Hey friends, Vance Johnson here, former NFL player and current recovery advocate for the Vance Johnson Recovery Center. This week we will continue with our 12-step journey to step 10, “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” Last week we discussed step nine, “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. That was a big step! Now, in step 10, we will continue making amends by paying attention to our daily behavior and acknowledge and admit when we handle a situation poorly or imperfectly.
The Purpose of Step 10
Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process, not just in the constant battle against the urge to use, but also with the need to maintain the new behaviors that changed your life. It’s all too easy to backslide into old patterns of denial and complacency and, as a consequence of those behaviors, fracture the relationships we worked so hard to repair. In step nine, I mentioned that most of my first calls to make amends ended in a dial tone. But, because of step 10, I have been able to repair many meaningful relationships by continuing to take a personal inventory and promptly admitting it when I am wrong. By working on myself and my coping skills daily, I showed those I hurt that I was in recovery and working to be a changed man mentally, physically, and spiritually.
There are many ways to take a daily inventory in step 10. The purpose is to continue establishing the characteristics that the 12 steps have taught us while also keeping an eye out for the character flaws associated with our addiction that might risk our recovery. If we do this daily, it will keep us accountable to our new journey. When I first started taking a daily personal inventory while in residential treatment, If someone said something that made me upset during the day, I would not react. Instead, while I took my inventory, I would write down the situation, how it made me feel, what reaction I wanted to do, and what response I should do. I would do this with every situation where I felt anger, disappointment, selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, or fear. By recognizing our emotions daily and not letting them fester, we avoid denial, relapse, and the inevitable chaos in the wake of acting out.
Promptly Admit When We Are Wrong
Step 10 is not one of the steps you can complete; it is an ongoing step that you should carry through for the rest of your life in recovery. When we were in active addiction, we usually act out of anger or avoid confrontation as much as possible. These are both character flaws that step 10 is continuously working on. As a person in recovery, we now have to be accountable if we act out of anger. We have to explain our reactions and emotions and apologize for them if we want to stay in recovery and continue building relationships with our loved ones. We can no longer leave the house in a rush to avoid the problems; we have to confront them head-on.
In my past, when one of my ex-wives did something that hurt me or called me out for hurting them, I would pack my bags and be on the next flight to Las Vegas, and they would receive the divorce papers by the time I touched down. Now, I know I cannot run away; I need to work through every fight or disagreement, not just for the sake of my loved ones but for my recovery.
You Can Recover from Your Addictions
Whether you’re working the 10th step or just starting a program, you can always get help with your recovery. I, and everyone at the Vance Johnson Recovery Center, want to help you achieve the long-term happiness that I’ve been able to find.
Do you want to talk about your recovery? Call our admissions specialists at 888-828-2623, or reach out online through our contact form. I want you to get help, and so do our highly trained staff. Let’s talk about what our treatment center can do for you.
Vance Johnson is a former wide-receiver for the Denver Broncos, from 1985-1995. At the height of his career, Vance was in the throes of an addiction to alcohol and various recreational drugs. Vance finally began to take his recovery seriously and underwent inpatient addiction treatment. Today, Vance is drug-and-alcohol-free and encouraging others to get sober. As a Recovery Ambassador, Vance participates in speaking engagements across the country, where he recounts his struggles and offers hope that truly anyone can get sober.