Step 4 - I have no resentments

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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Step 4 - I have no resentments

Postby Bovril » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:23 pm

I'm nearly three years sober, happy, well, and have a strong spiritual connection. I love AA and I would be dead without it.

I never got to complete the Steps, and don't feel in need of them now - apart from the fact that I worry that I am a bad example to newcomers. I know that the Steps are the best guarantee of success, it just hasn't been my path. I could explain why, but it's not hugely important.

Most people assume, because I am happy, well and pretty serene, that I have done the Steps. I often get a strong sense of disapproval when people discover I haven't done them. It's not the fact that I haven't done them that seems to bother people - but the fact that I haven't done them and I am at peace with my life. They think that is a bad message to put out there - and I almost agree, except that I can't help being alright.

Like everybody, I have had some tough things happen in my life - but I have come to terms with those things, and for the most part, I reckon I've been a very lucky boy.

Anyhow, to cut to the point, I decided to carry on with the Steps, not for me...but so I would fit in with everybody else, and so I would be able to advice newcomers to do the same without feeling like a hypocrite.

When it came to step 4 though, I found I have no meaningful resentments.

I guess I've been dealing with them in my own way, over the last three years - and now I don't have them.

When faced with a resentment, either in my present, or my past - I have dealt with it this way:

First of all I NAME it. So, for example, there is a woman in charge of me, who employs double standards throughout the working week - one rule for everyone else, another for herself.
I name this as hypocrisy.
Then I apply five tasks to this.
1) Have I ever been guilty of hypocrisy. Think of examples.
2) Have I done anythinbg worse than hypocrisy. Give an example.
3) Can I imagine walking in that woman#s shoes? Do I know enough about her life to judge her fairly? What made her this way?
4) Could she possibly be sick? As a sick person myself, is it fair to not allow another human being the right to be poorly too?
5) Am I judging her ENTIRE being as a hypocrite? When in fact, the hypocrisy is just one of millions and zillions of things she does every single day. Some nice, some not so.

When I do these things, I lose the resentment, and I just get on with my life. People tell me I'm 'Buddha like' at work - and I don't think theyre referring to my waistline. I have never been so calm or at peace.

So please, what should I do? I genuinely mean it when I tell you I have no serious resentments in my life. I feel love and compassion mostly, and I think this is because I have now got such an amazing relationship with my H.P.

Your advice would be appreciated. There is a part of me that feels like a black sheep and like I should maybe leave AA, because I am a bad example. But I need it to survive. And I really do loads to help newcomers, not because anybody tells me to, but because it is the right thing to do when you've been where I have been in life.

Thanks a lot.

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Postby Dallas » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:16 pm

Bovril wrote:But I need it to survive. And I really do loads to help newcomers, not because anybody tells me to, but because it is the right thing to do when you've been where I have been in life.

You wrote: "I need it to survive".

My first question is: What is -- it that you are referring to?

You also wrote: "I really do loads to help newcomers"

My second question is: What do you do -- specifically -- to help newcomers?

You didn't write or mention -- "if" you are alcoholic.

My third question is: Are you alcoholic? And, if you are alcoholic -- how do you know that you are?

Welcome to the forum. I look forward to your answers. And, a discussion with you.

Dallas B.

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Step 4 - I have no resentments

Postby Bovril » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:27 pm


Unexpected questions, but I will do my best to answer as thoroughly as I can.

The 'It' I refer to is AA. Until I came to the rooms, I was dying. The people I have met in the rooms, the wisdom I have found, just the honesty and the spiritual openness I encountered - I'd never had anything like that before. My life was in ruins, and AA became the foundation of my life. Everything built from that. Is that too vague? Where else would I go? Where else could I learn to be honest for the first time?

Your next bit:

'I really do loads to help newcomers"

My second question is: What do you do -- specifically -- to help newcomers? '

Well this is one of those areas where you end up sounding like a pious idiot, boastful or worse, writing about it...I only mentioned it because it was pertinent to my story. But, you ask so here goes.

I look for them at meetings. I don't walk past them, I stop and smile and ask if they are OK or if they need anything. I offer them a cup of coffee, and if they aren't too freaked out I give them my number. I ask what brought them here, how they are feeling, if they are OK, do they have a where to find, are they gonna need someone to chat to? Would they like to meet for a coffee, or if they are shy, would they like me to accompany them to a meeting. Have they got a sponsor? I listen. Are they able to stop drinking? Do they think they are an alcoholic? Not all this stuff at once...I play it by ear. If they are in serious trouble, I take a bit of responsibility. i step up. i do all the things that were done for me. By a very small number of people...

