What a brilliant step this is! Continuing to take inventory, the same way that I did in Step 4, has literally saved my life on countless occasions. When I copped a resentment in the past, I drank to dull the pain, and for me to drink is to die. Simple as that. Nowadays, I deal with resentments by writing them down, before reading them out to my Higher Power, on my knees. I then stay on my knees and ask for forgiveness. I pray also for health and happiness for the person or thing that has caused my resentment. Straightaway I feel better. I am not plagued by miserable ineffectiveness for the rest of the day, and I don’t have to drink! I have admitted that I am wrong. That’s the key thing. I may not have actually misbehaved (this time) but the ‘wrong’ has been in my reaction to the person or thing that has caused my resentment – powered by my defects of character, or as some would say, my sins.
Sometimes I am not prompt at all in admitting my wrongs, (which is another way of saying ‘getting honest’). There are times when it has taken me days, weeks or months to admit when I am wrong. This might be due to underlying feelings that somehow my case is different, or a grudging unwillingness to ‘re-join’ the happy band of brothers and sisters at my home group. This is where Step 10 goes deeper than dealing with those ‘idiots’ out there (none more idiotic than myself) whose inconsiderate and unjust actions have caused me pain. There are much deeper undercurrents of thinking and behaviour in me that are not the ambushing kind. These are the subtle, ‘hail fellow well met’ characters that sidle alongside and casually bend my ear as I walk the road. They are the fellows who dismiss concerns that I seem to have strolled off into the ‘long grass’. They pander to my ego and lead me to isolation, slowly and by degrees.
This is why regularly looking at myself is so important. I need to recognise and admit it when pride, arrogance, self-pity and self-centredness (‘to name a few’) have taken me beyond hailing distance of humility. I certainly need to be in close contact with other alcoholics; to ask how they are doing and in what ways I can be helpful. Maybe some face to face sponsor time is what I need also. It’s all simple enough, really, I just need the willingness. However, this unbelievably simple action will not work without faith that a Higher Power will solve my problem of self. When I admit that I am wrong, who am I admitting it to?
Jon F, Plymouth Road to Recovery.