Step Five

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

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

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

My Step Five share:

Hi, I am Cindi, a compulsive overeater. I call Step Five “making it real.” When I share with someone my moral inventory, I am taking my assets and liabilities out of myself and in sharing - making those things real. At the heart of the Twelve Step program is sharing with others our struggles with food addiction. If I keep these things to myself, I will not make progress. If I keep my obsessive food thoughts to myself, then they have power over me. When I share them with someone else, that power is diminished. When I keep my lack of faith in a Higher Power to myself, then I am giving the disease of addiction power over me. When I keep my will to myself, then there is less chance of my ever-having freedom from food addiction.

The same is true of my moral inventory. All my flaws, my damages, my mistakes are laid out on paper/computer for only me to see unless I work my Step Five. If I do not, then that moral inventory is for nothing and in doing nothing, I will not have progress in my recovery program. The pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous arranged these Twelve Steps in the order that produced the greatest progress for all. Step Five is there for a good reason. When I share with another human being who I am, what I did and how I felt, I am making myself vulnerable enough to trust that said person will be objective, helpful and offer emotional support that I need. When I open my mouth and share, I am making all those things factual, genuine and real. The moment that I begin to do so is the moment those things begin to have less power over me. You have heard the phrase, “We are as sick as our secrets.” But once our secrets are known, even if it is just one single person, those secrets lose their power over us and we become less and less sick. This is how the Twelve Step program works. The more exposed my addiction becomes the more recovery I have.

How to pick the person to listen to my moral inventory? I strongly suggest that if a person is IN your moral inventory, do NOT have them hear what you have to say in your Step Four. It would do no one any good including yourself and the other person. Usually we have our sponsor listen to us. But if our sponsor is not available or we simply feel better using someone else, that is all right too. A mental health therapist or a member of the clergy or just another OA friend would be all right too. It should be someone who can be objective and supportive and familiar with the Twelve Step program. I am available through email to listen to Step Fives. If you have something in your Step Four that you did not share with the WTS loop, then you can certainly share with me. My email address is

What happens afterward? My very first Step Five I was frightened. I had things in there that I had never told anyone. I thought I was the only person in the world that had done such things. Fear was the major contributor to my not having recovery earlier in my life. Such a waste! But, thankfully, I did do a Step Five in 2002 and many after that. I do want to stress that we do not work through the Twelve Steps and then that is that. Over the past sixteen years, I have done numerous step studies and learned from every single one of them including this one. After I shared my Step Four with my very first sponsor, I felt relief. That was my big emotion. It was done, and I had overcome my fear and felt such relief. But how would my sponsor respond? This is where having someone in program, especially someone who is well versed in the steps, is important. My sponsor assured me that I was not as unique as I had supposed. She pointed out several things I had done that she had also done. Others she simply accepted as part and parcel of my addictive past. My sponsor remained emotionally supportive, kind and accepted my past “as is.” She pointed out a few things I would need in Steps Eight and Nine and made sure that I saved my step work. Then we simply moved onto Step Six. All was done, and I was still standing. Step Four and Five did not level me but uplifted me to a higher and stronger rung on the twelve step program and in doing so, my abstinence and my recovery also grew stronger. So, who will hear your Step Five?

“Admitted to God.” Don’t forget to do this one! Actually, this one should be done BEFORE you share your Step Four with another human being. How did I do this? I sat in my recliner one day with a table in front of me with my Step Four moral inventory on it. I said the Step Five prayer, then began to speak out loud my inventory. I read through the entire thing – sharing with God what He already knew but what I needed to expunge from my guilty mind. Then I said the Serenity Prayer and that was my admitting to God the exact nature of my wrong doings. I made it real for myself.

Study Guide:
To help comprehend the questions, please read the Step Five chapter in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Also read in the BB of AA the chapter titled Into Action, Page 72 through 75. (Fourth Edition)


1. With whom shall I share my Step Four moral inventory? What are my reasons for this choice? What form of communication will I be using?

2. How do I feel about sharing the details of my past with another human being? My Higher Power? And admitting to myself my wrongdoings? Explain.

3. 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?

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?

Love in recovery,


Step Leader

WTS: 1st Quarter 2018

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