Al-Anon STEP 10 – Comments (Part 3)

 

 

PREVIOUS: 10th Step #2

SITEs:  8 books for ACoA 

▪︎ Apology GUIDE

AA / Al-Anon Step 10 : “Continued to take personal inventory & when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

1. Daily Inventory

2. AND WHEN WE’RE WRONG  (cont.)

c. Something that did not hurt or upset another, but which we’re convinced did. Again, this is our narcissism – projecting how we’d feel if….. In fact, what we’re obsessing about may not have even registered, or if it did – it didn’t bother them.

So, before apologizingASK  “When I said/did ——, how did you feel?” (done right away, or at the next opportunity).
✔︎ If the other person was not upset, believe them & drop it!
THEN if you insist on explaining, justifying…. it’s not at all about making an amend to —-> the other person.
Instead – it’s all about you, trying to get them to make you feel better

✘ If it did bother them, then we can apologize, but not in a self-serving way by trying to justify our behavior!
However, sometimes BRIEFLY providing a legitimate context is helpful to the other person “I’m so sorry for ———, yesterday my mom was rushed to the hospital // I’d just had a chemo treatment…. // Sometime my brain-injury makes it hard to remember —– ” (Try not to use the word ‘but’ before the explanation!)

d. Human mistakes (not a tragedy). These can come from being tired, under great stress, over-doing or from ignorance. We need to have our own internal permission to be ‘normal’ (imperfect), to forgive ourselves & then make any necessary corrections.
Most other people are not as upset about our errors as we are

e. Things we said or did which actually hurt / harmed someone.
Sadly, the WIC still gets things backwards, as with the backwards Serenity Prayer.
We blame ourselves for things that are not wrongs, while having great difficulty owning long-term defense mechanisms : superiority, lying, lateness, insensitivity, laziness, procrastination, S-H ….).
Not noticing our unhealthy behavior is a lack of self-awareness – patterns we think “well, that’s just me” but are actually the False Self, & a deep-seated shame about our True-Self needs.

*    *    *    *    *    *
3. PROMPTLY ADMIT IT
a. The Program phrase “Let it begin with me” certainly applies here.
If we accurately identify a ‘failing’, we can promptly admit it TO OURSELVES – without shame or S-H.  Hard for many ACoAs to do!

In Recovery we learn that character defects come from the wounded child &/or PP, so even with years of hard work they don’t go away fast or easily. We need to be KIND to ourselves, & patient with our process!
For in-depth info, read posts Outgrowing Co-dep Niceness #6a-7c”, re. Forgiving ourselves.

b. Re. OTHERS – 9th Step procedure applies here too – read post “Outgrowing Co-dep Niceness #8a = Being forgiven by others”.

A sponsor may suggest that “promptly” means to act within 48 hours – not a week or a year.  But for many ACoAs it can take hours or days before we realize we need to make an amend, or to take the time to overcome shame, or calm down from anger, & get some perspective.

As mentioned before, in some cases the person may not accept the amends or want to talk to us at all. Sometimes it’s not safe or even possible to reach them. An abusive boss, a mentally ill family member, a manipulative narcissist, the passive-aggressive….. can easily use a sincere ‘amend’ against us, if not right away, then some later time when it suits them.
We do need to use discretion & be self-protective.

Not wanting to apologize may seem like PRIDE on the surface, but actually it’s:
a. being ASHAMED of not being perfect
b. it’s something that was shamed / punished in our family growing up
To be able to apologize ‘easily’ we can not be choked with SHAME!

💠   💠    💠    💠
Read: ACoA 12 Steps

ACoA 10th Step: “We continued to take personal inventory & to love and approve of ourselves.”
• This is not arrogance or narcissism, but rather, self-care.
• It’s not about being at the extremes of either having to be “right” <—–> or of self-flagellation.
• AND keeping our side of the street clean does NOT mean staying with people who don’t want to be with us, who are subtly abusive or simply incompatible!

By accepting ourselves completely, we can slowly outgrow much of our damage, & uncover our True Self. This minimizes the amount & frequency of acting on character defects. It keeps us from isolating ourselves & judging everyone else.
“Admitting & Accepting” is the mental health of acknowledging our human-ness & the need to be part of the human race.

NEXT: MBTI Introverts

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Al-Anon STEP 10 – Comments (Part 1)

PREVIOUS : Use “THINK” instead of “feel” #2

SITE: Al-Anon Step 10 

• MORNING MEDITATION READING = Today I will…..


AA/AL-Anon 10th Step: “Continued to take personal inventory & when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

This Step separates into 3 distinct issues: inventory, wrongs, admitting

1. DOING a REGULAR (daily?) INVENTORY

a. STEP 10 is a general evaluation of our activities for some brief period. The actual purpose is to help us stay present for what’s going on inside of us on a continuing basis.

It’s an antidote to our compulsion to escape the WIC’s old pain that hasn’t been cleaned out yet –  by retreating into the ‘lala land’s of FB, TV, reading, over-doing…. & various addictions. It’s a way to not slide back into denial, back into just DOing instead of BEing, back into our ACoA’s built-in forgetter state. 

b. WHEN? While it’s not stated, the assumption is that we take this step every day. In the Al-Anon book: “Paths to Recovery: Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts” a member writes that at first they did it once a day, then added a lunch time evaluation at work, so that anything that needed to be corrected could be done right away & then the afternoon would go more smoothly.

But each of us must find our own rhythm. The more regularly we get in the habit of checking in with ourselves, the more we can connect with our True Self, & burn off bits & pieces of our damage.

c. Continuing a personal inventory does not exclusively mean listing all the flaws, mistakes, omissions… we’ve committed that day.
Yet in the literature & in meetings the focus is mainly on character defects we identified in Step 4. Re. Step 10, one internet site says “Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them…..”

d. Simply doing it this way is lopsided. To be accurate it would be useful to make 2 – very brief – lists of both plusses & any negatives we observes in ourselves. If we’re doing this during the day, they can both be brief.

If it’s at the end of the day, we would benefit from sticking to only doing a positive inventory, as shown in the column —->. This is particularly important for ACoAs because our focus is always on what we did wrong, which keeps us stuck in narcissistic S-H. (More on ‘wrongs’ in Part 2)

And, to be ‘rigorously honest’ – we need to include all T.E.A.s (thoughts, emotions & actions) – without self-judgement – BRIEFLY. SO:
✔︎ What were my actions today?  This is what most of us focus on. This includes things like co-dependent people-pleasing or passive-aggressive reactions – which mostly hurts ourselves, but also hurts others by nor being present with them (psychological dishonesty) – some ways we abandon others.
ASK: Did I “Correct, Complain, Criticize?”

POSITIVE: Identify any & all actions, even if they’re easy, short, simple or repeated every day

✔︎ What were my emotions (Es) today? Excitement, anxiety, boredom, annoyance, anticipation, gratitude, pleasure…?

Since ACoAs have trouble identifying our Es, start by briefly listing any events of the day which might have bothered you but which you brushed aside at the time –  (someone ignored you, your ex called, you got a compliment, you forgot something…..)

Then ask yourself:  “IF I had had an E for each event, what might it have been? Sad, hurt, angry, relieved, pleased….

This inventory is particularly important if you feel drained, upset, antsy, obsessing…. at the end of the day but don’t know why.  Notice how these unrecognized Es add up & may contribute to your unease. Just because we don’t FEEL them, doesn’t mean they’re not there!

NOW: You can acknowledge some of these Es you’ve learned to suppress (denial), & can talk about them in meetings, therapy & with sponsors – to bring them into consciousness.
IMP: This will prevent having to act them out.

POSITIVE: Include a list of comfortable Es you experienced – no matter how subtle or brief. It’s important to reinforce all positives (peaceful, happy, relieved, relaxed….)

NEXT : Step 10 – #2 (re. Thoughts)

Blog ADDITIONS

Contact Donna:
acoarecovery@yahoo.com

FREE INTRO Session

 


1. NEW PAGE

So far, there are close to 100 topics, & almost 900 posts.

To make finding a subject a little easier, I’ve listed them all alphabetically with year & month – in a chart in TOPICS, found at the top of the Home page.
Once you’ve found the topic you’re interested in, go back to the MENU, click on the appropriate year & scroll to the month.

💻

2. New INVENTORY Form (by DMT)
This is part of the post “What to do when Confused – #5” , July 2016
Venn Diagram chart
PURPOSE:
to get an overview of where you stand on any aspect of your life right now
USE:
You can make the chart into a collage, use the computer or just free-hand it on a large sheet of paper

The biggest circle (Spirituality) is the background to our whole life.

EACH person’s Diagram will look different.
If you’re ambitious or curious, you can make one for where you were 10 or 20 yrs ago, as a comparison.

