Step 5?

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 5?

Postby eastcoastscott » Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:43 am

Hi folks, Happy February,

I am doing my Step 4 today with the use of Dallas's instructions and material (that I downloaded from this site). I searched for a guide for a while and am settling on his as I feel it encompasses everything necessary to do Step 4 properly.
My immediate dilemma is that I do not yet have a Sponsor with whom I can do Step 5 with.
I have time off work lately, went through a 28 day program recently and am now spending up to 6 hours a day on my recovery. In the BB, there really are no gaps between the steps, which when you think of it, if ya have the time, why wait.
What I am considering doing is to return to the treatment facility (always welcome there as an aftercare client), meet with my counselor to review my Step 4 and do Step 5 with her. This approach may be as effective (maybe more so) than doing it with a Sponsor.

I still intend to get a Sponsor!!!!!

Have a great 24,

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Postby dahlgren » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:46 am

Hi Scott glad you're here.

Just a thought, while I feel it's always a good idea to try and do a 5th step with a sponsor it's not imperative. In my opinion choosing a sponsor you're comfortable with sharing the contents of your 4th step with was the key thing for me. If you haven't yet found that person then it's really irrelavent who the person is that you do your 5th with. I've personally known many in the program that have done a 5th with a counselor, clergy member, psycologist or even a total stranger.

Any lingering doubts about an individual you've asked to be your sponsor can affect doing a 5th step with them. I too am of the opinion that when I completed my 4th step I wanted o do my 5th step immediately and not let much if any time go by. I've seen so many get hung up starting their 4th step by getting out in the future thinking about the prospect of having to do their 5th.

These are just my personal opinions and observations, I applaud you for taking action, it pays great dividends in the end. Also along the lines of, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again". You can take as many 4th and 5th steps as necessary to take care of all you need to take care of.

Good luck my friend and keep coming back.

In love and recovery,

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Postby Tim » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:54 pm

Scott--I did my initial 5th step with a psychologist who was well-versed in the 12 Steps. This worked out well for me. I agree with you, also, that it would work to do the 5th step with your rehab counselor.

That said, I've heard many stories over the years about how individuals have done the 5th step. I think the most important thing is to do this vital step rather than who you do it with. Take care and hang in there...Tim

garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:50 pm

Hi Scott,

While you're busy worrying about who you'll do the 5th step with, don't forget the other two "folks" that you're supposed to do it with.

"Admitted to God" - I read the list to God when I was praying. I don't always pray on my knees, but this time it seemed right and felt right. So I put the list at the foot of my bed and read it to God.

"to ourselves" - This was really hard for me. I stood in front of the mirror and read that forth step list. I slung a lot of snot doing that.

I did go to my sponsor the last time around afer I did those first two. He was "and to another human being".

But I'm just saying this so you don't overlook the whole step and do it thoroughly. The step says I have to be ACCOUNTABLE to THREE people: God, myself, and another human being. It was as important to me to read that list to myself in the mirror out loud as it was to my sponsor.

Good luck and keep up the good work. I agree with the others that have posted and say that you can do it over again as many times as you need to. Or you can do it with your rehab counselor. Folks in my area try to do their 5th with a priest down at Roasary Hall where Sister Ignatius and Father Joe were very much big on AA and the 12 steps. I had the blessing of knowing Father Joe who was also an alcoholic and a great man.

Rosary Hall came about in the Cleveland Saint Vincent Charity Hospital in Downtown Cleveland when Sister Ignatias insisted they have a coffee shop just for the recovering AA's. Sister Ignatias was as much of an influence and power to AA as Bill W and Dr. Bob. They called her "The Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous".

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Postby Dallas » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:37 pm

Hey Scott,

Congratulations on your 4th!

I would just about bet -- that at least one of the counselors would make a good prospect for the 5th Step.

Good luck with it.

You might want to pre-read pages 72 through 76, halfway down the page, and make an outline for what to do next.

It will go something like this:

1. Meet with the guy that you're going to do the 5th with & spill your guts, and don't let him off the hook easy -- be sure you also tell him "all your life story" (pg 73)

2. Follow the precise instructions on page 75, paragraph 2. And, be sure to stop reading at the end of paragraph 2.

3. Go home, or where ever you can find a place where you can be comfortable, undistrubed and quiet for an hour.

3. a. Then place your Big Book on a shelf where you'll have to reach for it to take it down to do some reading.

4. After the hour is over (60 minutes... not 62 or 53 minutes)... turn to page 75, last paragraph -- and follow the instructions in that paragraph precisely... without reading further in the book.

4. a. The page that it's referring to... that has the 12 Steps on it (for the first five proposals) is page 59, in the Big Book.

5. Only after you have answered ALL of the questions in that last paragraph on page 75 -- then, you can turn to the top of page 76, and follow the instructions in the first paragraph at the top of page 76.

6. AFTER you've followed the instructions in that paragraph -- then read the following paragraph -- and follow those instructions.

Once you're finished with that -- be sure to check in with us and give us an update.

For me, when I did it in that precise order -- it really rocked me! Oh what an experience!!! :wink: It was really powerful and left me speechless. And, that's the precise order that we follow when I take people through the 12 Steps.... just following the detailed, precise instructions in that book -- and it's guaranteed to rocket you into a dimension of living that's absolutely mind-blowing and producing the necessary transformation in thought and attitude to get you over the drinking part of the problem!

Best regards,


garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:58 pm

Scott -

Ditto on those instructions that Dallas said.

I found it's real important to do those things just like the book says. I did them after my fifth step with my sponsor, and he told me to do exactly what Dallas said using the exact same pages of the book - and also to make sure that I spend exactly that "one hour" which means just like Dallas said no more and no less. Exactly one hour.

I did this when I had about 5 years sober, but I had began slipping away from the meetings and I was just all about "half-measures". Well I almost went back out drinking again.

So when I did my 4th and 5th with my new sponsor, I was shaking in my boots to do it exactly and thoroughly, because I did actually get those cravings back and wanted to drink and knew that I had no choice - I knew what AA was about and that I am powerless. If I didn't give these steps my all in all this time around, I was going to drink again, and I knew that meant that I was going to die. I was hanging on over that big cliff with death and doom below by just what seemed to be a little tiny weed. Well like that book says that "flimsy reed" was the strong hand of God.

And just like Dallas said, that whole progression of the steps 4 through 7 rocketed me into this 4th dimension of living that I love today - I can't find words to describe how good life really is for me today - even in sickness and health. It's only got better every day ever since. If you do what Dallas says exactly the way he said, I agree that you will not be sorry and you might find a way of living that will blow your mind!

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Postby littlemiss » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:38 pm

Ohhhhhhhhhhh....I'm listening Y'all! I'll be doing my 4th step sponsor says to do it like the Big Book says--that we often try & overcomplicate it by reading other materials...Ya think?

I'd be apt to write!

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Postby GeoffS » Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:26 pm

Step 4 gets a bad press.

How often do we hear about people sitting on this one for months/years/ even drinking over it.

Keep it simple. Do the 4 columns like in the big book, in the right order, no going sideways! You will be fine.

Remember you are only dealing with 'stock in trade' in step 4. A resentment against the kid who took your ice cream when you were 5 is not really needed. Keep it real and now. Stuff that bothers us today. Save the rest for talking about your story.

My 4th was short, a few words each time, who, why, affects my, I was... best thing I ever did was 4 and 5.

Remember if you are not thorough (by accident) you get to have another go!

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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:36 pm

Brings to mind a story I read in something that was AA literature years ago.

The sponsee calls sponsor, says he's ready to do step 5--he's done his step 4, and he's ready. Okay, sponser agrees to meet with him. So, they meet. Sponsee comes along with this arm-load of a binder, pages falling out of it. Sponsor asks sponsee: what's all that? Sponsee, of course, says, well this is my 4th said that when I was done, that we'd go over it. Sponsor eyeballs the binder, nodding, then asks: tell me, is there stuff in there about where you've lied? Sponsee says yes. Sponsor asks: how about cheating? Stealing? Sponsee looks a little lost as he nods. Okay, sponsor says, so you're a liar, a cheat and a thief, you admit those things? Sponsee says yes. Sponsor asks if there's anything else? Sponsee says, no-that about covers it in a nutshell. Sponsor asks if he has matches/a matchbook, knowing the sponsee always had a matchbook. Sponsor asks: got a pen. Sponsor offers to hold the guy's binder, and tells him to write on that matchbook that he's a liar, a cheat and a thief. When the sponsee finished, the sponsor said, okay, burn it (or rip it up, whichever). The sponsee did as he was told. The sponsor then said, okay, that's it...that simple, you're done. How do you feel? The sponsee admitted to feeling a little confused. As they had coffee, though, the sponsee began to feel different...a lightened load kind of an affect. They did talk about some stuff that he'd written about over coffee...but the real 'uglies' were the stuff he'd done, that he'd lied and cheated and stolen from others. With this off his chest, he began to feel a positive flow.

Keep it simple. What have I done? I've manipulated the truth...(I've lied), I've cheated/manipulated situations to my benefit, or, taken advantage of a situation already in play and used that situation to my advantage; I've stolen/gotten as much for free as I could/used people...which, e-hem...means, I lied. I've been dishonest with myself...convincing myself of my own lie that everything was alright when it was not~~I was killing myself with alcohol, believing that alcohol was helping. I didn't drink because of stressful situations, because times were good, because times were bad~~those were the excuses I used. The truth all along? I drank because I'm an alcoholic, point blank blunt.


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Postby eastcoastscott » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:59 am

Thanks a million guys, I am pumped. I cant get together till next week but will be doing this exactly the way I should, BB in hand. Thanks Dallas for putting things in point form, helps this drunk stay organized, LOL
I'll keep ya posted.


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