Admitted to God, To Ourselves and To Another Human Being The Exact Nature Of Our Wrongs
Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous - We are no longer in denial, we are able to admit that our lives were unmanageable because alcohol was controlling us, we couldn't control it.
Step 2 of Alcoholics Anonymous -In the second step we searched deep within ourselves and found our own higher power whom-ever or what-ever that may be to us that will give us hope, strength, and courage.
Step 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous - With the third step we have to be completely willing to turn over the way we think (which has been negative) as well as our actions (which have been negative) over to our 'higher power' as we individually understand him.
Step 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous -In this step we searched deep inside taking honest moral inventory of our self, who have I been, what have I done, and where have my behaviors taken me. Where have I ended up due to my addictive behaviors?
Step 5 of Alcoholics Anonymous
In Step 5, we take what we learned about ourselves in step 4 and share with our Higher Power and one other person our defects and life story. It's hard enough admitting our faults and defects to ourselves but admitting them to another person can be extremely difficult, but necessary. A lot of people try to avoid opening up to someone else and try to skip that part of step 5. Most people who omit opening up to another person eventually relapse because there's still hidden damaging clutter and denial in their life.
It's not enough just admitting our personal defects to ourselves, it just doesn't have the impact we need to make a difference in our own personal sobriety. Telling another person our true life story breaks down all barriers of denial, we had to hear ourselves say the words out loud to someone else but what a huge relief when we do. Remember the honest inventory shared has to be complete, not just the parts you feel are easiest to share. Holding on to some of the trash from the past will only stand in your way and your sobriety will suffer. Fear, shame and denial which is usually why a person avoids opening up to another person is not a secret anymore and you're able to be 'real' with yourself about your alcoholic thinking and behaviors.
It's understandable why an alcoholic would have a hard time completing step 5 but they're only short-changing themselves if they take the easy way out and omit the other person. In order to have a healthy sobriety and maintain abstinence there can't be secrets and denial or skeletons in the closet. It's impossible to let the past go if you're still holding onto it out of fear, shame or ego.
Working step 5 for many people can be extremely spiritual finding forgiveness for yourself and others who may have wronged you in the past. Forgiveness is very healing emotionally and physically which is a definite step in the right direction in your own personal recovery.
Choosing another person to share your wrong doings, defects and life story with takes thought. It's important to find someone you can be truly honest with, non-judgmental and trustworthy. Many people find counselors, pastors, doctors or therapists while others choose their sponsor. Whoever this person may be you can't hold anything back letting them know upfront what your conversation is going to be about and how they will be helpful to you in working step 5.
To make sure nothing is left out make sure your journal or notes are with you when working step 5 sharing your personal inventory. Being open and honestly sharing flaws and defects of your personal life story will relieve guilt, ease pain and bring you incredible peace of mind that you never knew existed.