Redoing 4 & 5?

For recovery discussion

Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:54 am

A couple of months ago a lady I know and respect said at our step meeting that it was time she did 4 & 5 again, over the years I have heard her say this sort of thing and on this occasion questioned why. She explained it was recommended by her sponsor to do these over each year, I said this was something I never heard of in the program. An American visitor who was her guest said to me that this recommendation was in the book, in a condescending sort of way he said he wouldn’t show me where, I just smiled and said OK you want me to find it myself.

I let this pass, but a short while ago I was reminded of it when a member here with many years of sobriety said this to someone asking advice on step 4 ---

….remember that we do 4-5th steps through out our lives and so first time perfection is not necessary as you are scraping the surface.


Now my opinion is that nowhere in the book is it recommended that we redo 4 & 5 as the lady in the meeting was told to do, and that the advice given above would be better if it said that throughout our lives we shall have 6 & 7 to fall back on for shortcomings in our original 4 & 5, and also for new items or character defects as they show themselves.

The very good book “Drop the Rock,” which deals with 6 & 7, actually says that a good sponsor would tell someone looking to redo 4 & 5 to concentrate rather on 6 & 7, and says that these are the most overlooked of the steps. I agree with this and wonder how others feel.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Layne » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:12 am

I think more in terms of perpetually doing, rather than redoing as I am continually being presented with new experiences requiring me to stay current.
Layne
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1517
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:20 am
Location: British Virgin Islands

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Tosh » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:35 am

I once sponsored a guy who kept on wanting to do Steps 4 and 5, repeatedly. After his third one in a period of a couple of months (he said he kept on remembering stuff), I said "No more!" because it felt like an exercise in self-centredness; it was all about him. (And I was bored with listening to him if I'm to be honest; he could churn out pages of the stuff :lol: ).

The later steps turn us 'outward' towards others (making amends, carrying the message) and that's where I suggested his focus should be.

But as long as it's not taken to the extreme, like the above example, I can't see what harm it could do. And lots of folk say that doing periodical Step 4 and 5s is beneficial to them.

I've never read 'Drop the Rock' (but heard some good things about it). But as far as my current understanding goes, at Step 6 and 7 we 'become willing' and then 'ask God', and then move on to Steps 8 to 12. Steps 6 and 7 is God's work and has nothing to do with me (apart from the willingness and asking).
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3644
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:41 am

wonder how others feel.


I have different people doing it in different way. Mark H talks about reworking the steps 1-9 evary year and he did it and all his liniage does that too. Clarence S talks about re-doing it if you resign and re-join or when you are working another drunk. Then there are Steel on Steel workshops.

I get brutally honest when I go with 2 other folks to the corrections meeting on Sunday, you can call it a mobile steel on steel workshop. And main thing for is meditation and chanting that I practise through out the day.It helps me go beyond my mind (and others) and help me have compassion for myself and others. I understand this is a battle of ego and step away from it.
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)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4637
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:50 am

In the directions for step 10...

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear(4). When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.(6,7) We discuss them with someone immediately(5) and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.(9)


These are steps 4 through 9...We do them every day.

This thought brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.


I heard this redoing the steps in meetings quite a bit when I was new in AA....I also saw no place where it was suggested. I went to two oldtimers I really admired and asked them both. One...Who has 38 years sobriety simply said..."I had a spiritual awakening as the result of steps 1 through 9...Why would I need to do them again?" I asked another good friend....He passed away from cancer last summer...50 years sober....His simple answer...."It says in the book....Here are the steps we took"....He also...Never revisted the first 9 steps.
I also like the way .... Clarence S. describes it...An early AA member sponsored by Dr. Bob. He started the first meetings in Cleveland...Which had great success.

The following AA Grapevine article was originally published in the November 1968 issue and reprinted in the November 1999 AA Grapevine, under the category of "Big Book Authors."

I've Never Quit Being Active
by Clarence Snyder
A.A. Grapevine, November 1999

On February 11, 1938, I had my last drink. I was a chronic alky, and through a long, involved miracle, I met my sponsor, Dr. Bob, one of our co-founders. He put me in Akron City Hospital, where I met the alkies who had preceded me in the Fellowship.
Fifteen months later, I organized the Cleveland, Ohio AA group. The activity in the Cleveland area was hectic. I spent practically all my time obtaining and following up on publicity for AA, lining up cooperation with civic and church groups, hospitals, and courts, and helping new groups to start.

So what do I do now, thirty years later? I have never quit being active, although my position in the Fellowship has modified over the years. I attend an average of two meetings per week, when I am home. I am also asked to speak at various groups. In addition, I am invited to take part in numerous group anniversary programs and AA roundups around the country (and sometimes out of the country). Many people call upon me for counsel and advice on both personal and group problems. I have an extensive correspondence, since I have made so many friends in AA from coast to coast. Once in a while, I sponsor someone. Cases where about everything has been tried, by everyone else, often wind up in my hands.

