to go back and make amends you know i’m less likely to get myself into trouble when i’m actively paying attention to what’s going on in my everyday life and for me meditating helps me to do that you know when i’m actively practicing meditation on a regular basis i’m way more aware of what’s going on around me what i’m doing how i’m acting yeah and i think it goes back to one of those other quotes that was in there about stop like the first thing to do is stop and allow yourself the privilege of thinking i identify definitely feel that i can go through so many days and weeks and sometimes months and not ever stop to think of anything honestly it’s just like oh god we gotta do this tomorrow and then i’m trying to schedule what am i gonna eat for dinner this week i gotta get that from the grocery store and there’s so many random things to think about one after the other i don’t stop and think about that if i’m not taking the time to actively meditate if i’m not taking the time to actively answer step 10 questions like that’s i don’t stop there’s no stopping what do you mean stop there’s no off button let’s keep going there’s more to do right i mean we talk about this all the time there’s there’s only 24 hours in a day and i got to get more done and most people are only getting six hours sleep at this point and nah man we gotta there’s i remember talking to a guy david uh in fact and he said that it was funny i mentioned something about it’s hard to have time to meditate and he’s like a life long meditator or whatever and he was like it’s interesting how when i take that time in the morning to meditate i always seem to have more time afterwards and i’m like ah [ _ ] you and your buddhist [ _ ] yeah that must be a buddhist thing because i my previous sponsor told me a similar very very similar thing i think it’s true i just hate it when i’m not doing it yeah so i’m mad that somebody else is capable of it i’m like i know but yeah when we when we slow down everything else doesn’t feel so rushed and so i think that’s the the goal of that i don’t know man i think that’s a i think we’ve done a thorough tense step here today billy i i don’t know any more that i could say about it oh now it’s motivating me to be like i should just take my ip back out and start reading it every day yeah i’m not there i just got to meditate really no i i do i think i mean i think a good meditation practice really not that this can i don’t know maybe i’m just trying to be cheap i’m trying to say they can be done at the same time maybe they can’t oh not for me they’re too completely different things the goal of meditation for me is to just sit with awareness and not think or focus or or be directed towards anything i’m like if i’m sitting with awareness i’m gonna notice if anything comes up when i’m acting wrong like it’s just going to arise well that’s just something you’re just i’m just full of [ __ ] trying to be lazy that’s all it is so uh anyway that’s what we got this week that was the 10th step feel free to uh email or twitter or or anywhere else we are with instagram facebook reach out tell us about your 10-step wisdom or experience or anything you’d like to share with us or if you have ideas for topics uh definitely reach out and somebody somebody go on the damn anchor site and and leave a voice message for us to play on a recording because i don’t know how to do that and it sounds interesting um and beyond that i think we’re looking to talk about oh we’re going to talk to somebody about aca next week so that should be fun so stay safe out there and we’ll see you next week if you enjoyed this 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