Step Four

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


Where are the pinches? What hurts? What can't I seem to get through or around, that which keeps coming back to me with more insanity?

Why had I stopped unfolding at this point or that one?

And above all, what could I do about it?

The Step says to make a list of the things. Removal is another project. This really tries my patience. I am perfectly willing to wait a reasonable time, such as an hour, to achieve perfection. But no. Just a list. What good is a list? No instant character mix -- just add water. Just make a list.

The problem with making the list is that I have to look at myself now, once more. True, I am powerless over food, but now there is a suggestion that there just might be a lot more than food that has gotten the upper hand in my life. Stuff that wasn't nice.

I began to learn that our disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Get a handle on your food, and the next thing you know your cheatin' ways will come out. Why can I steal? Because that gives me money to buy food. Why can I lie? Because I can get by with eating twice. Why can I rage against people I love? Keeps ‘em off balance and off my neck. They might find out too much. Why am I so resentful? Because I'm trapped in an addiction and in denial all at the same time. The reasons are all disease related. What's important is the list.

Now, there are people who enjoy beating themselves up. I hope you won't do that. That is not making a list -- it's a character defect itself. And I hope no one will make excuses. That is also a character defect.

You haven't really completed Steps One -Three until you have moved onto Step Four. This is your Waterloo, your Appomattox, your Versailles. You've only asked for a truce until now.

Journal a while on this. Where does it hurt? Where does it pinch? Where have I stopped unfolding? What seems to be going around and around, but going nowhere? Make a list. That's all it says.

When you have made your list, keep it. If there are insights that you gain that lead you to want to share on WTS, please do so, but do not share the list. If you find this meaningful, helpful, or puzzling, share on that. But keep the list.

We are going to start taking that box on. What we may do with it finally is entirely up to each of us. But we need to be free, even if we just have it bronzed and put on the mantle.

Share -- not the list, but recovery insights you gain as you make it. We can all use that.

I learned how to cry, and eventually to feel. It was that powerful. My wife held me and I cried and cried. I was so ashamed. And she seemed to love me more than ever. Then there was peace.

And a rose in bloom.



Step Three

Step Five

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