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Old 04-18-2012, 05:59 AM   #61 (permalink)
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She doesn't exactly have the time bc she's busy most of the time. I like working w her and I don't wanna switch again. I hate subways and I have to take one to meet her. Fml. I've done 1-3 and I've been putting pen to paper since step 1. I'm kinda scared to ask her if we can go to step 4. I admitted I was powerless and that my life was/is unmanageable, I came to believe that a power greater than myself (the rooms of aa) could restore me to sanity and I made a decision to turn my life over.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:04 AM   #62 (permalink)
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I don't know....If she has any minutes left...Call her up and tell her you are working step four....If you or she has any questions...Take care of them. This sounds like a runaround to me.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:17 AM   #63 (permalink)
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What does a runaround mean
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:40 AM   #64 (permalink)
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I would suggest that you relieve a little of your stress by expanding your program.
I find that listening to XAspeakers is really helpful. It is like going to a great meeting with an excellent speaker, except that I can sit and listen to them on my computer.
An essential element in AA is spiritual development: that is something that we really do on our own. Our sponsors can make some suggestions, but the path we take is very personal and individual. There are loads of books out there that can help you on this path: I am reading Echart Tolle, Pema Chodrun and The Sermon on the mount. I also joined a Course in Miracles study group.
Are you doing any service? Service is recommended in lots of groups for newcomers.
Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:38 AM   #65 (permalink)
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I've been doing service, that isn't the problem. I just want to be on my 4th step, should I start it on my own?? I don't want her to get mad at me but the longer I wait, the more I'm going to want to relapse. 4 columns? Or write resentment list first??
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:18 AM   #66 (permalink)
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I've been doing service, that isn't the problem. I just want to be on my 4th step, should I start it on my own?? I don't want her to get mad at me but the longer I wait, the more I'm going to want to relapse. 4 columns? Or write resentment list first??
Hi Armywife. I'm on Step 4 and first I wrote my flaws and assets, now I made a list of people I have resentments against, with the columns for how it affected me and what my part was in it. I think looking at our own part in things is key -- we start to see patterns and how we can change our own behavior so as to do things differently. My sponsor also gave me some inventory worksheets, such as a sex inventory etc. They are all available here: http://www.royy.com/step4.pdf (these are the exact same ones my sponsor gave me). I haven't gotten that far yet. Also reading the fourth step in the Big Book and the 12 X 12 is helpful.

To be honest I don't use my sponsor that much... she is more like a friend or she lends me a listening ear when I need it but she's not available to me 24/7 because she has two kids and a job and a boyfriend etc... I don't expect her to be my whole life. (Originally I was supposed to call her everyday, and I probably should, but I never really did that because I too am very busy with a lot of different things going on and just honestly feel like I don't have time to talk with her everyday -- often I will go to meetings or talk to other people in AA, or do my step work and journal -- it's not that I ignore the program, it's just that my sponsor is only one part of it, and not even a very big part. I meet with her once a week to do the steps when both of us are available or if I need her. During step four I haven't met with her in that capacity for a couple weeks because it's slow going for me. I am having dinner with her tonight but that's more of friends than doing step work.) However in the beginning I'd rely on her too much-- I would expect her to call me or to prompt me to do things... and I would get worried or mad if she wasn't immediately available, if she didn't say the right things, or if other people in AA weren't as "supportive" as I thought they should be.

