1. Read Step Four out of the Basic Text at least every day during the writing of this step.
2. Read Step Four out of “It Works, How and Why”.
3. Write down your definition of each word in the step. Then look up each word individually in the dictionary and write down what you learned about the difference between what you thought it meant and the dictionary says it means.
4. Write what each part means to you:
a. We Made
b. A Searching and Fearless
c. Moral Inventory
d. Of Ourselves
5. What is the principle of Step Four?
6. Read the guidelines and instructions that your counsellor gave you carefully.
7. Remember that you are not alone. You can ask questions or talk about anything before, during or after working on this step. If in doubt, talk to staff.
8. Talk to staff within 24 hours of completing this step.
“We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Many of us sit with a Fourth Step Guide and look at it with fear. We ask ourselves, “is this really necessary?” The purpose of this worksheet is to prepare us for this step. When we understand this step and why it must be done, our attitude can be one of positive expectation rather than of fear and panic.
Let’s take a look at what the Fourth Step is about. What is a “Moral Inventory?” Most of us are pretty good at taking an inventory someone else without even knowing the facts and motives connected with that person, but now we are going to take our own inventory. We are going to use self-honesty on all the facts and feelings connected with our attitudes, personalities and behaviors. That is exactly what a moral inventory is. We are going to look at our values and morals throughout our lives, including now.
When you begin to write on this topic in your guide, you are not to write just a personal history, but the feelings connected with the acts as well of feelings you have about those acts today. The reason for so much concern about feelings is that the Fourth Step is going to introduce you to your real self. The purpose of this step is not to judge you, but to let you become aware of yourself as you were in the past and as you are today. Then you will know what to change in your attitude, behaviors and your life. This step will also release the warehouse of guilt that you have been carrying around with you. You will realize that you are not responsible for that. You will become aware, however, that you are responsible for your recovery. There are no longer any excuses, because you realize that you must live the steps daily or you will die spiritually, emotionally and physically.
The first three steps gave us a foundation to be able to live life on life’s terms. The Fourth through Ninth steps are the cleansing and release steps that will give you the power to live that life. Tenth through Twelve steps are the maintenance steps. Therefore we cannot take any of the steps lightly. Knowing now that the Fourth Step, is the doorway to the cleansing and release steps, we can go forward with an attitude of positive exception for the new life that we are growing into.
You must begin the Forth Step by setting the goal of daily writing. Do not try to write the perfect manuscript. Write as honestly u you can without going back over it or editing it. If you cant remember what you wrote, that’s OK. It won’t hurt to write the same thing over again. Keep your attitude positive, because the purpose of this is for you to know yourself better.
When you are done with the Forth Step, you will keep it to help identify patterns, defects, shortcomings and amends. You will need it when working the other cleansing and release steps. As you begin to write, even though you are doing the work, you are not alone. Your Higher Power, The NA program, and the We of the program are with you
Write about the following questions on a separate sheet of paper and return it with your worksheet.
1. What is a moral inventory of ourselves?
2. What quality of character must be used when taking an inventory?
3. Why ii the Fourth Step so important?
4. What do feelings have to do with the Fourth Step?
5. Why is the Forth Step not a history, a confession or a judgment?
6. What will the Fourth Step do for you?
7. Are you responsible for your past?
8. What are you responsible for?
9. How are you going to do your Fourth Step?
10. What are the Foundation Steps?
11. What are the Cleansing and Release Steps?
12. What are the Maintenance Steps?
13. What Spiritual Awakening did you have as a result of this step?
” WE MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES “
1 ) OUR FOURTH STEP WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IF WE ARE SEARCHING AND FEARLESS. WE MUST LOOK CAREFULLY AT OURSELVES AND HONESTLY EXAMINE OUR BEHAVIORS, FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, AND MOTIVES. THIS WILL LEAD US TO DISCOVER HOW OUR DISEASE HAS AFFECTED OUR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS.
2 ) THROUGH USING THE FIRST THREE STEPS YOU HAVE COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF A POWER GREATER THAN YOURSELF. MAKE USE OF THIS POWER. ASK FOR GUIDANCE AND INPUT FROM YOUR SUPPORT GROUP, YOUR SPONSOR, AND YOUR GOD. ONE OF THE THINGS WE LEARNED IN THE THIRD STEP WAS TO TRUST GOD. NOW WE CAN BE FEARLESS AND WRITE THE TRUTH!
3 ) IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THIS IS OUR INVENTORY, IT IS NOT A PLACE TO LIST THE FAULTS OR WRONG DOINGS OF OTHERS. WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE EXACT NATURES OF OUR WRONGS. FOR EXAMPLE: IF WE STOLE MONEY TO GET LOADED. THAT WAS WRONG. THE EXACT NATURE OF THE WRONG WAS NOW SELFISHNESS. OURSELF-CENTEREDNESS, OUR DISHONESTY AND LACK OF RESPECT TO THE PERSON WE STOLE FROM.
4 ) BEING THOROUGH IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING PERFECT. WRITE AS HONESTLY AS YOU CAN. EXPECTING PERFECTION FROM OURSELVES MAY BE A WAY OF PUTTING OFF WRITING OUR FOURTH STEP. REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A TEST, JUST DO IT TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY. BEFORE WE BEGIN WRITING, WE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS OF SILENCE TO ASK THE GOD OF OUR UNDERSTANDING FOR THE COURAGE TO BE FEARLESS AND THOROUGH.
DEFECTS OF CHARACTER
THIS IS A PROCESS OF DISCOVERING HOW OUR CHARACTER DEFECTS BRING NOT ONLY US, BUT ALSO OTHERS, PAIN AND DISCOMFORT. IT IS THIS DISCOVERY AND IDENTIFICATION THAT ALLOWS US TO BE FREE OF OUR DEFECTS IN THE FOLLOWING STEPS. ALTHOUGH IT MAY SOMETIMES BE EMBARRASSING OR PAINFUL TO BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES ABOUT OUR DEFECTS OF CHARACTER, SIMPLY WRITING THEM DOWN CANNOT HURT US. THE PAYOFF OF LOOKING AT THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PUT OUR LIVES IN ORDER
1 ) REVIEW THE LIST OF DEFECTS FOUND ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES, AND MAKE A LIST OF THE CHARACTER DEFECTS THAT HAVE AFFECTED YOUR LIFE. BE AWARE, THERE ARE MORE DEFECTS THAN THOSE WE HAVE LISTED, SO SPEND TIME REFLECTING AND BE THOROUGH.
2 ) TAKE ONE DEFECT AND AS BEST YOU CAN LOOK BACK AND IDENTIFY WHEN IT FIRST STARTED. HOW DID IT BEGIN? WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES? WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF IT? (EXAMPLE: I FIRST LIED BECAUSE! FEARED THE CONSEQUENCE, IT SEEMED AS EASIER WAY OUT THAN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY ACTIONS, I GOT A FEELING OF RELIEF FROM IT).
3 ) CONTINUE WRITING ON THAT PARTICULAR DEFECT. HOW DID IT PROGRESS? DID BECOME COMPULSIVE? WHAT WAS THE EVENTUAL OUTCOME OR CONSEQUENCE? HAS IT CONTINUED INTO YOUR RECOVERY?
4 ) AFTER WRITING ON ONE DEFECT GO AHEAD TO THE ASSET SECTION, ALTERNATE WITH ASSETS UNTIL YOU COMPLETE YOUR LIST.
DEFECTS OF CHARACTER
SELF.CENTEREDNESS/ SELFISHNESS: TENDING TO FOCUS ON MY OWN NEEDS WHILE BEING THOUGHTLESS AND INCONSIDERATE OF THE NEEDS, WANTS. OR FEELINGS OF OTHERS.
BLAMING: NOTACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY OWN FEELINGS, ACTIONS, MISTAKES, DRINKING, DRUGGING, ETC. PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS INSTEAD OR OURSELVES ARE THE CAUSE OF OUR PROBLEMS. SELF-JUSTIFICATION: A TYPE OF DISHONEST THINKING WHERE I DEFEND MY BEHAVIOR BY RATIONALIZING OR EXCUSING THESE ACTIONS; USING ALIBIS OR EXCUSES TO JUSTIFY MY IRRESPONSIBLE ACTS.
FALSE PRIDE: EXCESSIVE PRIDE; TRYING TO PROTECT MY IMAGE, OFTEN AT THE EXPENSE OF SOMEONE ELSE. HAVING TROUBLE ADMITTING ANY HUMAN WEAKNESS OR FAULTS.
FALSE HUMILITY: DIFFICULTY IN IDENTIFYING POSITIVE QUALITIES IN MYSELF; UNCOMFORTABLE WHEN RECEIVING COMPLIMENTS; LOW SELF-ESTEEM; UNASSERTIVENESS BEING A “DOORMAT”. IMPULSIVENESS: ACTING OR TALKING BEFORE THINKING OF THE CONSEQUENCES.
ENVY OR JEALOUSY: WANTING SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS, FEAR OF LOSING SOMETHING THAT I ALREADY HAVE; DISCOMFORT AT THE GOOD FORTUNE OF OTHERS.
PHONINESS: PRETENDING TO BE SOMETHING I’M NOT; HIDING MY FEELINGS, PUTTING ON A FALSE FRONT. IT OFTEN INCLUDES CONNING AND MANIPULATING. SEEM TO HAVE TO LOOK GOOD TO OTHERS. AND BEING MYSELF JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE GOOD ENOUGH SOMETIMES.
CONNING & MANIPULATING: NEGLECTING, IGNORING OTHERS, USING SILENCE, ABSENCE, OR INSULTS TO GET OTHERS TO COMPLY WITH MY WISHES. CONSCIOUSLY USING WARMTH, PRAISE, COMPLIMENTS, ETC., TO GET OTHERS TO COMPLY WITH MY WISHES (FOR EXAMPLE: TO GAIN MONEY, BOOZE, SEX. FREEDOM).
PEOPLE PLEASING: BEING WISHY WASHY, COMPLIANT, OR PASSIVE. I DISREGARD MY OWN NEEDS BY NOT ASSERTING MYSELF WITH OTHERS. I REFUSE TO MAKE WAVES. IT IS OFTEN A DEFENSE MECHANISM. ( I AM PASSIVELY MANIPULATING OTHERS TO PROTECT MYSELF).
PROCRASTINATION: AVOIDING TAKING RESPONSIBILITY BY PUTTING OFF IMPORTANT DECISIONS AND ACTIONS THAT SHOULD BE DEALT WITH IN THE PRESENT. (LAZINESS).
SELF PITY: THIS IS OFTEN HARD TO RECOGNIZE OR ADMIT. IT MEANS FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF; FEELING THAT PEOPLE JUST DONT UNDERSTAND ME; FEELING THAT PEOPLE DON’T RESPECT ME OR LOVE ME ENOUGH; SOMETIMES A FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS, FEELING LIKE A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCES (POOR ME). A FORM OF BLAMING OTHERS FOR MY MISFORTUNES AND MAKING THEM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY UNHAPPINESS RATHER THAN BECOMING RESPONSIBLE FOR IT MYSELF.
PERFECTIONISM: EXPECTING MORE OF MYSELF OR OTHERS THAN I HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF MYSELF OR OTHERS. FRUSTRATION WHEN I OR OTHERS DO NOT MEET THOSE EXPECTATIONS. FEAR OF MAKING MISTAKES. FEAR OF ADMITTING MISTAKES
INTOLERANCE: BEING UNABLE TO ACCEPT OTHER PEOPLE AS THEY ARE. IT IS BEING NARROW-MINDED, OPINIONATED, OR PREJUDICE. REFUSING TO ACCEPT OTHERS MISTAKES. BY FOCUSING MY ATTENTION ON OTHERS I AVOID LOOKING AT MY OWN FAULTS. OFTEN, IF I LOOK CLOSELY, THE FAULTS I FIND IN OTHERS MAY BE SIMILAR TO MY OWN FAULTS WHICH I DO NOT CHOOSE TO SEE OR ACCEPT IN MYSELF.
TAKING THINGS FOR GRANTED: FORGETTING TO BE GRATEFUL FOR THE BLESSING I HAVE, SUCH AS MY HEALTH, FAMILY, JOB, POSSESSIONS, CLEAN TIME. FAILING TO
APPRECIATE, TAKE NOTICE OF, OR COMPLIMENT OTHERS WHEN THEY DESERVE IT.
IMPATIENCE: WANTING RIGHT NOW THAT WHICH MAY TAKE TIME TO ACHIEVE OR ACQUIRE. EXPECTING OTHERS OR MYSELF TO PREFORM FLAWLESS WITHOUT ALLOWING ROOM FOR THESE OTHERS OR MYSELF TO MAKE MISTAKES. THE RESULTS ARE OFTEN FRUSTRATION, ANGER, OR DISCONTENT.
WITHDRAWING: KEEPING MY PROBLEMS TO MYSELF; REFUSING TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS WITH OTHERS, (FOR EXAMPLE: ISOLATING MYSELF, ESCAPING THROUGH TV. FANTASY, HOBBIES, ETC.; HIDING IN GROUPS OF PEOPLE).
VIOLENCE: ACTING OUT MY ANGER, EITHER PHYSICALLY OR VERBALLY (E.G.: YELLING, THREATENING, SWEARING). HOSTILE OR DEFIANT BEHAVIOR.
GOSSIPING: RUNNING DOWN OTHERS (WHILE NOT THEIR PRESENCE). OFTEN DONE AS A WAY TO BUILD UP MY OWN SELF-ESTEEM AT SOMEONE ELSE’S EXPENSE. LYING: CONSCIOUSLY DECEIVING OTHERS IN ORDER TO ESCAPE CONSEQUENCES, OBTAIN SOMETHING I DESIRE, OR TO APPEAR MORE COMPETENT THAN I FEEL I AM.
WHILE LOOKING AT OUR BEHAVIORS IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEE HOW WE CAN ACT DIFFERENTLY. OUR ASSET PROVIDE US WITH PRINCIPLES TO STRIVE TOWARDS. MANY OF THEM MAY START SIMPLY AS POTENTIAL AND BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR CHARACTER WITH PRACTICE. IF WE CANNOT FIND ANY GOOD POINTS ABOUT OURSELVES, WE NEED TO LOOK A LITTLE HARDER, BE SEARCHING, MAKE USE OF YOUR SPONSOR, YOUR SUPPORT GROUP AND THE FELLOWSHIP.
1 ) REVIEW THE LIST OF ASSETS, FOUND ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES, (CONSIDER ANY THA T MAY NOT BE INCLUDED). MAKE A LIST OF THE ASSETS THAT YOU HAD IN YOUR ADDICTION AS WELL AS ONES YOU ARE STARTING TO PRACTICE IN RECOVERY. IT IS IMPORTANT TO LIST EVEN THOSE ASSETS WHICH ARE JUST BEGINNING SO WE CAN WORK ON IMPROVING THEM.
2 ) TAKE ONE ASSET AND WRITE ABOUT WHAT EFFECT IT HAS HAD IN YOUR LIFE. WRITE ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL AS A RESULT OF HAVING THIS ASSET IN YOUR LIFE.
3 ) GO BACK AND WRITE ABOUT ANOTHER DEFECT, ALTERNATE THIS WAY UNTIL YOU COMPLETE YOUR LIST.
HONESTY: FREE FROM DECEPTION. NOT DECEIVING OURSELVES OR OTHERS, BEING TRUTHFUL. COURAGE: ABILITY TO CONQUER FEAR OR DESPAIR.
CONSIDERATE: OBSERVING THE RIGHTS AND FEELINGS OF OTHERS.
HUMILITY: HAVING A CLEAR RECOGNITION OF WHO AND WHAT WE ARE. THE ABILITY TO REALIZE WE ARE NOT OUR OWN HIGHER POWER AND SEE GOD’S WILL.
SHARING: TO GIVE OR ENJOY WITH OTHERS.
GRATEFUL: THANKFUL, APPRECIATIVE EXPRESSING GRATITUDE.
ACCEPTANCE: THE ACT OF WILLINGLY RECEIVING THE CIRCUMSTANCES OR OUTCOME.
FORGIVENESS: ALLOWING ROOM FOR ERROR OR WEAKNESS; TO GIVE UP RESENTMENT.
UNDERSTANDING: THE ABILITY TO COMPREHEND AN OPINION OR FEELING.
TOLERANCE: THE ACT OR PRACTICE OF TOLERATING. ALLOWING FOR BELIEFS OR PRACTICE WHICH DIFFER FROM ONE’S OWN.
PATIENCE: BEARING PAIN OR THE TRIALS OF LIFE WITHOUT COMPLAINT.
WILLINGNESS: READY TO DO WHAT IT TAKES WITHOUT RELUCTANCE.
KINDNESS: TO PRACTICE A PLEASANT NATURE.
TRUST: TO PLACE CONFIDENCE. TO PERMIT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN WITHOUT FEAR OR MISGIVINGS.
FAITH: BELIEF AMD TRUST IN A HIGHER POWER.
OPEN MINDEDNESS: FREE FROM RIGIDLY FIXED PRECONCEPTIONS.
MODESTY: HAVING A MODERATE ESTIMATE OF ONE’S SELF.
EMPATHY: THE CAPACITY FOR EXPERIENCING ASONE’S OWN THE FEELINGS OF ANOTHER.
FOR MANY OF US OUR DEFECTS WERE A WAY TO COPE WITH OUR FEARS, DOUBTS, AND INSECURITIES. OUR FEARS KEPT US FROM DOING THE THINGS WE WANTED TO DO AND FROM BECOMING THE PEOPLE WE WANTED TO BE. TODAY REALIZING AND IDENTIFYING OUR FEARS IS THE START OF CHANGING OUR SELF-DESTRUCTIVE PATTERNS.
1) MAKE A LIST OF ALL YOUR FEARS:
FEAR OF REJECTION
FEAR OF ABANDONMENT
FEAR OF RESPONSIBILITY
FEAR OF COMMITMENT
FEAR OF SUCCESS
FEAR OF FAILURE
FEAR OF INTIMACY
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
FEAR OF HURT AND PAIN
FEAR OF ANGER
FEAR OF SEX
THERE AR MORE FEARS THAN THESE SO GET INPUT FROM YOUR SUPPORT GROUP.
2) WRITE IN DETAIL ABOUT EACH FEAR,
HOW DO YOU REACT?
WHAT DEFECTS OF CHARACTER COME INTO PLAY BECAUSE OF IT?
HOW DOES IT EFFECT YOUR LIFE?
HOW ARE YOU LEFT FEELING?
ARE THERE CONSEQUENCES?
THOSE RESENTMENTS WHICH DIRECTLY EFFECT OUR RECOVERY ARE THE POINT OF THIS SECTION. HARBORING SUCH RESENTMENTS CAN KEEP US IN THE PAST DIRECTLY AFFECTING OUR ABILITY TO RECOVER
1 ) MAKE A LIST OF THE PEOPLE, CONCEPTS, BELIEFS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND INSTITUTIONS AT WHICH YOU ARE ANGRY.
2 ) LIST THE CAUSE OR CAUSES OF EACH RESENTMENT. EXAMINE YOUR PART IN THIS RESENTMENT. WHAT DEFECTS OR FEARS WERE IN PLACE? HOW DOES IT EFFECT YOUR LIFE?
WRITING OUR INVENTORY HELPS US TO LOOK AT THE EFFECT OUR ADDICTION HAD ON THE PEOPLE CLOSEST TO US. AS ADDICTS WE BECAME CONVINCED THAT WE WERE RIGHT AND THE WORLD WAS WRONG. WE PURSUED OUR ADDICTION WITHOUT CONCERN FOR OUR WELL-BEING OR THE WELL-BEING OF OTHERS. OUR FEARS AND
CHARACTER DEFECTS HAVE AMD STILL CAN PREVENT US FROM HAVING HAPPY HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS. IN THIS SECTION IT IS IMPORTANT TO AVOID SPENDING TIME ON THE WRONGS OF OTHERS. WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE EXACT NATURE OF OUR WRONGS.
1) MAKE A LIST OF THE SIGNIFICANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. INCLUDE RELATIONSHIPS WITH: FRIENDS. LOVERS, RELATIVES, CO-WORKERS…ETC.
2) TAKE ONENAME AND WRITE ABOUT:
WHAT CHARACTER DEFECTS AND FEARS WERE ACTIVE.
HOW DID THEY AFFECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
WHAT WAS THE EVENTUAL OUTCOME?
HOW WERE YOU LEFT FEELING?
3 ) NOW WRITE ABOUT YOUR ASSETS IN THAT RELATIONSHIP. DO NOT OVERRATE OR UNDERRATE YOURSELF. BE HONEST. CONTINUE THIS WAY UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR LIST.
ALL OF US HAVE EXPERIENCED FAILURES OF ONE KIND OR ANOTHER. MANY OF US HAVE SELF-DEFEATING BEHAVIORS AND PATTERNS THAT SET US UP FOR FAILURE. THERE ARE MANY REASONS FOR THIS, OFTEN IT IS A WAY TO AVOID RESPONSIBILITY. THE REASON CAN ALSO BE BASED IN DEEP ROOTED FEARS. LOOKING AT HOW AND WHY WE FAILED GIVES US THE CHOICE TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL.
1) MAKE A LIST OF SIGNIFICANT FAILURES. THESE MAY BE RELATIONSHIPS, JOBS, BUSINESS VENTURES, LIFESTYLE CHANGES, ETC.
2 ) NOW TAKE EACH FAILURE AND LOOK AT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED WITHOUT BLAMING ANYONE OR ANYTHING ELSE:
WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU DID AND HOW YOU WERE
FEELING BEFORE IT ENDED.
DID YOU FEEL TRAPPED OR DESPERATE?
DID YOU SABOTAGE OR SET YOURSELF UP TO FAIL?
