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Step 4 is Scary!
By fatherofone
4/15/2012 3:03:20 PM
I have been reading through the steps for AR this week, and so far, I have been thinking "Okay, I'm here. I'm doing good on this one." I thought this recovery thing wasn't going to be so bad.

Today I hit Step 4, and I'm terrified. I have already confessed to the bishop, but the idea of actually sitting down to write an inventory of myself is kind of scary. Any tips on getting the inventory started? I don't know if I'm quite ready to face myself with this, but I want to do this.

On a side note as well, I went to my first meeting on Thursday night. I shared how scary beginning the road to recovery is, but I knew it was where I needed to be. It was the first time I have ever cried in front of a room I strangers. Then again, they weren't strangers. They were a group of my brothers and sisters who all were working through the same things I was, and I felt their love. I hope everyone is doing well.

Comments:

It can be overwhelming if you let be    
"I started my step #4 chronologically. Just from my earliest memory. When I would remember something, I would stick in it's place in chronological order. Sometimes I couldn't remember my exact age or year, so I just did the best I could with trying to figure out what sort of things were going on in my life at that time. I had a 30 yr history to go through, so it took me over a month to type it all up.
BUT, here is the thing. This was a HUGE break through for me. Someone had finally given me permission to discuss EVERYTHING that ever had a negative impact on me, so I just let it all out. I included my own choices but also choices that others made towards me which had a negative impact on me.
It was like opening a wound that was ready to burst open & draining all the junk out so that it could finally heal properly.
This sounds weird but I think that step #4 is my favorite step. Here is a quote from step #4 that I read every week to my group. It says, under the "Freeing Yourself From the Past" section, "The reflection of yourself that you will see as you complete this step can inspire
you to change the direction of your life if you will let it. Because of the love and grace of the Savior, you do not have to be what you have been."
When I initially did step #4 & 5 I did them just to get them over with, but I stayed stuck there, in my past. I had determined that all of that stuff is what made me who I was. After a month or so it finally sunk in that the purpose of the step is to let go of what I had been.
I DO NOT HAVE TO BE WHAT I HAVE BEEN & NEITHER DO YOU! That is the best part of the Atonement. We can shed our sins, our short comings, our self destructive lifestyles & become a NEW PERSON. This is what gives me the most HOPE EVER.
So while you do your inventory, remember that is the beginning of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Every happy ending required the Hero or the Heroin to go through some sort of refinement. This is part of your refinement. Trust in the process.
In the words of The Lord D&C 122:7 "know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee eexperience, and shall be for thy good."
I will be praying for you."
posted at 01:08:15 on April 16, 2012 by ME
The benefits of getting a sponsor    
"Hey there Fatherofone! I recently finished step 4. It took me a looooong time to complete, but when it was finished, I wish I would have just buckled down and done it sooner. It's not fun, but you'll learn amazing things about yourself from step 4. Understanding yourself better can be scary or it can be empowering. Choose to let it empower you. The more you know about yourself, the more you'll be able to identify the root of the problem and how the Lord can help you overcome it.

If you don't have a sponsor...get one ASAP. Not to be discouraging, but you won't be as successful if you don't have a sponsor, and step 4 is a lot easier to handle if you can talk to someone about how to go about the process. My sponsor told me to separate my inventory in to 4 categories: resentments, harms caused to other, immoral sexual history, and fears. I believe that's how most people do it in AA, and I found it very helpful.

I can't stress enough how beneficial it is to have a sponsor. I didn't have one for my first year while going to ARP meetings and I still felt pretty stuck. Once I got a sponsor the future has looked much brighter and you'll be able to do your steps more thoroughly to avoid a relapse. Don't be like me and relapse 50 times before you decide to get a sponsor.

Best of luck to you and your step 4 endeavors!"
posted at 01:39:33 on April 16, 2012 by nevergiveup
there are some good workbooks for step 4    
"Do some internet searches for 4th step.

here's one similar to what I used. http://www.erikbohlin.net/Handouts/4th_Step_Worksheets.doc

the idea is that it helps you organize your fears, resentments and flaws.
Then for each one you determine the root cause -- selfish, dishonest, inconsiderate, etc.

I found this to be really helpful to organize my flaws and get a handle on just how selfish I was. I was able to see patterns.

for me the goal of the 4th step is to invite reality into your life and have a plan of attack when you do steps 8 and 9 and start making your ammends.

dont go easy on step 4. It is the basis of everything.

good luck!"
posted at 09:09:05 on April 16, 2012 by Hurtallover
Thanks for the tips!    
"Thanks everybody. :) I'm feeling a lot less worried about it now that I'm hearing word from the other side."
posted at 17:36:02 on April 16, 2012 by Fatherofone


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"I will speak briefly of the principle of repentance. How grateful I am for the understanding we have of this great principle. It is not a harsh principle, as I thought when I was a boy. It is kind and merciful. The Hebrew root of the word means, simply, "to turn," or to return, to God. Jehovah pled with the children of Israel: "Return . . . and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful . . . and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God." When we acknowledge our sins, confess them and forsake them, and turn to God, He will forgive us."

— Richard G. Hinckley

General Conference April 2006