When evening comes, perhaps just before going to sleep, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It's a poor day indeed when we haven't done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all. Under these conditions, the pains of failure are converted into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we need to go forward.
-- "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," Step 10, pg. 93
Inventory taking is not always done in red ink.
It's not just a poor day, it's a poor year when we haven't done something right. And it's pretty damned unlikely, too.
During the inevitable reflection this week can bring, It's well worth remembering that no matter what or how much we need to work on, we've still accomplished quite a lot -- not the least of which may be sobriety. One day at a time.
My good friend Molly (ahem, obviously not her real name) suggested to her sponsees that they write out a list of their accomplishments this year, and it turned out to be a powerful and emotional exercise for many.
Self examination is critical for recovery, but in my experience it must be balanced with as much black ink as red, to prevent it from alchemizing into something far less productive. It so often comes back to balance, doesn't it -- a learned skill for all humans, but practically an alien concept to alcoholics.