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ACOA Red Book Step 5

Old 06-14-2014, 06:58 PM
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ACOA Red Book Step 5

Step 5- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

I have gotten closer to my higher power in the last 5 years than I have ever been. I feel He has brought me to this eye-opening stage of my life where I am really owning my part in my resentments, fears, reality. I am really stepping away from victimhood and it feels good. I have been admitting to God my wrongs, but also giving Him my gratefulness for this knowledge. I feel more "aware" than I have ever been in my life. I am not sure what human being I need to admit my "wrongs" to as I think this is a touchy thing for us ACOAs. For most of our lives we have taken responsibility for a lot of "wrongs" that had nothing to do with us and lied to ourselves about our feelings. What is your take on Step 5?
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:45 PM
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I used my therapist at the VA for my other human being. It went really well. Individual counseling has been a wonderful resource for me b/c I don't have a sponsor.
I have a tendency to hang on to resentments, living in the past and worry about the unknown and things I cannot control. I have been unfaithful to relationship partners, wallowed in self-pity, avoided taking responsibility for my wrongdoing and justified my misbehavior by pointing the finger at others.
I am also generous, loving, funny, compassionate, creative and caring, etc.
My therapist was impressed with the level of insight I gained from my fourth step and we scheduled a bunch of appointments for the summer, one every two weeks. I was ecstatic. Our next appointment, she told me she was having an (unplanned) hysterectomy and would have to take six weeks of medical leave. I had the option of signing up for a class on mindfulness in place of my usual therapy appointments, which I did. I was disappointed about the cancellations, but I've been doing my program long enough to know there's a method to my higher power's madness, so I'm taking it in stride.
One of the ladies in my Alanon group has a really excellent meditation practice, and I've been wanting to develop something similar for myself. Hopefully this class will help me with that.

OT/ if anyone's got the big guy on the horn, say a quick prayer for Dr. G. She really is awesome.

PS- sounds like you had a great time at that party DD. Glad to hear it went well.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:46 AM
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Lady-prayer said

Dragon- I Would only take this step with someone I trust so completely that waterboarding wouldnt make them talk. So, only clergy or a therapist for me. I know some people who when taking this step in AA went to priest and did their step 5 under the protection of the church though they are atheist.

If those options arent viable try a friend's parent, an older mentor, neighbor or if you really arent comfortable with those choices or you dont have those choices. Forget the other human, go outside, sit somewhere comfortably, read your list out loud to the universe than burn or bury it
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:29 PM
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Prayers for Dr. G. I don't want to sound self righteous here but I have been apologizing most of my life for things I should have apologized for and a lot of things that I should not have apologized for and I have always tried to make amends for any time that I have hurt others. I even asked my husband why he wasn't more angry about my drinking and embarrassing drunken episodes and he said it was because I was always so sorry. (I know very codie of him.) As a child, I was always begging my mom's forgiveness for her almost daily barrage of perceived slights. I guess I am going to have to meditate on this one. Thank you for the good ideas, friends.
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:21 PM
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- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

As with the other steps, I work this one backwards.

"Exact nature of our wrongs". It does _not_ say "apologize", or "feel guilty", or any such. It tells me that I need to understand the _cause_ of my "wrongs" at an intellectual level. I have to dig into my own needs, expectations, fears and desires in order to find out _why_ I have lived my life the way I have. It seems clear to me that I must do this if I am to have any hope of _fixing_ those causes and find a new way to live.

"Another human being". I find that when I examine my life by myself my thoughts drift all over. I have no discipline, or plan, or objective, when all I do is think about my issues. What I am really doing is "thinking about my thinking". If I am honest I must admit that my thinking is not exactly a shining example of mental health.... that is why I am in this forum in the first place !!!!!

When I sit down with another person, in the context of working on _me_, and have to explain all this in words I am in a situation where I _have_ to be organized, I _have_ to be clear, have a plan and a goal. Once I do that I make all kinds of discoveries, simply from being forced to organize my thoughts in such a manner that another person can understand the problem.

"Admitted". That means I have to look at _my part_ in the issues that I have. My parents, and their dysfunction, are the reason I _have_ all these ACoA issues, but once I left the chaos of that family it became _my_ responsibility to "clean out the basement" and get myself fixed. I admit that I spent a few years trying it on my own before I went to see my first therapist, _that_ is my fault. Once with that therapist there were some issues I was too proud to admit, that is also my fault. I had a bit of "ego" going on there, which slowed down my recovery.

This is the logical "action item" that arose from doing my "inventory". Once I have a list of what issues I need to fix it follows that I take that list and get a "second opinion" from somebody wise and trustworthy. I chose a therapist, as that is what works best for me.

Mike
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:57 AM
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When I started Step 4, I did not have a sponsor. My initial plan was to either see a priest, use my therapist, or perhaps speak to my HP on a weekend I would take away by myself somewhere.

But then my sponsor did make her appearance. We have met once in person and started reviewing my Step 4. We also have talked by phone several times to review my progress in therapy and realizations I have made. I guess this is sort of the beginning of Step 5 then as meditation has helped a lot of these issues realign with a new viewpoint for me.

My only caution about torching your Step 4 is you might want to briefly make who you may want to consider Step 8 prior to your inferno.
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