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We explore the fourth step in most 12 step programs. What does it mean to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves? Why moral? Whose morals are we following? Whose morals do we need to follow? Are we supposed to be free of fear? How do we deal with the guilt and shame? Who do we share our 4th step with? We talk about some of the mysteries of Step 4 and put to rest some of the confusion and contradiction in our understanding of the 4th step. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/.
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4/6/20 We explore the fourth step in most 12 step programs. What does it mean to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves? Why moral? Whose morals are we following? Whose morals do we need to follow? Are we supposed to be free of fear? How do we deal with the guilt and shame? Who do we share our 4th step with? We talk about some of the mysteries of Step 4 and put to rest some of the confusion and contradiction in our understanding of the 4th step.
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss the recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
what do you get
although welcome back to the public reiative I’m Jason and the guy in long-term quarantine and I’m Billy I’m also a person in long-term recovery of quarantine yeah and so today for the first time ever we are not in person we are recording remotely to try to you know respect all the the rules and regulations and attempt to you know still continue to lessen this curve and save lives and and do what we’re supposed to do – you know remain not spreading kovat 19 to the best of our ability you may have just heard we have a new theme song that is a wonderful song from the 90s by jimmy chicken shack so I’m super excited about that I actually got permission from the guys in Jimmy’s Chicken Shack use that so that’s awesome go back just to recap a little bit about last week we talked about you know whether special interest meetings including men’s raps women’s raps LGBTQ meetings anything of those sorts whether it was against traditions whether it was fine and dandy and I like to think that you know we had a lot of good conversation about that I think both sides sorta have some valid points depending on how you’re looking at it I do think for for me and Billy at least I would say I hope I’m speaking for both I believe you were kind of arguing this side already I think we kind of both agree that they’re doing more good than they are doing harm for sure absolutely I agree with that okay and so you know we didn’t I didn’t go enhance for a lot of feedback about this topic I kind of posted a little bit on Twitter and one of the feedbacks we got from there generally most people because a lot of the people in their Alcoholics Anonymous and a lot of them you know this is like kind of old news to them I think they had this argument thirty years ago or something but one of the people who I guess they don’t need to be too anonymous it says AAA online meetings Ireland is their name but they said that it depends on which country you’re in and for them and I the answer’s no there are no special interest groups meetings allowed by the a a general service board so I find that kind of interesting one that they don’t allow it in a certain country like maybe they’ve thought hey because you know Ireland’s got some touchy history about different groups and polarization and maybe hate groups maybe that’s why they felt they shouldn’t have those kind of special interest meetings because that might go uh that might go off into left field somewhere but I also found it kind of interesting that you know from my understanding our service structure is upside down and the groups are the highest form of service structure you know they had the largest vote and they decide and then from there it goes the opposite direction and and they’re saying that Ireland’s a a General Assembly decided that that’s a no so I guess maybe the General Assembly is the the groups all voting together I just thought that was interesting it almost seemed like a top-down you know business format type deal there yeah and I’m not familiar with a service structure so I can’t say whether that’s the case or not that is interesting you might be yeah you might be right there their service structure might be different than theirs I would doubt it I feel like we really just did their program with their hand in place with their hey we’ll see and I thought that too but as I you know the more I sort of delve into it because of the podcast I’ve probably read more AAA material in the last six seven months than I’ve ever read in my entire life and I found that you know a lot of the that we have in you know that we’ve taken you know we do have some unique concepts of our own in narcotic Narcotics Anonymous like the fact that you know newcomers are the most important person and and that sort of thing they don’t tend to tout those kind of things in AAA and I had always just assumed the same thing I thought well we just took that program we turned it to drugs and everything else is just stealing from them I should say stealing because we were given permission but it’s it’s following in those footsteps and I think the more that I learned there read the more that I see that’s not as clear-cut as I thought it was you know I gotta say I thought the same thing I imagined we just borrowed the whole program and plugged in narcotics instead of alcohol and yet I don’t know why I thought that because I know that as addicts were like terminally unique and we would have to make it our own and know why you fight for me right why I thought we would have just done that I don’t know you know they were paying sweet ass war we had to were shorts for sure right we did also post a discussion similar to this on reddit and going through that there was quite a bit of talk about it but honestly basically the the takeaway was mostly that everybody’s pretty much fine with it there was like one or two people that said I had seems like it’s against traditions but like I don’t know the other 38 people were all like yeah of course it’s great man let’s [ __ ] do it and so I I guess I don’t know it seems very much like people are in tune with you know this does seem to provide more than it you know takes away from one little personal touch was a friend of mine Brittany on Twitter and she talked about being a chick with specific issues and how women’s meetings were incredibly valuable to her especially early on you know she had some some trauma that had happened at the hands of men at a different part in her life and not that she wanted to hold that against them but it was just really hard for her to be comfortable in a an open meeting and so it was it was I don’t know the more I heard basically the more it reinforced where we got last week it was like yeah dude why why have I held on to this for so long even even holding on to it in a minor like back of my head kind of way like it’s not a big deal I won’t talk about it openly but it just kind of annoys me and it was it was like why why don’t I even let it kind of annoy me like this is great people are being reached by this and I do think there there is an important place where the traditions come into that and that is that we can’t turn people away you know it like it’s it’s important that we have those meetings they serve a big function and and I think they’re you know definitely you know needed for some people but it’s also important that those types of meeting special interest meetings recognize that if someone shows up at the door you don’t turn them away you don’t just you know oh this isn’t for you and tell them to go away you as a special interest meeting also need to abide by these traditions you know you need to remember what the primary purpose is of Narcotics Anonymous or your 12-step fellowship remember you know that unity is is our you know first tradition and and you know hopefully have an atmosphere of welcoming and loving care and compassion towards another suffering addict if they happen to show up there you know on purpose or by mistake yes and so one of the people you did remind we have the LGBTQ meetings they were talking about that on Reddit and they were saying you know it wasn’t no big deal if somebody showed up nobody asked of their sexual preference if you happen to be straight and you just wanted to come there or whatever and it made me think I’m like well yeah well that’s way easier to you know do that it is the show up at a women’s rap if you’re a guy or men have if you’re a woman like that’s a little tougher I was thinking some of the other ones like youth and recovery like who wears the cutoff who decide 30 ID at the door you know you get ID’d it’s like reverse of the club 26 only that’s hilarious I do think and we didn’t really ever get to this point I think part of the reason you brought up that topic before last week was to sort of evaluate the whole idea we have about the newcomer being the most important person in the meeting and I don’t think we’ve ever touched on that and just in some online meetings this week I’ve heard that a couple of times and you know now that you’ve brought it up I’m listening with more of a critical ear for it and