Step Five

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Phyllis here; chunkie, drunkie, junkie...clean, sober, abstinent since May 20, 1972

Dear G-d,
     I ask for your help in admitting my wrongs, to another person and to you.
Assure me, and be with me in this step. I cannot progress in my recovery without you. With your help, I can do this and will.

OA 12x12 "Throughout our lives many of us have felt isolated from other people. We felt that we were outsiders and we acted out this feeling in many ways, some of us by being shy, others by being arrogant or belligerent, others by playing the clown. No matter how we acted, however, deep down we felt alone and apart...Now we can take positive action to end our isolation."

Having this reaffirmation of the isolation and insulation which we now face is mind boggling to some. Why must I share it with another human being? And, certainly G-d knows me and my flaws, why do I have to say it again?

You have all heard "we are as sick as our secrets". What feelings arise when you stuff down another secret? Does it relieve the problem or person? Have I been reliable when someone tells me a secret? What is my purpose for collecting "secrets"? Writing the 4th was pretty tough. The 5th, to G-d and another human being? Like confessing to the devil was a term some used.

I, personally, felt that G-d, if he wasn't aware of my character defects, had me write them down. So, He should have gotten the message then. It was His intervention that brought up all those memories.
However, if I must repeat them to Him, I can do that! But, you say, another human being? Why should I open myself to possible pain, let alone embarrassment and shame and guilt? Why do I have to feel all those feelings that made me practice my addictions, that I already have "confessed" to? Well, they said, :just do it"

I searched all around me at many meetings looking for the perfect person to hear my long tale of woe. I was already clean, sober, abstinent, went to a lot of meetings, and knew a lot of faces. I finally came up with a possibility. She was newer in the Program, so I thought she would consider it a "privilege" to listen. She would not be well versed in the protocol of the 5th. And, she was a psychologist! What was I thinking?????

We made a plan to meet and I showed up. I was not there 5 minutes, when I knew I had made a mistake in my choice. I wanted to run out and hide (some more). I was extremely uncomfortable...nausea, perspiring, and almost stuttering. So, I decided to do just a small part of it and say I had to be home at a certain time I shared a very short part of my writing, saying something like, "well, just more of the same". As I left, in my car, I had to take deep breaths, ask forgiveness (which I was I was sure would not be forthcoming). I questioned my own honesty and, therefore, my Program. When I was talking to G-d, I asked for His help in finding the "right" person, (but soon).

He did a fine job because very soon, the right person entered my life, I mean REALLY entered my life because I shared all my secrets, my fears, my tears, and resentment about who I was and who I would like to become. You don't get many second chances in life, and this was one. I had to get rid of the huge rock inside me that was dragging me down. My life was full of fear and yet, I could put on the best false face, be the best friend, the life of the party, well dressed and sooooo self confident. I was compulsively self-reliant.

Page 70 in the AA Big book, "We are sorry for what we have done and the honest desire to let G-d take us to better things, we will be taken to better things, we believe we will be forgiven, and learned our lesson. We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing."

"If we have been thorough abut our personal inventory we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality....We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies..We are willing to straighten out the past if we can".

After completing Step 5, many benefits will be ready for us if we done a thorough and honest job. Our ability to remain abstinent will be increased. Step 5 is part of the footwork that allows the Grace of G-d to enter us and expel the obsessions.

The 5th Step should be written since most of us have deep wounds to uncover. Putting this information on paper sometimes shows us that we made them bigger than they really were. Having done the written 4th, we now have a list to do 6,7,8.

Read page 75 in the AA Big Book then ask yourself: What benefits have your received from sharing Step 5?
What are you going to do about the exact nature of your wrongs? What is your self-image at this point?

I recommend praying at the beginning of the 5th, stop around the end, and pray again, and surely pray together at the end.

Step Leader
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