Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Having a tough time emotionally

When I’m having a tough time emotionally, before examining the substance of my concerns, I check that I have not been neglecting the actions that cumulatively ensure good spiritual hygiene. These actions, set out below, are available to newcomers and more seasoned members alike. I resume taking all of the actions below, wait a week, and then see if there is any remaining substance to examine.

  • Every week, I attend a Big Book meeting focusing on the material up to page 164 of Alcoholics Anonymous. I do service at this meeting. I do fellowship after this meeting with other attendees.
  • Every week, I attend a Step meeting. I do service at this meeting. I do fellowship after this meeting with other attendees.
  • Every day, I take the Step Eleven actions set out on pages 86 to 88 of Alcoholics Anonymous. I don’t belabour these instructions but follow them I do.
  • I adopt a spiritual practice with daily actions beyond the instructions of pages 86 to 88 whose focus is on changing all of my attitudes and thinking and then maintaining positive and helpful attitudes and thinking.
  • If I have emotional disturbance, behave badly, or am confused about a decision, I apply the Step Ten actions on pages 84 to 85 of Alcoholics Anonymous and talk to someone with solid sobriety as soon as possible.
  • Every day, I speak to at least one person with solid sobriety (someone who ( a) has completed the first nine Steps, (b) is active in sponsorship and service, and ( c) is over five years sober).
  • When I am in the first Nine Steps, I allocate at least half an hour a day to working on the relevant Step, ideally more if possible, sometimes the bulk of my free time—I do not want to stay in the first Nine Steps any longer than strictly necessary. If I have to get up early to find the time to do this, I have to go to bed earlier the night before.
  • Once I was part way through my Step Nine amends, I started sponsoring and I still sponsor.
  • Every week, I aim to work actively with at least 5 people on the Steps. When I have fewer, I go to extra meetings.
  • Every day, I speak at length to someone new, in trouble, or seeking a spiritual life, with a view to seeing how God can help them through my experience.
  • I have a service assignment that involves carrying the message outside AA—this is suitable for anyone with more than one year’s sobriety.
  • I have a service assignment within the AA structure—this is suitable for anyone with more than two years’ sobriety.

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