3 ) LOOK AT HOW YOU DEALT WITH IT AFTER THE FAILURE. DID YOU BLAME, DENY, GET MORE WIRED, RUN ETC.? WRITE ABOUT HOW YOUR CHARACTER DEFECTS MAY HAVE PROGRESSED AND HOW YOU WERE LEFT FEELING.
AS A RESULT OF OUR CHARACTER DEFECTS AND FEARS, MANY OF US EXPERIENCED SOME DEGREE OF VIOLENCE IN OUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
1 ) CONSIDER THE FIRST TIME YOU GOT VIOLENT. WRITE ABOUT:
WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE.
WHY DID IT HAPPEN?
WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF IT?
HOW WERE YOU LEFT FEELING?
2 ) WRITE ABOUT:
HOW IT PROGRESSED.
ARE THERE PATTERNS TO YOUR VIOLENCE?
ARE THEY A RESULT OF SPECIFIC FEARS OR DEFECTS?
WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES?
3 ) WHAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO DEAL WITH FEELINGS THAT HAVE PREVIOUSLY LEAD TO VIOLENCE?
1 ) MAKE A LIST OF THE TIMES YOU HAVE ATTEMPTED SUICIDE.
2 ) HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW ABOUT THOSE ATTEMPTS? IS THERE ANY GUILT AND SHAME ATTACHED TO WHAT YOU DID?
3) WRITE ABOUT WHAT LED UP TO YOUR ATTEMPT.
WAS IT AROUND A LOSS OR FAILURE?
WAS A RELATIONSHIP INVOLVED?
LOOK FOR PATTERNS.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE POINT OF SUICIDE?
4 ) WHAT IS AN ALTERNATIVE TODAY?
SHAME AND GUILT
IN DEALING WITH SHAME AND GUILT WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT OCCURRED DUE TO OUR DISEASE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE THAT ALTHOUGH WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY THINGS THAT OCCURRED IN OUR ADDICTION, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR RECOVERY. IT IS IMPORTANT TO LOOK
CAREFULLY HERE SO WE CAN IDENTIFY THE FEELINGS AND SEE HOW THEY MAY STILL BE AFFECTING US TODAY.
1) MAKE A LIST OF ANY EXPERIENCES THAT OCCURRED WHICH CREATED FEELINGS OF SHAME, GUILT, OR CONFUSION (FOR EXAMPLE: ATTEMPTED SUICIDES, PHYSICAL OR SEXUAL ABUSE. FAMILY. SEXUAL OR WORK RELATED MATTERS). THIS LIST CAN BE USED DURING YOUR STEP FIVE.
GRIEF AND LOSS
DURING OUR LIVES MANY OF US ENCOUNTERED DIFFERENT TYPES OF LOSSES. IN OUR ADDICTION OUR ABILITY TO GRIEVE WAS DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY OUR DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE. BECAUSE OF THE UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS ASSOCIATED WITH LOSS, MOST OF US TRIED TO AVOID THE GRIEVING PROCESS BY USING MORE. IN RECOVERY IT IS IMPORTANT TO LEARN TO EXPERIENCE THE FEELINGS ASSOCIATED WITH GRIEVING, THEY ARE DENIAL, ANGER, BARGAINING, SADNESS, AND INDIFFERENCE OR ACCEPTANCE.
1 ) MAKE A LIST OF SIGNIFICANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU HAVE LOST. PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, WIVES, CHILDREN, ETC. LOSS CAN BE FROM DEATH, DIVORCE, DESERTION, ETC.
2 ) TAKE YOUR LIST AND WRITE DOWN HOW YOU DEALT WITH EACH PERSON LEAVING YOU.
DID YOU TRY TO FORGET ABOUT THEM?
DID YOU GET LOADED AND TRY NOT TO FEEL LOSS?
DID YOU PRETEND YOU DIDN’T CARE?
WRITE ABOUT THE PROMINENT FEELINGS YOU WERE TRYING TO
DENY OR COVER UP.
3 ) HAVING EXAMINED HOW YOU HAVE DEALT WITH GRIEF AND LOSS IN THE PAST, WRITE ABOUT HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT IN RECOVERY.
HOPES, DREAMS, AND COALS
IN RECOVERY, WE ALL HAVE HOPES AND DREAMS. SOME OF THESE CAN BECOME A REALITY. TO ACQUIRE THESE WE MUST FIRST START WITH SHORT TERM ATTAINABLE GOALS.
I ) MAKE A LIST OF YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS, STARTING WITH THE SHORT TERM ONES AND THEN WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR RECOVERY IN THE FUTURE