Now I realize that human beings are fallible and let us down. All we have is ourselves. Yes we can use the group as our higher power but that means we make efforts to go to group, to reach out to people, to be of service, to work the steps... it doesn't mean that the members in the group are going to be able to do the work for us or always be there for us. So I would recommend doing the step work on your own and talking about it at meetings and to other members, and trying to find a different sponsor who is more available. There are people in my group who have long-distance sponsors, perhaps that might work for you if no one face to face is working? Just a thought. Best wishes. Keep working on it and don't drink, you're worth it.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #67 (permalink)
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I NEED someone face to face. If your in CA and I'm in NY, how am I supposed to trust someone if I never see them?? I just texted her and said I'm going to start my 4th step because for the last 7 months, I've been doing 1-3. And why w the sex inventory? I rather not share that w anyone bc honestly its very personal. There's something called being "too-close" and I have a hard time w trust to begin with.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:22 PM   #68 (permalink)
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I NEED someone face to face. If your in CA and I'm in NY, how am I supposed to trust someone if I never see them?? I just texted her and said I'm going to start my 4th step because for the last 7 months, I've been doing 1-3. And why w the sex inventory? I rather not share that w anyone bc honestly its very personal. There's something called being "too-close" and I have a hard time w trust to begin with.
Who's in NY Army? and in 5 yrs of AA, I'd not recommend ANY inventory "sheets" other than the Big Book Awakening 4th step guide and I'd ONLY ONLY recommend those to someone who's written a LOT of inventories, is familiar with the process and wants/is capable of doing a LOT of deep digging. I would highly discourage anyone new from trying those.

The BB has the best instructions I've seen for the 3 inventories (resentments, fear, sexual ideal) in step 4.....but they're SO simple most ppl don't "get" it when they read the book. I know I didn't. It's not necessarily a confession of sins.....it's not a life story.....it's not a history of everything you hate about yourself.....it's not a list of good vs bad...it's not a list of everyone you slept with......on and on and on. Most of the worksheets I've seen reduce it to one of the above and that's NOT the 4th step suggested in the Big Book. I do inventory a lot of different ways myself, but the "other" ways I do in ADDITION to the Big Book way.......not instead of.

I almost NEVER suggest "go get a real sponsor" because, from what I've seen, the problem is usually the sponsee, not the sponsor. lol -- sorry, that's just what I've seen 99.9% of the time in real life. I find it hard to believe the % would be MUCH different here in online land. In your case, I think I'll half-break with that policy and suggest you maybe do some looking, find some new meetings, see if any other groups out there are taking things a bit more seriously than your current group. It's OK to have aa-friends who aren't big step-workers......but they're probably not great sponsors.

I JUST moved from a house to an apartment.....about a 25 minute drive away. The meetings around my new place - night and day difference from the ones by my old place. It's like a different world.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:06 PM   #69 (permalink)
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I NEED someone face to face. If your in CA and I'm in NY, how am I supposed to trust someone if I never see them?? I just texted her and said I'm going to start my 4th step because for the last 7 months, I've been doing 1-3. And why w the sex inventory? I rather not share that w anyone bc honestly its very personal. There's something called being "too-close" and I have a hard time w trust to begin with.
I was just trying to share with you what is working for me and to help you by sharing what my sponsor has given me to work on, since you asked how to do it. The worksheets are based on the inventories set out in the Big Book for step four, and yes, a sex inventory is part of it. You don't necessary have to follow those worksheets but you should do what is outlined in the book (and the worksheets just set up columns that are explained in the book, as a tool to help you get started).

To me you are not making a lot of sense because you said you need someone face to face, yet you don't trust people and you're not going to share private information to anyone. My sponsor explained that in step 4 we must admit our deep dark secrets to someone-- it doesn't even have to be your sponsor (although that makes it easiest/most convenient and makes the most amount of sense), it could be a priest or pastor, a loved one or neutral party... but the point of it is to get that stuff OUT so you can move on. She said most people feel amazing relief after having shared their innermost secrets/past... for her personally, she said it was like a bubble popping. She was free of it and could move on to what she needed to work on next. I've also heard a man share during a speaker meeting that he told his sponsor all but his deepest darkest secret while they were doing step 5 and his sponsor said, "Is that all? Are you sure you've told me everything?" and he said "well, there's one more thing..." and he reluctantly and in fear and distrust shared that deepest darkest thing, and his sponsor said "me too", admitting that the same thing had happened to him, and the guy said it was just sweet relief to know that he could trust someone else with this part of his past, and that this same person had experienced the same thing, he was not alone. For me that has been what I like about AA-- that so many of our stories are similar, that no one can (or should, anyway) judge because they have been in similar situations, and we can learn to trust and build bonds with other human beings for the first time in maybe forever. Many many people in AA/many alcoholics are afraid to trust another person, but it's part of what we need to do in order to stay sober and live a healthier life. So I would recommend you just follow what Step 4, and then Step 5, tell you do to, in order to see if you too get those same benefits (I think you will).

