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ADMIN 12-09-2009 01:43 PM

Step 5
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
of our wrongs.

toms 12-30-2009 02:17 PM

I have always been capable of endless procrastination, especially when it came to the action steps of the program. One of my character defects that came into play was perfection, which I used an excuse to delay working these steps until I could "get it right." Being a "goals oriented" person, I dilly-dallied along, with the notion that I would do the steps once, correctly, and be done with them. It took a lot of change for me to get past that.

I got a little push during my last rehab, which was very AA-oriented. We were expected to get through the first five steps before discharge and, looking back, I'm grateful. I did my first Fifth Step with the chaplain, who as it turned out was also recovering. After finally putting pen to paper and doing a Fourth Step, I was certainly not eager to talk about all that crap with someone else.....but I did it. As we talked, this person told me about some of his own shortcomings, which helped me to realize that I was in no way unique. He also told me to consider these events to be part of the past that had been dealt with, and that I need not concern myself with them again. He explained that many members repeat the process with new events, or stuff that had been forgotten the first time around. Somehow, I felt a whole lot better about myself after doing this.

Today, I can say that what really helped me get through this, was setting all my beliefs and concerns about these two steps (4 & 5) aside and moving forward. Some of the group I was in had an easier time, but it was folks like myself who had the most trouble. I was convinced that, if I just studied enough, researched enough, etc. that I could find whatever it was that I was lacking, and be "cured". All my life, I had always worked towards some goal: in school, Scouts, etc. Confronted with my addictions, though, I had a problem that, no matter how much I learned, or how hard I worked, I could not overcome. The more I tried to do the steps "my way", the more frustrated I became. Once I finally gave up on "my way" and tried doing things the way the way the program teaches, I made some progress.

ax11779 01-09-2010 08:39 AM

I agree with the perfection thing. I also had trouble with AA/NA. I thought i could breeze through the steps perfectly. I would do my 4 and 5th step and a week later realize i left something out and feel like i failed and relapse. All my excuses to use are failure related. I have been lucky so far. I dont work the 12x steps anymore because it was too much confusion for me and i felt if i didnt do them perfectly i would relapse anyway. Not to mention all the self ritchous ppl who wouldnt allow me to add up my clean time till i was off sub. So im glad i found this site!

gotitang 02-06-2010 12:03 PM

Glad you are here AX. Welcome! I was thinking.....hey since you worked the steps (even thought you relapsed) how are doing with living the steps? That is the miracle of doing the steps! Whether you left something out or not doesn't really matter! The gift of working the steps is that they show us patterns in our lives that give us a better understanding of who we are and how our behaviors caused all our problems! To understand the problem you must first see it! That what the steps do for us! We see and then we know how to change! So don't worry about "clean" time or missing something on your fourth step! You have the rest of your life to share something that is keeping you sick! Trust will come up again! You will get a chance to share it with someone!
I hope you stick around and join us in "Chat"...I'm sure your experience will help someone!
Again welcome!

toms 02-06-2010 03:26 PM

My understanding has been that all the crap covered in a 4th & 5th step is behind us and need not be revisited. Things that happen from that point on, and forgotten issues can always be covered in another round. I agree completely with gotitang.....I had to learn the difference between "doing the steps" and "living the steps". The members who really seem to "get it" never talk about completing the steps, its more like they learn to incorporate them into their lives.

The issue of "clean time" resurfaces all the time. In my view, clean time is a personal issue, and the only opinions that matter are my own and my HP. There will always be opinionated people eager to tell you what counts and what doesn't....who cares? I've always found that those who spend their days evaluating the quality of the lives of others, tend to do so because their own houses aren't quite in order!

theswan 02-06-2010 04:10 PM

In 1978 I first came to AA I was very afraid of step 5 as I knew I'd go to the grave with my sick secret. Yeah it was sexual in nature and today can laugh abou it as it really was not that bad in fact kinda humorous. To me however, I felt "less then"

Fast forward to 1987 while still afaird of being judged, I had already shared my worse secret with friends in the car rides we took to go to meetings. I was lucky to belong to a traveling speaker group that went all over the tri state area to share meetings.

After writing the 4th we sat in his car at a monestary called Mt Alvernia and I read while he wrote out my defects of character and my amends list-simple! We then burned it in a bar b que and wathced as my past went skyward. After we went to a local movie and saw 'Ironweed" with Nicholson and Strept it was very appropriate a movie dealing with alcoholism and ghosts of the past!

Simple step that I have now done with many others most still sober. Doing the 5th goes a long way to permenant sobriety

I know this site is more with drugs but this is my expirence and it works well either way


gotitang 02-16-2010 10:19 PM

Thanks Alene, Steve, and Hairgirl for joining our 5th step chat! Alot of information was shared and I know it really helped me! The beauty of these steps are that there is no right or wrong way to do them. The point is to get them done! When we participate in recovery by sharing our experience , strength and hope WE get paid back 10 fold. So thanks everyone for joining for being there. Next week step 6....I hope to see you there!
ps...there was a question ask at chat about if this was about working the steps only in the conventional way! (ie:aa/na) In case anyone else is wondering that same thing......We are here to help people who have never had experience in working the steps. We are there to answer questions and share our experience. If you have experience in apply the steps in your life (please this is not about debating the value of the steps) or have questions about them ...this is the forum to do it! join in and share your will benefit from it!

OhioMike 02-16-2010 10:59 PM

Well said Tang!

Step Chat is not about debating the value of the steps or which way is the best way to work the steps!

It is about being open minded and accepting of each other, in learning how to best work the steps most effectively for themselves.

Its not about other forms of recovery or Suboxone, though near the end of the online chat sessions each week, we do get off track and just chat about anything.

I have to admit, I have been a bit surprised at how productive these chats have been. Very open, very honest, very accepting, very, very productive and really enjoyable getting to know everyone better.


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