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Old 12-01-2006, 11:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well, I dunno about FEARLESS at first ... but had an epiphany last night that has made things FLY for right now.

I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't writing the 'great american novel' and just get the facts down. So far, I'm still only on relationships.

I notice that people in my own home group's sponsors set them up differently .. each sponsor must have their own way or something.

manomn - if all mine go as well as the one yesterday (which only took a WEEK to come to fruition ... but it was a really HUGE core belief I uncovered)
I hope that everyone gets as much from this step!
thanks!
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I complicated the hell out of this step.

I went to 4th Step workchops..had thick notebooks
with guidelines..started journals and quit same.

This was a 3 year effort!! Duh!!

One rainy saturday evening..I sat down with the BB
said a prayer and started writing.

About midnight I called L. and we agreed to meet
at noon and do Step 5.

My best advice...Just do it!

Thanks for letting me share
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Last edited by CarolD; 12-02-2006 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yep - you're right, Carol - this 'epiphany' I was talking about - you could take ALL my relationships ... and just put a blank where the man's name should go.

because the same single truth lies at the core of them all.

doing the same thing over and over ... expecting different results.
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Old 12-06-2006, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Barb, I can so relate to that! As I did my fourth step and especially when I actually started talking about it during the fifth I found I had patterns of behaviors and thoughts that came out repeatedly. This was one of the many blessings of the 4th and 5th step for me. Now that I am aware of my tendencies I can quite often catch myself when I start acting that way today and see it for what it is and then do something better and different rather than relying on the old ways which yielded the old results. Bitterness, unhappiness, depression, playing the "victim" or "martyr" are things that could lead me back to the bottle so I have to be extra vigilant these days.

I could also relate to what Carol said. For me I entitled my 4th step "the step that is never going to end". My sponsor had me do a variety of things including answering the questions in the 4th step from the 12 n 12, write on the 7 deadly sins and how they had affected my life. As I finished with this my sponsor went back out and will be dead from this disease a year. I ended up with a lady I was terrified of from horror stories my first sponsor would tell me about when this lady sponsored her. I didn't pick her, God did, and she has been the best for me. Anyway, I showed her what all I had written and she told I wasn't done. She pulled out worksheets which I was to complete a Fears, Resentments and Sex inventory. I had done so much self-examination during my other assignments that I got the worksheets knocked out quickly and they are what I used for the 5th step. The worksheets were very helpful to me to see the trends in my actions and what they affected. I have since shared the worksheets with others here via e-mail and gotten good feeback from those who have used them.

Hugs,
Kellye
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Kellye -
my thing was to remember that this isn't the 'great american novel' and just get the facts out.
the other thing -
I'm noticing, as I get close to the 'meat' of something - I only write for about an hour or even twenty minutes ... then I gotta go lay down!

LOL

it was great to find out that many others experience the same kind of self - removal from certain aspects of memory.

gotta 'get out' some way, I reckon.
There's a couple of people who have taken over four years to do theirs.
My sponsor told me 'don't EVEN think you're gonna get away with that!'
LOL
she's such a warrior.
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's definitely NOT the great american novel. I guess I should mention that I had to be drug kicking and screaming into my 4th step, my fear of it was SO great! Once I got through it and experienced the relief that comes from it I was kicking myself. Why did I wait so long (I was about 6 months sober when I finally finished it).

What I share in meetings now when this comes up is that to me the 4th step isn't about beating the crap out of yourself for the horrible person you are. It is a fact finding mission to find out your behaviors, attitudes, and actions that have caused you misery. It is to root out faulty ways of thinking that harm ourselves and others so that we can then make amends for what we've done and most importantly stop repeating the behaviors that got us there in the first place.

One other thing, be honest and thorough to the best of your ability but know that if something gets inadvertently left off you CAN go back and do a mini-fourth step on it later on. I've been sober for almost 2 1/2 years and I've already been through another 4th step earlier this year because there were things that continued to be problems for me and also new issues that had come up that were causing problems.

Finally, pray before you write. I don't think it is uncommon at all for people to write in spurts because it can be draining to relive all that stuff. Keep a pad of paper handy to jot down anything that may come to mind in between your writing sessions. I asked my HP to reveal to me what I needed to address and he did.

