The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

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The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby cathyclysmic » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:46 pm

Noob here. So, just started writing own my moral inventory. I've been told that it will change my life, make the urges less powerful. I hope so! Any advice or share your experiences.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:47 pm

The book says selfishness and self-centeredness is the root cause of all our troubles. And this inventory process is to figure out where we were selfish and self-centered. So like the book talks about we look at the resentments (usually what somebody did/said to us and what we are planning on doing to them, all in the head), fear and relationship issues.

And key is let someone look at it. Because self-appraisal wont be sufficient. Because its easy to see others fault but not ours.

Before jumping into the inventory process though, hope you have a realization of powerlessness and un-manageability.

Good luck.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby D'oh » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:50 pm

Before working on my 4th Step. Each time I would get on my knees and recite the 3rd Step Prayer as it is written on pg. 63.

“God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!”
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby Brock » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:49 am

4th-step-resentments-x-1.jpg

Welcome here Cathy. Yes the 4th & 5th can have a great effect on the urges, they are the two steps that most people have felt relief after doing, and a feeling that we are on the right road, the book actually says we felt as though we were on a broad highway, walking hand in hand with the spirit of the universe, powerful stuff.

If you just Google anything like 'AA 4th step worksheets' sites with something like the one shown above comes up, you will also see tips and advise on doing the step. Due to the small size the one above is not easy to read, but still perhaps we can go through it. The first section says who we are resentful at we just put a name, lets say my boss, next section why am I angry, maybe he didn't give me the promotion I thought I deserve, next section just a tick saying what part of me was hurt, maybe more than one part like my self esteem and my finances, last section says where was I to blame, there are some columns to tick off a simple answer, or we can write something in the space provided. It is important we find where we were to blame even if only in a small way, in this case I might have put I was often hungover and didn't do the job that well. Doing this and accepting part of the blame, goes a long way in me getting over my resentment. As avaneesh said, when we can't see our fault in something, often someone will help us find it.

There are sheets like this for a sex harms inventory and for fears, you can download and print or just take a sheet of paper and draw up your own, and the web sites will come up with tips for doing it, you will see one site called “Barefoot's World” among others, perhaps pick what you find easiest to understand. Of course you can ask further questions here as well, it's a pleasure to try and assist our fellow alcoholics, and I wish you all the best in this 4th step.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby tomsteve » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:08 am

good on ya for getting into the 4th step!!
imo, keepin it simple and following the guidelines in the big book is a idea. do the 3 inventories-resentment,sex, and fear.
something i did was carry a little notepad in my pocket. id have flashbacks to past resentments through the day and just a short little note helped me remember when i got home to put whatever it was that popped into my head through the day on whichever inventory it needed to go on.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby positrac » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:30 am

cathyclysmic wrote:Noob here. So, just started writing own my moral inventory. I've been told that it will change my life, make the urges less powerful. I hope so! Any advice or share your experiences.

I might suggest to limit expectations and just write and be as honest as you can with this work. It might be different once you've finished and so opinions vary. Bottom line is you are doing step work for you and you are getting better.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby Spirit Flower » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:25 am

Are you working with a sponsor?
Have you worked the first 3 steps with a sponsor?

My experience was that I worked on my first 4th step for 2 or 3 weeks. Each day, I'd read a bit of either the Big Book on the 4th step, or the 12x12 on the 4th step, or the Little Red book on the 4th step, or a Hazelden pamphlet on the 4th step; and just answer whatever question came to mind.

For the 5th, I read what I wrote.

Filling out a chart is fine. I did it this other way.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby Mike O » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:10 am

My own experience is to pray beforehand and to ensure that I follow the 4th up by doing the 5th step. Do NOT skip 5, no matter how painful or arduous the 4th may be.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby cathyclysmic » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:08 pm

You are all right! I thought I was ready for the 4th step, but still waiting to find a power who can handle this. I spent two days crying while making list and its clear I need to deviated the 2nd step!
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:47 pm

We find the power by looking at the list of our character defects and sincerely try to overcome it. We don't rent out the space for un-necessary drama. We are restored to sanity by transcending the short comings. Then you start experiences all the promises.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby clouds » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:18 am

cathyclysmic wrote:You are all right! I thought I was ready for the 4th step, but still waiting to find a power who can handle this. I spent two days crying while making list and its clear I need to deviated the 2nd step!


Cathy,

I think you are already on the right track. Getting to step four and facing ourselves does require a power greater than ourselves.
So right you, are go ahead and spend some time on Step 2. Then Step 3 will be your focus. Also, look for and find someone you can trust to help you individually with the steps, someone who has completed them, that would be the sort of person to get some advice from atm.

It will all fall into place with willingness and honesty, two things it appears you have got. =biggrin
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:49 am

cathyclysmic wrote:You are all right! I thought I was ready for the 4th step, but still waiting to find a power who can handle this. I spent two days crying while making list and its clear I need to deviated the 2nd step!

Step 4 boils down to being every reason we drank. So it's not an easy step, and this is why I feel it's important to be engaged with AA fellowship when going through it - by which I mean, seek out groups where most have done the Steps. Big Book Study groups are good for this. All of us who took the Steps went through the 4th.

ISTM you're on the right track, perhaps more than you realise, if you're still sober after feeling the remorse that Step 4 can bring out. It's a bit like drawing out poison or infection: not comfortable to experience, but we do it for the result. Too often I hear of people in AA waiting to "feel better" before embarking on their 4th - that's like waiting for the infection to ease up before going to have it treated.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby tomsteve » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:34 am

cathyclysmic wrote:You are all right! I thought I was ready for the 4th step, but still waiting to find a power who can handle this. I spent two days crying while making list and its clear I need to deviated the 2nd step!


crying while doing the 4th doesn't mean steps 1,2, or 3 haven't been done. the 4th can be a very emotional step and its quite common to have some feelings and emotions come up.
we aren't supposed to wait until we find a HP. step 2 is very simple- a simple couple sentences from pg 47:
"Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.
that's it- we CAME to believe in a power greater than us could restore us to sanity by working the rest of the steps, which step 12 says we have had a spiritual awakening as a result of the steps-.

each step is a prelude into the next- we aren't supposed to sit and wait on each step- wait to see miracles. the miracles happen as we';re working the steps- the promises, imo, are the miracles and theres promises for every step.
personally I had done the first 3 steps before I walked into my 1st meeting without even knowing it-
I had admitted to myself alcohol was the common denominator in all my problems. I didn't have a life- I was just existing and even then that existence was a mess.i surrendered.
if I didn't get help I was going to die and I knew there was a power greater than me that could help- at that time that power greater than me was AA.
I decided to go to AA- I made a decision that my way didn't work- my thinking(will) and actions(life) needed someone or something else guiding it.
but I didn't realize it for quite some time.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby Wiganman » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:44 pm

Congratulations on reaching step 4. The aim of this step is to find out the truth about yourself. Try and embrace that there is nothing difficult or anything to be fearful about with this step. I know that's easy for me to say because I've done it. My other advice is to try and do it reasonably quickly (don't spend weeks on it) if you leave anything out that you later remember you can always go back and add later.

Good luck and I am sure you will get lots of benefits from doing this step.
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Re: The 4th step. Tell me your experiences and tips, please!

Postby Duke » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:36 pm

The outline in the big book is what I followed. The only thing I did slightly differently, was to keep a log of my negative emotional responses to life when they happened over a period of time. Like in the book, I wrote down what I was feeling, what was going on and who was involved. Later, I came back to examine the fear underneath those reactions.

Just remember, its an inventory of defects, not deeds. It's to help you admit and accept who you really are so you can choose to move on.
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