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#457979 - 01/04/14 07:40 PM 5th step with 12 step program-input?
freeze-on Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 79
Loc: southeast
How've you dealt with finding a sponsor....and once you find one to stick with it? Stick with it part is hard for me to think about when even thinking about doing the fifth step. There are no members of saa who are sponsor-available....aa groups have sponsors, and i attend usually twice a week...but how much do you divulge in the 5th step; i can't seem to get my mind around talking about some of the stuff with someone who possibly hasn't 'been there, done that' i keep it inside, but according to the program it is part of the program. maybe just more work on looking at all that is involved in the fifth step. dunno. just that i have looked into all my behaviors, written them down to get them outta my head....but to share them....err, sounds like insanity, but to not to also predisposes me to relapse. anyone worked thru this with input....i'd appreciate it by public or private post. peace...and thanks.


#457982 - 01/04/14 07:45 PM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1595
Loc: California
The 4th step says "Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves" - I took this to mean *everything*.

When I did my 4th/5th step, I held absolutely nothing back. I struggled because I found myself taking on blame for things that I wasn't responsible for in my 4th step. I had one sponsor tell me to remove certain things / people off my list for I was clearly not in the wrong. I think survivors tend to take on too much blame and fault for other people's choices and behaviors.

As for a 5th step - all of it. Don't hold anything back. The beauty of the 4th/5th step is that we tell all the secrets that bind us in shame.

#458007 - 01/05/14 03:47 AM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hey freeze,

Steps 4/5 are about cleaning house. Losing the fear and shame of our pasts. When I first did my 4/5th steps with my sponsor, I feared that it A) would be the worst thing he ever heard; B) he would hate me forever; and C) I would be kicked out of AA. None of that happened. He kept a poker face throughout, and made no comment on the dark nature of my transgressions. Still I reasoned that if he knew EVERYTHING he surely would hate me. So rightly or wrongly, there were things I held back.

The Big book says (page 61) that our fifth step does not have to be done with someone from within AA. A clergyman, doctor, or therapist can serve in this role as well. I told the absolute worst stuff to my therapist. He didn't judge me either.

I've had to revisit step 4/5 periodically as more memories of the bad old days resurfaced. In every case, my worst fears were unfounded. Men like us have a surprising capacity to be non-judgemental when we really need to.
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#458016 - 01/05/14 04:38 AM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
kcinohio Offline

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 511
Loc: Ohio
Though usually is reasonable idea, taking the 5th step doesn't have to be with a sponsor, just another human being. Some folks do those with clergy or counselor as Jude mentioned. You have options.

Hope your 5th step experience is a good one.

#458104 - 01/06/14 06:52 PM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
Dan99 Offline

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 157
Loc: Washington DC
Finding a sponsor was difficult for me, but I think it was invaluable. After about a month, I made a list of people that seemed really serious about recovery and approached them one by one until someone agreed. He was number three on my list, and was an incredibly important person to me. He was in NA and had no first hand experience with sexual abuse, but was incredibly supportive.

Fifth step for me was part cleaning up the wreckage and part realization that I was human, as good and bad as anyone. The sense of acceptance I felt after sharing my inventory was incredibly empowering. I was euphoric.

Good luck with it and take care.
Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

#459450 - 01/26/14 09:40 PM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
freeze-on Offline

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 79
Loc: southeast
thanks guys.

i suppose the part of me that keeps holding out is the trust factor....

#459475 - 01/27/14 02:47 AM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3739
I am not in a 12 step program but believe the 4th step is one everyone should do-take a moral inventory of yourself. I have taken one as I heal--I know the mistakes, pain and hurt I may have caused. I also took stock of the abuse and everything that surrounded at the time and throughout life. I also took stock of how I reacted consciously and subconsciously to other acts to me. As a result I feel free of the past and accept the mistakes and harm, for which I am sorry, I may have done and also forgive those that inflicted pain on me to resurrect the abuse to the present and unraveled my life. For me this is part of healing- either in 12 step or support groups. Thank you for highlighting this in these postings we all should take stock throughout life.

I know people in recovery and can see many have and others have not embraced step 4. They are judgmental and look down on other with failings or demons in their lives. But we are all human and need to make our own judgments on how we treat ourselves and others.

#459511 - 01/27/14 05:51 PM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
A religious figure will work. And I apologize to those that experiences CSA from a religious figure. Not trying to be insensitive.

But the saying goes, "you are as sick as your secrets".

Seems true
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#459514 - 01/27/14 07:12 PM Re: 5th step with 12 step program-input? [Re: freeze-on]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
fwiw from my experience, I'd invoke First Things First and a day at a time. Magellan and Jude have made particularly good points on steps 4 and 5.

I'd add that, until you get with a sponsor, you may not even be ready for those steps. My sponsor(s) have wanted to know how I'm doing with the first three.

A side note that Step 4 isn't all about shortcomings. It's an inventory of things good and bad, a point to which Magellan alluded.


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