thinking a little more about it every time I hear like what do I really think that because in general I say I agree but that could just be that I’ve heard it so many times that I randomly agree and don’t think about it so now I want to think about it but I think if we delve into that right here we’ll miss the whole fourth step which is the whole purpose of us being here so maybe we’ll save that topic for a future episode yeah so obviously today hello welcome the fourth step right made of searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves which gotta say like when I first got here this was one of those awful sounding steps and people talked about it like it was so terrible and and I’ll say it’s terrible probably for the amount of writing it takes in our particular step working guide but just even though the sounding of the title searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves that sounds awful like I just got here you just convinced me this was a disease and I was a sick person trying to get better not a bad person and now you’re gonna bring back into play morals and that just made me feel yeah it definitely seemed pretty overwhelming early on that’s for sure so I went through some of our literature and just pulled out some stuff that seemed relevant most of us this is a quote out of one of our books I don’t even remember at this point most of us came to Narcotics Anonymous because we wanted to snap something using drugs we probably didn’t put much thought into what we were starting a program of recovery and that’s actually at a step working guide I do remember now but I think that’s a pretty interesting thing to say like I would agree I got the NA trying to stop using drugs I wasn’t thinking oh yeah I’m gonna start a new way of life and you know live by spiritual principles like like help me right I need to change everything about myself right right and so that’s cool so I think that’s a good acknowledgement in the fourth step and then it goes on to say first we should ask ourselves what we want out of recovery most of us answer this question by saying that we just want to be comfortable or happy or serene we just want to like ourselves but how can we like ourselves when we didn’t even know who we are and I like the how that explains that I think that’s kind of a good starting point for why to do a 4-step I don’t know that what I wanted out of recovery early on was comfortability or happiness or serenity I wasn’t even really familiar with that like I said when I got here I wanted to stop using now when that didn’t instantly fix my life and I started working steps because I needed something more I did start to realize that like I don’t know who I am right I had been kind of this chameleon throughout my life I made up parts of my story at times I became people that I don’t know if it was who I was or wasn’t who I was if I hung out with people who had green and purple hair and listened to alternative music and that’s what I was and then I remember I broke up with a girl and I was like talking to this other girl who listened to hip-hop and the next thing you know I had you know a bone thugs-n-harmony CD it was just like I don’t I don’t know that I ever really knew exactly who I was I just wanted to be liked and accepted and so I kind of morphed into whatever I thought the people around me were looking for not hearing you
maybe we have to pull back up to the Ankara okay well I must not have been able to do what I wanted so um anyway what I was gonna say I think for me in the beginning that overwhelmingness of the fourth step had to do with the amount of work like I always you know I I don’t to call myself lazy but I tended to be in my addiction I did things that were easy for me and they came easy to me and if something seemed like it was going to be a lot of work or take a lot of effort um I really wasn’t that interested and so when I first got clean I think that was my same approach you know I I did my steps originally out of the you know off of a offered a dose off of something given to me by my sponsor and they were just one page with like seven or eight questions on it it wasn’t like the step working guide with the whole write about your whole self kind of thing and so I was like oh I can answer these ten questions that’s gonna take like an hour you know when it came to a fourth step it was like wow really I gonna write you know about my entire life all this stuff that just seems like way too much work more than I’m willing to do but like say there was also a part of me that one I had some you know I don’t know I guess secrets you know things that had happened to me with some you know being sexually abused and and some things that I just never really shared about or was open about with people and thinking that that’s not like I might actually have to be honest about that and then similarly I think there was some lies in my story that I had told for so long that I thought they were true you know like like I lived this lie so long that it was almost like the reality I had created in my own head you know and and when I got clean sort of to take ownership as some of that was a little bit overwhelming no absolutely and uh and some of these quotes actually touch on both of those things you just mentioned and and I I was buying in when I was reading them because I felt exactly the same way but I did I know now like when I talked to people about the force and really it’s not so much that they come up and say hey Jason tell me about the fourth step like that’s not what happens people talk about hey I have three months clean I’m halfway through step one I’m getting ready to get in a relationship I might propose to this girl and ask her to marry me and I’m like I don’t think you know yourself yet right yeah well so my experience says until I worked like a four through seven I really did not have a concept of who I was I had an image of who I thought I was but I didn’t have the ability to really dig into that and see what part was real and what part I had just created and so I guess reading that quote out of our literature kind of stuck out to me it was like yeah we how can we like ourselves when we don’t really know ourselves another quote went on to say how can we make sure and this talks about you know the end of the third step how can we make sure we are really turning our will in our lives over to the care of God the answer is simple we work the remainder of the steps starting with step four and I you know sometimes I kind of like in-your-face responses to people like people who might work one through three and then never never tackle four and say they’re okay and and I look at this and I’m like really because you’re not really working three if you’re not doing the rest of them like that’s kind of part of the point of this is to continue working the steps so I think one of the big problems people can have with this step is the idea of the moral inventory right because everything I was taught about morals has to do with you know the way society has come together to form these ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong oh you shouldn’t cheat on your partner that’s wrong you should you know maybe you should some societies think you should go to church on Sundays like morals were something that were put on me they were not something I came up with myself and I think that’s where my problem with step 4 came and so I needed to hear things like the purpose of a searching and fearless moral inventory is to sort through the confusion and the contradiction of our lives so that we can find out who we really are I needed descriptions and definitions to lay out like the point of this is not to morally judge me while I’m doing this the point of this is to figure out who in the world I am and why I don’t act like that right why is it that I say I want to be faithful to my partner and yet every relationship I get in I’m not right I need to get to the bottom of this like there’s some reason that I keep doing this behavior contrary to what I believe should be my morals not what other people say should be and so I needed clarification like that to understand this and not judge myself yeah for myself I think being raised you know religiously being raised Catholic I had always been told what my morals and values should be these are what you should believe these is how I should be living obviously you know an addiction I wasn’t living any of that and I don’t think that I even was before you know getting into addiction too you know I definitely thought that something was wrong with me that I was not a quote/unquote moral person not you know thinking that morals were what you needed to get into heaven you know it’s like I’m misunderstanding all these things and you know it did help me a lot to realize what this was the inventory process the purpose of it was to sort through all that stuff and figure out well what do I believe what is important to me what are some you know things that are worth holding on to and what are some things that are worth letting go you know and until I got into that inventory I didn’t realize a lot of that yeah yeah absolutely I would totally agree with that now this next thing I’m not trying to cause any controversy amongst anyone but this I’ve read of some part of this basic text today and this might be so there’s parts of the basic text that I’m like I don’t know if I really completely 100% believe that you know I’ve early on I remember my sponsor saying like the basic text was like the Bible and it was all true it was definite and you couldn’t argue with and I will say I completely argue with this next quote that I found literature it said we have found that fear is a lack of faith and we have found a loving personal God to whom we can turn we no longer need to be afraid what like the rest of our literature and even the rest of the part of this literature talks about how we need courage to work this step and how we should allow ourselves to be afraid if that’s how we feel I do want to point out you can’t have courage if you’re not also afraid like so for there to be I don’t know for them to say we no longer need to be afraid that just bothers me I’m like I think I’m always gonna be afraid and I’d like walk through it I don’t know does that bother you at all or you just don’t care um well I can I think if you isolate that term and take it out of the context of the bigger picture it kind of because immediately I think well you need like fear is a is a feeling and like it doesn’t matter if we like our feelings or don’t like our like we feel the way we feel as far as I understand I don’t get to control how I feel I don’t I don’t just get to go oh I got all this faith I don’t have to be afraid anymore you know if I’m walking down a dark alley at night and I see a crazy barking dog I don’t think you know any amount of faith is gonna get me through being a little intimidated you know been being fearful of that situation you know so fear is not something that I get to will away you know I don’t get that wish it away it’s just a feeling that comes up and I just like you had said I think what I learned in recovery is what do I do with that fear well one thing’s for sure you know I need to recognize it accept it and own it hey I’m in this situation I’m in this situation I feel fear you know what are some things that I can do to help me with these feelings you know that’s what recovery has taught me to do is is not to you know sit on my feelings and hide them away or force them down or convince myself that I need to feel a different way it’s like to recognize it to own it and then use principles or life skills or whatever you want to call it to get through those feelings and again fear is a natural sometimes healthy useful feeling there are situations I get in that I should be fearful you know if I you know start convincing myself hey I’m gonna go down the bar every Friday night because they play live music and it’s exciting and it’s interesting there’s a lot going on down there you know maybe that’s a good place to go hang out fear in that case can save my life you know a little bit worried that hey you know maybe that’s not the best place for me you know I don’t think having faith is the best way to deal with my fear in that situation yeah I don’t just like pray to God and then ride my bike on the end of a cliff like that’s just really stuck I know an old friend of mine Pat talks about how when he went through a pretty dire circumstance with some white blood cell cancer in his life he learned for himself that definitely fear and faith live in the same house even though he had heard throughout his recovery the statement that they don’t and I and I would agree I think they kind of go hand in hand I don’t I don’t know I don’t I don’t see you know my belief and my faith removing my fear kind of lessen it can it help me walk through it sure I just really didn’t like like dad read that and I was like oh my god I can’t believe anybody ever wrote that what is what is wrong yeah so the next thing oh I like this one too it said a written inventory will unlock parts of yourself of our subconscious that remain hidden when we simply think about or talk about who we are once it is all down on paper it is much easier to see and much harder to deny our true nature and I just I think that is crucial you know I can see I can talk about the putting it on paper apart but for me I always relate this to if you’ve ever you know had friends that came up to you and they were having relationship troubles or job troubles and whatever it was going on in their life it just seemed obvious to you what the answer was right really obviously you’re supposed to do this but when we get into situations in our own lives we don’t have that same ability right and what I’ve always equated it to is in our lives we have you know the rational logical what’s the right thing to do but we’re also dealing with those feelings kind of like hey we we know we should do a 4-step but we’re also scared how do we you know work our way through that situation whereas when a friend comes to us we can say hey yeah I get that you’re scared but we’re not personally feeling it just write the goddamn four-step right or just don’t cheat on that girl that’s not good for you well yeah that sounds great but this other girl sounds really appealing when she texts me and sends me pictures of herself right so it’s one of those things I think it’s easier to solve people’s problems when we don’t have the feelings attached it’s almost like seeing it from a different view and that’s why we can’t fix our own problems because there’s so many feelings in the way of what you know there’s the right thing and the way we feel about it and I think putting it on paper gives us the ability to look at our life from a third person point of view like we would have friends yeah and I know like for me you know I learned about things early on in the steps like you know denial and rationalization justification and I learned what those words were and I learned how they worked in my life but just because I understand what they are and how they work in my life doesn’t make them go away you know I still have situations in my life today where I’m in denial where I justify behaviors or rationalize behaviors you know what I mean because I’m only looking through it at the situation through my own brave colored glasses so I only see it the way that I see it and you know just because I know now oh I’m an addict and I suffer from you know this habit of substitution rationalization does it stop that when I started writing out you know let’s take like the relationship section of the fourth step I’d say oh I was in this relationship and you know this is where it went bad and I was in this relationship and this is where it went bad and by when I’m living through it each of those is this unique experience that’s totally separate from all the other relationships but when I’m analyzing it the way that I did it in sections you know and I look at these relationships and I see oh this one went bad because of me this one went bad because of me this one went bad because of it and all the sudden it’s like these patterns of thought these patterns of action like popped out at me that I was totally oblivious to before because in in every case before everything’s unique and different special but like say now when I write it down I can say oh you know I feel like you know this person’s out to get me that person’s out to get me the world’s out to get me the job owes me my parents owe me the courts owe me and it’s like wait I have a [ _ ] habit of thinking everybody owes me something you know like and there’s kind of those kind of thought patterns escaped me before I didn’t recognize him until I wrote him down you know and and it is something about you know writing it down that helps to push a little bit of that emotion away yeah and I like what you said it’s funny the next quote that I had was we were trying to free ourselves of living in old useless patterns and I think you’re right I think we are able to better see patterns when we put them on paper like I didn’t realize and these names will be made up to protect you know the innocent I didn’t realize that my you know first girlfriend Brenda was the same girl I dated for the next 11 women they were all Brenda right and I just kept doing the same [ _ ] and I had no idea they all seemed so different in my mind and then when they were on paper right next to each other it was like oh [ _ ] I just stated Brenda 13 different times but you know 12 different names and I never knew it and so I think you’re right we can see the patterns better when they’re laid out in front of us I would it’s a harder to deny our true nature right harder to buy our pardon so where we go yeah so if the world if the word moral bothers us we may call it a positive negative inventory we’re not taking our inventory to compare ourselves with what we think is normal for others but only to identify our own values principles and morals I really got the feeling through reading a lot of this four-step literature it was really trying to convince us that the word moral is not against us or out to get us I almost I’m almost like God we could have we could have wrote 18 less pages about the fourth step if we just changed the goddamn word like I appreciated this I definitely it was easier to look at hey let me figure out what values mattered to me than it was to think like you talked about like the church morals and values judging me but yeah well I I do kind of question why don’t we change that word