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Old 11-13-2012, 10:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Faltering on step 5

Working step 5. Having to do this in stages due to work commitments, both mine and my sponsors.
I went through my fears last night. My sponsor again suggested I seek help from a therapist. I really don't want to do this.
It's making me feel really reluctant to be honest with her when I do the rest of it, I feel I want to trivialise everything so she doesn't suggest it again. I even had thoughts last night of dropping AA and looking for other recovery methods. She said last night that I was a complex case and she was concerned. I want to finish it and move on and I'm faltering now.
I don't feel I'm overly complex. I just want to be sober. Maybe AA can't help me?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe the issue is you're kind of not being willing to help your self and take her suggestions? I'm not trying to sound harsh at all but there is absolutely nothing wrong with therapy. If you had a broken leg you would be sent to a medical doctor to get treatment. I know it doesn't seem the same way but seeing a therapist is really the same thing. If you have something going on mentally a therapist can help. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's just apart of working on yourself, no one ever said it'd be easy. I'm like just getting into the program, just starting with a sponsor so I'm nowhere near where you're at but the thing I keep hearing is you kind of have to allow yourself to be helped and not immediately reject suggestions. What is your avertion to therapy? It could really be a tool in making you begin to feel better.A lot of people in AA are also in therapy, it can be a great asses not just for your sobriety but for getting to know yourself better
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do what I did...Pray yourself through it...Who's running the show here?
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In the 12&12, it mentions:

"Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility"

To trivialize (or minimize) your inventory for fear of what your sponsor may suggest may be tempting, but will sabotage your recovery in the end. There may be things you may not want to hear, but going in with an open heart and an open mind is vital not only in this step, but all of them.

I myself go to therapy - I know many guys in AA who do so as well. It's part of our recovery - dealing with issues that a professional is best equipped to deal with. There is no shame in it. I am willing to go to any lengths to stay sober, and it's just another thing I need to do to stay recovered.

Stick with the program. It's simple, not easy. You can do this.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Jeni, I agree with Paul. Some sponsors have the attitude they can fix pretty much anything and everything. It takes a smart, honest sponsor to know their limitations. You've come a long way in AA so don't give up. A big part of being sober is realizing my own limitations and sometimes I need help no one else can give other than someone who's been trained in a certain area. Just make an appointment with a therapist and go from there. You came to AA for a reason. Don't lose sight of that reason. If you were talking about your fears, and going to therapy is something you fear, maybe that's worth looking at. My wife and I had sponsors who were married to each other and they suggested counsuling for our marrital problems. You'd think having gone through it themselves, they'd know the answers but unless we're trained in that area, sometimes we just have to turn it over. Think about it and pray on it before you do anything rash.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with these guys Jeni, therapy is just a doctor's appointment for your mind. It can be scary, I know from experience, but it can also be liberating.

My sponsor said the same thing to me, "I think you need the help of a professional because some of your issues are very deep." Ouch!! But once I realized she was only trying to help me, and admitting that she was incapable of giving me that help, the hurt dissolved.

We've all gone through some stuff to get where we were in our drinking. This is our chance to work through those deep issues and set ourselves up for success, instead of for failure.

I hope you reconsider therapy, it's given me a new lease on life! I had no idea just how normal I was!

All the best to you Jeni
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jeni26 View Post
Working step 5. Having to do this in stages due to work commitments, both mine and my sponsors.
I went through my fears last night. My sponsor again suggested I seek help from a therapist. I really don't want to do this.
It's making me feel really reluctant to be honest with her when I do the rest of it, I feel I want to trivialise everything so she doesn't suggest it again. I even had thoughts last night of dropping AA and looking for other recovery methods. She said last night that I was a complex case and she was concerned. I want to finish it and move on and I'm faltering now.
I don't feel I'm overly complex. I just want to be sober. Maybe AA can't help me?
Plenty of people do 5th with a priest or other professional. You might consider that if you want to proceed past it without getting uncomfortable with her.

That being said, plenty of people seek outside help if they have issues that are beyond the scope of what AA is capable of dealing with.

I promise you that however unique you feel there's 1000's of people with an identical story and set of circumstances that are staying sober and living happy useful lives today with the help of AA. Don't let one member reflect on a fellowship of 6 million as a whole.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe your sponsor is expressing her own fear.

Don't sweat it, and don't leave AA over it!

This too shall pass.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've had two sponsors sound like that. One ended up with a needle in his arm. The other ended up in the steps with a boatload of unwritten inventory.

Isn't that my biggest problem, my ego and the illusion of separation it creates, that line that I buy into that says "my case is different?" AND "Here's how..."

I'm not ruling out additional therapy etc for you. I am not a doctor nor do I play one on tv hence I have no opinion on your condition. I saw a therapist prior to getting sober who sent me back to AA. Upon getting into the steps he helped with a lot of things. Eventually he fired me and said I didn't need him anymore and that I had found what I needed in AA, union with God.

Therapy is still an option today as well. I have not ruled it out completely. More will be revealed and life doesn't stop happening just because I am sober and in recovery.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks all. Guess I'm just really tired.
Tired of trying to juggle everything. I love AA and i am trying my best but I just keep running into brick walls it seems at the moment.
I will keep on this road but I am a bit disillusioned to say the least.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks all. Guess I'm just really tired.
Tired of trying to juggle everything. I love AA and i am trying my best but I just keep running into brick walls it seems at the moment.
I will keep on this road but I am a bit disillusioned to say the least.
That's the basis of my unmanageable life and the importance of a third step decision. I don't have the capacity to manage, or juggle, my life. It's overbearing. Steps 4-9 are the action that make that decision real.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would never subject a sponsee to do a 5th step in stages or parts unless it was too long to cover in a day.They do the 4th step,from start to finish,we then do step 5,from start to finish.

I suggest you sit down and do it all at once and find a way to do it like that and put it to rest.
as far as a therapist,I never suggest someone go see one unless they have been thru the steps first,give the program a chance to work,give it a fair go of it
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think because its been 3 weeks since I started and I haven't even shared the most difficult parts yet, I'm really reluctant to continue. If she thinks I'm complex and need a therapist already then I don't know what she'll make of the parts I cried over writing because it hurt so much to admit.
I'm going to my meeting tonight and will seek out one of the old timers who has taken me under his wing a bit. He has 20+ years of sobriety and often shares his struggles over working the steps for the first time. He is straight talking but compassionate and I will ask his advice.
AA has given me so much. I don't think I could easily walk away from it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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ok,now, remeber the trudge thing?

"AA has given me so much. I don't think I could easily walk away from it"
and read yer sig line. you may feel like that again iffen ya walk away. you know AA is the right program for ya, so dont let them thoughts control ya.
now, on the therapy thing:
i hope the thought of therapy isnt bringing up fear and maybe a lil pride and ego. many, many, many poeple in AA have benefited form it.
however, i personally wouldnt consider it until the steps were completed.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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When we talk about working the steps...this is part of the "work".

Work (n):

a. Something that has been produced or accomplished through the effort, activity, or agency of a person or thing
b. Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

Half measures avail us nothing.

It may be difficult now, but believe me, when you get out on the other side of it, you will be thankful that you plodded through it. And I wouldn't worry about what she will think - you can't control it, and I am sure she's heard (and done!) it all. Stay with it! It works - it really does!
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think because its been 3 weeks since I started and I haven't even shared the most difficult parts yet, I'm really reluctant to continue.
I don't blame you on this...It's inexcusable..Unless your sponsor is on her deathbed and you insist on doing it with her...I'd find someone else to do this vital step with?...Do you know what vital means? I told my sponsor I didn't want to wait till next week to do mine...I needed to unload that...We did it the next day. 17 months later...Somethings working.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Jeni, My sponsor told me that she needed to keep me on track since I had a short attention span the other day.

I said, "Thanks alot!"...

She said, "It's not you...it's your brain."

I was so offended.

I went into explaining how I don't have a short attention span. I just have my own things I want to talk to her about, and so our agendas are in conflict! I was still mad about it for hours. I said I am never talking to her again. How dare she! Humph. ! I'll show her.

I had a sponsor years back always suggest to me I needed to go to a doctor because she said if there was some reason mentally that was keeping me unwell...it would be a shame that I didn't find that out.

