Step Five

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



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #1

Step 5 tells us to admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Part of working step #5 means to CONFESS our wrongs to God. The acrostic for confess is:

C - Confess our shortcomings, resentments, and sins. We need to own up to the wrongs discovered in our inventory.

O - Obey God's directions. We confess our wrongs to God and we share them to another human being. We follow step #3, by turning out will over to the care of God.

N - No more guilt. The "CON" is over! For positive things to start, we need to "FESS" up.

F - Face the truth. Recovery requires honesty. We stop denying our true feelings.

E - Ease the pain. We are only sick as our secrets!

S - Stop the blame. We cannot find peace and serenity if we continue to blame ourselves or others. Our secrets have isolated us from ourselves.

S - Start accepting God's forgiveness.

What value to you see in confessing, coming clean of the wreckage of your past? If you obey God and do His will, what results do you expect?

LEADERS SHARE:

Cleaning up the wreckage of my past frees me from the bondage of the past. Living in the past and rehashing things that were done to me and the things I have done, only keeps me out of the present. Dealing with my resentments in my second inventory gave me freedom. A friend in AA told me once that resentment is "giving the other person free rent to my brain!" The information shared in all of my inventories must be shared with my self, to God, and somebody. Steps #3 and #11 tells us to follow God's will. By doing what God wants me to do and constantly seeking His instructions keeps me focused on life around me rather than me, me, and me. I pray for God's will for me and I ask me to deal with my resentments, guilts, and shame on a daily basis.



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #2

In Step #5, we are asked to read our inventory three times, once to ourselves, second to God, and third to another human being. Why? Most of us find it easier to read our inventory to ourselves and god, but have difficulty reading to another, why? What is your biggest fear of sharing your inventory to another person?

LEADERS SHARE:

It is important to acknowledge all of my hurts to myself and to feel the feelings while in recovery. In my past, these feelings drove me to eat and I never acknowledged myself feeling sad, lonely, or depressed. Acknowledging and feeling the feelings allows me to grow and to place the old tapes inside of my head into perspective. Reading my inventory to God allows me to receive His grace and forgiveness. God also allows me to ask Him to help me forgive the people in my past who caused me harm. It was hard for me to answer some of my own questions, let it alone share with everybody on this loop. Sharing with other human beings is the hardest part. However, only by sharing with others we can receive healing from our past wounds and hurts. I have always been uncomfortable sharing with others because I do not like being judged. I was judged, shamed, and put down throughout my childhood and adolescence. Being able to share my answers and to read your answers has made me feel especially close to each and every one of you.

Step #5 also makes me acknowledge my strengths, not just what went wrong.

I am most definitely "On the Road to Recovery" one day at a time. I feel that as my program progresses, I will still continue to learn. This fourth step is my fourth fourth step. Answering the questions, acknowledging my answers, praying to god, and sharing my answers to each of you has made my program blossom over the last three weeks.

It is no secret that my favorite song to sing in church is "The Road to Recovery."



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #3

Read Step Five. "... This is the beginning of true kinship with man and God." Discuss and reflect on how this has continued to be true in your life.

LEADERS SHARE:

Admitting my faults, hurts, sadness, and assets to myself, God, and another human being lays out my true self to myself, God, and somebody I trust. In my past, I would deny my own feelings, faults, or assets. I would just float around in mere existence on a daily basis waiting for time to pass by. Step #5 forces me to acknowledge how I really feel, my strong points and my weak points. In my personal belief, I believe that God already knows everything and I need to acknowledge everything and pray for guidance, direction as well as healing. To share with my fellows brings me closer to them as I already feel closer to each and every one of you. Your sharing with me really helps me grow in my program and makes me feel that I am part of our special family here on this loop. I feel especially close to each and every person on this loop.



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #4

Review what happened to you when you wrote your inventory. Your feelings, your hopes and your defects. Discuss what happened when you finally took Step Five. How did you feel afterward?

LEADERS SHARE:

This time as well as the last time I did the 4th step, the memories made me feel sad. I realized how important to feel that I am a part of and to feel accepted by others. I shared at a bible study last night that I used to think of God being there just for the elite few. Step #5 allows me to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses as well as my hurts and sadness so I can turn them over to God. Only God can heal me of these feelings if I turn them over to Him. Today, I am feeling that I really do have a purpose in life and that I really do matter to God.



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #5

Discuss how your disease has made you vulnerable to acting emotionally and taking that first compulsive bite.

LEADERS SHARE:

When in the heights of my disease, I never acted emotionally to anything because I was so "plugged" with the food. After abstinence and working the steps, I have become more sensitive to people and situations that make me uncomfortable. I am learning not to act out of emotion and to be able to confront issues in a positive way. The main issue today for me is acceptance by others. Growing up thinking that nobody likes or cares about me. In program, I learned that there are plenty of people that care about me and I need to focus on the people who like me. The things that make me want to eat are acceptance by others and fear of financial insecurity.



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #6

Now that we have completed our fourth step inventory, sometimes things come up that we did not think about while we were writing the inventory. Is this true in your case?

LEADERS SHARE:

One memory came up last week that I totally forgot about. My brother and his friends were taking print shop while in junior high school and he made some business cards that said "Mistakes Will Happen." He gave one to me and said it was my business card. I was still in elementary school after suffering the dehumiliation of having to take a grade over again. I felt that I was a mistake and could never do anything right. I guess this destroyed my self confidence along with the physical abuse I endured from my classmates.

Today, I know that I am not a mistake and everything I do is not wrong. I also know that the people who physically abused me were wrong to do what they did. My religion teaches me to forgive others who have hurt me in my past. I cannot change the past. I can only learn from it, forgive those who hurt me, and recognize how my actions and reactions today have been shaped by my painful childhood.

There are people that really do love and care about me.



STEP FIVE~QUESTION #7

Discuss how you use the tools reading, writing and burning to deal with your reality.

LEADERS SHARE:

I attempt to read something each day. Currently, I been reading a chapter a day in a book that everybody in my church is currently reading. This book centers around my purpose in life and "What on Earth am I Here For?" Before program, I thought I existed for no real purpose whatsoever. Yesterday's reading was about surrendering my life and will to God and trusting Him. Writing my answers to questions helps me to see how things were so I can better understand myself. Personally the questions I post each day to the loop has really made my program grow. Now I can say that I have done four fourth steps. I never burned any writings after setting a fire that almost got out of hand many years ago. I pray about my answers to the questions and feelings about each question and send them up to God to handle.

Today, I ask God to take away all of the sadness and loneliness of my younger years and heal me. When I feel sad or lonely today, it is usually because of a button that was pressed that played an old tape. I immediately pray to God to life the feeling and help me cope with it. Food will never help me cope with anything except for physical hunger. Only God can help me in all other areas. Through God's unconditional love just the way I am, I do recover from this disease one day at a time.



Love In Recovery,
Dennis

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