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Working Step Ten by: Marie B.

The topic of our CoDA meeting tonight is Step 10. This does NOT mean you need to be on your step 10 or even working steps at all. We all learn from listening about the steps...please join us and perhaps our members blog below will enlighten you as to how the step can help you in your journey. - Kimberly S.

"Working Step 10" written by: Marie B.

I am hesitant to say that I’m done with a Step—when I say I’m done with Step Nine—I mean, “I’m done with it for this pass.” Instead, I know that I will be working each of my steps, as I need to, for the rest of my life. There is a saying, “If I’m not working my recovery, I’m working my relapse.”

Working a step as a situation calls for is a good way to realize where I’ve strayed back into my codependency and keep me moving forward.

After we complete our first pass of Step Nine, we might feel a heavy weight lifted from us. Many people dread Step Nine and once through it, we recognize that the end is near. The final three steps help to transition us into long-term recovery from codependence, which doesn’t mean being free of it, but living with it, and acting accordingly when we slip. Step Ten reads, “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”

One member of our group talks about standing up on her “little Bambi legs.” What she means is that in recovery, she’s learning many new things that so many people take for granted. Just like a newborn fawn on shaky legs, sometimes we falter. Sometimes we fall. And just like a newborn fawn, we get back up. The Codependents Anonymous book states, “We strive to change our unhealthy, inappropriate behaviors, and Step Ten helps us to remain focused on that goal (pg. 67).”

The essence of Step Ten is that we continue to be aware of our codependency, and when we relapse, we hold ourselves accountable and give amends as necessary.

A key word in Step Ten is “promptly.” I notice a boundary violation in my body before my head works out what has happened. I feel icky—in my throat, chest, or stomach. If I’m extremely triggered, my limbs are light. Those are signs to me to press pause and figure out what’s happening so that I can take inventory. Am I stepping over someone else’s boundary? Is someone violating my boundary? Am I not speaking my truth because I’m afraid of what someone will think of me?

When I hold a boundary or speak my truth, I notice that the world doesn’t explode. Everything is Okay!

I continue to collect data that I’m doing the right thing. I am worth protecting. I deserve healthy and loving relationships. Every time I stand up for myself, I stand a little bit stronger on my little Bambi legs.

As I close this blog post, I wonder:

  • How do you notice a slip into codependency or other trigger?

  • Why is it important to respond promptly? What could happen if we waited?

  • Have you noticed what happens when you hold a boundary or speak your truth? Does this encourage you to continue doing so?

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