- Step 4 - listing Resentments

Step 4 - listing 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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Postby musicmode » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:11 pm

...also...meant to say.. :lol: ...of course...following the instructions in BB...or...with me...learning what the instructions are, and understanding what they mean-which is where I am currently, this is then followed by learning, understanding and following the "instructions" out there. Could the goal then--besides the obvious, staying sober...could the goal then be continuity (and serenity/peace), as opposed to unmanagability and chaos? :wink:

Love ya, kids,
Anne
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Postby Dallas » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:33 pm

Musicmode wrote:Could the goal then--besides the obvious, staying sober...could the goal then be continuity (and serenity/peace), as opposed to unmanagability and chaos?


Is that kind of like.... emotional stability? :wink:

Dallas
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Postby Jack M » Sun May 20, 2007 7:34 pm

Quote
"For me, "denial of my resentments and the harms done to me" had been my lifetime design for living "the easier softer way." And, some of the harms and hurts had been so painful... that I had spent years stuffing and hiding and denying and pushing it deep down inside me, to the point that I couldn't even consciously remember it at the time."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had the same thing going on with me. However I had a sponsor who knew how we take the steps as outlined in the Big Book. He showed me that we could not seperate the true from the false. (Thats not denial).

When I started my 4th step. I started writing down all the wrongs I had done to people. He stopped me. He said "Jack we want to know what our wrongs are." I was very confused, because this was what I had heard that we do.

He then told me to forget what I had heard and do what Bill told us to do. Bill told us, "Resentment was the number one offender". We put them on paper. Then Bill talked about fear (we got that on paper). Next Bill talked about shame. (we got that on paper also) (the sex part is about shame.)

The best thing of all was when he showed me how to get started. He said "first we have to make a decision" (3rd step prayer) Then he said "at once we started our 4th step. So my sponsor told me to do the 3rd step prayer, then pick up my pen. Do this every time I start to work on it.

He explained that self-will can not overcome self-will, we need Gods help. Also he helped me understand what Bill was talking about. Self-will=Thinking - Life=Action. So I made a decision to turn my thinking and my action over to the care of God as I understood him. I did not turn anything over to God, I just made a DECISION to do that.

When God is doing my 4th step, strange thing went on my paper. Things I had forgotten all about. These are the thing that pop up every time before I would get drunk. Something would come up and remind me of them. After I got drunk I would forget all about them again, till the next time.

In one of Bill sayings he says. "the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot". It took me a long time to understand what he ment by that. self-will=thinking. I had heard all kinds of things expressing that. Like committe meeting. Compulsive thinking. The alcoholic mind, and many others. Mine is. The Devils Fiddlers. (not the music kind of fiddler, fiddeling with my thinking. That use to keep me awake all night, unless I took a few drinks.

I am so grateful for having a sponsor that knew how to take the steps. Also by the Grace of God and the 12 steps I have recovered from that hopeless state of mind and body known as alcoholism. For that I am very gratefull.

Jack M - Recovered Alcoholic
Owatonna, MN
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Postby Dallas » Mon May 21, 2007 4:13 pm

Welcome to the site, Jack! Keep coming back!

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Blocked

Postby Powerless Dee » Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:16 pm

Good Morning, Everyone! I have been sitting on my 4th step for four days now! I just can't seem to muster up the ummmph to do it. When I did my first 4th years ago, there were 25 pages of resentments, angers, shame, etc. The big thing though is that I didn't know what I was doing, or why I was really doing it...I did not have to list my part in any of it, so it was quite easy to play "victim" to all that I listed. My sponsor then didn't go over the steps with me or explain why they were important, we just sort of cried together and that was it. I never went further than the 5th step after that. My sponsor drifted away and so did I.

I don't know if I'm blocked because I'm afraid to look at myself or what, but I really have to get going on this. It's been four days and we're supposed to get together next week and do this! How do you get started when you just can't seem to get started?

As you may know, my husband died one month ago and there are TONS of resentments toward him that I have stored up, and I cannot confront him about these now. I have TONS of resentments toward his son and son's wife (they live 3 minutes away, by foot) because they never once in the year that I was trying to take care of the husband offered to help or even called to see how things were. Even though, when he was in the hospital dying, the son begged God for one more chance with his dad, no matter what, he "needed a relationship with him." When I asked for a little help, for them to just watch him for half a day to regain a little sanity, I got this answer from the wife: "That will never happen."

Hmmmm, maybe I should start there instead of trying to put the inventory down in chronological order, which is what my mind is telling me I have to do. My sponsor said there is no order to it, just list what comes to mind with no thought as to my age, etc. at the time.

Does this make sense?

Thank you so much! Powerless Dee
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:02 pm

Hey Powerless Dee,

Good morning! :lol:

Sounds like your sponsor is right on target. :wink:

Good luck on your 4th!!!

You'll be glad you did!