I have not found the program to be difficult, and I maintain that if it does seem difficult for anyone, he is not doing it "right." Certainly, when I came to this Fellowship, I was in no position or condition to handle anything difficult! I kept things simple. But I must add that when I first began I was well sponsored.

I took measures now summarized in the first nine Steps of the program: admittance of need (the First Step), surrender (Second through Seventh), and restitution (Eighth and Ninth). Having done this, I no longer had a drinking problem, since it had been turned over to a Higher Power. Now I had - and still have - a living problem. But that is taken care of by the practice of Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve. So I don't have to be concerned about anything but a simple three-step program, which with practice has become habitual.

Step Ten enables me to check on myself and my activities of the day. I have found that most things disturbing me are little things, but still the very things which, if not dealt with, can pile up and eventually overwhelm me. My daily checkup covers good deeds as well as questionable ones; often, I find I can commend myself in some areas, while in others I owe apologies.
Step Eleven is done after my daily inventory. I usually need the peace resulting from prayer and meditation, and I do receive guidance for my life and actions.

Step Twelve, to me, does involve not only carrying the message, but extending AA principles into all phases of my daily life.
I learned long ago that this is a life-changing program, but that, after the change occurs, it is necessary for me to go on making the effort to improve myself mentally, morally, and spiritually.

This is my simple program, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a good life and is willing to do his share of helping.
C.H.S., St. Petersburg, Florida
Last edited by Stepchild on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby johnd » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:52 am

Hi Brock,
Though it isn't actually stated as to redo a 4th or 5th, it states in the 12&12 in the 10th step doing an annual retreat to reflect and review our inventories. {Not in those words} Having gone through a bit of a rough patch myself I found myself reevaluating myself by doing another 4th step inventory. It isn't a requirement to do so by any means but, it definitely cleared the path for me. For me I felt I either skimped or overlooked a few things that I probably thought were already dealt with. Each case is different however, It is also stated that Old Timers who skimped on their 4th and 5th step paid dearly for it. In my case I was experiencing Mental and emotional issues that became rehashed through circumstances. I value my sobriety that if I feel that it is threatened in anyway I will do whatever I have to regardless of what I have to sacrifice . I wanted to get sober and have my life have some sort of order in it. So, even though when I put down the drink I had no idea what I had to do to get sobriety and keep it . No regrets whatsoever .. Just my experience Brock Thanks for the post. John D.
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous
User avatar
johnd
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:50 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Duke » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:53 am

I've heard of this as well Brock. I've never heard of the claim of big book support, however.

I've always believed that promptly working a tenth step covers anything I'd do in 4-9, so I've never felt the need to do them again in any sort of formal sense. Working eleven on a regular basis also helps with renewing the commitment I made in 6 and 7.

Thanks for the topic.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
User avatar
Duke
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3684
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:35 pm
Location: Kansas, USA

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:07 am

The 12x12 for step 10 mentions annual house cleanings doesn't it?
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1745
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:07 am

I haven't done a step 4/5 in many years and I wouldn't now because it is about the past.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1745
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:32 am

I don't see any problem if people want to go back and redo the first 9 steps....It bothers when I hear people say it is necessary....If I'd seen that it was in the clear-cut directions...I would have followed that. I guess the way I look at it....Why complicate a simple program?
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Reborn » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:09 am

Stepchild wrote:In the directions for step 10...

Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear(4). When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.(6,7) We discuss them with someone immediately(5) and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.(9)



I totally agree Stepchild. I've heard this mentioned in open meetings and my concern is what the newcomer thinks. I've seen quite a few folks do 1..2..3 get drunk...or 1...2...3...part of 4...get drunk. Now most of the time I truly believe its because they missed something particularly in step 1. However suggesting that we revisit these steps is a bit of an off message to carry. I have no issue what so ever with someone doing 4 and 5 again and again if thats what it takes...its just my experience that most newcomers are terrified of the 4th and 5th step.

For me personally a 10th step in sufficient to keep me from possibly adding resentments that I may have to clean up later...page 86..

When we retire at night we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or affraid? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures must be taken.

This is step 11 stuff but I find if I do this daily it keeps me on the beam. Step 10 during the day all day everyday...this part of step 11 at night...Simple.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
Reborn
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:01 am

Very good and informative replies, thanks, Tosh sort of indicated that he felt we do them and move on, he said – “But as far as my current understanding goes, at Step 6 and 7 we 'become willing' and then 'ask God', and then move on to Steps 8 to 12. Steps 6 and 7 is God's work and has nothing to do with me (apart from the willingness and asking).” I believe that many people feel this way and I did myself, especially since they were just one paragraph each. The book I mentioned at certain points indicates this was part of the reasoning behind its creation, to show that they were not something we do and move on, but refer back to in times of need. Below is an excerpt from the book, I understand I can copy it once I say where it is from –

Quote deleted due to possible copyright infringement.

Stepchild gave a copy of the opinion of a good AA man, this part sort of sums up his feeling on this question –
Clarence Snyder -
Now I had - and still have - a living problem. But that is taken care of by the practice of Steps Ten, Eleven, and Twelve. So I don't have to be concerned about anything but a simple three-step program, which with practice has become habitual.

Duke in particular was in agreement with this.

Some mentioned that the 12 & 12 says we do an annual housecleaning; I took another look at those sections and to me they speak about this not as going back to 4 & 5 but as part of other steps and the overall program, it is mentioned in steps 10 & 8 as follows --
Step 10 in 12 & 12 P.89.
Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semiannual housecleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the
outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.
P.108.
In Step Eight, we continued our housecleaning, for we saw that we were not only in conflict with ourselves, but also with people and situations in the world in which we lived.

Thanks again for the replies, on my original query of if I was missing something in the book, it seems I was not, since those who mentioned it agreed that the book does not speak of redoing these steps.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3162
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:31 am

I'll tell you an interesting story....The only steps I didn't do exactly as they were laid out in the book were 6 and 7. I was at an 8:00am meeting and doing my fifth step with my sponsor at 2:00pm. An oldtimer friend of mine gave me that book at the 8:00 meeting....Drop The Rock. I had a wonderful fifth step and instead of taking an hour to reflect...I finished the book and did my 6th and 7th the next morning. That was God working.

I also heard a speaker talking about how God does remove every defect of character He sees necessary. We have a clean slate. But we have to make a conscious effort to take care of working on them when they crop up. Step 10 tells us...

When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.

Not "if" these crop up....When.

Makes sense to me.
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby PaigeB » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:22 pm

I have recently redone a 4 - 7 (so far). It is because a lot of stuff happened that re-excited resentments originally on my 4th Step, but I thought resentments were "added" so I needed to write them down in order to sort them out. I needed to sort them out because they were rolling around in my head driving me nuts! Now I could have done better with meditation during this period, that is certain. But even the 10th Step left me wondering what my part really was in all this.

If I can't find MY PART I need to write it down. I know people that do an annual inventory. I know that people do inventory if they think badly about a person more than once! I needed to do an inventory because I could not see my part in the mess and therefore could find no humility... I could not be right sized in my mind. I was insane, again.

I think that sometimes we do need to re-write. Mine was on family. They are not going away, nor are they gonna quit doing what they do. The patterns were the same really. I just needed to sort it out on paper cause rolling it around in my head was NOT working. I needed ACTIONS.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10389
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:27 pm

Brock wrote:
….remember that we do 4-5th steps through out our lives and so first time perfection is not necessary as you are scraping the surface.


When I was newly sober I didn't hear this shared a lot by other members in my local meetings but I did hear similar words to that effect about doing annual inventories from various speakers with long term sobriety like Chuck C., etc. The practice made a lot of sense to me--and I definitely wanted the kind of love, patience, tolerance, peace and serenity these oldtimers had--so I incorporated it into my own program. I called these 4th's my "50,000 mile check ups" and I usually scheduled an appointment with a clinical psychologist to hear my 5th's around my sobriety anniversaries. Later I incorporated picking an annual date to make the time to go through working all 12 of the Steps.

I often share in meetings that I didn't really understand the spiritual part of the AA program or what the Steps were really about until I was about 7 years sober. Up until that point, I merely thought I understood. At about 7 years sober, a bunch of really painful things happened that turned my world upside down and challenged everything I thought I knew about the AA program, God, life, people, the universe, etc. I was totally devastated physically, mentally and emotionally and hit another new unexpected "bottom" that was a thousand times worse than the one I hit with my drinking. I say I merely thought I understood the spiritual part of the AA program, because what I discovered from surviving this experience with the help of God as I understand God is that all I had mostly done during my previous 7 years in the program is all the right step-by-step-by-the-book things to keep me away from that first drink. I learned a bunch of new words while I was in "spiritual kindergarten" and got lots of "gold stars" because I was so good at being nice and playing well with the other kiddies, but that's all. After surviving this experience is when I began my real spiritual journey.

AA's 12 Steps are actually just a re-formulation of a process the ancient Vedics first taught about 5,000 years ago to those who sought enlightenment. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagorus discovered and taught this same spiritual path as did all of the ancient Hebrew prophets including Jesus. Neither the Oxford group nor AA's founding members invented them; they merely re-discovered them. My experience is that working these Steps not once but continually has brought about progressive changes in my consciousness which has enabled me to discover new truths and gain a tiny glimpse of the "big picture". That works for me.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Next

Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests