Today I start something I’ve never done before – Steps 10, 11, and 12. When I was in recovery before, or at least when I was sober before, I stopped working the steps of the program at Step 9. I believe part of this was due to procrastination, part of this was due to lack of organization and commitment, and part of this was due to fear.
Today is different, however. Today I want to move forward. Today I don’t want to look back. Today I want to rid myself of my addictions and submit my will to God. Today I want to love and protect my family and keep them safe from the effects of pornography and addiction.
Day 83 – Step Work
KEY PRINCIPLE: Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.
By the time you come to step 10, you are ready for a new way of living. The first nine steps helped you learn a pattern of life based on spiritual principles. These principles now become the foundation on which you build for the rest of your life.
Do you feel ready to live a life based on spiritual principles? Explain.
I believe so. I am working every day to submit my will to Him. I am working every day to rid my life of my addictions. I am working every day to do the things that will help make our home a safe place to be. I realize more than ever that I’m not perfect and that I need Heavenly Father there to help me.
I want to live a life based on spiritual principles.
How have the first nine steps prepared you for this?
They’ve opened my eyes; they’ve helped me see where I’ve been and how painful it was for everyone. They’ve helped me realize my own nothingness and the fact that if I want to truly recover from my addiction, I must submit my will to God and do things that will bring me closer to Him. Doing this on my own is impossible.
In taking the first nine steps, you have applied principles of the gospel—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance. You have seen miraculous changes in your life. You have experienced love and tolerance, and you have developed a desire for peace. Your desire for your addiction has all but disappeared. When you are tempted, you often find yourself recoiling from your addiction rather than desiring it. You feel humility and awe of what Heavenly Father has done that you could not do alone.
Have you seen miraculous changes in your life? What are they?
Yes. The night before last I was awake in bed after Beck had gone to sleep. I have a contract with a client to help him promote a song. So I reached out to a few people on Twitter in an effort to help promote the project. I didn’t see anything or do anything other than log in, find the few people I knew that might help the cause, and send them a copy/paste message. However, I felt terrible afterward.
The next morning, I immediately told Beck what had happened. It was hard to tell her. Part of me was like, “You’re fine. It was no big deal.” But I knew, for me, it was. For me, it was unburying some weapons of war that I don’t want to unbury: staying up on my phone, getting on to social media – these are weapons of war for me.
It was hard for Becky yesterday because of my actions, and I understand. She shared with me her journal, a message that, in the past, I probably would have got defensive about and retaliated or justified my actions. But last night, as I read it and thought about how I could respond, I felt a change in my heart. I felt a desire to make things right. I felt the truth of what she was writing.
I’m grateful for this change. I know it’s not me making the change, it’s Heavenly Father helping me change.
I’m grateful for this feeling and feel it’s miraculous.
Have you received the promised blessings in this paragraph? Give examples.
I definitely don’t have a desire to go where I’ve been before. When I was on Twitter the other night, I felt anxious and guilty – this was for doing something that wasn’t that “big of a deal.” I’m grateful for that feeling of uneasiness.
I love the feeling of not having the desire to go back to my addictions. I love to feel clean one day at a time.
I do have a desire for peace. I’m not perfect by any means, but I want to be more calm with my kids, I want to love them and cherish them and not overreact on them. I want to feel connected to them. I want to show my wife, through my actions, that I’m in recovery today and that she, my kids, and the Gospel, are the most important things in my life today.
I’m grateful for these desires. They are desires I hadn’t felt in I don’t know how long.
The final three steps will help you maintain your new spiritually minded way of life, so they are often called maintenance steps.
Have you truly become “spiritually minded?” Describe what this means to you.
I believe so, yes. To be “spiritually minded”, to me, means that I’m in a continual state of wanting to submit my will to God. I’m thinking about things I can do moment to moment to live in recovery. Am I perfect at this? No. But I do feel I’m making progress and living one day at a time.
To be spiritually minded means I put first things first: I wake up and want to work on the steps of recovery, study, and journaling. I’m grateful for this feeling.
Self-evaluation throughout life is not a new concept. In the Book of Mormon, Alma taught that maintaining a mighty change of heart takes effort. In verse after verse, he indicated that honest, prayerful self-appraisal and immediate repentance must be a continual part of life (see Alma 5:14–30). To retain what you have gained, you must stay in fit spiritual condition. You do this by asking the kind of searching questions that Alma suggested about your feelings, thoughts, motives, and conduct. Through daily self-evaluation, you will keep from slipping into denial and complacency.
Do you believe that daily self-evaluation is necessary to stay “spiritually fit?” Explain.
Absolutely. This is something I look forward to. I feel Becky and I do this with the AEIOUs but I want to also do it for myself. I want to always be thinking about things I can do to stay in recovery. I want to stay so far away from the chains of addiction that I don’t even remember what it feels like to be in those areas.
I’m grateful for these desires. I’m grateful for the program that is helping me self-evaluate as I work the steps of recovery.
I’m grateful for the power of writing out my feelings too.
As you learned in steps 4 and 5, an inventory that includes only your behaviors is not sufficient to change your heart. You also have to examine your thoughts and feelings. This principle is just as true in step 10. Continue to watch for pride in all its forms, and humbly take your weaknesses to your Heavenly Father, as you learned to do in steps 6 and 7. If you feel worried, self pitying, troubled, anxious, resentful, carnal minded, or fearful in any way, turn immediately to the Father and allow Him to replace these thoughts with peace.
Can you see how steps 4-7 will now come into play in daily living? Explain.
Yes, definitely. I look forward to practicing them and making these steps an integral part of my day to day routine. I feel I am working on submitting my will to Him moment to moment. I want to study more too in order to keep myself “spiritually fit.”
Do you feel confident that you are now able to apply what you’ve learned? Describe.
I do feel this confidence, cautiously however. I don’t want to be over-confident and fall back into carnal security. I want to take things one day at a time, continue to submit, and work the steps. I also look forward to ongoing accountability and helping others in their recovery too. I know that, like anything, the only way to get better is to practice. I’m willing to practice for the rest of my life in order to truly live in recovery.