Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby D'oh » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:29 pm

Once again, someone can do a fifth step as often as they wish, saying it's part of the AA program to do it more than once is not just untrue, but it also offers another excuse for the newcomer faced with this step; at some of these we balked; to walk away. We don't need to sugarcoat the work required, but by the same token we have no right to make it look harder than it is.


It also says "Suggested" before the Steps and that the Book is Suggestive as a Program of Recovery" Many parts of the reading can be interrupted in many ways.

This is why I chose my Sponsor to do All of my 5th Steps with, I wanted what He had in Sobriety, and was willing to show me How he achieved it.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby clouds » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:58 am

I did most of my Step 5 with my sponsor. That was in early days. She moved away and I began to go to a step group that used the 12 x 12 to read from as se moved through the steps and discussed them. As I went through the steps with the group I saw many things I had missed in my original 4 and 5th step and I wrote down what I had not talked about and sought out a priest who was on a list of clergy that were available to hear 5the steps, these people signed up because they understood what AA was about. Later I faced some life changing crisis and sought a psychiatrist wherein even more was revealed to me about my character and I talked those things over there.

All of these people were nothing but helpful to my sobriety and my continued work in the 12 step program.
I found it easy to do the steps as outlined and the person who should hear was available when I had done the fourth, in each case.

I'm glad I did step three before doing the steps that follow it.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Brock » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:18 am

Many parts of the reading can be interrupted in many ways.
This is why I chose my Sponsor to do All of my 5th Steps with…

I am sorry to have been part of the change in the direction of this thread, which should only be about who we choose for the 5th, not how many times we do it. But others keep pushing doing it over and over, which is not only confusing to new comers, but I believe frightening as well. Since it's scary enough to consider doing it once, without being given the impression, that I will have to be talking out my little secrets with anyone other than God, for the rest of my life.

It is a subject covered in threads here in the past, and while we may do it as many times as we wish, the book indicates it's a one time deal, and perhaps we can follow that lead in instructing new members.

On page 25 in the chapter 'There Is A Solution,' the writers go to the extent of highlighting the start of a paragraph by repeating the chapter name, using italics and saying this -
There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation.

The process is consummated = complete, concluded, finished etc. and no amount of - “Many parts of the reading can be interrupted in many ways..” can change that. These writers were proud wordsmiths, and would have chosen a different word if they wanted to indicate something we might do over and over.

And the paragraph ends by stating - “We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.” Steps 10, 11 & 12 will keep us there.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Layne » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:45 am

I am sorry to have been part of the change in the direction of this thread, which should only be about who we choose for the 5th, not how many times we do it.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby PuppyEars » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:49 am

If you are anything like me, I have found doing a yearly step 5 beneficial. Reason being, I can let things pile up and when I start to wonder why I feel blocked, maybe it's because I stopped being held accountable for my actions. Maybe you nailed recovery 1000% on your first step 5 and piles of flowery rosebuds come out of your mouth and ass when you cough and fart....good for you. When I open up completely to another, amazing things usually follow and it can even encourage someone else to open up.

If it worked the first time, why wouldn't we want to make use of it, after all, the book also says more will be revealed. I chose fellow aa members to hear my 5ths, and next years it might even be you.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Layne » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:05 am

As I wait for their reply (hoping I get one), I wondered what I would do if a female clergy member offered to hear it (I'm male). I know that sponsorship should not cross sexual lines, but what about the fifth step? Any ideas?
Gender and or sexual orientation of the participants in a 5th step shouldn't come into play in a perfect world scenario. Very little is perfect.

When I did my 5th step, I was more comfortable around men (I am male). I don't know if I would have been as forthright with a woman, but that was on me. The main requirement for me successfully doing my 5th step was to be totally forthright. My suggestion would to do your 5th step with another human being that you can be totally and brutally honest with, without compromising them.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:06 pm

I get it. Someone was terrified of the 5th step and so says over and over, no need to do more than one.

There are others who also state their ESH. Mine is that I needed to go deeper. As the years went by, I repeated the process and went deeper. Ok, call it a big step 10. I call it step 4/5 because I used the same book, the same process and got fantastic results every time. So I keep sharing this; just as someone else might warn against it. We disagree. Got it.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Lali » Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:51 pm

Looks to me that the majority here agree that the 4/5 steps should be repeated when necessary. That's how my sponsor did it too.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:13 pm

Lali wrote:Looks to me that the majority here agree that the 4/5 steps should be repeated when necessary. That's how my sponsor did it too.

More to the point: having been through the process, further 5th Steps are no longer a Big Deal.

I remember my early days, when someone in the meeting would share things like "my wife found my inventory". Scary stuff, indeed. But it doesn't trouble me any more, that scary stuff is simply the untreated alcoholism at work.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Duke » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:38 pm

Brock wrote:
perhaps we can follow that lead in instructing new members.


Hummmm... Perhaps we should be sharing and not instructing?

I don't know Brock. I just wonder at your frequent references to these newcomers who need so much protection. I've been around quite a while and I haven't encountered them.

I've met a lot of people who've been put off by big book pounding, but none by others sharing their experience.

I hesitate to say anything because I've tried to talk to you before and it hasn't gone well, but since you took it upon yourself to admonish several people for what they shared in this thread, I thought it worthy of pointing out.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Layne » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:33 pm

I found completing the 5th step to be an extremely liberating experience. I had no more dirty little secrets to be afraid of. What a concept!

At one point during my 5th step when I started to struggle, the person listening to me (who had been silent up to that point), said "Layne, if there is a name for what you did, then you aren't the first to do it. Stop thinking you are a special case. The best at being the worst. You aren't."

When I initially did my 5th step, I did the most thorough job that I could; but because I am human, more has been revealed to later. Occasionally things pop up in my memory banks that cause me to realize there are things that I had simply forgotten about when doing my 5th step despite my best efforts. Because I enjoy living in the light, I want no dirty little secrets to be afraid of and keep in the dark. That is a burden that I don't want. It requires effort on my part to rid myself of that burden. Whether it be called living in the solution, step 10, reworking/revisiting step 5, whatever (doesn't make any difference to me); I know what the process is to relieve and liberate myself.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Brock » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:55 am

Duke wrote:
Brock wrote:
perhaps we can follow that lead in instructing new members.
Hummmm... Perhaps we should be sharing and not instructing?

That is part of what I said, here is more from that sentence - “while we may do it as many times as we wish, the book indicates it's a one time deal, and perhaps we can follow that lead in instructing new members.” Instructing may not be the right word although it also means “guiding,” which is the way I meant it. But speaking of words, you say I have taken it upon myself to “admonish” several people, that could be taken to mean advise, but in the context you present it I expect you mean reprimand.

And yes I remember you trying to talk to me in the past via PM, if by not going well you mean that I said I have my own way and style of writing things well then yes, but I don't think I was rude to you. This forum may be considered one alcoholic trying to help another, some things I have said in the past I have been warmly thanked for by the people who found it useful, other times I might rub some folks the wrong way, that is life. We meet all sorts in live meetings and here, and unless someone is overstepping the written guidelines or the bounds of common decency, trying to “admonish” another AA member for the way they contribute, can't really be expected to go well.

I also wanted to mention, that some who find repeating 4 & 5 necessary, might be well served by asking themselves how much of 6 & 7 they have done. Bill Pittman who died quite young in 2007, wrote over fifteen books on AA history and recovery, and also worked at the headquarters in NY. In the book “Drop the Rock” he says this -
We went back to our sponsor and said that perhaps we needed to do another fourth and fifth step...If our sponsor is a good one, perhaps he or she responds that maybe it isn't the fourth and fifth step that needs repeating, but that it is time to take a real look at the sixth and seventh.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby Layne » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:18 am

Many times I can't see the forest for the trees. The trees are there to help me in my quest.



I have recently returned to school to further my education. This experience has reinforced to me is that I learn and retain best by repetition. Also 40 years in culinary arts has reinforced a slightly different aspect to the same concept. As long as I keep an open mind, my second result will be an improvement upon my first.

Am I a good cook? Not as good as I am going to be.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby positrac » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:49 am

Brock wrote:
I agree. But part of the creating the inventory, it talks about we have just made a beginning. So it does leave room for more inventories for later days.

Ahem say that again???? Just sayin.

I didn't reply to that when it was posted, because it comes at the end of step four, it says - “If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning.” So we turn the page and it starts - “Having made our personal inventory, what shall we do about it?” It says absolutely nothing about a good beginning on inventories, it's a beginning into - “trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator,” a beginning on the path to freedom.

Once again, someone can do a fifth step as often as they wish, saying it's part of the AA program to do it more than once is not just untrue, but it also offers another excuse for the newcomer faced with this step; at some of these we balked; to walk away. We don't need to sugarcoat the work required, but by the same token we have no right to make it look harder than it is.


I appreciate your opinion on the process as it has BB in it and that is a template. Sugar coating is such a polite labeling you used and I am not sure of your age, back ground, years of sobriety ect.... But in my world I had a lot of hardships and so being fully honest, willing and remembering everything for me was no easy task. My point is sobriety is supposed to be a life long journey and not like a diet so we can look great in our speedo on the beach. So the 4th and 5th steps are part of the life long journey as we do make mistakes as our character defects are part of our personalities.

Also if the sponsor knows the sponsee is doing the 4th step and is going to accomplish the 5th step I would like to assume this conversation came up about frequency.

I hope everything is ok Brock because lately you've been quite "lively" with your responses and that is the vigor that we need to keep us centered.
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Re: Choosing someone to do a 5th step with

Postby PaigeB » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:47 am

Spirit Flower wrote:I get it. Someone was terrified of the 5th step and so says over and over, no need to do more than one.

There are others who also state their ESH. Mine is that I needed to go deeper. As the years went by, I repeated the process and went deeper. Ok, call it a big step 10. I call it step 4/5 because I used the same book, the same process and got fantastic results every time. So I keep sharing this; just as someone else might warn against it. We disagree. Got it.

My sponsor calls it a (big) 10th Step too. I call it a 4th & 5th because I complicate things sooo much that I often need to write them down and dissect them into the FACTS as I did when I did my first 4th Step.

Also Blue Moon wrote:
More to the point: having been through the process, further 5th Steps are no longer a Big Deal.

That is how it was for me too.
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