Step 10 and the Not So Scary Worksheet Part 1: Anger is Just the Wrapping
In the sidebar is a newly revised Not So Scary Worksheet of Step 10. The original worksheet is now over a year old. Input from the GoodLife Group, and life experience has led to some changes that I hope are helpful. The initial question has changed significantly.
In the first box instead of asking, Who made me mad?, the question is: What am I experiencing: resentment, fear, guilt, remorse..? See the difference? Most of my reactions are wrapped up in anger. For the outsider, it’s hard to see anything else. Even for me, it’s taking a lot of recovery work and time to unwrap that anger. I’m learning that beneath the anger and the blaming tendencies there are other troubling reactions.
However, the new wording forces me to look more closely at what I’m actually feeling. Anger is easy for me to acknowledge, but recognizing that I feel regret or fear beneath that anger is a lot harder. Hurt? Ouch. I don’t like to admit, even to myself, that I’m hurt.
When we have a resentment towards someone, any negative emotion might be involved. Looking at those negative emotions, isolating them, is work. Think about it. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t bother with a worksheet when I’m upset about something, would I? Once I get used to the new and improved (yes, this is a commercial) way of working Step 10, I won’t have to use the form. For now, I do.
Nearly any day contains prime resentment opportunities. At sunrise today, for instance, I heard that our new location means we are finally leaving this snake-infested (and I do mean infested) area of the South and going North a bit. This is much-anticipated good news. Along with that, I learned that our RV will most likely be placed on the wrong side of the road for the duration of the gate guarding work at this new site.
Smiling, he asked, Does it really matter which side of the road you’ll be on?
Not on the days I’m self-destructive, I wanted to answer. I just love to walk out in the dark in front of eighteen wheelers and put myself on the other side of that diesel pusher so that I can’t get back to the trailer in a hurry — not to mention that this puts my back to anything or anyone hiding in the bushes and the ditch over there.
So far, under the anger, I’ve come up with fear, disappointment, anxiety… and preoccupation with an assortment of premeditated actions that could cost me dearly.
And this is just the first box in the Not So Scary Step 10 Worksheet. Wonderful of the fella to give me such good material as an example this morning, wasn’t it?