why don’t we call it like a person searching you know inventory of ourselves why does it even have to be moral why can’t just be right personal imadori there’s a line that calls it a positive negative inventory right so I don’t know it just really weirds me out that we stick with the word moral and then spend you know 16 pages trying to explain why that’s not what we think it is yeah yeah I know for me that by the time I got to this step and and really worked it I think my faith that I had developed in the third step you know helped me not get too hung up on that kind of stuff and maybe it was some of those things in the reading but you know I I heard some people describe it as just like it’s gonna be you could write out your life story just start from day one and start writing all the way through and write whatever you think is important and then we’ll go over and talk about it you know I’ve heard people doing it that way where it’s more like a right a freaking autobiography of yourself I guess you know I don’t know I’ve heard people say they did whatever four or five notebooks full of [ _ ] I didn’t have all that mine was fairly simple it was definitely less than one full notebook it was not this you know hundreds of pages of deep philosophical [ __ ] which for me is odd because I love to act like I’m deep philosophical you know person and pontificate on all kinds of great ideas but you know and and maybe that’s part of the problem is maybe I think too much and I over complicate and and confuse things too much in my own head and so you know when I got to the inventory I just sort of approached it as like it’s just one question at a time I don’t really know you know I’m just taking it I’m just gonna answer this next question and see what happened yeah absolutely I think man you had a point in there and I lost it whatever it was I definitely I don’t know maybe if people were writing and eight notebooks full of stuff they were write really big or something I don’t know I definitely didn’t have that much either and I I feel like I’m with you I have a whole lot to say obviously that’s why we have a podcast where we don’t stop talking right the next quote definitely you know again it gives us another good idea what is meant by searching and fearless moral inventory we take stock of our assets and liabilities we try to get at the bottom of who we are to expose the lies we have told ourselves about ourselves for years we became whoever we needed to be to survive our addiction after living a lifetime of Lies we began to believe those lies although we did discover some valuable truce in the first step the fourth step further separates fantasy from reality we can begin to stop being the person we have invented and find the freedom to be who we are and so I think that you know goes back to talk about a little bit about what you said earlier about how we invented who we are and some of the lies you had started to believe I know when I got here and even work in some staff I shared for a long time that I had been in like seven or eight different detoxes and I think when I got here that was kind of the story that was regularly being shared that I heard it was almost like a rite of passage how many detoxes you had gone to and if you’d been to jail and like all these things were like kind of like your qualifications for how how much of an addict you were how sick you were I don’t know it was like a competition or a sickest right like and so my story regularly be regularly became that I was in like seven or eight different detoxes and this that and the other and so recently I got into the process of kind of file for a pardon and they actually want that information have you ever gone into drug treatment where when blabbity blabbity blah so I would poke him with my mother about trying to remember like trying to piece together my life and where I actually went and we can only come up with three and so I don’t know where the lie of like seven or eight came from but apparently I’ve been at three I might have been at one or two of them more than once but it did not equal seven and so it’s just interesting to even later on in life like still figuring out the lies that I made up no kind of belief yeah and some of that stuff it’s it’s weird I mean I know of course now the way memory works like what we know about memories it’s totally not true it can definitely be like the story that our brain uses to help us recall something but it could be totally unfactual I mean we’ve all had that well if you have siblings or whatever you know you tell a story about when you were kids and that three you know me and my brother and sister all have a different recollection of the same thing and we know we all went there but our memory is completely different you know it’s memory is totally fallible so sometimes writing some of that stuff out you know helps with some of that recall and to weed through it the other interesting part I found in this this paragraph was the fact that the second sentence the first sentence is what is meant by a searching and fearless moral inventory again questioning why we have these words in the in the step the second sentence says we take stock of our assets and liabilities why in the hell is the step not we take stock of our assets and liabilities I’m baffled by this honestly but I do think this is probably a good place to take a break for our head and then we’ll come right back and do some more talk about the fourth step this episode has been brought to you by voices of Hope Inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in Maryland voices of Hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at
www.canadianoutback.com and interesting statement and really I don’t want to say that I you know that this all that far out to me I guess I tend to sort of believe in that statement but I was really curious when I read it what your take on that was like I will say that many people that I have watched come into the program that don’t work steps at all or don’t get to step 4 or don’t work step 4 when they get there don’t stick around generally that means they probably go back out and use I don’t know that that’s true for everybody because generally if you don’t use again you don’t come back so I don’t ever hear from you but what’s your take on that do you think that people who don’t work this step sooner or later relapse uh yeah I mean and so if you go back a couple of podcasts ago when we talked about we really think addiction is or where it comes from I think this searching and fearless moral inventory gets into some of that you know most of us have ended up in you know seeking recovery or caught up in addiction because of tragedy and personal trauma and things that have happened to us and unless we come to terms with that you know unless we find some way to I don’t know what you want to call it like take ownership of that and do something about it you know that using is always gonna be the relief of that pain you know and so unless we do something about the pain it’ll always be there mm-hmm yeah I think you’re right I think if we have an inability to you know examine our lives and change any of our behaviors you know the the old saying in our fellowship is like same addicts will use again I’m sure that’s probably stolen and it’s probably the same alcoholic will drink again and the same gambler will gamble again and I think if we don’t have the ability to examine ourselves from a fresh set of eyes which we gain when we put it on paper then yeah we are kind of destined to go back to similar behaviors even if it’s not using again I don’t think we’re gonna live this happy joyous serene free life right I still think we’re gonna be caught up and trying to cover up our our feelings even if it’s not with the drugs anymore oh yeah so the next one says many of us have discovered as we work the fourth step that our problems didn’t begin the first time we took drugs but long before when the seeds of our addiction were actually planted we may have felt isolated and different long before we took drugs for me this is part of my share almost every time I share I talk about how the steps have allowed me to see long before drugs how I felt different than other people and how I felt like something was wrong with me and the ways in which that you know took action in my life basically I felt different than other kids I wanted to be accepted and so I started doing things that were against my own morals and values that I was raised with and I truly believed in order to fit in right and for me that took the form of like the kids the cool kids supposedly in my neighborhood vandalized property you know that was their form of entertainment at times and so I didn’t believe in doing that I thought that was awful people you know worked hard for their stuff but I compromised my own values to try to be a part of the group and to try to be accepted and like so I can see there if I would have already liked myself I wouldn’t have needed to do that I wouldn’t have needed that acceptance and I wouldn’t have needed to go against my own morals and then I I started the cycle because by going against my morals I felt shameful about my actions and then I had to do more things against my morals and get more acceptance to cover that shame up which only produce more shame and it just got into that hole you know that addict cycle of producing shame covering it up but the ways I cover it up produce more shame and so on yeah and it’s that cyclic keep distract you know that that shame I feel so bad about who and what I’ve become that I need to use in order to just be okay it’s interesting to and reading some of the a a literature you know they had a little different I don’t say different but the language is older in their writing so they talk about it as being like our living instincts our work and that you know we have these natural desires and that somewhere along the way you know they’ve gotten twisted and skewed and there was a little thing I just want to pull a little piece out of this I didn’t mention this to you earlier I just called here now and it type of what we were saying out of their literature it says we want to find exactly how when and where our natural desires have worked us we wish to look squarely at the unhappiness has caused us ourselves and others but by discovering what our emotional deformities are we can move towards their correction without a witness and persistent effort to do this there can be little sobriety or contentment for us and I thought oh that’s you know that’s where this becomes really important as image where it becomes important because if we don’t figure out you know why we do the things we do and why we feel the way we feel or just stuff feeling that way you know we’re stuck doing those things yeah and so I you know we call this step made a searching and fearless moral inventory and yet from what you just read it’s like let’s get to the bottom of our discontent right let’s figure out what it is that’s making us miserable again we could really rename this step I think I might start a crusade to do that because the name of it is awful but I’d like that understanding of it like yeah let’s get to the bottom of why my life is miserable and really start to get a grasp on understanding that yes life happens and you know things will happen to me that are not fair and that don’t feel good and that hurt but really my misery is caused by my decision-making that’s what I think I started to see in this four-step process that my discontent with life came from my internal being and that I had the ability to like alter that over time slowly to be happy with what I had no matter what that was kind of like right now we’re you know a lot of people we love our in-person meetings and hugging and circling up and and all this stuff and our face-to-face contact and yet we’re in a situation where life has given us lemons right we’re stuck at home and for me at least I’ve really felt the ability to make lemonade with it man I’m enjoying a lot of that I think we’re gonna talk about that in a couple minutes but I think that starts in this four step like what I could sit around and be miserable that I can’t get to in-person meetings and that’s just not the choices I’ve been making thank god yes for scoring and you know correcting some of my negative patterns of thinking so I always lived in patterns of I’m never gonna get enough no one’s ever gonna love me enough I’m never gonna have what I want you know so I got a take it I gotta get it I got a manipulate for for myself that happen I thinking ran most of my life when I was using and I thought that that was the way you survived that that was a good coping mechanism you know and like to say I didn’t realize until I got clean and started okay so what does that really look like in your life how is that playing out in reality and when I got into the inventory and wrote down the results of living that way I found out that it was not getting me what I wanted you know it wasn’t serving the purpose that I thought that it should I you guys can’t see this because you’re listening to us obviously but I’m sitting here looking at Billy and he’s got this beautiful background of like trees and like a starry night but it’s pretty well lit and I’m I was in a meeting yesterday and I was out back and like you could see the line of trees behind me and I was like man this looks really serene and amazingly the trees behind his head I feel like he’s outside at night I really know it probably seems silly but it really is a nice little picture to look at I need something to hang behind my myself for when I do these video things yeah well this is already here Jen hung this up over our bed in our bedroom just it reminded her of traveling it’s a I guess it’s a whatever big cloth thing of a famous painting this is I don’t know what the painting is there whatever I’ve seen it on other places we were actually in a restaurant and they had this exact thing painted across the whole wall of the restaurant so it’s all for some it’s a copy of a painting in a tapestry that would just hangs over our bed I’m surprised she fed her reminded her of traveling being outdoors and out in nature that’s awesome I really do like it I’m just picturing like you see this in the in the restaurant and you just go over and take a nap because that’s your default
no but I do I saw somebody in a meeting that had like a large I guess blow-up picture of a medallion behind their head with the amount of clean time they had and I thought I’m like man I need like a giant like basic text tapestry or something just something cool to hang behind me I don’t know I’m gonna figure that out I’m about to order alright so anyway back to the back to the fourth step I digress so one of the things that got me about the fourth step I went into it and you mentioned this early on in this conversation – you talked about how you had some things that you did not think you were ever gonna share with people and I similarly had some things that I felt pretty shameful about that I was like yeah there’s just no way I’m taking this to the grave nobody can ever know this kind of [ _ ] this is the kind of stuff that you know and it all tied into the way I felt about me and feeling like I was less than a man I just said if anybody knows this they’ll know for sure that I am and I can’t let that happen and so I wrote this fourth step and I kept waiting for the question to come that was gonna ask about it and none of them did and I kind of felt like I was getting away with something I was like yeah yeah I don’t have to talk about this right and then right at the end of it or step in the step working guide it says are there any secrets that I haven’t written about yet what are they and I was like these dope fiend bastards right like obviously I’ve written this eight pages back in front or whatever it was of material I’m not gonna not share it at this point and I’m not gonna lie about it and say no there’s no secrets there’s obviously a glaring secret I’ve been thinking about the whole time I’ve been writing and at the time that was you know I had this this instance happen I had done a lot of drugs what a good night I was leaving his house was not a good neighborhood it was you know 2:00 in the morning or something and I started to walk home and some you know this large group of guys from the bar that had just got out down the street encountered me and like you know hit me and threatened me and basically you know instead of getting beat up worse I they made me strip naked and leave like just like get out of here and so I ran back down the street and I can’t tell the story without laughs and now cuz I’m very serious right so I ran down the street but as naked back to like my friends he kind of had a sort of closed in porch and I hid out there for a while and I actually knocked on his door I was gonna ask him for clothes or help or something but he never answered and so I ended up waiting it out and I walked I was like [ _ ] I guess the best thing to do is walk home now like while it’s still dark you know before anybody sees me and when I got back to where I was my clothes were there so I got dressed thank God but I and that was really really shaming at the time I felt so it seemed to myself I’m like ah I should have just died I should have let him kill me instead of you know doing this and I think that’s kind of ridiculous now like obviously do whatever to stay alive that’s the important part but I don’t know I definitely find the the story humorous at this point in my life the fact that I was you know naked running around the streets of Baltimore City at one point but yeah I was never gonna share that with anybody and you know this step forced me to do that and through forcing me to do that it allowed me to share that with another human and really feel that they didn’t care or judge me over that situation and they thought you know what I might have reacted the exact same way you did if I was in it that’s scary I’m sorry you had to go through that and that was just the first experience with like being accepted for who I really was and hugely important to the rest of my recovery yeah and I think there’s some important things there in the four-step is that and this is actually going to lead to a question that I’m going to ask you in the fourth step it’s not a fifth step you know what I mean it’s it’s not revealing all this stuff you know my sponsor had explained it to me is you know it might not be him that I go over my fifth step with our fifth step does not have to be our sponsor or all of that