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Maintain Sobriety With A Daily Tenth Step

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Tuesday, 12 February 2013. Posted in Ten Step

February 12, 2013

A while ago I had a friend, ironically one that I met in Alcoholics Anonymous ("AA"), who indirectly coined the phrase "mental health days." To be honest, we met in AA and worked together as well, at a law firm. Some days she would call in and explain that she was taking a "mental health day."

In any regard, yesterday felt like one of those days to me. Although I plowed through work, studying and even going to the gym, I mentally, physically, and spiritually felt exhausted and was sort of having a panic attack. What kept me going was the British phrase "keep calm and carry on."

I was completely in my head, without very much interaction with anyone around me. To be honest, this past weekend was no different.

This is the thing, whenever I face challenges, i.e., preparation for the CA Bar Examination, my default is to isolate and buckle-down and plow through despite the fact that I have learned otherwise in AA the past few years.

With that said, I finally cracked under the pressure and decided to reach out, i.e., I even reached for my phone. Despite having north of 500 contacts in my phone I came to the conclusion that there was no one to call.

In fact, I scrolled down the list, coming to the conclusion that not one person was suitable for me to call. After all I thought, "who could possibly relate to what I am feeling."

After a long debate in my head, I finally made two calls, neither answered. With one I left a message. Within a half hour he returned my call, and I have to say that that 30 minutes was the best part of my day. Ironically, I was so resistant to calling him.

My part was that I isolated. To make matters worse I did not avail myself of the tools that I have, i.e., calling and reaching out to others, particularly my fellow alcoholics and addicts.

More often than not I assume that no one can truly relate to me. I have typically been judgmental, intolerant, and for the most part have always subscribed to "contempt prior to investigation."

God, please heal my skewed perception. Help me to reach out, not judge and to be as patient and tolerant as necessary.

"Keep calm and carry on."

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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Let's take 100% responsibility for our emotions.

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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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