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Step Ten is all about holding my tongue. Self-restraint reigns supreme in this step. It’s odd to me that the program feels that after nine steps, I’m ready to use self-restraint, something that never existed to me before. If I had self-restraint, I wouldn’t be an alcoholic, right?

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

But it’s self-restraint in a whole new light. In the old days, my drinking days, I had zero self-restraint or self-control. Everything was binary: either I drank or I didn’t. But of course not drinking wasn’t an option, so there goes that.

The program has taught me that self-restraint isn’t a yes or no, all or nothing-type deal. I now have tools that allow me to go beyond the do or don’ts. It’s pro actively attempting to eliminate things going wrong before they happen, as opposed to immediately apologizing once they do. I recognize that I’m nothing but a giant ball of knee-jerk reactions, snap judgements and tirades, all which validate my long-held belief that everyone’s against me, or at least doing better than me, through cheating or ass-kissing or favoritism. Everyone’s juiced in, works an angle, or has a guy in the business.

All things I deplore, because life is supposed to be fair and equal, not weighted in favor of those who network. Schmoozers are losers.

So why am I jealous of them? Simple: they get all the stuff. And as long as I’m full of envy and pride, my step ten’s going to be very busy.

But again: it’s practice not perfection. Before the program, I wasn’t aware there was an option to my resentments. It’s nice to be able to see them starting to form and pop them before they grow to unmanageable proportions.

Now I need to remember to carry a pin.

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