Good luck and keep plugging away at it. You are so worth it!

Hugs,
Kellye
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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WOW! Thank you all for further insight into step four, from what I have heard some old timers share about the 4th step and what you all have shared I actually look forward to getting started on it, I have some things I need to deal with and from what I have heard from all those who have completed it, it was not the hell they percieved it to be, but an awakening into a better understanding of their selfs and a weight off of their shoulders.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey maybe I don't need to do a 4th step, so far it looks as though it is a ladies only thing! LOL
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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nice try, TAZ ... lol!

kelly-
I understand what you mean about being draining ... I had to stop (dredging up the past) and do a 'quickie' on something that happened at the club ... my sponsor was agog that I did that for some reason. She didn't think it was bad ... AT ALL ... she was just amazed that I stopped the backward motion ... and focused on the present.

I told her I didn't want any NEW stuff to deal with.

I love that 'the step that's never going to end' ...LOL!
I'm gonna put that on the cover when I go to read it, I think. We'll see.
And - about the prrayer - I've got a heading across each page, too.
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Barb, it sounds like you're doing great to me. Just think, when you come out the other side of this and experience the benefits of doing the work and sharing it you can then smile when a newcomer comes in terrified of the 4th step and you can share your experience, strength and hope with that person to try and alleviate those fears.

Keep up the great work!
Kellye
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks, kellye!

For me, I've got to have a place and a time put aside for doing this, though.
I was bringing it to work cuz there's so much 'down' time here, but was getting upset, tense, anxious (which is how I know I'm getting close to learning something the disease doesn't want me to know) and it was affecting my being able to work with guests and all that.

So, it's slowed down because I can only do this on days off, and like ... right before bed.

And yes ... that's why I'm sticking with it like I am... I WANT those benefits ... and am willing to go to any length to get it!
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think the biggest part of this step has to do with ones relationship with there higher power.

For me, when i did my first 4th step it was a page and a half long. I got no relief or anything, just my defects starring me in the face and i hated it. As far my relationship with my HP, i was going well just to give him my drinking problem, if that tells you anything. Fast forward a year and i see how my sponsor is after doing another 4th step. i asked him if i could do one like the one he did and he said just tell me when you want to do it and we can get together. So after waiting around for a few months i was ready. So he gives this long long process in how to go about doing it. write down every person i was ever pissed at then, answer the six questions to each resintment( pocketbook, relationships, sex, ambitions, sercurity and i cant remember the last one) so of course i sit on it for a good few months b/c i got a girlfriend, you know. ok so finally i do it and when i was doing it, it sucked, i was feeling the way i felt when this stuff was happening. and i was pulling stuff out that i had forgotton about. so the inventory was done then i went on to the fears list and sex inventory and repeated the same questions for both. So, 80 pages later i have all this **** that i just wanted to get out and be done with. did my 5th step 20 in after i got done with it and that is when i felt better, that weight that i had heard about was gone and i began my three month spiritual high. it was amazing. the only thing that kept me going was my relationship with God and that no matter what i write down it will be better when i am done. And it was and still is.

James
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Working it right now. It's been less than 2 weeks since I started. I'm a little behind, but will finish soon.

I've discovered a couple of things while working this step.

1. I haven't been as victimized as I used to think when drinking. Yes, there are a couple of instances where I had no part, but in most of my resentments, I played a large part in the final outcome.

2. One of the hardest things about this step, for me, is reliving all of these experiences. Also, feeling the shame and guilt when I realize that a lot of this s**t (um, stuff, sorry) was my own damm fault. Can I have a resentment against me ?

I'll learn more as I finish this step. And, to be honest, I'm really looking forward to throwing all this trash out and moving on.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Inventory is about facing and being rid of (not coping with) what blocks me from God, from my fellows, and from from myself.

It is not about finding out who I am. It is about finding out what I'm not, getting rid of it, and what I am shows up.

