Saturday, May 23, 2009

4th step...

I went to a meeting on the 4th step last night. As we read page 64 from the Big Book, one more time I was reminded why I would always fail in any commercial enterprise that requires an honest inventory. You need only look in my garage to understand how much I lie to myself about values: I have parts to cars I haven't owned for 30 years; paint that's more than 25 years old for walls that haven't been that color in 15 years; broken things that I've been intending to "fix" for over 20 years that I don't have any real use for (broken or fixed); most of what I'm storing is not worth the rent for the space it fills in my house - space that would be much better served by organizing the clutter in the rest of my house (but that's a whole other article).

I'm the same way with my "old ideas": I hang onto stuff that's never - in 56+ years NEVER - worked and has only caused me and those I love pain and suffering. Yet, I hang onto these old ideas.

At about 5 years of sobriety, I had gone as far as I could on the fellowship, slogans and "faking it" in AA. I was watching myself one day do exactly the same behavior with the same out of control mind as I was using 15 years previously - drunk and sober, same activity, same feelings, same result.

I had been afraid this might happen - that AA would not work for me - that I was one of those who was "... constitutionally incapable of being honest with ..." myself. Here I was, dying in AA.

Ironically (it seems now), I was shown for the first time how to work the steps out of the AA Big Book by an Al-Anon that I turned to to help me with what I presumed were my "issues" leading to this raging insanity. After working with her for a few months, I became willing, for the first time, to ask someone in AA for help.

Thus it was that I was 5 years sober before I had a sponsor with the wisdom and experience to help me to get down to "causes and conditions" and do a "fearless and thorough moral inventory".

I'm sure, over some time, I will get a chance to write more about that process and my experiences finding the "clear directions" (they didn't seem clear and they didn't sound like directions to my sick mind) in the Big Book about the technology to accomplish a 4th step inventory.

For now, I just want to say how grateful I am that my life has been transformed, in part, through that process. All that I have today of value can be related back to that part of the process - including the several subsequent opportunities that I've had to do additional inventories.

After I shared, a person who I consider a giant in our AA community came up to me and asked me for help getting down to "causes and conditions" about something in his life.

Something about the "circle of life" goes here but, again, I think this article is long enough for today...

Thank you god...


Scott W said...

I love that circle of life stuff. It's a good thing, too, because we can't avoid it.

Syd said...

I did a fourth step from the Big Book and found it to be very thorough and very honest. I also learned that Mr. Brown wasn't a good guy.
The circle of life and fellowship is a great thing. Someone reaches out to you, God reaches out for both and the circle is complete.