When We Retire at Night

- November 25, 2022

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on page 86 also gives us “going to sleep” suggestions.  It states that we are to constructively review our day.  It also states that we are not to venture off into morbid reflection.  We ask ourselves “were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid?”  “Were we kind and loving toward all?  What could we have done better?”  This is basically a spot check inventory which we learned how to do back in steps 4-5.  This may all seem like way too much work but through time and perseverance it just becomes automatic.  

Part of the reasoning behind reviewing our day is to keep our side of the street clean.  We do not want resentments and fears to pile up into one big mess again.  By dealing with these things on a daily basis we are also more likely to remain sober!  That in itself seems like a good enough reason to continue on in the step work.  As an added bonus we may have a peaceful day with minimal drama.  If a situation does arise that we must deal with we will be in a much better frame of mind to deal with it in a rational way.  

Another reason to review our day is to see if we stepped on anther’s toes.  If so, we plan on making our amends quickly if we have not done so already.  The Book also states that we are enabled to match “calamity with serenity.”  This was a pretty big deal for me in the beginning of my sobriety as I had a boatload of calamity to deal with.  It took a few years before it was all cleaned up.  But God gave me the grace to persevere and do what was necessary to stay sober while dealing with adversity.  The Book also asks if we were thinking of ourselves most of the day instead of how can I be of service to others.  Remember we are to be divorced from selfish and self-seeking motives.  

And finally, we may ask ourselves what could we have done better?  I don’t know about you, but I could always improve my behavior and motives.  Motives are very important.  They are like the under pinning of our thought processes.  I may help you for strictly altruistic reasons.  Or I may help you to get my way with you.  If I want to stay sober and serene, I must get “my way” out of the way.  In the beginning it was all about me.  Oh, my goodness!  I had such a feeling of self-importance.  This turned out to be a major defect of character for me.  “I” was just so darned important.  As I reflect back on my early years of sobriety, I see how this defect appeared to shrink in time as I applied the program to my life.  I am very grateful for this relief from this defect of character.

So that about sums up our “going to bed” instructions.  Remember always that more will be revealed.  This could include additional suggestions regarding every aspect of the program as the years pile up.  And if we diligently work the steps and apply the program to our lives, we will remain sober, happy, joyous and free.  Freedom from the bondage of addiction!

Written by Phillip