Throughout the day, I happen upon nouns that elicit mental reactions. I can choose to let those reactions float by, or cling to them like grim death. But it’s hardly ever an either-or scenario: what I’m discovering is that I tend to cling until it hurts, then let go with a giant exorcism that doubles as an explosion.
Step 10: continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
And then comes the judgments. How badly did I overreact this time? This is usually an easy question to answer: well, how badly am I embarrassed at my King Baby behavior? Was it noticeable and/or repairable? Another good question: many times, I get myself all bent out of shape when no one’s around. This is also when it can become far more dangerous. There’s nothing more satisfying for a self-loathing alcoholic that to chew on some random inequity that spans across giant social injustices, like whatever happened to holding a door for someone? There are times when the wrong-sized me would deem something outrageous, while the right-sized me would barely think twice about it. Why one way one day, while another the next?
In these moments, and shortly thereafter, it’s often difficult for me to diagnose my over-arching handling of the situation.
This is where Step Ten comes in, and the nightly silent daily inventory I take of before going to sleep. I not only need to re-examine things that could have / should have / would have gone differently if I’d taken a breath or two, or done my readings in the morning, or gone for a run, but also to keep turning over my various rocks of discontentment and examining what’s underneath. It’s not beat-myself-up time; odds are I’ve already crossed that off my list several times over. It’s more of a mental noting, hopefully a right-sized tallying of the events of the day, both bad and good. It’s important to remember the times I chose the correct mental path; the one with humility and gratitude. Those need to be taken into account as well, and stored away for future use.
I need to remind myself each and every morning that it’s a day at a time. It’s just as important to remind myself again each and every night.