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I was a few months sober when I arrived at this Step with the support of my sponsor. It was still barely believable to me that I was going through each day without taking a drink, and more so that I didn’t even want one. I was super keen to get on with the Programme. Having just made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understood him, the Big Book told me that I needed to launch out into a rigorous course of action. It didn’t sound to me like I was meant to hang around with this stuff.

We read about taking an inventory being like a stock take for a business. I had worked for years in meat departments of supermarkets and was very familiar with doing a full stock take at the end of every month. This gave an accurate picture of how things stood, and what we needed to be rid of. Never in a million years would I have thought of applying this to me!

Following the directions in the Big Book, I got on with my inventory. Listing my resentments was a pleasure. I was a ball of fury and angry at pretty much everyone and everything when I arrived. I followed the columns, as suggested, which brought me to seeing my part in these resentments. I was ready for this; I had been and still was willing to go to any lengths to get well. The process was challenging but enlightening, I understood the importance of cleaning my side of the street, putting aside any harm others had done to me.

After resentments, it was on to fears which fell into two categories – the fear of losing something I had, and the fear of not getting something I wanted. I started to understand that my anger was entirely fear-based, and I gave others the power to control me. I certainly made a thorough inventory, although I can’t say it was entirely fearless. I had to look at my shameful behaviours, admit to letting my pride destroy me, and then there were the outright embarrassing things about me. I prayed for the willingness and got it all down.

Next was my sex inventory – without going into any details, it is fair to say I had not acted at all well in this area. I found writing it down an ideal for my future conduct – what I would and would not do clearly laid down on paper, helped a great deal. It has been a few years since that first inventory, and I found it particularly beneficial to go through another full Step Four in my second year when I was straightened out a bit more, and had less drama in my life. Step Four was a real game changer for me, although at the time I was not capable of digesting my whole truth, but that’s where my trusty sponsor and Step Five came in to its own. Best wishes

SIMON D, Penarth, South Wales