Reminders of who we are
By Seekrecovery
9/22/2010 8:05:10 AM
So I started truly going at the Fourth Step Sunday--the Fearless and Thorough Moral Inventory. It was painful and by the time I was done I was without hope. This discouragement fell into Monday when I had I huge fight with my wife--and she said some things that really hurt. I realize now I had started the day on the defensive because of the 4th step stuff I was carrying. At any rate much darkness this week--and this in much contrast to the natural "high" of recovery I have been experiencing over recent weeks. I suffer at times from suicidal thoughts and they have never been worse than on Monday evening. I sat in my car and just played out what I would do--and wanted to do. I went to group last night but still the hope didn't come. So I called my sponsor. He said some things that really helped me. I've placed this list at the beginning of my Fourth Step--good reminders.

Reminders from my Sponsor
1. You Are A Child of God
2. It will get better
3. Remember that God Loves us in ways that are beyond our understanding
4. You won’t have to do this again
5. The 4th step is the step “boot camp.” It will break you down but when you build up again you will be stronger.
6. We have to be able to Love Ourselves
7. Lucifer Does not want you to feel good

Hope again. Now to get through this thing so that I don't have to keep revisiting the darkness.


You are a good person too.    
"Seek, it sounds like your inventory is a lot like my first one. All I concentrated on was my sins. If we owned a business and were taking inventory, would we only list those things that were no good, damaged and needed to be written off as a loss? Of course not! Regardless of how far you have gone in your addiction, you aren’t just crap. You’ve done some good things in your life. The list of reminders from your sponsor is a good start, but I would recommend you make a list of all the compliments you have ever received, all the times that you have had a positive effect on other people, all the times that you have felt the Spirit. When you are feeling down you can go back and review these types of things and hopefully realize your true value.

Right now I am going through Step 4 again, and one thing I am addressing is regrets that still nag at me. I used to really undermine all my accomplishments with the shortcomings related to them (i.e. served a mission/struggled with my addiction during it, graduated from college/it took a long time and my grades weren’t the best). As I was listing my regrets or failures the other day, I decided to split the page into two columns and list my successes in one and failures or regrets in the other. As I was writing things down I noticed that things in both columns belonged to the same subject, so I decided to give each subject a number. Then I noticed that for a given subject I had 1 in the failure column and usually 2, 3 or even 4 in the success column. There was only one that had one in each. Years ago these were things that convinced me that I was a total failure. Now as I looked at the written evidence it was very positive because I could see that my successes outweighed my failures.

My last bit of advice would be once you have completed your inventory, do Step 5 as soon as possible. You’ve filled a bag with sewage. Get rid of it, unless you like the smell. Many people hesitate because of the fear of revealing everything to another person. After it is over you will feel a freedom from those things and the shame you have been carrying with them. It can be a really healing process. Like cleaning out a wound, you may hate it while it is happening, but the healing begins as soon as it is over. Don’t leave the infection in there.

Don’t give in to the depression. It is Satan’s tool."
posted at 16:27:16 on September 22, 2010 by justjohn
"I agree with JJ

Learned a lot from him last few months.
I can testify that dark days have their limits, though I am sure the regrets will haunt me forever.

Good luck buddy"
posted at 20:35:18 on September 22, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Thanks JJ and Rugga    
"JJ--I haven't given time to the positives yet--I just keep writing whatever comes to my mind. I like the idea of splitting the page and including the positive things/accomplishments related to different periods. I've written a lot about friends and family and mistakes I have made. But I know that if I go back to those same people there are many positives as well--will try to insert those as well. My wife says I only see the negative in people and I think that is often true. Another person told me this week that if I want to give anyone something I have to first give it to myself...perhaps seeing the good in my life and giving myself some slack will help me to be more forgiving of those around me."
posted at 04:51:56 on September 24, 2010 by Seekrecovery
I made two lists.    
"Our facilitator had us write at least 20 good things about ourselves before we commenced with our inventory. The first one on my good list- I am a son of Heavenly Father, a Covenant Son. He loves me no matter what. His Son Jesus Christ paid the price for my sin. That's how much he loves us. He knows that we are going to stumble and fall.
I came up with 26 GOOD THINGS about myself. That was the 1st time that I went through step 4. Each time I rework it the list becomes refined because I am becoming more honest with myself.

Yes, it's boot camp. I went through Navy boot camp which, when compared with the Marines or the Army Rangers is like going to a Mormon fireside with punch and cookies. Nevertheless, I saw, for the first time in my life, a lot of young sailors start crying and calling out for their momies. lol."
posted at 05:20:30 on September 24, 2010 by migail3

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" Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can't forgive himself?The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever. "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006