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Step 10 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Step 10 of Alcoholics Anonymous continues the tradition of previous Steps by encouraging one to continue “to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admit it.” This step may be surprising at first, as it highlight the importance of continuing to act with a sense of self-awareness and humility, and to continue the healing process.

The 10th Step: Inventory

Up to this point in your recovery, steps one through nine have taught you to see the truth about your behavior and how the rest of the world responds to your actions. With this awareness you can now clearly see what is going on during every moment of your day. The purpose of AA’s tenth step is to demonstrate to yourself that you have the ability to control your actions. You are no longer functioning like a robot under the weight of old habits or while not thinking about what you are doing.

Working Step 10

Step 10 isn’t always easy to define or understand. Of course you are aware of your actions, but are you taking inventory and admitting when you’re wrong or when you’ve done wrong? This personal responsibility is critical to successful recovery from alcohol addiction. An example of working step 10 might be getting angry when someone cuts you off at a traffic light. Just as you begin to form the profanities to hurl from your open window, you recognize that the other driver will not be improved by your anger and would benefit more from your demonstration of the right way to react to anger or stress. Instead of hurling abuse, you smile as you pass the driver, even if it’s not a real smile. By responding to a conflict or anger with grace, you have used step 10.

Another example might be that you didn’t get a recent promotion. When your boss tells you it is due to poor work performance, you disagree, and because you’re angry, you tell him off. Working step 10 doesn’t mean that you don’t get angry ever again, or that you don’t make mistakes. It means that if you do, you admit when you’re wrong. So immediately after your outburst, you calm down and apologize to your boss for your inappropriate reaction. Step 10 doesn’t require you to go into a long explanation about why you’re wrong or to make excuses for it. It requires only that you admit you’re wrong.

step 10

Review: Step 10 of AA

As part of step 10, Alcoholics Anonymous treatment programs recommend that you do daily and periodic reviews. The daily review means that you set aside time each day to meditate or constructively review your day. Were you resentful, dishonest or afraid? Do you owe anyone an apology for something you’ve done or said that day? What could you do better tomorrow? While carrying out your daily review, be careful to avoid slipping into worry, remorse or fear. It is not about beating yourself up. Step 10 is about being aware of your actions and their consequences.

The periodic review is basically taking stock of where you are and what you need to do to ensure you stay on the path to recovery. The periodic review is similar to the daily review in that you ask yourself the same questions, but rather than reflect on the previous 24 hours, you’re looking back over a month or more.

Each year, take stock of promises made in previous steps. If there are any that you have not kept, then this is the time to rectify that wrong.

Finding Help for Alcohol Addiction

Help for alcohol addiction is easy to find, but it is not always easy to ask for. Overcoming an addiction to or a dependency on alcohol can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but if you’ve made the decision to stop drinking you’ve crossed the most important hurdle in your recovery.

If you’re ready to get help with alcohol addiction, visit the AA website to find a support group near you. There are also many secular programs that may help you achieve or maintain recovery.

However, if you or a loved one need detox support or addiction treatment, you may benefit from attending treatment at a dedicated rehab facility. American Addiction Centers (AAC) operates treatment facilities nationwide, with navigators standing by 24/7 to help you get admitted into treatment. Our addiction helpline may also be able to help connect you with rehabs near you. To speak to an admissions navigator, call .

Next: Step 11
Last: Step 9