Step 5 – “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
The 12 and 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about the ego deflation that must occur for long-term sobriety to be achieved. Perhaps no other step is as ego deflating as step five. When you begin to write an inventory for step four, you go into it knowing that you will be eventually sharing it with your sponsor. I believe that fear alone is what causes many alcoholics to abandon their step work. Not only that, but bringing up into the mind a lifetime’s worth of upsets is sure to create a cranky alcoholic. Thankfully, with the guidance of a sponsor, a fifth step is likely to be an exhausting but liberating experience. Every time I’ve gone through a fifth step I’ve learned more about myself and learned exactly what patterns of motivation and behaviors have manifested the negative outcomes I’ve been so upset over. I was able to take that knowledge and give it to God in steps 6-7 and continue to take action on it in steps 8-12. I know now that I’m not the worst or the best, I can simply be one among many. Doing a thorough fourth and fifth step has set me up to be able to be honest about everything in my life, which enables me to live happy, joyous and free no matter the external circumstances.