As you reveal yourself to you, God will be revealed to you.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You're d**n right you can have a resentment against you! Also against God. Your sponsor too, don't forget the sponsor.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My fourth step started out with a short reading, the end of page 63 to just about the end of page 64 of the big book. Then, I wrote out my grudge list (people, institutions and principles with which I was angry, and I had to have some of each). Some entries had multiple resentments against them.
Then, a short reading, end of page 64 through most of page 66. Next, on left handed pages of the notebook, I began to examine each resentment. At the very top of each page I wrote out a prayer: God help me to be honest, God help me to remember, God give me courage to write inventory. The page was then divided into 3 headings, left to right. Leftmost column was “resentful at”. Here went the name of the target of the resentment. Middle column, “the cause”. Here the resentment was stated. Rightmost column (again this was left pages only) was “affects my”, which was broken down into 7 areas (listed vertically). The areas were self esteem, sex relations, personal relations, ambition, pocketbook, security and fear. For all of these (except fear, more on that later) I wrote a brief explanation of how I was affected. I went through the entire grudge list, and all resentments associated with it. This portion of the 4th step was comparatively easy although it was no fun wading through the old pain. Being self centered, I had little trouble spotting the areas where I was affected.
Again a short reading, last full paragraph on 66 through last full paragraph on 67. Now for the right side pages, and maybe the toughest part! What was my part in all these situations? Generally five vertical headings here: Where was I selfish, where was I self seeking (still can’t see the difference between the first 2 but had to write something different for each), where was I dishonest, where was I frightened, occasionally a heading just for me – where was I feeling self pity, and finally where was I to blame. Those right side pages were a real struggle, but as is usually the case in these situations, there was much to learn. I had to quit viewing myself as the victim of circumstance, and I had to learn the practice of constructive self criticism, something completely foreign to my nature and experience. I also began to notice a trend that started on the left handed pages, repetition. I saw myself reacting in the same manner over and over, though I tried very hard to spot variations. I once thought of myself as a unique and highly complex human being, but as it turns out my bag of tricks wasn’t so full. I was hasty in selecting the notebook, and at one point a few pages worked themselves out. I’m still not sure I put them back in the right spots!
Next, back to that fear thing. This reading went from near end of page 67 to near end of page 68. Then, time to ADD pages to the notebook! For each resentment, I’d staple a page to the top of the right handed pages (so it could be lifted up from the bottom. The inserted pages were divided into 4 vertical columns. They were headed: What is the fear, why do I have this fear, self reliance and God reliance. “What is the fear” tied in with that last item on the left handed pages, what fear did I get from each resentment. I would list one for each resentment. “why do I have this fear” was like peeling back layers. I would start out with the original fear and find the fear behind it, working my way back as far as I could. Under “self reliance”, I listed character traits that were the byproducts of my self reliance associated with the fears to the left, things like greed, self pity, self righteousness, etc. “God reliance” was what I could expect to find by taking the opposite tack, and traits like humility and self contentment wound up being listed.
Now, a little about my sex inventory. First, of course, a reading – end of page 68 through most of page 70. Then, back to the grudge list. By this time, many, many months had passed, and in the interest of actually finishing this step during the current millennium, I divided the grudge list items into 13 or 14 groups of like items. Then, 9 questions on each: where had I been (1) selfish, (2) dishonest, (3) inconsiderate? (4) Whom did I hurt? (5) Where did I unjustifiably arouse (5) jealousy, (6) suspicion, (7) bitterness? (8) Where was I at fault, and (9) what should I have done instead?
It was explained to me that the sex inventory was not intended to be a laundry list of the times I had diddled around on the ex wife or other shameful dark secrets, although they would be examined here. Rather, I would write through the prism of how I viewed myself as a man and how it affected my actions. It also wound up being a catch all for previously unaddressed items. No fancy columns or headings here, just straight narrative. More bashing for the ego, more learning about objectivity, and more self knowledge. By the time I was done I had compiled a heavy document, and learned more about myself than at any other time in my life.
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Old 12-22-2006, 12:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks all.
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Old 12-24-2006, 03:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
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now that I'm almost there
(my sponsor is pushing me - we've got people floating around who've been doing this step for over four years) LOL
I see that, in the first few, they were all verbose and detailed.
pages -n- pages
Now - they're reading more like a laundry list!
one page!
tap her lite & get 'er done!
LOL
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:34 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I didn't finish mine till I was given a deadline - have it done by x day or I was fired!
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