Time: 4:36:20 PM
I am still in the process of making inventory. The only things that I can come up with is jealousy, fear,self and the simple fact that I hurt my significant other with defects. I don't want to continue the bad things or take another drink. I am sure that as I go through the program I will come up with more great defects that I have. I hope to change these as soon as possible, and learn to love myself again, so that I will be free to express real love to the other people around me and in my life the way that God intended for us all.
Member: Adam H.
Location: Nagano, JAPAN
Time: 9:01:04 PM
Anyone out there who has not started their inventory because they are "afraid of what they will find?" I know how you feel...felt the same way myself before I did the 4th Step. I don't know if this will help you overcome that fear, but here's a general picture of what I learned from my inventory:
1.) that I was constantly afraid I would not get what I wanted or what I thought I needed to have to be comfortable in my own skin...and afraid that I wouldn't get mine first.
2.) that I hated everyone who got what they wanted or needed before I did, as well as anyone whom I thought was getting in the way of me getting what I thought I should have.
3.) that I was driven under the lash of that fear and hate to the extent that I hurt a lot of people
...and most important
4.) that I played a role in my life up until that pont and that if I wanted to see some change, I needed to first figure out what I was wrong.
That's what I found out from my own inventory, and my experience in AA meetings has shown me that that's what a lot of us find out in oure inventories.
Grateful to be sober.
Member: Stew E
Time: 9:55:05 PM
Arigato, Adam. I have my inventory in the works and your thoughts are most helpful.
Something else I've been told is to include not only the negatives, but also the positives. As any busisness would take and inventory off ALL their possessions.
Member: George O
Location: New Jersey
Time: 5:54:17 AM
I sponsor a person that has been going through some terrible times with divorce a problems with his job (demotion). When he had a full year he wanted to go on to step 4. I made him do it a little different. Because he had been hearing so many negative things from his spouse and his sons for so long, he had no idea what was real, and what was perceived by others. I told him that he had to write a 4th step of all his good points first. After he did this I made him put his list in his wallet and keep it with him at all times, so whenever his spouse, children, or co-workers gave him grief about some defects he had he could pull out his good list. he could also look at his list any time he fealt the need. He wrote out his 4th step without any problems and went into a semi 5th at the same time. He wasn't quite ready to let it all go, but was willing. That's the key.
Time: 10:07:30 AM
I havn't gotten to this step yet, and truthfully, I'm scared of it. I know I'm dragging a lot of baggage around, but to have to face it?
Thank You Adam for your share. It will make this a little easier when the time is right.
Member: Saer Z
Location: Westchester, NY
Time: 11:17:20 AM
This is a great step, and a HUGE part of what makes this AA instead of a number of spiritual paths out there that might work.. So I wrote a fearless and thorough MORAL inventory. This meant of course that I had to be using some sort of moral barometer, and that I was going to be talking about God. It took many years for me to get any kind of moral code in my life(synonomous with God) and a big relapse after 14 years before i could really do this step the way it is suggested in the Big Book and the 12 and 12. But then, I was able to do it. Then I understood the columns, the process, the questions in the 12 and 12 and I could hnestly answer them. Before this, my inventories were long and full of story. I would get lost and confused in them. They did keep me away from a drink but the immoral life was still there in me til I drank again and hit bottom. Some are sicker than others. It was like having a spiritual experience though the day I really did the first big part of it. I was at a Barnes and Noble in NJ and knew I was going to have therapy in 3 hours, so I felt safe. As I began to write and list my wrongs I saw what kind of friend I had REALLY been. I began to see my character defects. It was like a great weight was being lifted.
Member: Anonymous alcoholic
Time: 2:42:41 PM
Hi guys. I completed my 4th Step a few months ago; it was one of the best things I have EVER done for myself. Many people, including myself at one point, have a lot of fear about the 4 Step, but this is an entirely positive Step towards our recovery.
As I understand it, and as my sponsor explained it to me, this is not a laundry list of every dastardly thing I ever did in my whole life, although many lousy actions (to be polite) made my final inventory. My 4th Step was an exhaustive study of who I am, good and bad, and what my attitudes and past experiences have been in respect to pride, fear, sex, humility, and many other areas. This process of scrutinizing myself brought me to a level of self-awareness that I had never before dreamt of. I saw patterns in my behaviour that I had been completely oblivious to - now I am able to catch myself when I begin to act in ways that I know end up hurting myself and others (most of the time).
Nothing in the 12 Steps was designed to harm us - these are spritually healing exercises. If we have completed our 3rd Step, we will recall that we have turned our lives over, and thus, the result of our 4th Step is out of our hands. Too many people have relapsed unessicarily from fear of the 4th Step. The 4th Step is not the Boogie Man - it is one of the keys to our own freedom and happiness.
Best of courage and God Bless. Thank you for letting me share.
Location: Pie why die~
Time: 4:45:30 PM
"Tie a why why" A moral inventory of ourselves suggest's: a wide bide died, or again, to tarry a neglecting of oursleves, One that might well be to our destruction lest we ablidge ourselves toward that vital spiritual experience, One that speaks to us of a "hope, and of a future, and of an expected end." Even that expected end that the bible teaches of, One that loves our neighbor as our selves; and herein, so much time is spent on amendmets that could well nigh be summed up by the golden rule if we were to run a good race as we ought to do. Do we see the forest through the trees? It is with God we have to do, And all amendments are for His being well pleased, rather than our neighbor. For what good does it do us to be acceptable in the eyes of our neighbor, and all the while, find that by so doing, we've become so worldly that we are no longer pleasing in the eyes of Him with whom we have to do? This step should remind us of our first love if it hasn't failed to do its job wouldn't you say?...
Member: ITS ME
Location: WHY SIGH PIE DIE HIGH
Time: 6:52:40 PM
YOUR STUPID PIE HEAD
Member: eagle child
Time: 6:53:58 PM
i was talking to a girl the other night after a meeting about the 4th step and i said how important i believe it is for us to see the goodthings left in our inventory about us as wellas the negative things about us because we all knowthe bad stuff very well but sometimes its harder to see the good stuff love ya all eagle child.
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Time: 9:19:11 PM
So, the very rich man (Rumor has it that it was J. P. Morgan) was sitting in the bar having a drink. He notices an attractive woman sitting a few bar stools away. He turns to her and says, "Will you sleep with me for a million dollars." "Of course," she replies, "any girl would." "Would you do it for five dollars," the man says. "Of course not," she says, "do you think I'm a common prostitute?" "Ah," the man replies. "We've already established that you are, indeed, a common prostitute, What we're doing now is discussing price." Like the man in the bar, a Fourth Step if conscientiously and honestly done, narrows the field and gives us a very good, unbiased view of ourselves.
With the help of a sponsor, I took a Forth Step following the directions in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. I learned a great many very uncomfortable facts about myself that I did not like. With my undesirable shortcomings fully in mind I asked God to remove them. I assumed, when I took the Seventh Step, that my shortcomings were gone and have tried to act accordingly, not always successfully, but I am, thank God, getting better at it.
Member: Joe P.
Time: 10:35:02 PM
I'm Joe, I'm an alcoholic. First, a sponsor step (actually, I believe all steps are sponsor steps and God steps). I would never have done a 4th step, much less a proper one, without a sponsor. And I could not have been honest and thorough enough without the care of God. Also benefitted from repetition of regular step meetings.
I was told to go back as far as I remember, and that if I couldn't be honest with a piece of paper, what chance do I have. Don't look ahead the next step - could be hit by a truck before going on, so just put it on paper. I was given several options, chose the method outlined in the Big Book using FREDL - Fear, Resentment, Ego, Dishonest, Lust. Started with resentments and three columns - it's that third column that's my real inventory. What does it affect about me? Then covered the rest of FREDL.
There were no surprises in what I wrote - I knew what I'd done. So I wrote it all down. Facing it was not fun, but I didn't want to drink. (Some of those who have written a fourth step have drank again - what chance did I have not doing so?) I was told that the only way I could screw it up was to intentionally leave something off.
I'm grateful for strong direction and guidance leading me to write my 4th step - I don't believe I could have gone on with the rest of the steps or stayed sober without doing so. Grateful to be sober today, and that only by the grace of god and fellowship of AA. Thanks for the comments.
Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Time: 2:31:54 AM
Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic. Step four for me was quite simple revealing myself to myself, and accepting me for who I am, who I was, and who I am capable of being. Step four didn't help me so much in finding out who I was, it helped me to find out who I wasn't. I found out I wasn't a bad person, just a person who made an awful lot of bad choices. Thanks for allowing me to share and God Bless.
