Step Five, a “new beginning” Step. It released my fears of discovery and rejection. It was a solid step towards ridding myself of the old behaviors of lying, cheating and stealing. . . however that was defined for me. Step Five , if I was to be serious about my recovery, this was the Step that took me to a place of depth and honesty. I can lie to others, but I cannot lie to myself with any candor, nor any length of time. The truth will come out – and this is the Step that does it. I knew what was true and what was not, and I had come to understand what was needed in order to claim the gift of sobriety. In writing my Fourth Step, I was called on to put down on paper all the misdeeds and shortcomings of my life. This was no easy task, and it was a lengthy process of digging deep into all the lies I had told myself and others. Steps Four and Five became a cleansing process, one that enabled me to uncover the truth of my life. Not the life I told others about, but the real one – the one I participated in. I had to find my part in my character defects, and sure enough they were there when I dug deep enough to find them.
Step Five – showed me my defects of character and all my shortcomings. When I was first asked about my defects of character, I replied that I didn’t have any. After my sponsor got through laughing, she told me to take another look at my Fourth Step. I did, and darn if I didn’t find a bunch of them – being a liar, a cheat and a thief was but a beginning. A good place for me to start was with the Spiritual Principles of the Program. For every one of the Spiritual Principles, there is a defect of character. The opposite of honesty, dishonesty. The opposite of humility is pride. Forgiveness is the opposite of resentment – and so it goes. Now I have a whole list of character defects that I work on, every day. These “behaviors” are my part in my life. I no longer claim to be just a victim of life, today I know that with the help of my Higher Power, and the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous; I can find the means of being graced with recovery, true sobriety and a life unlike anything I ever imagined.