Tough But Essential
Tough But Essential
I remember working through the Steps for the first time with my sponsor and I couldn't help thinking forward to Step Four. He was always telling me to start at Step One and get through Step Three before I worried about Step Four. I'm an alcoholic though and while I did what my sponsor told me, Step Four still loomed on the horizon like a bad day waiting to happen. By that time, you see, I had heard enough people share about the difficulties they had with Step Four for it to worry me. Barely a few months into sobriety I had yet to develop the mental defense that came a little later in my recovery. It could have helped me hand over my will and worry over Step Four to my Higher Power.
So what was I worried about? Well I was frightened. I thought I had a pretty good idea about what I was going to find when I took inventory and to be honest, while there were a couple of minor surprises, I was right. I knew that pretty soon after compiling my inventory, I was going to share it with my sponsor. This is where the fear came in. He would be horrified wouldn't he? He would possibly, even probably, dismiss me completely and reject me as a sponsee once he discovered what I was really like. I was frightened of rejection, which is a theme that runs all the way through my life. Taking inventory was tough. I sat one quiet afternoon while my wife watched TV and poured it all out onto paper. It was tough because it reminded me of what I was like when I drank. The horrors I inflicted on those I loved hit me once again and shame dominated me that afternoon. It was though, very humbling and the experience made me grateful to be sober and recovering. I realised later, much later, that this was exactly how Step Four was supposed to make my feel.
Later, I talked through my inventory with my sponsor as we moved through Step Four and into Step Five. He listened and of course he did not reject me, in fact he shared some of his history with me and I realized that we were two peas in a pod, both recovering alcoholics, sharing our past experiences in an effort to recover from the horrors of active alcoholism. So like I said at the start, Step Four was tough, still is sometimes, as regular inventory is essential for me as part of my recovery.