The 12 & 12 tells us: “It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. Oh My Shit. Following that logic, there is something almost always wrong with me. Half the time I’m disturbed I don’t even realize it. And the other half of the time when I do realize, it’s because there’s someone to blame. And even when there’s someone to blame, half the time I can’t be sure they’re at fault in any way, and that it’s not just me and my pissy rationales taking the sting out of my monkeymind.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Teasing out the true origin of a disturbance can be as tricky as flushing free a poltergeist. It’s hazy, of unknown origin, and appears when I least expect it. That’s why I prefer to blindly blame those around me, and dig up past resentments or angers to use as ammunition just in case my anger turns out not to be as justified as I hoped.

It’s the old bait and switch. Nothing ever truly gets put to rest; it’s merely stockpiled. And that goes for fears proven false as well. Just because something’s been dealt with and removed from the plate, doesn’t mean I can’t go back and rehash it, maybe uncover an angle that permits me to resume my gloom.

For the longest time, I thought I had been doing step ten my entire life, well before the program, being the self-aware, self-conscious, self-absorbed, self-self that I am. But that’s not self-reflection; it’s an indulgence. And alcoholics like me can’t afford mental indulgences. They’re nothing more than fancy lies I tell myself to avoid being wrong.

For today, and everyday thereafter: Learn how to live inside step ten. Done correctly, there should be much less drama.

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