- Why I don't type the 4th Step or fill in electronic forms...

Why I don't type the 4th Step or fill in electronic forms...




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

Why I don't type the 4th Step or fill in electronic forms...

Postby Dallas » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:00 pm

Why I don't type the 4th Step or fill in electronic forms to type the information for my 4th Step Inventory

Many times I get asked the question: "do you have an electronic form so that I can do my Inventory on my PC or a word processor?"

I'm going to post the latest question and my email reply here in the forum, so that hopefully, in the future I can just point others to my answer, rather than re-typing it each time. :wink:

Here goes!

Comments Dear Dallas,
>
> Thank you so very much for these great forms to help me with my 4th step.
> My question is technical; how can I edit or write my text into the
> electronic version of the forms? Must I print them on paper and then
> write by hand or can I enter the text on the electronic pdf form?

>
> Sincere Thanks, (name not shown here)

My reply:

Hello (name not shown here),

The Big Book instructions for writing the 4th Step Inventory are specific in using the words "pen and paper."

There are also several references in the book to "precise instructions" and "carefully followed directions".

If we want the results that was produced by the Pioneers of the AA recovery program "if you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it"... then I would highly suggest that we follow their instructions precisely. And, part of those instructions are "pen and paper". Not a typewriter, not a word processor and not a computer, nor a pencil.

This is why I suggest that an electronic version not be used. (Meaning: an electronically generated form on a PC or word processor so that you can simply type your comments for the inventory into the form, in an effort to make it an easier, softer, and more efficient way to do the written Inventory)

I had the same question that you did, when I did my first 4th Step. "Can I do this with my word processor... it's easier and faster for me to type than to hand write it?"

Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity of meeting an long-time sober AA member that was a renowned Military Officer and head of a Veterans Mental Health and Psychiatry hospital, that personally answered my question for me. It was a very long and technical conversation in answering my inquiry as to the difference in hand-writing the Inventory and typing it. The bottomline to his answer was "the connection in communication with the mind with the physical activity of writing with the hand will tap into a specific and unconscious area of our mind and produce a different therapeutic result in the psyche of the individual." It was a very interesting and enlightening conversation, that I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to have! And, ever since that conversation I have never asked the question again... I just tried to do my best to follow the "precise instructions" that are written in the Big Book, regarding the taking and practicing of our 12 Step program.

I get asked this question so often, that I'm going to post your question and my answer in our forum, so that it might benefit others with the same question.

Nice to hear from you! And, best regards.

Dallas B.
Dallas
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Postby GeoffS » Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:30 am

Nice reply Dallas,

I wrote my own step 4 out in pen and paper then, because my handwriting is so awful at the best of times, typed it up so that my sponsor and I had a fighting chance when I had to read it through.

I agree though that the old by hand method is the best.

Also the person you replied to has a very unusual name ;-)
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Postby Dallas » Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:02 pm

Anonymity. :wink:
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Postby GeoffS » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:08 pm

Yes, I knew the sister organisation for dipsomaniacs and inebriates -

alcoholics synonymous
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Postby Dallas » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:16 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Why I don't type the 4th Step or fill in electronic form

Postby Tim » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:57 pm

"the connection in communication with the mind with the physical activity of writing with the hand will tap into a specific and unconscious area of our mind and produce a different therapeutic result in the psyche of the individual."

My own experience with writing things out, especially things related to my own alcoholism recovery, are done best with pen and paper. I think any writing instrument will do, but for me the best is a fountain pen and blue-black ink. I know folks whose writing instrument of choice is pencil. But, I think the quoted opinion above is right about the connection between writing by hand and the therapeutic result.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:43 pm

One of the things that the wise Old-Timer mentioned to me, is that we're children when we're learning to write. And, in school we're learning to make each letter by writing it with our hand. Then, we learn cursive writing and learn to write and spell words and make unconscious associations with the words, the activity with the hand, and we begin forming emotional perceptions and relations in relationship to the movement of our hands in writing things out. He said that by writing it out with our hands it taps into the earliest formed segments of our mind.... going back as far as our childhood. He indicated that it was kind of like an electrical circuit that reaches a particular memory as it is stored in our mind. The hand movement trigers an electrical circuit that's connected to the memory.

Perhaps this could be why journaling and automatic-writing can produce therapeutic effects for some people.

Dallas
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