SITE: 10th Step Worksheet
AA/ Al-Anon Step 10 : “Continued to take personal inventory AND when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
1. Daily INVENTORY (cont.)
✔︎ What were my thoughts today?
NOTE: This is NOT what you said – only what was in your head.
Re: Yourself – most of this list will be the self-abusing thoughts from the PP or WIC.- ie. Self-Hate, either in the ‘I’ form (I’m such a failure) or ‘You’ form (You should have know that)
Re. Others – If you’re angry at someone, the thoughts will be harsh judgments & derogatory name calling
If you’re anxious, they’ll usually be thoughts of how to placate or avoid that person.
These will all be in the form of obsessions – going round & round, without asking yourself what childhood button was pushed, nor looking for a solution to the situation. (POSTS: “What just happened?”)
IMAGEs: they illustrate the positive & negative sides ➡️ of our thoughts & Es, NOT as mental illness, but actually normal in all humans
POSITIVE: Identify all helpful, kind, adult, realistic, mentally healthy thinking (“What she said had nothing to do with who I am // I’ve just reached my limit // I need help with this // that was a good meeting”…. )
✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
2. AND WHEN WE’RE WRONG (see posts on “Being right“)
What kind of wrong(s)? First we need to distinguish between defects of character, what’s our responsibility & what’s S-H.
– DEFECTS (same as short-comings) can be defined as “a fault or failure to meet a certain standard….” They are basically defense mechanisms (unhealthy patterns) that all of us develop in response to a painful childhood & outside traumas
** IMP: in 12-Step ‘work’, lists of defects always include emotions. This is WRONG! Emotions are never defects – only some thinking (CDs), AND some behavior patters (abusive actions) – which together are used to deny painful emotions.
– RESPONSIBILITY is simply a frank acknowledgement of what we think, do & feel – or not, without judgement or self-abuse
We can still ‘feel bad’ about hurting someone & need to make it right if possible, but it does NOT cause shame or self-abuse
– SELF-HATE is blaming ourselves for causing ANY hurt or fear we feel, & projecting abandonment, especially if someone ignored or harmed us, or if we’re not perfect!
We also need to Identify our rights, so we know what a wrong IS or is NOT. Just because someone doesn’t like what we say or do does not mean it was ‘a wrong’! SO, look for:
a. Something that was NOT wrong at all, but:
☛ someone else made it sound like it was. This can be from :
— projecting their own disowned defect
— a way to deflect blame from themselves
— you happened to push a button in them
— being caught in a defect (lie, error, abuse….) which they’re ashamed of
☛ someone hurt us & ⬅️ WE made it our fault – typical of codependents. We apologize in knee-jerk fashion, as if we caused the other person to say or do something inappropriate.
✸ While this reaction is deeply ingrained in ACoAs, it will most often show up when we’re around anyone who is oblivious to the effect of their actions, or who doesn’t care.
— This is the WIC taking responsibility for someone else’s narcissism
— It’s what we were trained to do by family & religion
— It’s carrying the guilt for them, since they won’t
— It’s as if we could teach them how to be responsible for their actions – like the alcoholic’s spouse who thinks they can ‘show’ the active drinker how to be moderate by example.
b. Something we were often punished for / made fun of…. as kids (family, school, religion…). It may have been normal child behaviors or inabilities, omissions, expressions of emotions….
This left us with a deep sense of Shame now re. expressing any imperfection which is then labeled as a character defect.
This emotion prevents us from thinking clearly, it silences us, makes us want to slink away, hide under the carpet, to die – the pain is so great, like a punch in the stomach!