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Postby garden variety » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:59 pm

Hi Dee,

I was taught to do step 4 just like its laid out in the book with 3 columns, but then you add a 4th column but leave it blank. That's when you and your sponsor go over your list and fill in the 4th column with "My Role" but you need to do that 4th column or "My Role" with your sponsor because she will be able to help you see your role in your resentments, fears, and people we harmed (sexual and non-sexual).

One of the best ways I've heard to do this thing is to do the first column all the way down to the end first. Just write in the names of those people, places, and things you have a resentment with. Then you make another list of people, places, and things you have fears about. Then you make another list of people, places, and things you harmed while drinking. Some people include the people, places, and things you had sexual conduct with in the same list as people, places, and things you harmed. So you can have either 3 or 4 lists.

But in any case, each list should have those 3 columns like they list it in the book, then have a 4th column you leave blank.

So if you do all your lists and load them up with all the people, places, and things first, then you can come back and fill in the "Causes" and "It effects my" columns after you get all the names down. Now remember you can also list things like "institutions". Some guys or girls have a resentment against "marriage" and that's a "thing" that I would call an institution. So you might list it in your resentments like this:

Resentment List

(column 1)
Name:
Marriage

(column 2)
Cause:
I never had a good marriage with anyone but was married 3 times

(column 3)
Effects my:
self-esteem
need for sex
need for intimacy

(column 4)
(BLANK)


Fears List:

(column 1)
Name:
Al Quaida

(column 2)
Cause:
They are terrorists. They could kill me or my loved ones.

(column 3)
Effects my:
personal security

(column 4)
(BLANK)

Well I hope you get the picture - I couldn't make columns here so you got to use your imagination. So what you can do to get started is to list the names of the people, places, and things in the first column. Then come back to do the rest. But remember to leave a blank column for you and your sponsor to go over "Your Role" in whatever list you made.

This takes time and is pretty painful, so you need to take care of yourself as you're going on and writing this thing up. Remember to call your sponsor every day to let her know your progress, or if you start feeling bad. But limit your time on the phone and away from your writing to say 1/2 hour or an hour at the most away - then get back writing again. Try not to feel sorry for yourself because you can get stuck. Also take little breaks and treat yourself to an ice cream cone (if you're not fat and have eating problems) or a glass of ice tea. It also helps to talk to other AA's you trust. Just ask them ahead of time if you can call them as you're doing your 4th step just to have them listen and not judge.

And for God's sake, go take that 5th step as soon as you get done with 4th for crying out loud! You don't just go and do a 4th step and wait to do a 5th step. It's no wonder you went back drinking last time around. They say if you don't take the 5th you'll go drink a 5th. And I have seen that repeated time and again. Then you do the 6th and 7th all in a row. So you finish 4, then you do 5, 6, and 7 in a row following how the book says. That means NO VACATION TIME between 5 and 6! And BE SURE to take that 1 hour of time between 5 and 6 to "consider the first five propositions". Don't take more than an hour and don't take less than an hour. Do it just like the book says. One hour exactly - follow those directions to the tee, Dee. (he-he that rhymes - I couldn't resist)

When you do the 5th step, you go read what you came up with on your lists for "My Role" - you go read it in the mirror first. Look in the mirror and read your 4th step defects (My Role) to yourself. Then you take that same list and put it at the foot of your bed and read it on your knees (if you pray that way) to the God of your understanding. Then you go take your 5th with your sponsor like these out-of-Ohio folks suggest and read it to her, or if you want to do it the Akron way, you set up an appointment with a priest or clergyman or woman, or a detox counsellor who's taken 5th steps before.

OK - so don't fart around any more and take ACTION - with all the desperation of drowning women!

Good luck and God bless.
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Postby anniemac » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:27 pm

Hi Dee,

I don't believe there needs to be a chronological order. I just listed them as they popped in to my head - and no surprise that family members were at the top of the list with the most reasons why. I think that once you start writing these few down that you talked about in your post, you'll unstop that logjam and the rest will flow. Sometimes starting is the hardest part.
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Postby Powerless Dee » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:51 pm

Ha Ha Ha, gardenvariety...thanks for the boot, I needed it. Actually, the way you described it is exactly the way my sponsor laid it out for me and exactly the way she told me to do it! I will try not to fart around...tee hee hee...I'm very good at that, it seems.

BUT, I did start on it today!!! Hooray! Anniemac, just like you said, I started with the husband, once I started writing down the column, all kinds of things tumbled out. Good, I have a start and I didn't have to do it chronologically...usually I am so OC that I would start the list over 25 times to be just right. I don't think this is one of those things that you should be tweaking around with, these things shouldn't be rewritten to perfection, I don't think!

Thanks, all!
Dee
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Postby rockingchair » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:25 pm

Hi Dee, My husband passed away a little over two years ago, so I have some idea of what you have been going through, although mine died suddenly of a massive heart attack in the middle of telling a funny story. He had 33 years of sobriety at the time. So, it is very different from your experience -- although it is all about loss, etc.

I'm glad to hear that you are staying close to AA and your sponsor right now. Actively working the steps will help. I know it saved my bacon and it can yours too.

Peace and prayers coming your way from the Rockingchair.
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 4 - listing Resentments