We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
I would still be in the middle of an ugly divorce when my next bad relationship would begin. "This one will be different," I thought, meanwhile mentally flinching at the thought of introducing him to my family and friends. It got a little tiring - reminding him on a daily basis that soap and water are, in fact, part of most people's routine. Convincing him he doesn't automatically get a kiss for buying flowers, a blowjob for picking up the bar tab or laid for shelling out for dinner. Persuading him that very few women appreciate a man yelling "nice hooters" to women in the street - least of all his date sitting next to him in the car.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
In this case, it was the County Superior Court.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
This one took me a little soul-searching, not being the religious type, but I latched onto one thing - what God wasn't. And God wasn't my ex, despite what he may have liked me and a certain Erline Duprey to believe. She has yet to come around.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
And sure enough, I found them. Morals, that is. Right where I'd left them. Along with my self respect, my size-10 figure and my ability to overlook anything in a man with good hair.
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
Now, as many of you know, I have been admitting these wrongs for years. Granted, they are less the wrongs that I have committed (although, Lord knows, there are many, beginning with saying "yes"), than those committed against me. And for those of you who missed those wrongs, there are papers filed at the county courthouse that outline them in Starr-report detail.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
I'm willing to help. I will never again give my phone number to a man who insists on guessing the weight of my breasts. I am willing to quit watching "America's Most Wanted" and thinking "that guy looks HAWT!" I am willing to consider that my eighth grade teacher was right when she suggested for my own good that I think about joining on convent. On a remote island. Off Antarctica.
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
I figured it was less of a daunting task, even for a deity, than asking Him to remove my ex's shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
This was made easier by the fact that I have kept the wedding invitation lists from all four of my weddings, as well as the names of all four bridal parties, ministers, photographers, caterers, and the Elk's Lodge. The envelope from the Elk's Lodge was sent back with a rude and badly-spelled remark on the unopened envelope.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
Now, there are some things you can't replace. The lost years, the broken promises, the letting go of expectations and respect. For everything else - there's MasterCard.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
I've taken personal inventory several times. And I've found that I'm short a stereo, a credit card, all of my Nine Inch Nails CDs and some power tools. I thought I was also missing a diamond ring of my mother's but I was wrong and promptly admitted it. I had pawned that one myself.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out
There are some days that God just doesn't come in as loud and clear as I would like. I've tried liquor, pot and the occasional valium as chemical amplifiers, but although they amplify the message of God's will, they also completely sap my power to carry it out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
So, here I am, carrying my message to you, the world at large. I'm trying hard to practice these principles, working it one day at a time, and taking it easy. I've been Stupid Mate-free for more than three years, and, unless I meet anybody truly interesting during my upcoming Jerry Springer appearance, look forward to many more years.