May 5: Step Five

Topic for the week: Step 5

 We are all invited to share, at any time this month, on Step 5 and Tradition 5. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives. The traditions are what guide most AA groups. The traditions certainly inform our group conscience decisions and the original structure for GROW. We look forward to your shares.

 *** Step 5 ***

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

De, alcoholic.  The idea that I might have had something to do with how I was raised or how I was treated by others in school was difficult for me to accept.  I was the victim.  My part came down to merely breathing, existing, being in the room.  A lot of my behavior became entrenched, my reactions did not serve me well. .  Taking these behaviors into adulthood put me at a disadvantage.  As I have heard in the rooms, I did not play well with others.  

Putting words to my behavior, identifying my vulnerabilities (I wasn’t defective!) and then sharing them with another person did not give me the relief that I have had others speak about. I am not sure I ever did a traditional sit down and share step 5.  It was in bits and pieces, with separate disclosures.  Telling the truth, not embellishing, not feeling sorry for myself were behaviors I needed to practice.  

God already knew what I had done so why was I admitting anything to “him.”  There was mental anguish around my concept of a Power greater than myself that I had to work through.  

Awareness that tomorrow will mark 28 years since taking a drink and it has been awhile since I have sponsored anyone, a lot of this is hazy at best.  I am in the practice of using the Serenity Prayer to work through an emotional crisis going round and round in my head.  I still take pen to paper when spinning out of control.  I have a sponsor I check in with weekly.   I am in service to this group.  Thank you for being here.  

 This step is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, “Alcoholics Anonymous” (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 59). There’s more in Chapter 6, starting on p. 72. And there’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

 *** Where to get the books, Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ***

 You can find these books at many f2f AA meetings; you can order them online from many places. And they are available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See