It could be why I relapse...as in some other mental issue.

I was super offended.

Me?

How dare they imply something is wrong with me!

I don't know if this makes you laugh, but it is silly how offended we get at other's suggestions...

We want it done our way, if they would only do what we want.

I think your sponsor is showing you who she is, and she is saying...I think we may need more help...or again, it sounds like her fear that she can't help you.

She feels in over her head with some things she heard from you, and stalled.

She did that.

You get to find someone that is ready to help you get through this.

I don't know that it matters who hears it. Just get it out. Find someone willing to hear the whole story.

Hope you find that person.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thankyou V. You make a lot of sense. There is still a part of me that hangs onto control. MY will needs to take a back seat now. My life is unmanageable in its present form. I juggle too much and my career and work commitments take precedence over sobriety too often. I don't sleep well because my brain is too active.
I over-think, I don't focus, I get easily offended.
I'm praying for guidance with this now. I haven't got anyone else really I could ask to listen to me as my meetings are mainly attended by men.
I'm sober and have no desire to drink. I don't feel I am about to relapse but I need to do something.
I recognise the huge strides I have made in lots of ways and I've lost a lot of the fear that ruled my life in some areas. I'm far more confident and less anxious. I just need to move this forward now.
I want what the old timers in my group have. I need to take my lead from them.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Hi Jeni, I relate to you a lot. I work full-time as a teacher (so I have to bring work home), have two very young children, two large dogs, a husband with a challenging work schedule, and autoimmune illness. I also go to meetings every day. It's a lot to balance. Every once in a while I think, do I have to do AA the rest of my life? Do I always have to go to meetings? When do I get to have time for ME?

Then I turn on the gratitude. Thank GOD I have AA so I can live a better life, one day at a time. The time I spend in a meeting and doing service IS for me. I struggle with my will and find that a lot of my turmoil stems from slacking on step 3. I need to consciously work that step daily.

I'm very fortunate that my sponsor is very much like me, from being a teacher to needing to be conscious of step 3. We are very compatible, and she has a lot of knowledge from her 20+ years of sobriety. Are you and your sponsor compatible? There were a few times I felt offended by something that she said and I realized that it was because she was RIGHT and my will had to take a back seat. That said, I am really grateful that I feel that she doesn't judge me and that I can go to her for guidance. When I first came to AA, as she put it, I wanted 20 years of sobriety in a week. I calmed down, but she understood my need to work through the steps. She found and attended a local step workshop with me (all the steps in 5 weeks). IT was an awesome experience - I came out of it with much better knowledge & understanding of the BB, I completed the steps and feel the peace that comes with the spiritual awakening, and I trust her more than ever. She's the right sponsor for me. I couldn't work the program with a sponsor that I was not comfortable with.

Also, I have been able to embrace AA fully only because I have a solid background of therapy. I have only been to therapy twice in the past 3 months because I really don't need it anymore. I have done a lot of really good work in therapy and have identified the genesis of my issues. The main problem has been my unwillingness to surrender, to admit that I am an alcoholic. I thought that if I just had enough therapy that I would stop abusing alcohol (which is one of the reasons why the first few chapters of the BB resonated with me so much). I am very, very grateful that I have the background that I do in therapy; I believe that has enhanced my AA experience tremendously. But that's what was right for me.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I embarked on therapy around a specific issue regarding a specific fear.
That said it was before my first visit through the book.
In fact its fair to say it had become more than a fear, flash backs etc.

Apart from the work i engaged in with the book, it was one of the most helpful experiences of my life....

In the 12x12 on step 5, i noticed this on sharing with another " this person may turn out to be ones sponsor, but not necessarily so"
For me, the new awareness of that fear drives me to be rid of it...and that is the key...see it, get rid of it...be it god, sponsor or therapist.

Because and again in the 12x12 on step five, i get to experience this beautiful paragraph.....
" The damned-up emotions of years break out of their confinement , and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed . As the pain subsides, a healing tranquillity takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined, something else of great moment is apt to occur. "

I strongly suggest you stick with this step, for me it was pivotal and of huge importance to my awakening and freedom .
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