Step Four

Made a searching and fearless
moral inventory of ourselves.

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Recovery,

Here are the questions that pertain to step 4. Because this is such an important step, there are a lot more questions this week. We will be spending two weeks on these questions.

I want to personally thank each and every person who has shared. Reading everybody’s shares has really touched my heart in a very special way. I love each and every one of you as my own brothers and sisters.



During the last week, I was unusually busy in my business and I had to turn over my tasks and to do list over to God to take charge over it and to give me guidance. God did show up and saw me through the week and I was able to complete everything I needed to and deliver the final work products to the customers. I learn over and over (and over more times) that when God guides, He provides.

When I was a child, I feel my mother wanted a girl instead of a boy. When I was in the second or third grade, I was asked to wear a dress for the entire evening. The experience really warped my mind in a very big way. I felt like I was something somebody else thought I was not supposed to be. I always thought I had less than everybody else and I did raid other kid’s desks at school until I was caught in the second grade. After that, I was afraid to steal.

When I started school, I was totally confused and I had to learn to follow along to figure out what I was supposed to do. This was because of an undiagnosed 70% hearing loss. During the third and fourth grades, my desk was separated from the others and I was isolated from the rest of the class. I never understood why this was done to me. I was fitted with a hearing aid during the 4th grade and I was ashamed about it. Before starting the 5th grade, my family moved to a new city and I was not accepted by the other kids or teachers because of my hearing aids. Kids would come up behind me and slap both my ears while wearing my hearing aids and the teachers looked the other way. My parents were told that I was taking up a space and that I would never amount to anything in life. This brought my self-esteem from the bottom of the toilet to the sewer. Because I had absolutely no self-esteem, I did not give a whoopee how I looked. I felt as an outcast and nobody wanted or liked me.

I had many resentments as a child, mostly towards the other kids and the teachers. Also, I resented the baseball team I belonged to because the only position I was allowed to play was batboy. Because I felt so alone and out of place and as a freak, I took up masturbation in addition to the excess food starting around the age of 10. I do not remember feeling guilty, yet I kept it a secret because of the shame.

Getting beat up, teased, and made fun of made me want to hate everybody in the world.

Looking at my childhood photos tells me that I was not overweight and that I was not ugly. I was constantly being told that I was fat and that I was ugly.

During junior high and high school, I did not have any friends. I did not have any social life and I was one who was alone most of the time. I remember wanting the bell to hurry up and ring so I could go to class because I felt so sad from being alone. One summer during junior high school, I spent the entire time in my bedroom to avoid contact with other people. This way nobody could hurt me.

Because I was beaten up a lot from the 5th grade to the 9th grade, I was always afraid of fights or any confrontations. During junior high, kids would shoot rubber bands at my hearing aids.

I hated gym class because of the shower requirement. When I could get away with it, I skipped the shower. When I had to shower, other kids would jeer at me and make fun of me, which made me very ashamed of my body.

Other than masturbation, I had no sexual encounters as an adolescent.

I was subjected to verbal sexual abuse when I worked at a music store during high school. I would be the brunt of sexual jokes when I did not know what most of the words even meant. I was required to be on my hands and knees and simulate sexual acts while everybody jeered and spit at me.

Looking at my adolescent photos, I was not overweight then. Everybody told me that I was fat and I was ugly. Also, I was told to never smile because people might think I was serious. During high school, girls would say ewe when I walked by which made me very sad all of the time.

Being told that I would never graduate from high school back in the 5th grade made me work for good grades and I graduated with honors. When I drove off after my graduation, I gave the school the finger.

Starting college was like being reborn. People treated me with respect, I made friends, women talked to me. It was a brand new life for me.

I got married in 1976 and been married since. I do not resent the responsibilities of family. My wife used to use a lot of sarcasm and wise cracks until I got some recovery and stood up to her. Now it is mostly stopped. I never had sex outside of marriage.

Before recovery, I never cared how I looked. I received comments that I was very sharp and capable, except my appearance held me back. I always felt inferior to everybody else. I always compared myself to others and considered myself “less than” everybody around me. I could be in a room full of people during a social event and feeling totally lonely. I used to totally resent people who appeared to be happy.

Prior to my retirement from my job of over 34 years, I was passed up for promotion so many times. I cared a lot about the work products that were produced by my team. I enjoyed being a supervisor because it gave me a chance to help other people perform better on their jobs. I always took my responsibilities seriously because I believed it was the right thing to do. I did my work as if I was working for God.

During my work years, I was excluded from office parties and lunch time get-togethers on many occasions. Several people over the years even cited religion as the basis for me being excluded. I guess I reminded them of a villain in a children's bible story. In recovery, I learned that their actions were nothing less than bigotry and I had to use the forgiveness prayer in the fifth step to release the hurt from my body, mind, and spirit and to move on in my road to recovery.

I do not write bad checks and the world does not owe me a living. However, the world owes me an opportunity to work hard for a living. Being the victim of gossip, I do not gossip about others. I was always afraid of the law and authority figures so I always did my best to comply with the law.

I never used sex as a way to get what I want or to build my own ego. As stated above, I never had sex outside of marriage. I never felt guilty about masturbation.

My greatest fear was always financial insecurity. This was a big one when I retired from my job of 34 years in January 2009. I am happy to say, no problems in this department for me.

As I look at myself from one month ago, one year ago, two years ago, and further back; I am totally amazed about the progress I made in my recovery. I give praise to God in everything I do.

The biggest lie I said over the years was when I told people that “I was fine.”

I currently do not have resentments. When one crops up, I deal with it right away.

The feelings of being an outcast and a misfit during my childhood and adolescence affected me as an adult in a very big way. Also my experience of being teased and bullied affected me in a very big way as well. First, my self-esteem was non-existent, I hated myself, I hated everybody else. As the result of working the steps over the years, I worked through this and I like myself and I care about others. And I do not resent those who seem to be happy.

Love In Recovery,


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