I am just about to walk into work and a colleague asks me to do a task for them and that task that need to be done now. I could feel my indignant self-shout “How dare they!!” “Why me, why can’t they do it themselves!”. “I have not even entered the building and they are harassing me”. So I take a pause and smile at them quietly seething and agree to do the task in hand, I walk to my desk and continue with my own duties. Still mulling over and over the requested task attempting to get on the with day, my head is heavy and my thoughts are off balance and feel overwhelmed. My work is being compromised and my morning is ruined and painful. So I just sit there at my desk in turmoil …still not completed the task that was asked of me.
Then unexpectedly it hits me. I remember my sponsor’s guidance that if I feel resentment of fear at any point in that day to take moment (a spiritual pause) and do a spot-check inventory. With this in mind, I looked at my part of this resentment and recognised my defects of pride, self-pity and selfishness. I completed the task and happy that was completed on time and genuinely pleased that my colleague would be happy.
“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves” Doing my step 4, writing a list of people and places that made me feel resentful and corresponding list of own defects, was definitely a weird and alien thing for me to do (as these people hurt me!) Despite how I felt, it did them anyway. I placed recovery above my emotion. Coming into AA, getting a sponsor, and going through the steps has given me a daily reprieve not just from alcohol but from my own twisted thinking. A spiritual program of recovery and looking at my own character defects has helped me to understand my thinking towards other people and places that affect my sobriety. I write a list, get on my knees, and pray to my higher power to remove my defects of character that stand in the way.
If I hold on to bottled-up resentments it has a direct impact on my serenity and my sobriety. My spiritual defence is compromised! I continue to take personal inventory as this keeps me humble and keeps me grounded. I will always to do full step 10 before bed (even though I ‘spot-checked’ my resentments in the day), followed with a gratitude list. Better to sleep with gratitude than a resentment.
Matthew S, Plymouth Road to Recovery