Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step Five can be scary. We’re to take the wrongs we listed in our Fourth Step and share them with God, ourselves, and another person. We may look for an easier, softer way, but Step Five stops us. We’re to share the exact nature of our wrongs. Why? So we can take a load off ourselves. So we won’t drink again. By totally sharing our past wrongs, we can belong once more. We can heal. We start to forgive ourselves. We become more humble. When you share your Fifth Step, holding nothing back, you deserve the peace this Step will bring you.
It’s sometimes a surprise to learn that we mismanage our affairs even in sobriety. We may even find that we seem to be addicted to problem situations. It takes a crisis, it seems, to give us the energy and purpose we need to get things done. One common form of this strange disease is procrastination. Some of us have a tendency to put off important tasks until the very last moment, and then work overtime to get the job done.
Is this laziness? Maybe it is, to some extent. Maybe, however, we need an impending emergency to get motivated and energized to do what needs to be done. Maybe we’re addicted to crisis. If so, this may be another disease that can be arrested but not cured. We arrest it by slowly adopting better work habits and paying closer attention to schedules and deadlines. Working with greater efficiency, we’ll have more time and energy for the things that really matter. Today I don’t need a crisis to take charge of my life and do what needs to be done. I’ll tackle at least one thing I’ve been putting off, and either complete the task or get a good start on it.
We’re taught in The Program that “faith without works is dead.” How true this is for the alcoholic. For if an alcoholic fails to perfect or enlarge his or her spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, they can’t survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he/she doesn’t work, they will surely return to his or her booze; and if they returns to drinking, they’ll likely die. Then faith will be dead indeed. Do I believe, through my faith, that I can be uniquely useful to those who still suffer?
(A day at a time)
While in the disease, most of the goodness I tried to do was for ulterior motives. It was only in recovery that I learned to give unselfishly and without strings to help another. In doing so, I have found happiness beyond measure. I can create my own happiness in the service of my Higher Power and other alcoholics. I can make the promise of a “new happiness and a new freedom” come true.
Before recovery, we saw only a blurry picture of ourselves, like we were looking through an out-of-focus camera lens. We couldn’t see the good in ourselves because we wouldn’t look close enough. Step Four helps us look more closely. We see a picture of ourselves, with our good points and our faults. We don’t like everything we see. But we can’t change until we accept ourselves as we are. Then we can start getting ready to change.
In recovery, I have made many friendships. Some that have lasted for the whole of my recovery, and some that were very short-termed. I love the openness of A.A. I feel an affinity with my fellow recovery participants. There is a closeness to others that is almost immediate when we form together for a meeting or other gatherings. I feel an immediate closeness – and we talk about “there being no strangers, only friends we have yet to meet.” I know I can go just about anywhere and find people who will welcome me and with whom I feel a kinship to. I had to learn to love myself before I could learn to love others. I am connected to members of A.A. by our search to understand our disease, and our struggle for recovery from that disease. We are united through our common dependence on the Spiritual Principles.
Coming to a place of being able to love others and myself has helped me to get out of the isolation that I felt when I was drinking. I never have to feel alone again and if I do it is usually me that has stepped back. A.A. is always there, as is the God of my understanding. I can’t say that I never isolate because I do on occasion. Every once in awhile I take some time to spend alone in my home, always knowing that I have options to change if I choose to do so. I can pick up that phone and talk to another recovering alcoholic. I can go to a local meeting and see old friends there. I can go to a meeting in a nearby town and make some new friends. I can go to an upcoming conference where I shall find friends, both old and new. It’s up to me to decide for this day, this time, just how open and friendly I want to be. For the most part I am open to new relationships, and work to retain those friendships already established. I have not forgotten how important it was to my recovery to be welcomed by others. They made me feel like I found my “home” and I have. ❤