Member: Linda L
Location: West Virginia
Time: 1:06:52 PM
I'm Linda, an alcoholic. It's just great to
Member: T Whitley
Time: 2:01:34 PM
The best step you will ever take. If your'e scared, you should be. It is very hard to look at yourself, and if you are a real alcoholic (like ME) it is hard to admit you had a part in anything. When we are the actors, running the whole show, we run the show so that we don't have to have our feelings hurt. In the process, we hurt and manipulate no matter who else gets hurt. As long as I didn't have to feel, I did'nt care how the other person felt. It took this step for me to see that. It really feels good to see why we feel the way we do. I resented every ex boyfriend I had (for no reason other than a fear of abandonment) It went all the way back to when my parents divorced. I finally saw a pattern there and understand now why I hated men so bad. I always connected them with my fear of being left alone. Why? Because I never let go of the resentment of my father leaving.
Member: connie s.
Location: riverside n.j.
Time: 3:34:45 PM
hello all,this alcoholic is called connie. step 4 was sooo frightening. considering i had denied so many things over the past several years, that to honestly own up to my behavior and look at the whys and wherefores, really shoke me. but it is a list. it is a step. i believed i would drink if i did not do it. it was time. i was so much like the amarillo woman, hated men. despised them for what they did to me.learned all about how fear ran my life. started to truly understand how this disease affected my behavior all my life. the first step in forgiveness for me. the attributes were difficult to acknowledge, but the came with time. grateful to be sober.
Time: 5:09:22 PM
The 4th Step is earning a seat in the program for the long haul. I can not count how many sponsees that have left during a 4th step. My first 4th was written as a biography of sorts. Although it worked at the time, I would not do it that way again. Later I wrote spot check inventories that are not quite 10th steps, but are exactly how the book describes a 4th. I have found by being totally honest whether "bad" or "good" items- I will be granted some level of happiness, joy and freedom.
Member: MINDY E
Location: MODESTO, CA
Time: 5:48:23 PM
MINDY GREATFUL RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC!!!!!!!!!! HEY FAMILY IN MY OWN EXPERIENCE THE FOURTH STEP HAS BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE A BAD REP. BUT IN REALITY IT'S NOT ALL BAD BECAUSE THE 4TH STEP IS ALL ABOUT US, RIGHT? AND I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU GUYS BUT I KNOW THAT I'M NOT ALL BAD. SURE I'VE MADE SOME PRETTY MESSED CHOICES BUT THAT STILL DOESN'T SAY I'M ALL BAD. BESIDES IF YOU DO YOUR 4TH PROPERLY THEN YOU'LL KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE INVENTORING BOTH YOUR LIABILITIES AND YOUR ASSETS. CAUSE WHAT COMES WITH THE BAD ALSO COMES THE GOOD. IN MY OPINION I FEEL THAT THE 5TH IS MUCH MORE SCARY THAN THE 4TH. CAUSE THAT'S WHEN YOU GOT TO ACTUALLY VERBLIZE YOUR 4TH WITH SOMEONE ELSE PERFERABLY YOUR SPONCER. HOW NERVE RACKING IS THAT TO ACTUALLY ADMIT TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING THE REAL TRUE YOU. SO MY SUGGESTION IS JUST DO IT! DO NOT PUT IT OFF AND ALWAYS TRY TO END ON A POSIVE NOTE IF FOR SOME REASON YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR PEN DOWN. MOST OD ALL ASK YOUR HIGHER POWER TO GUIDE YOU THRU IT AND TO HELP YOU PUT THE WORDS TO PAPER.
THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE WITH YOU MY EXPERIENCE,STRENGTH AND HOPE.
Member: Lessa E
Time: 9:50:44 PM
Lessa here, grateful recovering alcoholic. After a few months in the program, the first time through, I was told by a counselor in outpatient treatment that if I didn't do a fourth step soon, I'd drink again. Well, I did a 'mini' 4th step on a situation that was, indeed, threatening my sobriety at the time, and it did work. For that issue. At that time. I falsely assumed that I had done my fourth step and didn't understand what the fuss was all about.
A couple of nasty relapses later, and I delved into the "searching and fearless moral inventory" with no hesitation. At this point I was willing to go to ANY lengths to stay sober. I wrote it out like a biography. As a couple who have shared before me mentioned, there wasn't that much that came out that surprised me. I'd been in and out of the program a couple times and had shared honestly about past experiences, so they weren't surprises. The only difference was putting it all down in one place. And for me, it was not so much about listing character defects/assets and uncovering surprises as it was doing the step itself.