information doesn’t have to be given to a one person so we’re it doesn’t you know that that and it’s written that way on purpose you know it doesn’t necessarily mean all right after I write out this whole inventory I gotta go tell my sponsor like that’s not what it means you know the point of it is to get it all out there so that we can like say recognize some patterns recognize our behavior in certain situations maybe gain some insights like you’re talking about and hey this wasn’t your fault you know I was sexually abused as a kid you know that wasn’t my fault it’s okay to feel victimized in that situation you know it’s okay to say man that [ _ ] was wrong and someone took advantage of me like and I didn’t know how to do that before and I learned that and I think so the question that leads me to because because I’ve done this early on when I sponsored people and they did the four step out of the Steph working guide I would say okay now it’s time to go over your fourth step and we would kind of go through that what they wrote down which what I realized was me putting them to position of doing their fifth steps because they’re telling me all the stuff that they just wrote down by answering all these questions it hasn’t saved you on their fifth step with me maybe before they’re even ready or they had made that decision I you know I just recognized I felt like I had taken that out of their pain so now if you sponsor someone who’s done a fourth step what do you do you go over it with them like do you sit there and go through all the questions and read their answers to you and so I think maybe even more of what you’re asking is do I think you’re supposed to go over your fist step with your sponsor or how do I feel about going over it with others no no no not that I mean my question is that like because so what I do now I can’t this in my behavior and I’m not you know again I don’t know if it’s right wrong or indifferent but now like after someone finishes their four step I’m like okay do you feel like you answered all those questions to the best of your ability you know do you feel like you left anything out of that okay you’re done your four step start right in your fifth step and then we’ll decide if it’s me that you’re going to go over it with because there are questions the fifth step that help you decide who that person is that you’re going to go over all that information with so when someone finishes a fourth step I just say okay if you think you’re done you’re done go on to your fifth step and then we’ll decide if it’s me that’s going to go back through that with you or not so I will say in doing it forced up with a couple of guys we went over it after the fourth step only to realize when we did the fifth step that the questions and the fifth step really seemed like they’re supposed to be answered before you go over step four yeah in that sense I would agree with you like it honestly doesn’t make any sense to answer the alot half the questions in step five and a step working guy don’t make sense if you’ve already read step four which your sponsor thanks though it’s like well that’s kind of dumb so to me that says yeah possibly Step five and the guide should be worked before you go over four so I I will agree with that completely I just don’t know how and again of course like everything else I have a lot of opinions and really they’re kind of useless I don’t I don’t like the idea of going over my step with a few different people for different sections I don’t like the idea of going over it with somebody that’s not my sponsor and again you know again these opinions work for me and I know you point that out regularly that we should not agree or we should not decide what’s right for everyone based on what works for us I guess just from my set of beliefs like if I think the point here is the freedom of being able to share this with another person and if I don’t feel like I can trust my sponsor like that then maybe that’s not the right sponsor for me I don’t know I I just can’t imagine and so for me if I was to share parts of this with different people I feel like I could use that to manipulate to not give the whole story right like I could still hide behind oh well I’m only gonna tell you this part of it which doesn’t make me look too bad and then I’ll share this part that doesn’t make me look too bad but if I had to share all that together it would make me look bad and I don’t want to do that so I feel like me room to hide if I do that kind of stuff what’s your take on all that yeah I mean I guess that could be a possibility but it doesn’t have to be you know it’s it’s so I probably have things that I’m more comfortable sharing with my wife you know we had been together longer than I had been with my sponsor at the time yeah I had a closer more intimate relationship with my wife and there were some things that sir not talked about and shared about and I don’t think there was anything intentionally in my fourth step that I kept from my sponsor like it wasn’t anything like that like oh I’m not gonna tell him this but I’m gonna tell my wife that but by the [ _ ] my done the four-step and and what things bother being I guess I felt like there were certain things that I had talked about during my process of recovery during my relationship that I had kind of worked through and I didn’t necessarily feel like needed to be rehashed in a 4-step inventory how are you right how would you feel about a sponsee that said hey I’m just gonna share this with you know my priest I don’t I don’t really want you to know it or I don’t feel comfortable sharing it with you or or even just that feels like the place to share this like doesn’t that kind of hinder your ability to help them with like 6 & 7 & 8 & 9
if they’re answering the questions to the best of their ability then I would say no you know because you know as well as I do me pointing out a defect that you don’t take ownership of is almost pointless anyway you might hear the words that I’m saying but you’re not gonna do anything about it unless you recognize that it’s a problem for you and your life and take ownership of that you know how many times he will give us advice advice advice you know it’s the right advice but you don’t take it you don’t do it because you’re not willing to listen so hmmm yeah but we know there there’s nothing like ok so I guess my role as a sponsor I don’t feel like is to enlighten like there’s no information that I have that’s totally unique to me that’s gonna save someone’s life and if I drove off a cliff tomorrow and anyone that I sponsor had to get a new spawn see I don’t feel like they would be denied anything you know what I mean like the process of recovery they would still gain whatever they were gonna gain in spite of me and my great wonderful insights and great wonderful information I feel like my role as a sponsor is to guide my spawn sees along a path and that they’re gonna get out of that exactly what they’re supposed to get out of that maybe not even the same thing that I got out of it I agree with that that they are gonna get it I just I guess for me feeling like if they’ve asked me to sponsor them I generally am that person with that spot to show them those things right like even if they’re not hearing it right that minute if they don’t have any awareness of something and like I feel like they’ve chosen me to be the person to so to pull them up and say hey I kind of noticed this thing about you I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed it or not before like I want to lovingly give you some awareness that maybe you should try to look for this and see if it resonates with you like I feel like they’ve asked me to do that for them and to me I’ll say the system he might get out of jail free card for that is that I always go back to the old sponsorship pamphlet and it says in there our sponsors are not our marriage counselors social workers financial advisors they are a guide through the 12 steps in Narcotics Anonymous so my role as the sponsor it’s just to guide someone through the 12 steps if we develop a relationship as a friendship or if I become someone that they look up to and admire that’s great but like my first sponsor who I loved and helped me you know immeasurably early on in my recovery as far as relationships when he was a [ _ ] basket case he got mad read and then cheated on his whiting strip and then they separated and he was dating all these chicks still going back to his wife you know like he had all these other I don’t know it was his defects of character going on at that time in his life in relationships so he was not someone that I went to for relationship advice didn’t mean he wasn’t a good guy through the test doesn’t mean the information that he gave me to keep me on my journey wasn’t still important it just there’s I guess what I mean by that is all of us have areas of our eyes that we’re really good at in areas of our lives that were not so good at and as the sponsor I can’t possibly be good at all areas of life to have the information that’s going to help you in all areas of your life no I dig it and I agree you know at its core yeah we’re a guide through the steps I am curious if they reworded the sponsorship pamphlet not that long ago I’m curious if that part of it still in there or not I haven’t