Step Four Myth Buster – Sarah K_Lifeline2016

Step Four Myth Buster

Myth #1 “Writing a 4th step takes a Long Time.”

I began my first 4th step with gusto, and then proceeded to ignore it for 3 months.  Whenever someone would ask what step I was on I would tell them step 4 and then make a very sincere face implying, “And you know how hard that is.” I was trying to make a marriage work that had been severely damaged by my alcoholism.  I was a mother to a 3 year old little spitfire.  I complained of that anxiety we suffer from early in sobriety.  Deep down I knew the truth, I wasn’t really writing my 4th step.  When that situation became painful enough, I committed to writing for at least 20 minutes every morning, and it was done in 10 days.

Myth #2 “I already know what it’s gonna say anyway.”

The Big Book says writing an inventory is a fact finding and a fact facing process.  This means I actually don’t know what it is going to say before I write it.  It is an effort to discover the truth.  When I wrote about my sister who is a heroin addict, I thought I knew exactly where she was wrong.  It’s not hard to find fault in a junkie.  However by the end, I was writing with teary eyes, because I realized I was guilty of the same stuff I had condemned her for.  She approached me with her dark sunglasses and slurring words.  I greeted her with arms folded across my chest and the word “No” at the tip of my tongue, just waiting for her to ask me for money.  I was scared of her and she was scared of me.  Had I not asked myself, “Where am I selfish, dishonest or afraid?” I would have continued to shut her out, believing it was all her fault.

Myth #3 “I am entitled to postpone writing my 4th step because I am too fragile to look at that stuff right now.”

I don’t know where this attitude comes from.  Because I was serious about recovery, it was not enough for me to sit in meetings and ride the fellowship wave.  I was motivated to take the steps because I was fragile, because my reality was nearly unbearable.  We do each other a disservice when we cottle one another.  Our unity comes from faith in a common solution.  On page 64 directly after the third step prayer it says, “Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us.”

-Sarah K


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