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Alcoholism and the Tenth Step in Alanon - My Experience Admitting When I Was Wrong

Updated on February 11, 2019
Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah has several alcoholic relatives. She became active in Al-anon, for families of alcoholics, over 37 years ago, often helping others.

The Alanon 10th Step Says: When You Are Wrong, Promptly Admit It. We All Feel Much Better When We Take This Action!

We all make mistakes.  When we apologize, we feel so much better.  We put the past behind us and are able to move forward with our lives.
We all make mistakes. When we apologize, we feel so much better. We put the past behind us and are able to move forward with our lives. | Source

What is the Alanon 10th Step?

By the time you have reached the Alanon Tenth Step, you have worked hard to clean up problems from your past, and improve your current relationships with the people you love. This includes the alcoholics and drug addicts in your life, as well as the people you may have lied to in order to cover up for them. You may have had other people you harmed, as well, such as children you mistreated because you were so stressed out over the actions of the alcoholic.

Does this mean that you are going to live a perfect life from now on? Of course not!

As a result, the Alanon Tenth Step says that we “continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

This step reminds us that we are never really finished working the Alanon steps. We must constantly take note of anything we may have done that is harmful to others, and remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

In my experience, it is amazing how much better I have felt when I "kept my side of the street clean!" We cannot control how other people will react when we apologize or make amends for something we have done in the past. They may not forgive us. However, we nearly always feel better for taking this action. I certainly have.

There is one rule about making our amends, however. We should not do it if it means hurting someone else. Making ourselves feel better at the expense of someone else is not what this step is about.

Continue to Take Personal Inventory

Admit it. Every once in a while you are going to have a slip. You are going to nag the alcoholic. You are going to count their drinks. You are going to make a comment that you immediately regret. You are going to argue with them. You are also going to get frustrated with the alcoholic and life in general, and lash out at other people. In fact, you are just going to have some bad days. We all need to constantly take a daily inventory, and think about how we could have handled these situations better.

As an Alamon member, I have often realized I had mistreated someone while doing my daily meditation. Like most other Alanon members, when I realize I have said something I regret, I try to apologize as quickly as possible to get it off my chest.

The longer you are in a 12 Step program, the easier it becomes to recognize when we are wrong and admit it. As mentioned before, we are not responsible for how other people react to our admission. We are only responsible for being willing to admit we were wrong. It is a simple step that keeps us humble and at peace.

Alanon Members Use This Book to Understand All of The Steps. Once We Do, We Are Better Equipped to Benefit From the Program

Al-Anons Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions
Al-Anons Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions

This book explains all the Alanon Steps and Traditions. It has helped give me a better understanding of how the program works and how I could apply it to my life. It is one of those books which I have referred to over and over again, and often realize something new about the Alanon program, each time I do.

 

Promptly Admit our Wrongdoings

Whenever we realize that we have been wrong, Alanon members use the Tenth Step to deal with these issues as soon as they come up. You know when you need to promptly admit that you were wrong.

Ouch! You thought you were finished with all these inventories and apologies. You did them once. Why do you need to keep examining your life? Unfortunately, we don’t stop dealing with problems after a few months of membership in Alanon. We will continue to have problems and issues for the rest of our lives. What will change is how we will deal with them.

Many Alanon members refer to the Ninth and Tenth Steps as “keeping our side of the street clean.” Even if someone else was equally to blame for the problem that arose, we can still apologize for the part we played in it. If they upset us, and we said something rude, we can apologize for our rudeness. We may feel that we were completely justified in our anger or resentment. However, the only person who is injured by these negative emotions is us. By apologizing, we can release these negative feelings and move on.

Once you learn how much better you feel, you will be glad that you “continued to take personal inventory and when you were wrong promptly admitted it!”

The BluePrint for Progress Helps with our Alanon Inventory

Blueprint for Progress: Al-Anon's Fourth Step Inventory
Blueprint for Progress: Al-Anon's Fourth Step Inventory

The Blueprint for Progress is a workbook which Alanon members use when they complete their Alanon Fourth Step inventory. Once I finished mine, I have often looked back at it to see if I have improved in some areas since I first completed it. It can be a handy reference in sticking with my Tenth Step and continuing to take personal inventory. Sometimes I even add additional notes to it.

 

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Deborah-Diane

Comments

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    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      We all have trouble admitting when we are wrong. However, once we do, we feel so much better! There is a lot of wisdom behind the 12 Steps.

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 

      4 years ago

      What a thoughtful hub, have to admit I find it hard to admit when I'm wrong ! As you say the 12 steps are for everybody ! Voted up and useful

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      The actions in the 12 Steps are good for all of us, whether or not we are dealing with an alcoholic or addict in our lives.

    • Colleen Swan profile image

      Colleen Swan 

      5 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you for an insightful hub. This advice is valid for everyone; admitting we have been wrong can be hard, but is also freeing in that we accept ourselves.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      How did I miss this one? Thought I'd read about all the steps. This is definitely a very good one. It helps maintain relationships and that's always an important step. Sharing.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      Deborah-Diane, Thanks for sharing the steps. I didn't know what they were. Your hub is very interesting.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      7 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you! I agree that Alanon is a wonderful way to enlarge our spiritual lives. It has given many of us a fresh start in our relationships.

    • HelliePie profile image

      HelliePie 

      7 years ago

      Just as we alcoholics must "enlarge our spiritual lives" through the practice of the steps, so must those with "other side of the coin" disease, codependency, maintain spiritual fitness. Not an easy task, but well worthwhile.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      7 years ago from Orange County, California

      It's great to see so many people here on HubPages who are improving their lives through Alanon. Take care of yourselves, my friends!

    • Jenna Pope profile image

      Jenna Pope 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      I love Al-Anon!!! Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Every single night I do the 10th step...it's a must for my continued recovery. Great job my friend!

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