• Think about all the areas of your life that will go on the chart, & decide their relative importance to you at present. Change or add any not listed.
Draw / cut the size circle for each topic as it relates to their current importance

• Play with the positions of circles…. change them around until the chart feels right. Place them close to, overlapping or far away from each other, depending on how they connect in real life

• Label circles, & draw lines to form pie wedges in each one.
— You decide how many lines (slices) based on how many problems & victories for each – you’ll probably have to guess-timate

IMP
: each slice represents an issue related to the circle’s topic
EXP: re. $$$ – keeping track of spending, get an IRA, have separate accounts, update checkbook, curb compulsive spending, pay old debts……

a. Filled in slices are any aspect of that topic you’re confident you have a good handle on (never perfectly)
EXP:
No longer use drugs & alcohol

b. Zig-zag (or cross hatch) slices are aspects you’re still working on but making progress. The degree of progress in one may be different than in another slice. Make zig-zag density accordingly
EXP: Get to places on time more often

AND THEN: Most likely there will always be one or more empty slices – representing:
c. Grey – things about a topic you know need correcting / to change, but are not ready or willing to tackle

d. Blank – problems & challenges about each topic you simply don’t know you need to work on – yet

Happy hunting! (for 💛 self-awareness & 💚 healing)

MBTI : INTROVERSION – Intro (Part 1)

PREVIOUS: E/I Anatomy #2

SITE: MBTI historical info

BOOK: “Introvert Guide to Self-love” – by Luna & Sol


NOTE:
Introversion is NOT isolation.
Dr. Carl Jung identified it as an “attitude type” (inborn), observing that Introversion & Extroversion are both healthy variations in personality style. (See earlier posts)

DEF: Introverts (Is) are both energized & rested by drawing energy from their own thoughts & feelings, comfortable with solitary activities, & so place less emphasis on ‘people skills’ & talking. They perform well in analytical roles that require focus & logic.

Based on Jonathan Cheek’s research, there are 4 styles of Introversion:
• Social: Prefer to stay at home with quiet activities, or hang out with a few close friends instead of events with lots of strangers (NOT shyness)
• Thinking: Very introspective, thoughtful & self-reflective, highly creative, often daydreamers with a rich imagination. Occasionally don’t mind a busy social scene
• Reserved: Operate at a slower pace, think before acting, careful decision-makers & take time to start things

• Anxious: Not confident in social settings, often worried about what could go wrong (projecting). Painful shy around others, especially strangers or with new people. Nor does the anxiety always go away when they’re alone, because later they obsess about how they ‘failed’

EDITORIAL: Since Is are naturally wired a specific way, the last type may actually be one of the other 3, but wounded in childhood. Introversion does not by itself cause dysfunction!

Interesting: Researchers discovered that Introverted participants who acted like Es – when taking cognitive tests – had slower reaction times than Is who were being themselves. The effort & time they wasted trying to be something they’re not naturally wired for – was distracting & depleting. This especially applies to Is having to fake it for a long time. They can give themselves the freedom to be the way they’re ‘built’, even if the rest of the world keeps trying to mold them into Es.

Misleading: Many illustrations & cartoons portray Is as awkward, misfits, fearful & unfriendly – all signs of emotional damage. Es often judge Is as isolators, but that’s caused by FoA, S-H & lack of Bs, not Introversion.
In fact – it’s not unusual for Is to be gregarious, helpful, charming, warm & prodigious talkers. It’s just that they need more alone-time than Es to recover from all that expended energy
)👁 👁(
Using the O.C.E.A.N inventory, National Institute on Aging researchers Paul Costa & Robert McCrae expanded on the Big 5 characteristics, to include 6 facets within each dimension.
Introverts high on:
1. Activity Level – like to take it easy, are laid back & react slowly as situations develop
2. Assertiveness – let others lead the way, stay in the background & keep their opinions to themselves. Really don’t like to be pushy or demanding

3. Excitement – need peace & quiet, perfectly happy with daily routines. They make better roommates or neighbors since they prefer a steady, quiet lifestyle
4. Gregariousness – are friendly but do just fine by themselves, avoid crowds, preferring quiet activities such as reading or reviewing their day

5. Positive emotion – are usually content without show it outwardly. They’re not as likely to express strong emotions, but feel them deeply
6. Warmth – are hard to get to know at first, & can feel uncomfortable around people they don’t know well. They hold back in social situations, waiting to be approached, but may be the most interesting ones around

ACoAs
Most Introverts (Is) were not accepted by family, school & friends, the majority of whom are Es & think typical Is are weird or disobedient. But if only someone had understood their basic traits & been willing to accept & encourage them, it would have fostered self-esteem & made life much easier.

Now we can use this info helps us better understand & accept our mates, friends, bosses…., but especially ourselves, so we can treat our WIC with greater clarity & compassion. And anyone who has an internally oriented son or daughter can help them flourish, no matter what age

• CHARTS : Illustrations That Are All Too Real For Is
posted by Anna Borges on BuzzFeed (8/12/15)

 

 

NEXT:  Introverts = Intro #2

MBTI – Introvert vs Extrovert ANATOMY (Part 2)

 

PREVIOUS: E/I anatomy #1

SITE: “How to read body language…”

 

Es = Extroverts
Is = Introverts

👁 👁 3. EYES
Some studies suggest that eyes of Es are drawn to warmer colors, like red & orange (exciting), while eyes of Is go toward cooler ones like blue & green (quiet). It may be related to Es finding their energy in activities, people & things, while Is are more energized from within.

There are 2 primary iris types – Jewel & Flower, modified by 2 secondary patterns – either Stream or Shaker. (longer descriptions). Personality styles are different for each, modified by other factors such as birth order, physical environment …..
Iris structure indicates a fundamental genetic tendency, rather than what someone has developed or learned throughout life. (shorter)

JEWEL: Thinking-oriented, analytical type // FLOWER: Feeling-oriented type
STREAM: Kinesthetic type  // SHAKER: Extremist or movement-oriented type

Using the structural indicators of a person’s heritage – irises of Is & Es were compared by looking at the ring of expression, based on variations in fiber density encircling the pupil. This physical ring suggests how far out from their core a person is psychologically willing to extend themselves (E vs I style), & how easy it is for others to pick up on their energy field.

For Extroverts – the ring is quite a distance from the pupil, (arrows), easily noticeable, showing a greater outward-orientation.
It’s considered a physical expression of the basic underlying E personality:
The wider the eye’s central aperture, the easier & ‘wider’ Es may express themselves, since they’re more likely to extend themselves to whoever’s nearby

With Introverts, the ring of expression is so close to the pupil that it’s much harder to find – one has to get very close & really focus to see it at all. This is considered a reflection of the I style – the tendency to be invisible – a familiar but irritating & perplexing condition (to Es). It’s especially noticeable in withdrawn ‘extreme introverts’. (see last ¶ in Part 1)

👍🏽 👎🏽 4. HANDS
Using the ‘BIG 5’ Dimensions, research exploring hand prints identified 6 different sets of ‘vertical’ patterns for Es & Is, consistent in both male & female groups. (Holland, 1992)
Recent studies have added a 7th vertical hand factor related to these dermato-glyphic lines, making it possible to separate all Es from all Is who were studied. Detailed phantom pictures made for the hand help to identify underlying biological mechanisms. (⬇ CHART info) (Also See Google Images)

NOTE that these finding represent averages – interesting but not definitive. EXP:  Based on the charts, this female ENFJ has • the long middle finger AND the head-line crease not quite touching the life-line of introverts, BUT • the wider palm width of extroverts & the relatively straight unconnected heart-line of ambiverts                                                      

 

EXTROVERT hand indicators
Shape: • Shorter palm width, relative to breadth
• Hi mount of moon vs. mount of venus
Fingers: • short, relative to palm breadth
• Low 2D:4D digit ratio (thumb to ring finger)
Lines: • Sharply curved upward heart-line crease
• Heart-line crease connected to life-line

INTROVERT hand indicators are the reverse.

👄 5. LANGUAGE / Talking
People communicate differently because of the longer vs shorter brain-blood-pathway, which can lead to forming the wrong conclusions about each other, causing many misunderstandings
Es tend to engage by jumping into conversation, without enough reflection. Is are more likely to take the time to think, which can make them seem ‘slow’ or stuck-up

Es talk more abstractly, (“This article is interesting / Lets get some food”). Most are spontaneous, moving quickly thru their life, so are not as verbally accurate or detailed. People scoring higher in extroversion tended to use more words having to do with relationships

• Is are more concrete (“This article is very informative / Maybe we could go for dinner”). They tend to be more cautious (with words like: perhaps, maybe…), use more articles (the/a) – which refer to objects or events rather than people, & more quantifiable terms (#s, dates, times….)

Re. learning a second language, Es have the upper hand because they’re more willing to push whatever they know to the limit. Unlike Is, they take more risks in using what they learn – more willing to make conversation in the new language, in & out of the classroom.

NEXT:

MBTI: E vs. I Brains – OVERVIEW

 

PREVIOUS: E vs I brains #3

SITE: ‘The Brain that changes itself” – Norman Daidge, M.D.