no it’s definitely not if anyone’s all wishy-washy now the new ones the new one is written like the sponsorship book so have you read the sponsorship book I completely passed on that when somebody told me it really didn’t tell me how to do it now I well I would encourage you to read some of it I haven’t read all of it I would encourage you to read some of it so that you can see what I mean when I say it’s very wishy-washy they it’s I don’t know it’s useless that’s what I would say and so they took the sponsorship pamphlet and changed it to match alone any of that is basically like your sponsor can be anything it can be anybody it doesn’t even matter and I don’t even know if they need to be in the fellowship or not like it’s just [ _ ] crazy either way it’s I mean I’m exaggerating a little bit but it’s pretty bad Wow I have I don’t think I’ve read that I feel like the versions I have must be the old versions then I don’t know yeah I’m going to look into that so I would say yeah okay I agree you know sponsor guides you through the steps but in a couple of steps that mentions like hey go to your sponsor or people you trust and ask them what your character defects are if you don’t you know if you can’t see them or your sets and if I haven’t heard my spawn sees fourth and fifth step I might have some difficulty especially if we don’t have a relationship outside of the steps like if we’re not seeing each other at meetings we’re not friends we’re not talking regularly and we just go over step work I feel like four and five are kind of crucial for me to be able to see what character defects are in their life sort of so I would say I guess it’s okay to say so as your sponsor do you think I’m not aware of some of your character defects at this point we we talk a lot like we had that friendship relationship if we just met up to do steps I don’t know that you would know oh yeah that’s sure yeah so that’s what I feel like if we only met up for steps and that’s the only iteration of sponsorship we use and you I don’t go over four and five with you or five with you because I do that with a priest because that’s what I think is right for me then when I get to six I come to you and I say hey you know the step told me to ask you about what kind of defects I got and all you’ve seen of me is that I wrote answers in steps one two and three and you know I’m honest open-minded and willing as far as writing those three steps I don’t feel like you have I don’t know and of course you know yeah well I know that in all those hypotheticals if if then yeah you’re probably right if I have a sponsor that never calls me or doesn’t go to any meetings and they only ever work step work and then we only ever meet to go over steps or I would hindrance in that situation if there’s a god yes but if it father it would be if that guy can only hit a meeting on Tuesday night at seven o’clock that’s three blocks from his house right so yeah again everything’s not for everybody I could just say and the truth is I say all that to say when I’ve done my missteps have always been done with a sponsor it’s just the way it’s worked out but again I don’t know and I think I mean it’s done I don’t think I ever kept anything from a sponsor but there’s definitely no like secrets that I feel like I have in my that I haven’t shared with someone in recovery or people that I’m close with or you know at this point chaired in meetings because I don’t really care about any of it anymore not that I don’t care about any of it and that was a get back to a little bit of the fourth step so for me personally like that was a big freeing part of the fourth step is that once I wrote all that stuff out it seemed to have so much less power or so much less weight on me than it did before I wrote it it was like letting go of a bunch of baggage you know even before I went over it with my sponsor you know it was like getting rid of like just all this tons of [ _ ] feels like a relief to be rid of all of this like I don’t have to carry this around anymore like a sack of rocks damn there’s actually a good piece of the reading that’s about that that I didn’t copy but it talked about once we have examined this stuff you know put it on paper basically we can choose whether to serve it put a lid back on it or throw it out we no longer have to stew it right yeah it almost doesn’t matter what we do with it just the fact that we’ve gotten it to this point to look at it like we can then we don’t have to just sit in our [ _ ] anymore basically right and it’s like taking what’s taking what’s useful out of it taking what can help us grow and change as a person and letting go the rest of that garbage so I guess I am a huge fan of sharing my fist step with my sponsor and and believing that you know that is a very helpful thing for me and that would be my experience and maybe there is some safety issue that I don’t understand and I’m not aware of that makes it useful for other people to share at other places and that’s better for them so that’s where I will I will be open-minded today and my experience has been like I think as far as I know every sponsee that I’ve had that’s done a 4-step has went over their fist step with me I don’t think any of them have not but I always tell like I try to set them up for luck if it’s not me I’m fine with that my feelings won’t be hurt you know you got to do cuz I have had I have you know spawn seas that are religious and they go to church and that are you know and if that’s what they feed the feel they need to do that’s cool too but they still want to totally gonna be hurt no I have I was thinking about this this morning I actually have four spawn C’s right now writing on step four Wow three of them for the first time and they are stalling and then another guy for his second time and he’s stalling and and along with that I am on my four-step currently once again I find myself sitting a little with my 4-step and not writing I blame college courses and papers on why I don’t but really I probably have a little time to invest in it yeah and it’s funny mine the same way like I did my first three Stefan I first got clean and like a couple of months you know within like 90 days or four months five months something like that and then it took me I think three years to finish my fort step because I’ve read it on it all that time I mean like life happened you know what I mean I got clean and I started a new career and I got a wife and we brought him up at the time but I got a relationship and we moved in together and you know we got a house and just started living life and that process at the time seemed way less important now that I was clean and everything was happening for me they interesting yeah eventually I had a sponsor you know that sort of explained it you know that I always like is like the steps will come and get you you know it’s I can see the mobile patterns of behavior and patterns of thought kept popping up that I started to notice you know I’m like hey wait a minute this feels vaguely familiar I think I’ve been here before you know and and that motivated me to pick up my step work and and start working on it and then when I finally decided to really get back into it what I had done was I had made a commitment I’m gonna do one hour we I said I’ll just you know whatever I can’t remember what night let’s say Tuesday night at seven o’clock that’s just like going to a meeting that’s gonna be my time that I write on my step for an hour and I’m just gonna do an hour and some nights I did more than an hour and other nights I did like an hour and I’m looking at the clock like 54 minutes I guess I’ll answer one more question and I’m [ _ ] done but of that level of commitment it’d just be like I’m just gonna do this because I need to do it and eventually I got through it so I will say I think when you say the steps we’ll come and get you I think you just co-signed all nice posses [ _ ] about sitting on the step so I found this in our literature and kind of a little bit about what you were just saying and I sent it to a guy I didn’t I wasn’t going to read it here but since I signed it to a sponsee this morning why the hell not it says consistent action when our four step is important we can’t afford to delay work on our inventory once we begin writing we need to continue our inventory until we are done if we have a tendency to procrastinate it is a good idea to set aside a certain amount of time each day to work on our inventory such a routine establishes our inventory as a high priority in our lives if we put our fourth step away once we have begun we run the risk of never returning to it and so I just thought that was interesting like I definitely I mean Here I am working on one I am NOT setting aside a portion of every day to write on it or even like you just said a portion of every week but I guess that would establish it as a pretty goddamn high priority and maybe I need to set a calendar hour you know for me to do that every week yeah and I’m sure it’s one of those things where I I heard that reading or read that somewhere and that’s why I did what I did I mean most of my guidance and Direction has come from either sponsor or someone who said that in a meeting or I read that specific thing and said hey I’m gonna try people tend to say things that help me out so maybe I’ll take this advice
