If you're stuck on step 4...

A place for rebooters to meet and discuss 12-Step programs in conjunction with their reboot

  1. TheMightyQuinn

    TheMightyQuinn Fapstronaut

    Hi all,

    A while back, I was stuck on step 4 which is one of the biggest "writing steps". It turns out, so were some of my friends in the group. So we started a step study group. Once per week, we would rent a study room at the library for an hour or two. We we all meet up there just to write. We spent most of the time in silence writing our own individual step work. But if anyone needed to bounce something off of a fellow member, they could. This created:

    - safety. Step 4 is a common relapse step. It is hard to face our defects of character.
    - fellowship. It is often said that the steps are a solo journey that you can't take alone.
    - accountability. We had a set date/time for our work. We started when it was time and we put it away when the time was up. We didn't procrastinate or obsess.

    If any of you are stuck on a step, I suggest this method. Always remember that the community, the fellowship, makes it easier. You don't have to do _anything_ in recovery alone.

    Trappist and Admonius like this.
  2. Admonius

    Admonius Fapstronaut

    This is really quite useful information!
    Trappist likes this.
  3. newlifer777

    newlifer777 Fapstronaut

    Working through step 4 myself right now. I attend one specific group during the week and they walk through Step 4 with their sponsor. The sponsor writes everything down so the sponsee can ramble and get their thoughts out. I find this kind of process to be a little stressful as it puts me on the spot. To be honest, I also haven't worked on Step 4 in a couple months as my recovery actions with my therapist and my wife have taken up more time and I am pretty emotionally exhausted right now. While i enjoy working with my sponsor through this step, i feel like i could better tackle step 4 by doing some work on my own... Anybody have some advice for my situation or experienced something similar?
  4. newlifer777

    newlifer777 Fapstronaut

    This is really eye opening. One of the big parts about Step 4 is that it feels overwhelming to me. I believe the format is designed to be open so each person can best do their inventory in a way that works for them. Unfortunately, that can make me feel overwhelmed that i'm "doing it wrong". I need to work on that! Thanks for sharing your ESH! It benefitted me.
    Trappist likes this.
  5. TheMightyQuinn

    TheMightyQuinn Fapstronaut


    Love this. Thank you. The grudge list. I did my 4th steps using the Big Book method as well. The first time it took me almost 6 months (well 3 days + 5 months 28 days of avoiding it). The last time, it really only took a few hours of writing. And yeah, when I did my 5th step, my sponsor was not looking for a book report. Sometimes he was just saying "uh huh, great, next...". Thanks for the reminder about the previous step. They are in order for a reason right?

    Since you are an AA'er, have you ever listened to Joe and Charlie? They have a podcast that came out a few years ago where they go through the entire Big Book and the detailed story behind it. I felt like I really understood the program after that. I don't agree with every view they have but they are great story tellers and they know the story well.


    Step 4 can seem daunting. You're not doing it wrong unless (see below). I was told this:

    There are only two ways to work the steps wrong: 1. Alone and 2. Out of order. Otherwise, you're doing it right. It's not a book report, an art project, an opus, or a performance. It's also not your life story. Just put down the resentments, fears, harms, grudges, etc that cause you to act out in your addiction. Ockham's Razor. Keep it to the point. It is the work you do, the willingness, the effort, the honesty that yields the desired result. And don't worry if you miss something, you'll get another shot at it. :)

    Be searching and fearless, and if you can't, go back to step 3 like @StopTheMusic said and ask your HP for willingness and to help you with the process.

    Peace to you all,
    Trappist and newlifer777 like this.
  6. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    Great suggestions.
    Still in the process of procrastinationating.
    Motivating discussion here.

    What I have read in the 5th has been illuminating.
    This pushes me forward.

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