Otherwise it seems like you're very resistant to most suggestions and that won't get you far and may be why people are hesitant to work with you? Just a thought. If you want do to the program, you have to really do it. Sure, you can take what you want and leave the rest, but it doesn't make sense to work the steps and have a sponsor but put up resistance to everything and claim that you want to do it a different way... you'll just be left spinning in circles. I hope you can find a way that works for you and really give it your all, so that you continue to find happiness, healthiness and peace in recovery.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #70 (permalink)
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I know of a male who gave his 5th step to a prostitute on the street. Turns out he hit a strong nerve in her past and got a really lively talking to about what he had done! HP works in mysterious ways!

Just thought I'd throw this in here. It doesn't matter who you tell those deep dark secrets to, just do it. Some of that 5th step needs to be shared with the sponsor for many reasons.

Keep staying stopped!
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #71 (permalink)
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She said we're gonna get thru 1-3 really fast so we can get to 4. But honestly I don't wanna do a sex inventory w her.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #72 (permalink)
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For everyone who has never met me: I have been the most willing to do the steps, NOBODY here is perfect. I am NOT resistant bc if I was, would I still be talking on here? Probably not.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:32 PM   #73 (permalink)
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She said we're gonna get thru 1-3 really fast so we can get to 4. But honestly I don't wanna do a sex inventory w her.
The sex inventory doesn't have anything to do with your sex life....What your sexual preferences are...That's not what it's about. It has to do with how you have hurt people you have been involved with. Read these instructions..

We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault, what should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it.

BB first edition

Did you make people jealous?...Make them suspiciuos on purpose?...Were you dishonest or inconsiderate with anyone. That's what it's looking for...Not what your sex life was like. It's not that big a deal.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:22 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Armywife - I am still feeling it for you. I thought I found someone really willing to be my sponsor on Monday night. I called her Wednesday in a really bad place, needing to talk or even just affirm to another person that I wasn't going to pick up, and no response. She PROMISED me that she would reply to my messages.

I don't know why it's so hard to find a sponsor. I guess all we can do it keep trying.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:25 PM   #75 (permalink)
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@DayTrader - my husband is in the National Guard
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Thank you Tiger for validating my feelings, it IS hard trying to find a sponsor
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:49 PM   #77 (permalink)
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@DayTrader - my husband is in the National Guard
Ahhh..... I see. There ARE military AA meetings - for service members and their family. Usually they're on regular Army, Navy, AirForce bases though......and the guard is a tad different. It might be worth looking into though as military ppl tend to have a somewhat high % of alkies (compared to other careers anyway).

I've also been thinking about the "I need F2F" comment you made a while ago. I ABSOLUTELY recommend face to face over internet sponsorship or telephone sponsorship.....unless both parties are long-term sober. I do see those sorts of relationships working out. New though, and not through the steps (really) yet, I think F2F is where it's at. However..........maybe that's just not in the cards for you. Maybe you have to go somewhat unconventional for a while....I did.

I was positive I NEEDED a sponsor to beat all sponsors. I needed someone who could think on my level, understand all my "stuff," knew every trick and turn of recovery, would always have an answer for me, could guide me in life, knew the book page by page, was wise beyond his years.......and more. What I got was a guy who was pretty far from all of that. Heck, he didn't even know the steps as the BB lays them out. He had "his" version of the program and that's what I did. Somehow....working "his" version of the program I got and stayed sober. According to some folks, that's not possible.....but obviously it is. So, if it's your belief that you HAVE to have a sponsor who does X or Y......my experience is that you don't.

Now, at about a year or so, I started hitting a funk.....things were stalled and I felt I was going backwards. I was discussing everything with a friend/mentor in the program and the advice to me was, "Maybe you need to take things up a notch and that's gonna require new meetings, new fellowship friends, exposure to different aspects of the program and recovery, new teachers, a new sponsor, and a better/closer relationship with your God." Maybe the same applies to you....? Maybe it's time to graduate from whatever grade you're in in recovery and move up? ....and I know.......I know it's even a bit scary.....just like moving to the next grade in school was. I had a helluva time finding even ONE strong meeting.....so I found that direction and guidance I was craving online in open talks on a couple websites. Those guys/gals became my teacher. I still had a sponsor.....but he wasn't my ONLY supply of information on recovery. I had to go "seeking" as the 11th step suggests. In short, I had to take responsibility for my own recovery and take some actions outside the "norm." Perhaps you need to do the same as well....?

One last thing..... You mentioned something about not telling anyone your sex inventory because you don't feel comfortable doing it. Like I said earlier, I worked A program but not the real AA program for about a year and while I didn't drink.......it was obvious I was outgrowing it. It wasn't "working" too well anymore. I was better than when I came in but I certainly wouldn't have considered myself recoverED. RecoverING......sure, but that was on a good day. It DID help when I started following the directions in the book.....doing what they suggested even when I was uncomfortable (not TOO often) and even when I didn't want to (almost all the time.....lol). I'd suggest taking a good look at why you're not willing to do certain parts and how that may gel with the statement right before the steps, "Half measures availed us nothing."
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:08 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Hey Armywife925 ---

You've asked a number of questions, and I'm wondering how much of AA's BB you've read.....or have you read any of it? Not a problem if you haven't. You can read it online, and get all you need to know on writing your 4th Step Inventory.........just go to.....: Big Book Online Fourth Edition click on 'English' scroll down and click on 'How It Works' and start reading. That actually has you at Step-3. If you want more on Steps 1&2, just go back to the beginning and read from there.

The instructions for writing the 4th Step begin on page 64. Just follow the instructions. I know a lot of folks talk about writing one's inventory WITH one's sponsor, but I don't believe that's necessary. I'm old-fashioned; I wrote my 4th Step out, on my own (as did my recovered friends):day6, and then did my 5th Step with my sponsor --- that's just how it was done. ...and remember, like someone wrote earlier; the 5th Step isn't just reading the 4th Step; not just rehashing --- it's taking 'all those wrongs' and figuring out the 'nature' of said wrongs..... (o:

While reading the instructions, you'll begin to understand why some of the things you seem resistant about ('...And why w the sex inventory? I rather not share that w anyone...' '...I don't wanna do a sex inventory w her...') are suggested.


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Old 04-18-2012, 08:02 PM   #79 (permalink)
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@DayTrader - there's no AA for military spouses in NY - only on bases.

I don't know if anyone has been reading any of what I'm writing but I have read the BB, the 12&12, Living Sober, Daily Reflections and As Bill Sees It.

I've been talking to other alcoholics daily and have begun to face my fear of NYC subways. As for the sex inventory -- it's personal. Some might say "it's not a big deal" but to me it is. I've been to other meetings, told my sponsor that I really want to do my 4th step and back when I switched sponsors to her stupid me told her I want to start at the beginning thinking I'd be well on my way. I also told her I regret making that decision.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:11 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Don't forget about your phone lists from meetings as well. One thing that my sponsor always stresses to me is to regularly call people on my list just to talk. That way if you can't reach your sponsor and you desperately need someone to meet up with, call someone on your phone list and they can help you just as well as your sponsor can.
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