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Post Info TOPIC: 4th step inventory


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Posts: 15
4th step inventory

For me, this has been tough. I've been told to get it all done and don't let it just drag out for months so that's what I'm trying to do. It's really discouraging though because when you start looking at the past and seeing all the things you are carrying with you on a daily basis, it's really sad. Resentments that I haven't let go of that still continue to way on my mind. Resentments towards myself for not doing something good enough or being a doormat and allowing others to walk all over me.

I'm reminded to be good to myself... That's hard during this time.

Does anyone have any ESH in regards to the 4th step?


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 3244

My sponsor said this:  Take it seriously enough to understand why your reactions to things have been what they are, see it for what it is, then begin the process of letting it go.

From there you have a better understanding and can make changes within.  There's no sense in punishing yourself or anyone else for eternity.  Hanging on to ugly stuff will just make us ugly people.



If we think that miracles are normal, we will expect them.  And expecting a miracle is the surest way to get one.

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 4599

Well you can do more than one 4th step.  Many people do several.

I am presently doing a fourth step and did a question version then got stuck at the adolescent stuff. Personally I have a sponsor who helps a lot.  I've done part of it and now have to go on to other parts.

I also have a lot of resentments but under those resentments is the gold.  I can see now why I got stuck with an A.  My real hope is that I don't get stuck with another one.  That's good motivation to keep on going.



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1234

Do you have a sponsor, hon? You really should have a sponsor to do it with,esp if you are having trouble. You really sound like you may not be ready for the 4th step. It isn't an exercise in selfloathing. It is supposed to be self discovery, good and bad. We all have good attributes. If you aren't seeing them then you need to have a sponsor who can help you, or you maybe just aren't ready.

I have done my 4th step in a journal style. It gives me the room to really explore my thoughts on each question. I used the Blueprint for Progress.

Also I know some people think you should run through the 4th step quickly, but I am not. I have been working steadily away at it for months now, and it has been a really good experience for me. I don't have a huge block of time to devote to it at once. Doing it more slow and steady gives me the time to really look at each question and also to ponder some of them. Some questions, I could tell my first thought was going to be denial or a less than truthful answer. When I can sleep on it a bit then come back to it, it gives me time to accept the reality of the real truthful answer. Then I can be more honest in my writing about it. My sponsor has not told me I need to do it fast, and this is working for me.

That's my ESH. Hope it helps.

In recovery,



"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

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 579

Hi Nicole,

I've been working on my 4th step and 5th step for several months now and there is more to do.  I work on a few areas then share those with my sponsor.  I continue on or re look at things more before I meet with my sponsor  the next time.  It really helps to do this with a sponsor as they help you to see thing clearer just in the process of trying to explain what you mean to someone else.

Also most importantly, at least 2 or 3 times so far my sponsor has talked to me about not looking only at my flaws. So then I have been asked to make a list of 10 things I am good at or like about myself.  As we clear away some of the fog and flaws, I am finding a few new things to like about myself too.  It helps to keep the balance.  So one way to be good to yourself is start a list of things you like about yourself and it can be little things too.


"Choices are the hinges of destiny."  Pythagoras         You can't change the past, but you can change the future.

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 514


My sponsor suggested I make a list of good points and bad points and to make sure the lists were balanced. E.g. ten good, ten bad and that way I was not ending up in a negative self appraisal.

Also, my sponsor told me that natural areas would show up and that we could then look at one area at a time. This I have done, and I have managed to look at a number of areas of concern, however I know for certain that that is not the end of my fourth stepping. I will go back and begin another area of fourth stepping when I feel I am ready and able to address another area.

Right now I have health problems that are not helping. I have relationship problems that have shocked me and I have financial problems that I am trying to cope with. So right not is not the time to look at a new fourth step area of concern.

Right now I need to look at H.A.L.T. and talk and read and listen.

I know I could not have done everything at once. I know that I have to do it slowly, one step at a time, and my sponsor is excellent at keeping me working and focussed, and shares so much with me, it is a team effort and a team trust too. It is not just me working my fourth step, it is me and my sponsor working a fourth step; and it is not just ONE fourth step that I will make, I will return to that fourth step again with another issue for my brain cannot focus on all the issues that I need to analyze and comprehend in one sitting.

Inch by inch it's a cinch, yard by yard it's far too hard.

Easy does it.

Baby steps.

I am aware that some people have been working on their fourth step for years, and some had returned and worked a second, a third, and a fourth and even a fifth fourth step. It takes as long as it takes, but be assured, if it is worked well and efficiently and honestly, without fear you will move forward in your journey to holistic health and recovery and come to understand yourself more each step of your journey.

Of course this is my opinion and my opinion may not be what others think,

Again in my opinion, and this goes for everything I have written above and below this sentence, this is how I would approach a fourth step.

You are the only person who knows how much you can take on at any one time. It seems to me that you are being rather hard on yourself trying to do it ALL AT ONCE against the clock.

Bit by bit is how I have approached it and I have turned the clock to the wall, I have not placed a time limit on it. By taking things slowly, you may find, as I have, that you will work more thoroughly and more completely and gain a more positive outcome. Hopefully, you will find, in my opinion, that you will not feel so overwhelmed by the work that has to be done. By approaching the seemingly impossible and breaking it down in to bite size element just a little at a time, you will find yourself growing stronger and not feeling as though you are climbing Mount Everest without oxygen.

Just because it is the fourth step, it does not mean that you have to tackle all your life's problems at the same time in one fourth step. Break it down. Breathe in between and take one problem at a is much easier and less fraught to work it that way.

Holding you in my prayers and hoping that you find wisdom in the responses that you have received and something that can help you in my words.

Walking with you and hoping that you are not trying to do this without a Sponsor.

My Sponsor is an absolute Guardian Angel, wonderful wise, keeps me focussed whilst being gentle and is someone I can trust with my inner most secrets. Without my Sponsor I would not have come so far as I have and I know there is a mutual respect of confidences too.

So, if you have a Sponsor be open and make sure your sponsor knows what you are feeling right now and that the way suggested is overpowering you and discuss alternative approaches. If you do NOT have a sponsor then read and listen and feel your way and wait until your inner voice speaks to you.

In my experience from reading and listening and sharing with this family it seems that time and time again a Sponsor often shows themselves to you in word or deed and many seem to have found their sponsors in their f2f meetings.

I will hold this in my prayer for you too. Take care and slow down to a pace you feel you can cope with.

Blueprint for Progress is a workbook on the Fourth Step and that has been used by many of the family members. Take a look at a copy, that might be the way forward for you.

Then, hand this over to your HP and ask for help in the making for your decision.


Out of the ruin of my past I have found the fortress of myself and I know how to defend it.

Strive for WISDOM; Seek SERENITY; NEVER compromise your INTEGRITY.
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