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So Much Better

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Nearly every day, I fill out a Tenth Step form. This was something my sponsor gave me a few weeks after I entered program even though it was some months before I formally reached the Tenth Step.

As I fill out the form, I reflect on how I’ve worked my program that day, what my gratitudes are, and whether I’ve been resentful, fearful, dishonest, or selfish. In addition, I report my food. I’ve also added a section where I report on self-care (whether I’ve brushed my teeth, taken my pills, etc.). I appreciate the fact that my sponsor faithfully reads these and occasionally comments on what I’ve written.

All the elements of my Tenth Step form are important for me, but I believe the core part is where I check in with God and myself about resentments, fears, selfishness, and dishonesty. Prior to program, I would lay in bed each night and obsess about my failures and wallow in guilt and shaming self-talk, but I would rarely, if ever, take responsibility for the things I felt badly about. This was not a serene life.

It took time till I was able to really be honest on my Tenth Step form, but gradually, I came to trust God. My sponsor and I now find it so freeing when I admit the mistakes I make, own my part in it, and take proper corrective measures. It is so much better to let go of the things that bother me by running them through the Tenth Step. Having this daily routine prevents little things from piling up till I’m overwhelmed.

I also believe it is healing for me to send my inventory to another person in program. My sponsor knows the kind of person I am and the ways I occasionally harm myself or others, yet she hasn’t rejected me. If necessary, we talk about what I need to do in a given situation. This has helped me feel less alone and helped me accept my mistakes and failures as a normal part of life and as something I am able to deal with.

Today, I am grateful for the Tenth Step. It helps me live a more honest, serene life.

— P.R.H.

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