DDA Members Share their Experience on Step 4:
“In Step Three we made the decision to work the 12 Steps +5 as thoroughly as we can. Step Four is our first chance to put what we have learned so far into action.
Addiction isn’t a moral issue. We were suffering from multiple no-fault illnesses that sometimes made us act in ways that others didn’t like, or even worse, that we didn’t like.
Often we either didn’t feel good about ourselves or about the things that happened to us. Then we used our addiction to bury the pain, resentment and fear, everything continued to get worse.
As an alcoholic/addict with serious mental health problems, I’d internalised a lot of stuff. That internalisation led to a feeling of being disconnected from life. I felt separate, isolated, and lonely before getting into recovery and this recovery process is all about breaking the internalised loop and giving something else a chance to help us grow and change.
Step Four isn’t a list of dirty, nasty secrets, but merely an opportunity to start looking at our past mistakes and at the things in us that led to our behaviour, addiction, or general disconnection with life.
Step Four was a very scary thing for me to do the first time I did it. I felt like the worst person in the world and felt responsible for things that when I looked at with someone else, turned out to either not be my responsibility or more common than you might think. An old sponsor of mine used to say that if there’s a word for it, then it’s been done before.
We need to do this Step thoroughly as we can in order to get the full benefits from the next Step.
A good rule of thumb that I used for this Step was that if it was worrying me or causing me anger and/or resentment, then it needed to be added to my Step Four.
Steps 4 & 5 are vital steps in us being able to move on from the past and forward in our recoveries.”