I've used this step on other situations that have bothered me - things that threaten to get out of hand. In the same format - as a story, writing what I know about the situation. And I *HAVE* been surprised at the results when I was through and fearless. This step, like many things I hoped to avoid when I first came to the tables, is now a valuable tool in my 'kit' that AA is growing in me all the time.
Thanks for letting me share.
Member: Bernie S.
Location: Woodside, NS
Time: 11:14:42 PM
My name is Bernie, alcoholic. Step Four is one of the amazing paradoxes of AA. We start out trying to figure out what's wrong with everyone else and end up finding out what's wrong with us. When I was in the bar I didn't mind telling anyone who cared to listen who I was angry at, I spoke many times about the fears I had of being found out for things I knew I had done and I had no trouble whatsoever discussing my sex life. So, why would I have trouble putting it on paper? Was it because I knew the reputation I wanted to enjoy was one I felt in my heart I did not deserve? My sponsor told me the pain would not come from writing my inventory, but rather from worrying about writing it. He reminded me that though my decision (3rd step) was a vital and crucial step, it would have little permanent effect unless "at once" followed by a strenuous effort to face and to be rid of the things in me that had been blocking me. He told me that if I wanted to remain a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous that I would need to write an inventory of my grosser handicaps. He said if I wanted to live I had to be free from anger, free from fear, free from guilt and remorse, free he said from the bondage of self. So, with his help, I wrote the inventory according to the clear cut directions in the Big Book. I haven't had a drink since. And guess what, if I can do it, you can do it.
Member: Carol B
Location: Northern Nevada
Time: 1:52:53 AM
Carol here, alcoholic for sure. Ah Yes. This is the opportunity the program gives us to break away from the old lives we knew for so many years. Itās our chance to realize that itās not about just not drinking, alcohol is but a symptom, selfishness and self-centerness is the core of our disease.
And THAT we find, is no easy matter. It is really rough on our tender little EGOS. I am amazed at the percentage of us that HAVE to write a autobiography (mine was 17 pages) that includes all the stuff that we are likely to go out and get drunk over, without the guidance of a sober recovering alcoholic (sponsor) who can show us (right out of the Big Book) the framework for a complete inventory. As several of you mentioned, we saw that we had made some pretty unfavorable choices. What I noticed about myself in my second ( by the Big Book) inventory was what it asked me to look for. As much as I would like to think I could be so eloquent with MY critique of the inventory process, these passages from pages 67, 68 & 70 let us know just what is to be expected. If you read the short paragraphs below you will see at the end that there is are ćpromisesä threaded through all the steps. <<< Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man's. When we saw our faults we listed them. We placed them before us in black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight.>>> <<<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.>>> <<<If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can. >>> Thanks for allowing me and my two cents on here.
Time: 2:10:08 AM
I'm Gage and I'm an alcoholic. I supposedly took this step many years ago when I spent about three years sober in AA. At the time, it was suggested to me that there were a number of ways to take the step, and that I should choose or even create one for myself. For instance, I heard one person suggest that along with a list of my defects of character, I should make "a list of things that I like about myself". Another person suggested that there were instances, moments upon which my life had taken various turns, and that I should look for and record those. I have to say that the result of that approach is that it allowed me to continue to blame the same people I had always blamed for what I had become.
If I found a cancerous sore somewhere on my body, I wouldn't want my doctor to treat it with some over-the-counter topical solution and a band-aid. I would want him to treat it aggressively, cut the cancer away, and would hope that he cut deep enough to get its seed out of me. So, when I took this step not too long ago, I tried to do what our book suggests. I looked for the exact nature of my wrongs, without thinking about anything that I believed had been done to me, or how other people in my life may have misbehaved. I wasn't looking for blame, then, I was looking for whatever it was about me that had allowed me to think and act the way I had. What I found was a whole mess of self-centeredness and misdirected pride. A lot of fear that manifested itself as anger was in there too, but it all stemmed from too much concern for myself, and not enough concern for others.
One other thing, I wouldn't suggest to anyone that they should take the fourth step without having taken the third step. I don't see how anyone could do it otherwise. I needed some guidance on this step, but I don't think the best sponsor in the world could have made me willing to do what the step requires. The will to do it, I think, came from having made the committment of the third step as earnestly as was possible for me.
I haven't had a drink since Feb. 25, 2001, due to no power of my own. Keep it simple.
Time: 7:04:39 AM
Selfishness--selfcenteredness! That, WE think, is the root of our troubles,(Big Book Pp 62). Alcoholics are like a sick tree. All it's branches are affected! Thankfully we do not have to treat all the branches! We treat the root!! Simple , uh! That's what step 4, the Big Book way, does!! We use 3 columns to identify those who have harmed us. Keeping it simple, following their example, it seems logical to use 3 columns to identify those we have harmed. Where had we been selfish? Dishonest? Selfseeking or frightened? using 3 headings. 1) Whom had we harmed? 2) What was our mistake? 3) What part of us was at fault? Simple. Using the first 3 columns, we discover how "the world and its people were quite often wrong!" Phew, that's a relief, I thought it was all my fault!?!? The next 3 identify whom I've harmed. From that comes the list they talk about in Step 8, the people I've got to make direct amends to. So, so simple, don't you agree?! In an earlier post from George O, New Jersey, he gives us a perfect example of all that is wrong with A.A. He says, and I quote " I MADE him do it a little different?!?!? Who does this arrogant bastard think he is. What does he mean by "a little", A.A. IS FULL OF SELF APPOINTED GURUS LIKE HIM! THIS IS WHY MOST PEOPLE DON'T MAKE IT IN A.A. Ask yourself the question George. If they don't make it using your way what happens to them?? Do you have any idea the damage people such as you cause?? There is only one "TRIED AND TESTED" way of recovery from alcoholism. It's in the first 164 pages of the Big Book. Newcomers; Please stay away from people such as George O. firstname.lastname@example.org
Member: Lee L
Time: 2:58:29 PM
Hi. I'm Lee and I am an alcoholic.
Member: Tame tame tame..
Location: Pie pie pie..
Time: 6:48:57 PM
Why sigh pie die high? A stay atay stay kinda worries, and a why why why kinda wows, a stay stay stay, pows a while ago and time time time stays home: a poem of why...
Member: MEL D
Time: 9:44:12 PM
Hi all, Getting ready to work on this step...considering I will be doing a formal 3rd in about a week. I spent my life running from me and anything about me...so not sure how I am gonna go about this but we'll see what my sponsor says...and if any suggestions I would appreciate it.
Location: Dearborn, MI
Time: 9:57:40 PM
Hi all, Holly, alcoholic. My view of the 4th step is it brings us into AWARENESS. For me, I went from being a victim to a volunteer. When I'm a volunteer, and I'm aware of it, I can un volunteer and choose healthier responses. This doesn't happen overnight. But, being 15 months sober today, and having completed two full thorough inventories, I am a much happier person today. I also know who I am today, and although I still fall into old behaviors, I am able to correct them a lot quicker with God's help. So... if you want to grow, if you want to be HAPPILY sober, do a 4th!
Member: Paul Q
Time: 6:21:39 PM
Time to pluck the chickens! RESENTMENT / FEAR / SEX CONDUCT Own my own shit is not easy....lets blame others shall we.....its far less painful. Step 3 was a contract signed with GOD. That meant moving forward and facing the truth. Deep down every alcoholic of this type according to Dr "Silky" type 3 thats me.....it was of an urgent nature to find and face the truth! You know the truth does set you free!
GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
Member: Michael B.
Time: 9:49:07 PM
Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Thanks for the sincere shares. Welcome newcomers!
Step 4 was a humbling experience for me, causing me a lot of emotional discomfort due to my honestly facing myself for the first time in my life.
However, it was well worth it, as it unloaded a great weight off my back and ended up being one giant step towards freedom. Also important, it helped me to realize more deeply the importance of moral integrity.
With the help of my God, I've made significant progress in this respect, but I need to stick with it on a daily basis as earnestly as I can.
Location: NW USA
Time: 12:58:35 PM
"Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves"
SHARING the Experience, Strength and Hope.
There is a "Healing Power" and it isn't me. There is a "Healing Power" and it isn't you.
There is a "Healing Power", it is the SHARING of the Experience, Strength and Hope.
The fourth step has given me an understanding of SHARING the "Healing Power" as the primary purpose.
Thanks A.A. for the SHARING of the "Healing Power"
Member: Mary K
Location: Boston (Raynham)
Time: 7:25:24 AM
Hi all! Mary, alcy.
George O, what a wonderful thing you suggested for your sponsee. So many of us come into the program defeated, deflated and with no self-esteem what-so-ever. In the early days of AA they did their 4ths and 5ths VERY early in sobriety....like within the first 2 weeks or so, they were all still mocus. Would they have been able to "do" this at 3, 6, 9 or more months sober once the feelings return that alcohol has sedated? I often wonder.
May God bless all with another 24! Mary