Step Five

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


Dear Friends,

Hi, I'm Tami, COE and a food addict. I am grateful to be recovering one day at a time and to admit the exact nature of my wrongs first to God, then to myself, and to one other person. It was in this step that I began to end the isolation that imprisoned me in this disease. I began to trust God, myself and one other person.

Step Four required we make a thorough inventory of both our assets and defects, the exact nature of our wrongs. Step Five asks us to take further action with the knowledge we've learned about ourselves in Step Four. Step Five suggests that our next action was to share "the exact nature of our wrongs" in a specific order of importance. God first, then ourselves and finally with another human being.

This step asks me to face my wrongs with honesty and truth in my most important relationship first, with my Higher Power. I felt even closer to my HP as I took responsibility without excuses. I was surprised how clean and honest I could feel. I hadn't felt like that for a long time.

The next part of the step involves admitting to ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs. I had not known I was such an angry, resentful, fearful, people pleasing, self seeking, and proud person, who took on too much responsibiity in situations and events, who assumed the blame for everything, who was also compassionate, kind, empathetic, hard working creative and intelligent, loved music of all kinds, generous and resilient. And stubborn.

The more I got honest, the more my perception of myself and others began to evolve into acceptance. First I was shown how to relate to my HP, in loving caring ways to myself and then outward to others.

A great deal of my defects was my pride which was expressed as putting my best face forward all the time. I had to look perfect always. Making a mistake was unacceptable and may lead to rejection. I had a public face that I presented to the world, but I knew how phony and dishonest I felt inside. The AA BB speaks of this as egoism, and we are as stage actors. We want to enjoy a certain reputation, but know in our hearts we don't deserve it. We are under constant tension of discovery until we take this step. Now, the program asked me to admit this to one other person. It was a relief to not be asked to do this step publicly to the whole world. I was to only unburden myself to one safe person.

I considered who to share my inventory with carefully. Veterans of this step suggest we do not use a family member, spouse, partner or anyone who would be wounded by our version of events. We need someone who is not involved with our individual situation, who can keep a confidence. We are not looking for someone to tell us how to handle our problems, but rather for a loving witness who can provide perspective on our spiritual journey; who can appreciate what we are doing and how we are growing. Before we decide on someone, it is important to seek our HP's guidance to choose the correct person. Many use their sponsor. Others use a recovery friend, a clergy person or a counselor.

It is important to pick a private place and allow plenty of time for the reading of this step. Some may need more than one meeting if this is done face to face. Sharing my step five has helped me to not need to cover up or hide my defects. The imperfections have brought me closer to others instead of setting me up to be rejected as I'd feared they would. I was so surprised when the recovery friend I shared my first step five thanked me for my honesty and how much she had learned about herself in doing it with me. I am so thankful for this step, it helped me to trust myself and to begin to open up and trust other people.

I still work steps four and five when I have recurring issues that keep popping up in my life and relationships that make me feel the insanity of a defect again. I find deeper layers of motivations and feelings that I was not aware of before. I am convinced this is one of the reasons why we must keep working the steps as long as we live. If my HP revealed all of my truth to me right at this minute, I would not be able to handle and accept it, and it might in fact hurt me. My HP guides me at a gentle pace that is just right for me for this day, for I have put myself in GOMU's care in Step Three.

Each time that I've done a fourth and fifth step, it is as if I've been empowered to light another candle in my darkness. My way is illumined and revealed, and the light becomes stronger in successive stages and I understand at a deeper level than before.

The AABB describes working the Fifth Step:

"We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink (COE) problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe." (Chapter entitled: Into Action)

WTS Step Study Leader


1. Now that I have finished my fourth-step inventory, how do I feel about sharing the details of my past with another person?

2. Am I willing to be completely honest about the mistakes I have made? Explain.

3.Do I understand the healing relief that honestly admitting my faults can bring?

4. With whom will I share my inventory? What are my reasons for this choice?

5. What expectations do I have about how I should feel or what I should experience when I admit my faults?

6. Am I ready to let these expectations go and allow the God of my understanding to determine the best results for me? How do I know?

7. Can I concede that I am not perfect? How can I quit trying to be?

8. How does my desire to be perfect block me from believing someone could love me unconditionally, even after hearing my Fifth Step?

9. Can being honest and admitting a mistake have positive consequences? What are they?

10. Can I remember when another person admitted a fault or mistake to me and I understood and didn't judge?

11. How did I feel after sharing with God? Admitting to myself? Sharing with another person?

12. What have I learned about fear?





13. Do you feel different after sharing your fifth step? Better?

Blessings in program,

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