 

See SAME CHART from another source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introverts & Extroverts have different levels of arousalmeaning the extent to which our minds & bodies are alert & responsive to stimulation

Es have a lower basic rate of arousal. They need to work harder to be up to the same ‘normal’ state that Is might reach quite easily, because Is‘ rate of arousal is much higher.

Hedonic tone ⬆️ is the degree of pleasantness or unpleasantness associated with a given subject, state or circumstance. Also known as positive or negative valence.

NEXT:

MBTI – Introvert vs Extrovert BRAINS (Part 2)

 

PREVIOUS: E vs I brains #1

SITE: Surprising Brain facts

Es = Extroverts   //   Is = Introverts

FACTORS re. biological differences between Introverted & Extroverted brains (cont.)

4. Blood Flow & NEURO-TRANSMITTERS
Blood in the brains of Es & Is travel on different pathways in response to a wide variety of stimulation. Each style uses a completely different neurotransmitter, which take a different amount of stops in the brain along the way to processing ideas, info, experiences, interactions….. These chemicals direct where the blood goes, & regulate how much of it flows to various centers, influencing what parts of the Central Nervous System (CNS) are turned ON.
✳ Extroversion is linked with energy-spending dopamine/ adrenaline, while Introversion is linked with energy-preserving acetylcholine.

Energizing: Dopamine (D) is the ‘activating’ transmitter which produces good feelings that come from social interaction, physical activities & passion. The D-system affects how we learn & respond to novelty. Setting off an external response, it motivates us to go after situations that are rewarding.

The amygdala & nucleus accumbens (which encode new motor skills) are important components of the brain’s D-reward response, responsible for processing emotional stimuli, & giving Es a rush when trying something highly exciting. And D’s sidekick Adrenalin makes more D when released from the sympathetic nervous system, needed for fight or flight reactions when we’re faced with real or assumed danger.

Calming: Acetylcholine (A) is the ‘inhibiting’ transmitter that also helps us feel good, but as a relaxing influence. When set off, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, along with  the hypothalamus, providing an internal response that lets us slow down, to maintain or safeguard energy. A is like D’s alter ego, creating a sense of satisfaction & contentment, & plays a role in dreaming & imagination.

Acetylcholine fuels our ability to think deeply, reflect & focus for long periods of time on one thing. It rewards mental concentration by giving hits of ‘happiness’ – but not the charge of glucose & oxygen needed for physical energy.

Extroverts & D: Research has shown that Es have more Dopamine receptors in their brains (than Is), so they need much more of it to fill all those ‘slots’. More activity means producing more D, with then pushes Es to continue social interaction, activity & excitement.

Interesting: People born with a longer D-receptor gene are more likely to become thrill-seekers & adrenaline junkies – if stressed for too long.

Introverts & D: Is have fewer receptors in the brain (than Es) in the same area that generates D, the substantia nigraso they need a very specific limited level of dopamine, but a greater amount of acetylcholine – to be comfortable. A normal amount for Es will easily be too much for Is – which can eventually lead to agitation, depression, or mental illness if Is don’t get enough stress-relief

5. CIRCUITS
Both styles respond to incoming info from our activities registered in the spinal column (CNS).
From there, the I’s brain-path access memories or information. Es brain-path accesses mainly sensory info.

• For Es, when activities stimulate their brain, it trigger a Dopamine-response. The pathway makes a 5-stop circuit (shorter & less complicated) which runs through areas where taste, touch, visual & auditory sensory processing take place. (D-functions….)

#2. Data from the RAS goes to the Hypothalamus (thirst/ appetite / temp) switching on the ‘Full Throttle’ system
#3. is a relay station amplifying the stimuli
#4. is the emotional center – & for Es
is associated with actions, the motor area being lit up
#5. connects movements to—> short-term memory access, to—> the center for learning, as well as processing sensory & emotional stimuli

• For Is, activities trigger Acetylcholine, needed to balance out any potential or actual overwhelm. It makes a 7-stop loop traveling through areas of the brain dealing with info, meaning, planning, remembering & problem solving. This uses 40% more energy than the extrovert-dopamine circuit. (A-functions….)

#1. Stimuli enter the RAS at the top of the brain stem –  less active in
Is
#2. data is interpreted & the brain placed in ‘Throttle down’ mode
#3. is the relay station turning sensory signals down
#4. where speech & activates self-talk is planned
#5. selects, plans & chooses ideas or actions. Forms expectations & evaluates outcomes
#6. is for environmental awareness & info sent to long-term memory
#7. the emotional center where feelings are attached to thoughts

⬅ In high activity situations, the 2 styles are opposite because different brain areas are activated. NEXT: E & I body parts