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Post Info TOPIC: 4th step workbook


Veteran Member

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4th step workbook


i bought the conference approved "Blueprint for Progress" workbook, the one that helps you through the 4th step. i read the entire book and i am SO excited to start writing in it! i even have a blank journal ready for if i run out of room on the pages. i love workbooks, guided journals, anything that reminds me of school, i guess. so ...

my A picks it up and flips through it. several times he makes his dismissive noise, a "hhhHUH" sound. i just looked at him and waited. he told me that the book isn't the REAL 4th step, that the only way to do it is in the Big Book, where you make out your list of people and resentments and all that. told me how he worked at the Wilson House, told me how he had lead step-work meetings for years. he pointed out where it says in the Big Book that it is a *formula* and MUST be followed.

i told him, i got the book for myself and my own fearless moral inventory. i told him i liked the questions in the book, that i was going to have to dive into it and be so brutally honest, fearless like never before, and that i was very happy and excited to do so! then i put the book away in my desk. i'm not going to let him drag me down on this one!!!

i've read the Big Book, i've even drawn the lines on the page for the 4th step and tried to follow along with it. i just couldn't do it, it didn't fit with my life or my personality. is the Blueprint for Progress, or any other "4th step helper" somehow invalid because it's not the literal Big Book chart?

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To know the darkness is to love the light,
to welcome dawn and fear the coming night.


Member

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a little of my experiance with this sort of situation, my ex was na and i am aa. im not as familar with na literature like i am with aa. he often attacked my "program" as inferior, or was critical. in hind sight i can see it had a lot more to do with "control" issues, i certainly was having trouble seeing the difference between his "stuff" and my "stuff. wish i had thought of this program then!

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Senior Member

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there's all sorts of ways to do 4th step.
to me- the only "wrong" way is to not do it at all.
Thats when we get stuck.
I am working on mine as well-- I get caught up in wanting to do it perfectly, or not at all.
But that is one of my character defects........

tell him to mind his own business (lovingly, of course!)

Jeanne

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In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.- Daniel L. Reardon


~*Service Worker*~

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Alanon is NOT AA. It is a different program. It addresses different issues. We have different liturature. And someone correct me if I am wrong but AA material IS NOT Alanon Conference Approved Liturature. So, No it would not be suggested that an Alanon use the AA outline for the 4th step. Sounds like he was taking YOUR inventory and maybe HE needs to do HIS 4th step again. When he completes his 12 steps in the Alanon program then maybe he can discuss his thoughts and ideas about the Alanon program with you. But even then, YOUR opinions and ideas count. My ex would pull the AA is superior to Alanon all the time. Just his way of feeling superior and deflecting attention from his need for Alanon. I still firmly believe that the really healthy AA's are the ones who are in alanon also. The rest of AA's can take a flying leap for all I carewink. Whoops...just a little resentment leaking out...maybe it's time for MY 4th step!

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Senior Member

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I don't think there is any right or wrong way to do the 4th step, what matters most is that you do one. I don't think I have ever met anyone in program that has only done it once but the first time is the most important.

To inject a little humor here, I recently decorated a sweatshirt with the following wording

If you are
done taking my
INVENTORY
could you start
making my
AMENDS



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Everything I have ever let go of has claw marks all over it.

SLS


Senior Member

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Posts: 337
Date:

When my sober AH has crossed a line like that my response was "it is not your job to take my inventory for me" and to be honest, he has had to call me on that at least once.  smile

Al-Anon is not AA. We grew out of AA, but we are our own program of recovery. Neither is better or worse, they just deal with different addictions. One for the addiction to alcohol and the other for addiction to the alcoholic.

How, when and why you do a 4th step is none of the A's business and visa verse. It is only relevant to the A if you eventually end up making an amends to the A because of your 4th step.

There are many ways to do a 4th step. I did my first one with the booklet. It was very enlightening and my 4th and 5th steps freed me from much of the baggage that I had been carrying with me for many years (some from before I even met the A). But, I think that the next time I do a 4th step (either a full-blown or a mini), I may do it the BB way. But that is my choice to make and it doesn't diminish the importance or impact of my 4th step using the booklet.

