Maintain Sobriety With A Daily Tenth Step

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Monday, 04 February 2013. Posted in Ten Step

February 04, 2013

After meeting with a sponsee on Friday, I attended a fantastic Friday night meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous ("AA"). The speaker, whom I had heard several times before, was fantastic. Subsequent to the AA meeting I accepted the opportunity to chat with a fellow alcoholic and acquaintance.

As a result of attending the AA meeting and participating in minimal fellowship, I learned a few things, (1) people do change, and in the least they should not be judged based on one interaction, and (2) it is not necessary to go to places, i.e., AA meetings that frighten you, only to judge the people there, or in the least attribute the stress that you feel to them.

In the first case, when I initially learned who the speaker was I nearly left, as I mentioned earlier, I heard her speak before… much ego, pretention, anger, and plain old rhetoric. I think the last time I heard her speak it was at least one year ago.

During that one year time span it appears that she changed quite a bit, for the good. There was a calmness and sincerity about her and she was a lot less angry; there was no rhetoric either, and her ego was very toned down.

Had I judged her on her previous interactions, as I generally do, imagine what I would have missed! I learned, once again, how judgmental, intolerant and set in my ways I can be.

As far as fellowship with my acquaintance, we discussed our right to be happy, which included not going to places, particularly AA meetings where we felt uncomfortable, out of place, perhaps even judged, anxious and stressed; maybe our perception was accurate or maybe it was all in our head.

Needless to say, in a moment of clarity, I realized that the solution was to stop going to those places, at least for a while. As I stopped going to those particular AA meetings, I felt calmer, more happy, less stressed and less anxious, and I did not have resentments toward the people who were at the AA meetings whom I attributed my dis-ease to.

Actually, all the resentment just slipped away, which informed me that I had done the right thing by choosing to refrain from attending those AA meetings.

The thing is, no matter how awful I think those people are, they deserve to be in the rooms of AA……everyone does. It is not my job to take their inventory or judge them. If I feel uncomfortable with them, my job is to avoid them, and perhaps pray for them. Give them the time to change if they choose to and mind my own business otherwise.

With that said, my part was that I was doing the same old things expecting different results. I was going to the same places, judging the same people because they were not behaving the way I thought civilized people should behave. If I wanted civilized people, I was going to the wrong place. It was not there problem, it was mine.

God, help me to maintain my clarity, and develop it more, to be open and willing to do things differently, to be less judgmental, more tolerant, less resentful, and more patient. God be with us all, Amen.

"The secret of life is not to resist but to ride the tide in search of your bliss."

I Love You All, for the most part :)

Weigh in on this tenth step and lets us know what you think.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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