I call it the Kirby Effect. I made a little crack in my mind to open it and God's Shop Vac sucks the gunk out -- leaving room for the good stuff to soak in!
My Step 2 and Step 3 was similar to what Sermon wrote about above.
When we stay sober too long before taking the Steps we lose the desperation that we had when we cried out "I'm willing to do ANYTHING and go to any lengths!" The motivation is gone -- the insanity of Ego creeps back in -- and we begin to stall -- figuring, "Well. Maybe... I'm not as bad off as I thought I was! Maybe -- rushing through these Steps is a bit of a drastic idea!" So, we procrastinate and put it off. The storms of our life blow over -- the day gets sunny -- the weather warm, nice and pretty -- and then, suddenly it's "Man! A cold one sure would be good right now!" And, we discover that we just had our next first drink.
Or... we stay sober... life is reasonably good... we paused on our Step work, and suddenly out of the blue two Tornados and three Emotional Hurricanes plop into our life -- and we're not prepared for it and have no foundation or experience w/ the Steps in how to get through the F-5 Storm that's staring us in the face.
The insanity became -- thinking that we were alright -- before the storms.
I came across this again, last night while re-reading in the 12 & 12:
"Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction -- could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty and genuine humility" ~pg 59, 12&12.
Right before it -- it was discussing how -- we couldn't even trust and rely on our own thinking.
Now the kicker -- this is the stage we're in at Step 5!!!
At Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, myself and many of us were applauding our own progress! "Well! I sure am getting down w/ this now!"
And, the indication above is, before Step 5: we hadn't even "set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty and genuine humility" (Of course... which one of us would not have argued at that!)