My last thought is that it sounds like control and insecurity raising their ugly heads.  I try to remember that active or sober, the As still have alot of fear, anxiety and insecurity.  That enables me to have compassion for my AH and to draw boundaries with love.

Good luck on your 4th step--be gentle with yourself and please, don't do it if you don't have a sponsor. You may end up hurting yourself more than you help yourself.

Yours in recovery,

Stacy

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Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself.
The Bible, from Courage to Change, p.138




~*Service Worker*~

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Like others have said there is not only ONE way to do a 4th step.  And that includes AA as well.  What it says in the Big Book is one way.  But I know for myself that the fourth step I worked came from AA but was not the method used in the Big Book, but rather a series of probing questions, not so very much unlike the method outlined in the Blueprints for Progress workbook.

I tried 4 different methods before I found the one that worked for me. 

I absolutely LOVE Mobirdie's tshirt! 

I have always been a very competitive person.  My way always had to be the best way.  I have learned now that there are many different ways to do just about anything.  And one way doesn't have to be better than another.  It is just different.  And the end result is all that matters in this case. 

It is great you are excited about doing that 4th step workbook!smile

Go to it!!!!! 

Yours Still in Recovery,
David

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Laughter is the Beginning of Healing
Jen


~*Service Worker*~

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My AH has a lot of Al-Anon influence because I am very active and we talk a lot. When he got a sponsor he had trouble with his sponsor pressuring him to work steps in a way that didn't work for my AH. Lots of A's seem to be very rigid in their thinking. It got really annoying at one point because he even had guys at the meetings badgering him. (I stayed way out of it. We only talked in real general terms, about people not poking their nose into each others program, when he brought it up).

When I started my 4th step recently, I was like you, really excited. I also use the blueprint. I have the old one and just discovered the new version. Wish I had that it looks more indepth. I asked my sponsor about the 4th step and she didn't use the blueprint. She sent me some non-cal worksheets she used. I didn't really like them, too general for me. I like the study aspect. I am using a notebook to right in as I know there wouldn't be nearly enough room for my thoughts. Also I didn't want to spoil the book, but of course now I want the new one anyway.LOL

Soooo, my point in all this is that you are not the only one to have a conflict over how to work the steps, esp the 4th. It seems lots of people have rigidity as a character defect. I guess that's why we're all here, right?

Anyway, enjoy your 4th. I am.

In recovery,

__________________

~Jen~

"When you come to the edge of all you know you must believe in one of two things... there will be earth on which to stand or you will be given wings." ~Unknown



Senior Member

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Posts: 111
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ts just a locker room joke. 4th step is like a right of passage for AA's. It winnows out the winners. It feels good to finish one and even something to be a little proud of but The conversation often comes out to avoid non conference approved suicide guides. A suicide guide is a booklet of deep guilt inducing questions that induces thoughts of suicide. Being on both sides of the fence, I can think of a dozen smart answers to him and they usually come to mind in an AA meeting but I bite my tongue. It will be many years before most could face an Alanon fourth step without drinking so just go along with him lest he gets curious and hurts himself. Find a nice place to hide it, if he wants to get nosy point out that it is a suicide guide and if he reads your fourth step he'd probably want to off himself and that its for his own good he stay with his own and a beginners version to boot.

GOsh darn Pompous arrogant know it all blah blah blah  furiousashameddohconfusedsmilebiggrinideaI. Second thought, perhaps you should be gracous and offer to buy him one of his own.?? That'll fix him

Me? Need to inventory??? Nahhhhhhh. Sore spot, sensitive Nahhhhh? not me!

Yes the Alanon guide is much tougher for me. :)

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SLS


Senior Member

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Posts: 337
Date:

Tugg--thanks for the insight!! I think there is a lot of truth in your post AND it made me laugh--thanks for helping to start my day off on the right foot...  smile


__________________
Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself.
The Bible, from Courage to Change, p.138


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