Big Book Step 10 suggests taking my own inventory "constantly". Can I see myself ? Or am I still self centered, driven by that revealing hundred forms of fear made clear way back in my 4th Step inventory. Is it possible I am still more than not dominated by people? Stimulus? At any time really I still selfishly jockey with others for a quick self esteem boost? Are people always going to be a threat, a chess piece of a different color? Boy, I wish I could say NO, they aren't, I would stand up at my Big Book 12 Step conference and say YEAH! Over here! Look at me! I'm ALL FIXED! I have seen the light! I have studied the uber original original Big Book 12 Step program and now? I am no longer alcoholic, I am a normal adult. And THERE'S MORE! I'm sober and have found the one true God too. I mean how can I be alcoholic if I no longer drink and do Gods will everyday, right? I am one of the chosen few. I have answers now! I know why Billy Joe Mcallister jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge, I get it!! Hey was GAY!
Alright, proving myself level headed. The 9th Step promises have come true in my life? Even with all my Step work, a level headed stage presence is not going to be easy. I can't just leave it alone, I must direct. I'm all over the place still struggling for emotional security, I'm relatively new to the Higher Power Spiritual Path thing although I seem to feel myself an authority? This is a sign post. The 12 Step work is not over and well, applies to me. It's easy to practice my AA program at an AA meeting. The hits just keep coming. I have not received my official Big Book teaching certificate, or been chosen to save the masses from the alcoholic pit of despair. At best I can be equal, a part of. Outside the halls? I believe the best I can do is focus on my daily reprieve suggested. What a hard lesson to learn, keep my own house in order first without the reliance on people for the instant gratification. I must rely on the Higher Power for courage and strength, sometimes I need to wait, and wait, this will take faith. I'm not saying that I haven't stood in front of thousands of people and been honest about my AA recovery, Sat at the coffee shop and hobnobbed with my AA homies after the meeting. I would consider myself a Fellowshipping Friend for sure. I'm just saying that on the real side? It could have been someone else, probably was someone else. The real me stays safe and protected in my selfishness. Much has been removed yes, I have experienced a drastic change in attitude and outlook but down deep where God only knows? I am still alone in my illness. I am still acting one way and thinking another. In some cases I have changed completely, while in others I now have a choice, I do not always choose wisely. Oh! don't get me wrong here, I'm nowhere near as demented as I was before the Big Book 12 Step work of course but I am still relying on myself a lot of the time. I'm quick to cut a deal with God, my new buddy. After all, it is a 12 Step program and I am on Step 10. Sometimes I pray for direction, get some relief and then say, thanks, I'll take it from here God, I'm sure you're busy. I've been watching , I can do what you do. It's still a great conflict at times. My insides rarely match my outsides. I know everything about everything and everybody except I don't know when to shut up or just listen. I can't, I'm always on guard, afraid, I cannot trust. There is never enough emotional security for me so I'll keep taking from others until I'm shut off. I can't stop until I feel validated, until I am secure in my arrangement. That emotional security, I must have my emotional security.. I never actually win in my mental debates. The usual is I just move on to a more important arrangement, new people, new security, fresh blood. The strong desire to overcome brings new power, strong self esteem like a new all consuming resentment. It runs in and through me, I am invincible in my anger and hate. King me!
So, are all of us the same in our Big Book 12 Step recovery? WE THINK NOT!.. I'm Big Book 12 Steps because I say I am. I have followed the black print to the best of my ability, dredged my polluted river so I can now come and go as I please as a free man. Am I still half crazy? Sure. Am I a danger to myself or others? no, never. For the most part I am here to keep my own house in order so I may serve the man who is still sick. Yes, I can speak fluent sick. I can move in and out of the depths of untreated alcoholism unharmed. This can work to my benefit and the new mans. I am ready for Step 10, I am willing to monitor my own behavior each day. I will watch for selfishness. I apply my Step 10 as I commence to clean up my past with Step 9. The Book says constantly, I will work toward constantly. This has proven itself to be harder than it sounds. Constantly watching for selfish behavior, willing to set matters straight where I have been dishonest. Making honest amends, admitting my fault to another? Humbling myself daily? Eh, I was kind of hoping I was ready to move right into the happy joyous and free part of AA everyone talks about at the meetings. Like the big vacation, I have certainly done a lot of work to get to this point. I've surrendered myself to my Higher Power, written a fearless and thorough moral inventory, humbled myself to my God and another human being, become willing to clean up my entire life, I quit drinking and smoking too, by the way! I don't smoke, that is so weird. So, doesn't that warrant a break? Apparently not. It's all about maintenance now, my daily reprieve. This whole thing is still just for one day, one day at a time. I get it, I get to live sober and free today. I am getting the hint again here, this alcoholism is serious business, staying alive. It is still life and death with me. Doesn't really seem like it anymore but let me experience a good blast of selfishness and fear and I am again convinced. It's not gone forever, selfishness and fear, survival, it's a tool that just gets rusty and jagged with time. I will get caught grabbing at it, I will cut myself deep. Maybe next time I won't heal, I won't be so lucky. I won't be able to come home. So, between you and me here? I don't play with it. I take it serious and as poorly as I do at constantly watching for selfishness at times, I try everyday. I also understand deep down I am "still willing" to go the other way. Just like Lowell George.