Step Five

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



Step 5 Essay

An honest confession is good for the soul, an old saying goes. While that may be true in general, it is especially true for us. All addicts, and we are no exception, have secrets. And we are as sick as our secrets.

As we bring these dark places in our lives to the light of truth, we will make an interesting discovery. It is that more secrets will come to our attention. They come up, not because they are new, but because we have been in denial about them. It's sort of like the more we bring to the light, the more gets brought to the light!

This step requires some human assistance. It does not matter who, but it must be someone we believe and trust will be good for us. Sponsors are often the call, but sometimes it may be a therapist, a clergy person, or a really good friend. Of course, don't get someone whose major character defect is gossip! But remember that the first to hear is our HP.

There will not be many questions on this step. Nothing of the inventory need be shared on the loop, although one may share some things if it would be helpful to do so.

As I said before, it is good to remember some of your strengths as well. A real inventory takes stock of everything, not just one set of shelves.

Without secrets, we find that we begin to lose shame, and its debilitating aspects. Guilt will go away, because once things are out in the open, guilt is no longer necessary. Without shame and guilt, rage will diminish. God knows, in time we may find we have nothing left to eat over. And that is the purpose of this and several of the following steps.

We will come clean, and then we will be clean.

If you have any questions about this step, ask your sponsor or me privately.

But the only thing you have to lose now is your addiction. It won't go quietly, I can assure you. But now you are beginning the process of sending it away, one day at the time, for the rest of your life. And, my dear friends, it works, it works!

Love to you all,

Step 5 questions.

1. Santa makes a list and checks it twice, according to Gene Autry. Look over the work you have done with step 4. Is it really a complete list, as thorough as you can make it? Are you hiding anything at all that you are aware of?

2. You really can't write down things about which you are in full denial, but the list you have just made may contain some patterns of thought or behavior that might suggest some of the places where you may be yet in denial. Do you see anything as you reread your work? Do you want the person who receives you step to look for any patterns? If so, tell them, otherwise, unless than have some professional qualifications, they probably ought to receive your step without too much comment, except for clarity.

3. At the end of the day, everyone I have ever known who has completed these inner steps has come away declaring that they have never felt so good, so clean. If you are ready to clean up your act, it will happen for you.

4. There are no characteristics, faults or whatever, that do not contain something within themselves that can be useful, can be one of the tools for your journey. Try to envisage that. Are you willing to let your HP take you to that place? What might it be like? What other tools do you already know you have? We become strong out of what now seems weakness. That is a paradox. Whenever there is paradox, we are coming very near the truth.

5. The fifth question is very simple, and you can answer it next week, if you like. It is, have you turned your list over to HP and another human being? If not, what is holding you back?



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