Am I an alcoholic? Oh blimey yes.

How do know that I am? I will answer, but why do you need me to answer that?

Is it not enough that I know, for an absolute fact, that I am? I will answer for you, but am interested why you need this answer...

I was and am powerless over alcohol. But that has become such an empty phrase

I drank. And when I drank it became everything. At the worst point, it meant more to me than any other thing that existed in the world.
Nothing else mattered. I was all but dead. Is this enough for you?

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Postby Dallas » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:46 pm

Bovril wrote:Your advice would be appreciated.

Sorry if my questions threw you for a loop and offended you.
I didn't ask the questions to offend you.
You asked for advice, right?

Do you only want advice from someone -- who has only the info that you want to provide to them -- rather than from someone that would care to seek more info from you?

Bovril wrote:Well this is one of those areas where you end up sounding like a pious idiot, boastful or worse,

If that's your opinion of me -- for simply asking questions -- I'm sure it would be best for a less-pious, humble, intelligent genius -- that can simply read your mind rather than ask simple questions -- to offer you any advice.

Good luck.


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Postby Bovril » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:58 pm

Dallas, your questions were absolutely fine...if my answers help you answer my initial query, then we are all good.

You asked me what I do to help newcomers. The pious idiot I was referring to was myself, I was saying that it is impossible to answer a question like that without sounding pious...

If you read my answers again, hopefully you will see that I tried to answer your questions honestly. I wasnt offended.

Jim W
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Postby Jim W » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:11 pm

My question is what could you truly offer in the way of an answer to the sick alcoholic who needs one?

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no resentments

Postby BeenThere » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:46 pm

Bovril, I can find no fault in how you have been dealing with ressentments in the past. They work for you. Still, I would encourage you to go through with the steps, look at past resentments and simply identify them (as you have already) the follow thru with step 5 "admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs". Actually doing the steps brings about the humility, sincerity and trust that is needed to live and share the program of recovery and apply the principles in our daily lives.

I think you are very fortunate to not have any resentments. After several 24hrs, I still get resentments and have to deal with them immediately or it festers, then I get into gossip to make the object of my resentment look bad (or at least that's what I think!) then I tend to stop my meditation and prayers because I want to keep that dang resentment! LOL* Fortunately for me, I have a sponsor who calls me on my BS and gently gets me back on track. Resentments are few these days, but they do happen, and I have learned to welcome them as motivation to further my spiritual connection.

In order to help others, it is best for me to remember that on page 164 I'm told that I can't pass on what I don't have, and that includes my ES&H of going thru the steps. I appreciate your awareness of this, and feel that your recovery will only get better when you can honestly share actual experience. I won't tell you what to do, but rather what I do or should do and the results I get.

Good luck, you are on the right track. I'm sure there are many blessings in store for you as you are able to share/sponsor others because of your dedication to complete the steps.

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Postby Bovril » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:35 pm

Thanks Beenthere, I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I have resentments pretty much every day...or should I say, I get annoyed/frustrated/hurt...and then I do as I said in my inital post, deal with them. Go through my method of letting go of the resentment, and I am fine. I love people you know...I really, genuinely do. It is not a natural state for me to be in, hating on another.

Jim W, you asked:

My question is what could you truly offer in the way of an answer to the sick alcoholic who needs one?

Is this a sincere question or a rhetorical question? Are you saying I have nothing to offer? I will answer it assuming it is sincere.

I offer the sick alcoholic the same things that were offered to me, kindness, an ear, practical advice on how to stay sober, experience based on three years of sobriety, encouragement, an example of a life transformed thanks to AA. I advise them to take responsibility for their lives and be grateful for what they have been given. I tell them the surest way to succeed is to get a sponsor, do the steps, go to plenty of meetings and share honestly.

The 'answer' you refer to?...well, I must have missed that meeting. How many letters does it contain? Does it begin with a vowel or a consonant?

It seems to me that the answer comes in many different parts. I live a happy, peaceful, sober life and I tell them that is possible and how I got there.

What would you have me do Jim? Should I not help them?

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no restentments

Postby BeenThere » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:36 pm

Ya know,Bovril, there are people in AA that are referred to as "2-steppers".
These are people who have admitted they are alcoholic and now they want to help others without doing anything in the middle. Here in Jax, some are call "step skippers". (There are several other classifications as well. i.e.: 13-steppers.) Telling someone to do something I haven't done is projecting a lie! I would never presume to be able to help others without being an example of what doing the steps have done for me. Just not drinking is not enough...not for the real alcoholic! For me, just going without a drink left me a liar, cheater, thief, phony,....basically just a drunk minus the alcohol. I personally would not recommend someone to be a sponsor if they haven't done and applying the steps.

I remember when I was new to AA. I was so arrogant! Step one, easy! I can do these by myself. I was an idiot! So phony and the members saw right thru me. Finally I took a guy's suggestion and went to 5 Al-Anon meetings and found that I was trying to boss alcoholics around, tell them what to do and I had not even fixed my own life! Same kind of crap I was doing when I was drinking and claiming to be in control of my life and theirs as well! LOL* A couple of months later, while I was finally working the steps, they noticed a change in me. At last I was able to identify with the fellowship. I found they didn't need me to fix them, and that working on myself was the best way of really helping others thru applying the program to my life, in and out of the rooms! Without me even being aware of the changes, it had become visible to others.

Staying in AA and claiming to be something I'm not, or smarter than I really am does a great disservice to AA as a whole. I need to remind myself that my life might be the only Big Book another ever reads, and what exactly is the message I'm passing on. The program is not, IMO, to be taken lightly. There was a program laid out before us in the BB and it wasn't the book of Sam!

It IS important whether I identify myself as an alcoholic or not. For one, I am NOT credible if I don't identify myself as such. Secondly, why should anyone give a hoot about me in AA if I am not one of them? It is always easy to point out to others their shortcomings, but the solutions I could offer are NOT what is in the BB. I'm a hypocrite! AA doesn't need me to correct or update them/us! If I think I have a better solution, then I will buy a coffeepot and start my own darn meetings, (again, I'd be an idiot). The program is not broken, WE are! The program offers a solution to live life happy, joyous and free. It works!

One last thing, that should actually be the FIRST thing in this posting, is the absolute vital action of having and developing a daily conscious contact with some sort of Higher Power. Even atheists and agnostics in AA find a power greater than themselves. Can be a "Group Of Drunks", or "Good Orderly Direction", whatever one can look to for guidance, inspiration, motivation and acceptance. ALL of the steps play a part in our developing of this contact with our HP. For me, that contact has become paramount to my sobriety. I had trouble at first, religion had failed me, and the only HP I thought back then was mean, judgmental, punishing and a very scary God, sitting on a throne and passing out condemnation. Over the years my views have changed........only because of using the entire program of AA. This isn't a smorgasbord, I can't pick and choose what I want or what I "think" I need, it is a package deal. Still, AA and our HP are very loving and patient and when I am willing to pick up the spiritual took kit and use these tools daily, I have been able to live a life that is acceptable as well as helpful (at times). I can take no credit for any good I do, I'm just the vehicle, delivering only those items that I have in my own stock and trade. For me, having a prayer life, believing in my HP (whom I choose to call GOD) and surrendering to His will daily brings me great peace and harmony both in and out of the rooms of recovery. My beliefs and dedication has gotten stronger over the years, it is sufficient for me at this point, but I know that I'm not 'there' yet and that further spiritual growth is inevitable. Progress no pefection. I don't go to church in the physical sense, but I do worship and acknowledge God, as I understand him/her.

Having been around AA for 3 years, you have already heard this many times. Perhaps in different ways, but the message is the same for all of us who are making an effort to live the AA way of life.

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Postby RichC » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:01 pm

This has been SOME thread to read through.
I wont presume to judge you Bovril because you feel the completion of the steps is not required.
Hey if that is how you feel then so be it. If it works for you...

Myself it would not be possible to stop where you did.
Nor is it possible for me not to practice all the steps throughout my day or week or year or whenever it presents itself.
Because that works for me.
Dallas, Jim, Beenthere all probably practice what works for them.

I want to plant some things in your committee meeting in your head though.
Something to ponder when you are on this type subject.

Could it be you just have not had that experience yet that would motivate you to move to the next step?
That experience to show you the need?

It is a dangerous mind we live with that does funny things to trick us into drawing conclusions about ourselves as well as others.
Has this mind you occupy tricked you into believing something that may not be true?
Has it so convinced you that what it believes can be the absolute truth with nothing being able to sway it?

Or is it that something yet to happen that has not, that will blindside you so hard that you will then realize you have once again tricked yourself?

Simple, or not so simple questions that time will answer.
I cant see the future. I bet you cant either.

Dont be so quick to draw conclusions to something you have no way of knowing (nor do we) may or may not happen.

Drawing a line in the sand only works if the wind isn't blowing.

Something to think about.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

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