STEP FIVE

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







Essay

My share on Step Five: This will be the third time I have done Step Five, and each time I have chosen my current sponsor to share my Step Four Inventory. It is suggested that we share our inventories with someone we are comfortable with and feel safe. Your sponsor or your therapist or clergyman or another OA member who has already done Step Five are all good choices. It really should be someone who can be objective as well as discreet. A family member or good friend will do as long as they are not in your Step Four inventory.

The first time I did Step Five I was very scared. My first inventory was filled with my deepest, darkest secrets that had kept me sick emotionally and spiritually for a very long time. How would my sponsor react to all these rather dreadful things I had done? I was ashamed and embarrassed at how I had behaved. The secrets that had kept me ill for so long were also standing between me and my relationship with my Higher Power. The one thing that kept me going was that I wanted to get well; I wanted to heal and move forward in my life. So I went ahead and shared everything in my inventory no matter how painful and shocking it was. The reaction I expected was not there. Instead, my sponsor was kind and accepting and reminded me that we are all human beings doing the best we can under whatever circumstances life had created. I breathed a sigh of relief and began to feel that maybe, just maybe if this person saw me as a flawed human being and accepted me as such, I could do the same?

I began to realize that my behaviors had been there for a reason. All my adult life I had little or no idea of how to act upon life, so my behaviors had been an "acting out" rather than a healthy response to various situations. My defects were mechanisms that I had used to cope with life. The fact that they did not work well was not realized until I came to OA and worked through the Twelve Steps. As my awareness level grew with each step so did my acceptance level of what needed to be changed. I began to realize that I was the one who needed changing, not others. It was a surprise to me when I realized that my life had been created by me for me; that others had very little to do with how I was managing my life. The Twelve Steps helped me to take that acceptance and turn it into the willingness I needed to do whatever it took to have good abstinence and good recovery. I began to make the necessary changes, through working the steps, to a better, more mature, healthier, positive way of living.

Step Five is a step of action. For the first time in my entire adult life, I was taking the action needed to become the person I had always wanted to be. Slowly I began to know who I was and accept what I had done and was able to forgive myself for my past. I was healing emotionally and spiritually, and at last I knew freedom from the pain of my past life. That healing and freedom broke down the wall of isolation between me and others as well as with my Higher Power. My relationship with God grew because I had no more to hide. I was able to be honest with myself, with others and with the God of my understanding. That ongoing honesty allows me to continue to grow in the Twelve Step program of Overeaters Anonymous.

I am soooooo blessed.

Love in recovery,

Cindi L




The Fifth Step Prayer:

Higher Power, My inventory has shown me who I am, yet I ask for Your help in admitting my wrongs to another person and to You. Assure me and be with me in this step, for without this step, I cannot progress in my recovery. With Your help, I can do this, and I will do it.

Principle of Step Five:

In Step Five, we learned integrity as we faced the truth about our defects of character. We have the integrity to show the world our true selves. No longer needing to appear to the world as perfect people, we can live more fully, having the courage to face up to our mistakes and test our strengths in the challenges of life.

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
of Overeaters Anonymous: Page 104

Study Guide:

To help comprehend the questions, please read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Read the chapter on Step Five, answer the questions, go back and reread the Step Five chapter and add onto your answers if needed.

You might also like to read in the BB of AA the chapter titled Into Action, Page 72 through 75. (Fourth Edition)


Questions

1. Now that I have finished my fourth step inventory, how do I feel about sharing the details of my past with another human being? With whom will I share my inventory? What are my reasons for this choice?

2. Am I willing to be completely honest about the mistakes I have made? Have I acknowledged each truth about my past behaviors no matter how painful or embarrassing? Am I willing to discuss the exact nature of my wrongs?

3. How does my Higher Power help me leave rationalization behind and not blame others for my mistakes?

4. Why did I do some of the things I did? What feelings led to my actions? What did I feel afterward? What did these actions cost me?

5. In sharing my inventory with another, what did I learn about:

a. fear

b. trust

c. honesty

d. acceptance



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