Step Five

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Hi everyone My name is Shlomo I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop

ASSIGNMENT 1: Read the first 4 pages in the chapter INTO ACTION. pages 72-75 . Do it now.

Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information. Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions. Reflect and share with us.

ASSIGNMENT 2: Read the chapter on step 5 in the AA12&12. Do it now Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information. Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions. Reflect and share with us. I remind you that you can read both the Big Book and the AA12&12 online using the following link:

Yesterday I was in a f2f meeting on harm done to others in step 4 and step 8 Some people shared that they want to add the harm they did to themselves to the list, since they feel they have to forgive themselves. The Big Book and the AA12&12 do not deal with harm that we did to ourselves. The reason is simple. If we cause harm we have to make amends in step nine. Amends is not asking people we harmed to forgive us. They don't have to forgive us. Amend means repairing the damage we did in the past. See page 76. The harm we did to ourselves was the result of our disease of addiction. We repair the damage we did to ourselves in the past by working the steps and recovering. Therefore there is no need to add the harm we did to ourselves to the list.

There are people including myself who worked the steps 1-12 including step four a number of times. When I do this I follow a simple rule. It doesn't matter how many times I did step 4 and 9 before . What matters is the following: I write an inventory of resentments that I have now about my past and present, and about fears I have now about the past present and future, and harm done to others that I didn't amend. If it turns out that I had the same resentments, fears ,and not amended harms in previous inventories, it means that my work with those steps isn't done and I have to do it again. In short we don't write again about things that were healed or got rid of . But we do write again if they were not healed or I didn't get rid of them.

Now It is time to move on to step five. STEP FIVE: "Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

Let us have a look at what it says here. First the word "wrongs" The Big Book uses different words as synonyms. So, character defects=wrongs=faults=mistakes=flaws=liabilities, are all the same.

Next let us look at "the exact nature of our wrongs." In the early days of AA the sponsor and the sponsee did the steps together and that included step four and therefore also step five. See for example Bill's Story pages 9-16, and also the story "He Sold Himself short" pages 258-267. Pay special attention to page 263. Today most sponsees write their inventory alone and then meet their sponsor or someone else suitable to do step 5. So it got to be the common custom to read the inventory to the sponsor when doing step five. But step five doesn't say read your inventory. It says admit the exact nature of your wrongs (character defects). So we have to do some written preparations in addition to our written inventory in order to do what steps five asks of us. I asked you to do just that in my last share on step four. You were asked to make a list of all the different character defects that appear in your fourth step inventory. For each character defect you were asked to write down how it manifests in your life, what do you think you benefit from it ( why you hold on to it ), and what is the harm it does to you. IF YOU DIDN'T DO IT THAN DO IT NOW.

Now let us look at the part of step five that says: "Admitted to God to ourselves and to another human being..." How do we admit to God? We ask H.P., to guide us and help us see our character defects clearly and the way they affect our lives and feed our addiction. Remember that asking is a prayer. After asking we read our inventory.

How do we admit it to ourselves? We read our inventory again trying to see if we missed something, and read again our character defect list that we prepared for step five.. Admitting to another human being is the toughest part. For example when someone breaks into a store to steal stuff , he doesn't fear that God will see him . But he is afraid that other people will see him. This is part of his human nature.

The Big Book tells us that we can choose a suitable person to do our step five with. Today the prevalent custom is to do step 5 with our sponsor. It also makes a lot of sense. Since we are in frequent contact with our sponsor and share our life with him. Our sponsor helps us to apply the program in all our affairs. The sponsor also works the program and knows about anonymity and is usually understanding and not affected. In doing step 5 we read our defect list to our sponsor or to someone who understands and tell him how it affects our life.

The Big Book stresses that we cannot skip this step since if we skip it we jeopardize our recovery. In fact we cannot skip any step. The Big Book also emphasizes the necessity of not procrastinating and doing step 5 immediately after finishing to write step four.

What about the person who listens to our step five. The Big Book says that he should "be able to keep a confidence, that he fully understand and approve what we are driving at; That he will not try to change our plan" It is not his job to judge or criticize us. It is not his job to approve of us. It is not his job to tell us that what we share is not as bad as it sounds, since then we may think that we don't really need to take steps to change it It is not his job to forgive us. He is not God and this is not about forgiveness. It is about cleaning our soul by sharing with another human being, the things that block us from God. This is just another step on the path to recovery.

It is his job to help us see the truth about ourselves. He does this by listening. He does this by drawing our attentions to points that we don't see clearly. Especially character defects that are obvious to him from what we share, but we don't see them or recognize them.

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS: 1. SET A DATE FOR STEP FIVE If you have not set up a date to do step five with your sponsor or another suitable person do it immediately. The Big Book says we should not waste any time. Of course you have to finish writing your inventory till then.


1. On page 75 we are promised that certain things will happen after we take step 5. Copy those promises. After you take step five share which of the promises materialized or begin to materialize in your life.

2. Mark and copy the sentences on page 75 that tell you what to do after step five.

3. The Big Book says to thank God that you know Him better. Why does the big book say that we know God better after step five?

4. Read every one of the first five steps on page 59. For each step ask yourself if you have not omitted anything. If you did, then complete it.

5. I remind you that the last step four assignment was to make a list of all the different character defects that appear in your fourth step inventory. For each character defect you were asked to write down how it manifests in your life, what you think you benefit from it, and what is the harm it does to you. This list will be used in step 5. If you didn't do it, do it now.

6. The big book gives a pictorial description of the steps as an arch through which we walk to freedom from our disease Read the following link: Answer the following:

Is your work solid so far?

Are the corner stones and the keystone properly in place? (cornerstone mentioned in We Agnostics page 47, keystone in How It Works page 62-keystone is the stone at the top of the arch)

Have you skimped on the cement put in the foundation? (cement, two parts is mentioned in There is a Solution page17)

Have you tried to make mortar without sand? Remember that there are two parts to the cement.

Is your foundation solid? (Foundation mentioned in BILL'S STORY page 12)

If you can answer all those questions to your satisfaction you are ready for step six

6. After you do step 5 , share the experience with us.

Send your answers to the assignments to:

Send your questions and comments on my shares to me at:

Have a nice day


Step One
Step Two
Step Three
Step Four-part one
Step Four-part two
Step Four-part three
Step Four-part four
Step Four-part five
Step Five

WTS Home
The Twelve Steps
Recovery Home

© Copyright 1995 ~ 2017 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved