- Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?

Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?

Postby BigMatt » Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:14 pm

Hello everyone,

I could use some advice on my 4th step. I've talked to my sponsor but I'd like to hear from some other people on how they see it.

I'm struggling with the part about fears and "Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?" I could probably just answer "No." to some of them but I think I'd be cheating myself out of learning something from this step. Some of my fears - Sure I can think of how self-reliance had failed me but others I can't. For instance my fear of social situations (Some call it "Social Anxiety"). I can't think of any situations where self reliance has failed me, I just fear that it might.

Anyway. Thanks in advance for any input on this!
Big Matt
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Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:25 am

Hello BigMatt. Welcome to the forum!

Have you asked your sponsor to explain it to you and to give you some examples? I don't think I understand the question well enough to offer an answer.

Best wishes for you.

Dallas
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Postby DiggerinVA » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:32 pm

I agree to ask your sponsor.

I also feel that many people make the 4th step into a mountain. Where at one time many did it with a simple check list.

But to me it is really about what is bothering YOU what is blocking you. So if it bothers you it counts.

Cheat and look at Step 10 you will see the inventory is daily too. So the phrase "more will be revealed" is important. We never stop. We also are never perfect.
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Postby IrelandPaul » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:31 am

Social anxiety was a big part of my disease and I used alcohol to cope with the fears of social situations all the time.

For me my anxiety/fears were a big part of my fourth step inventory.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:18 pm

Social anxiety! Thanks! That explains why I was always so shy!

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Postby IrelandPaul » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:54 pm

Yes Social Anxiety was what I had before I ever drank,couldn't fit in/shyness/anxious....lots of different names for the same thing!Lots of people can be shy or socially anxious but they didn't become addicted to alcohol in trying to cope with it.That's what I found out years later!
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Social Anxiety

Postby BigMatt » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:49 pm

For me, "Social Anxiety" isn't about being shy. It's much deeper than that. I fear I'm being judged by my insecurities. A deathly fear. An irrational fear but knowing it's not rational doesn't let me fear it any less. I don't think self reliance has failed me here. I don't understand why I have the fear. So I can't understand how to answer the question from the Big Book, "Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?"
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Postby Dallas » Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:57 pm

Just one question: "Have you been totally successful in everything you've ever done on your own?"

If the answer is Yes, and you were relying totally on yourself, then your self-reliance has never failed you.

If the answer is No, and you were relying totally on yourself, then who's reliance was it that failed you?

If I could answer the above question with "Yes"... I would have never landed in the last house on the block... AA." I could have relied upon myself and not only solved my problems on my own... like stopping and staying stopped with my drinking... but I probably would have never had a problem to begin with.

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Postby BigMatt » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:18 pm

Dallas wrote:Just one question: "Have you been totally successful in everything you've ever done on your own?"

If the answer is Yes, and you were relying totally on yourself, then your self-reliance has never failed you.

If the answer is No, and you were relying totally on yourself, then who's reliance was it that failed you?

If I could answer the above question with "Yes"... I would have never landed in the last house on the block... AA." I could have relied upon myself and not only solved my problems on my own... like stopping and staying stopped with my drinking... but I probably would have never had a problem to begin with.

Dallas


I know what you're saying Dallas and thanks for the response. I didn't mean to sound as if Self Reliance has NEVER failed me. It sure has. And it has had a lot to do with the fears on my Step 4.... but I don't understand how it relates to this fear. Maybe I am over analyzing it. Maybe I should skip it and move on but I just feel I'm not going to benefit from this unless I understand it more completely.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:34 am

Actually, I would suggest that you go back to the front of the Big Book, and to Step One.

Fourth Step problems are not 4th Step problems... just like 3rd Step problems are not 3rd Step problems... and 9th Step problems are not 9th Step problems... The only time you'll ever have a problem with the Steps or any part of the Steps (and you can take this to the Sobriety Bank)... it's a First Step Problem.

Question: When you started the work on your Steps... did you start with Chapter 5, of the Big Book?

When we get a good enough dose of the First Step, and we realize and understand what the First Step means... and we become "convinced" that we are alcoholic and we admit to being powerless over our alcoholism... and REALLY understand what that means... it will remove any blockage that we have for taking any of the remaining 11 Steps.

On the other hand, if we don't get a good enough dose of Step One... we will balk, "Oh what an order! I can't go through with this!" :lol:

Step One -- answers the entire "self-reliance" questions. A real Step One is understanding that our Self can not fix our alcoholism problem... and all along we have been "relying on our Self" to try to stay sober.

What Step One is telling us is: "Neither our own power... or any other human power... including all the human power in or out of AA... will be able to keep us from the next first drink."

I can't wait for this new movie to come out "Werewolf"... with Anthony Hopkins.

See, it's a perfect metaphor for the "practicing alcoholic"... the man doesn't have the power to not become the wolf... no matter how much he wants to stop being a werewolf (Im probably not spelling it right)... he can't stop. That's Powerless-ness.

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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 4 - Wasn't it because self-reliance failed us?