so the last thing I had was Oh another question we should ask ourselves now is is there anything in this inventory that is either an exaggeration of what actually happened or something that’s not true at all and that’s not anything novel we kind of mentioned that earlier when we talked about our you know our image of ourselves being somewhat distorted by the lies we’ve told of who we were I mean I when I spent some time you know incarcerated I definitely instantly became a drug dealer and kinda tell stories similar to that that other people had told me about how we cook stuff up or how we sold things and like that was nowhere near any kind of reality for my life I never sold drugs whatsoever but it seemed way cooler to be locked up for that and so you know I I just think it’s a huge a huge part of my life was getting away from feeling the need to lie or to be something different to be enough right it was just learning that I could be enough in me yeah and I mean when I when I hear that I actually thought of something a little different cuz I rapped in jail and telling same kind of lies you know and told people you know oh yeah I was dealing and all this other stuff and I’ll chalk that up to survival mechanisms or whatever and you know Tippie that stuff wasn’t as important as like the biggest lie I think I told myself for the longest time that kept me trapped in addiction is that no one loves me no one cares about me and no one’s ever gonna do anything for me I got to do it all for myself I got it you know and I had a family parents that loved and cared about me I had relatives and people that loved and cared about me but the lie I had convinced myself was that nobody loves me nobody cares about me and no one’s here to help me hmm that you know just kept me in a state of self-pity and and justification for all sorts of behaviors and and all sorts of things and that lie you know hurt me way more than any dumbull fit story that I told to some [ _ ] that I met in [ _ ] the jail yeah right right now absolutely I mean I think I think what you’re saying surely applies to me too I just I know that it was always that feeling of when I got around the people who supposedly quote-unquote were cool right and and for whatever reason my generation it seemed like we were raised to think criminals were cool and mobsters and crime and whenever I got into that element I never felt enough because I kind of grew up as like a dorky ER bookworm kind of kid who was smart and so I always wanted to be accepted by the cool kids and so it was pretty important to me even though it just seemed like a jailhouse lie it was just all part of that lifestyle of trying to be something else because I didn’t feel like I had enough I wasn’t enough being who I was yeah so what was that a a thing that really stuck out to you oh yeah so in against some AAA literature I was reading they had a good what I would call almost like a summation of what I took kind of from from their writing on this one on one second let me find it here so it’s the newcomer has probably arrived at the following conclusion that his character defects representing instincts gone astray have been the primary cause of his drinking and his failure at life that unless he is now willing to work hard at the elimination of the worst of these defects both sobriety and peace of mind will still elude him that all faulty foundations of his life will have to be torn out and built two new on bedrock now to commence the search for his own defects he will ask just how do I go about this how do I take an inventory of myself and so yeah I thought pretty interesting I thought it was kind of a good summation of like you know that at the end of the road when we figure out all our best thinking and best ideas and and best [ _ ] go at this thing life you know have totally led us down and failed us you know how do we figure out okay I need to get on a new path I need to to sort of [ _ ] get my course you know back on yes I would I find a little bit interesting almost they use similar wording that we do but we use it in a different way sometimes we talk about like one two and three being the foundation steps of our recovery and they go on to say that like for in four we sort of realized that we need to go and rip out the foundation of our life like what our core has been based on and sort of reevaluate building that into something you know more sustainable that that means more to us and I like that I like imagery right I like a now yeah I’m always a fan of that I will say though that you’re right it’s always hard for me to understand are they gonna get like younger members to read their literature yeah it really does sometimes feel like and I hate to say this because I have nothing but respect for a a and people in a a but it feels like I’m reading the King James Bible sometimes when I’m reading through some of that stuff and it’s really tough who the hell says bedrock besides like engineers planning a building at this point so I think that’s probably all I can think about to say on the four step of course the best quote out of any literature about the four step the only way to write a four step is to write it you know that whole theorizing about it talking about it thinking about it none of that’s going to get it done like just sit down append the paper no matter what format you use like you mentioned there’s the people who write their life story there’s the questions and the in the step working guide that talked about resentments and fears and relationships and sex and all the parts of our lives that have their you know let off astray or not gone the way we hope they would because of our different belief systems I’ve seen and I’ve actually worked some different spreadsheets on step four that I think are super cool where you sort of list the thing in the left side and then the next column is you know what your pardon it was and then all the way down to the right side where you get to the exact nature right the what was it what weird belief about life that I have that caused me to act this way or feel this way about it and so there’s a billion ways to do it I think they’re all great I think the steps and it’s definitely starting here are just like the most loving and caring thing I could ever do for myself right like if I if I really loved a person romantically in life my drive is to know as much as I can about them I would just want to know so much about them and I’m so interested and like I think it’s that kind of investment in myself like I I love me enough that I really am interested in who I truly am and and what is it I like and and pursuing that and you know examining things as if I I’ve never done them before and seeing if I like them or not and this is the beginning of that process for me yeah and in the beginning for me I don’t know if I so much loved myself but I felt maybe a little less hate for myself and a little more curious about the person I could possibly be you know I felt so confused about the person I had been using you know and and that idea in my head that uh I needed to sort through some of that and figure out you know Wow what what am i what am I about what do I really think what do I really believe you know yeah absolutely yeah early on it was not it was not as place of self-love I didn’t mean to come across that way if that’s what I said that’s more of a state it yeah definitely early on I was just as confused as you I mean in addiction when people said why are you acting this way why can’t you get your life together my answer was always I don’t know cuz I was here I want to do something different why can i and so i yeah that’s where i attack this step from like i’m curious what the hell is wrong with me i can’t seem to do what i think i want to do and here’s where our lack of skills in recording across the internet and possibly the overburdening of Technology right now as everybody uses it came into play the rest of this episode had a very bad echo every time that Billy talked bad to the point where as disappointing as it is to cut it out it was really not tolerable to listen to and so I hope you enjoyed this episode I hope it was a good talk about the fourth step we had pretty much wrap that up and moved on to other topics and so please work your steps enjoy your life love each other be kind to people be open-minded take care of yourself stay safe and we’ll see you next week that wraps up this episode please subscribe rate and review this podcast on your preferred platform if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to talk about or just want to add an opinion contact us through Anker email us at recovery sort of at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at recovery sort of
- 57: Relationships – To Date Others in Recovery or Not? (Sort Of)
- 51: Step Ten – Continued to Take Personal Inventory and When We Were Wrong Promptly Admitted It (Sort Of)
- 48: The Disease Doesn’t Discriminate, But Does Recovery? (Sort Of)
- 58: Smart Phone and Internet Addiction (Sort Of)
- 55: Step Eleven – Sought Through Prayer and Meditation To Improve Our Conscious Contact With God As We Understood Him, Praying Only For Knowledge Of His Will For Us and the Power To Carry That Out (Sort Of)
- 53: What Is Relapse and What Can We Do About It? (Sort Of)