Step Four in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
If you have decided to give Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) a try then you will hear about the 12-steps of recovery. These steps are a guideline on how to become happy in recovery. In addition, by following these steps (in order) you will learn how to maintain healthy long-term sobriety. Now, many people here about the steps and in particular the fourth step and panic. The fourth step is about making a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We list both the good and the bad and when working any of the steps it is important to have a sponsor help you through the process. So, please don’t worry!
Typically, the whole working the steps idea is stressful. But, please be reassured that once you complete these steps you will have a new outlook on life. The other neat thing about working the 12-steps is that there is no deadline to get them done. Therefore, this is another reason not to get worked up about it.
Exactly what do we hope to achieve by working this step? Some goals are identifying the causes and conditions of the consequences we have suffered because of our reliance on substances. Other goals are uncovering some truths about ourselves and being ready to admit them to another human being. Another great goal we hope to achieve is discovering unhealthy patterns which have been causing problems in relationships. Finally, we strive to name some of our most troublesome “character defects”, which we would like to work on or have removed. Once this step is completed, make an appointment to meet with your sponsor.
Next, it’s suggested that you go over Step 4 with your sponsor (Step 5). Sharing your personal inventory with your sponsor is a very important phase in recovery. The best sponsors will listen, be empathetic and encouraging. Your sponsor should be able to give you valuable feedback and will offer his or her opinion on your work.
This step and all the others prepare us to live a life of purpose . One that we can be in maximum fit condition to be of service to others. So, easy does it…but do it! Then, by working the twelve steps of recovery you will increase your chances of long-term sobriety. Below are what will result for you by working the program. Your life will change!
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves