Step Five Ball and Chain
June 4, 2019
Something Shared
June 4, 2019

Revealing my innermost secrets via the Fifth Step would have been terrifying in anticipation had my sponsor, gave me time for consideration. But thank God he followed the Big Book clear-cut directions on page 74 telling to start Step Five, “at the first opportunity.” This turned to be, surprisingly, about five minutes after finishing up Step Four with him. This left no time to decide which of my seemingly unforgivable past activities to keep to myself. This suddenness left no time for irrational fear to cloud my ensuing admission of the exact nature of my many glaring defects.

Left off guard, so to speak, I had only to rely on my written Fourth Step information which was right in front of me; it couldn’t be ignored or changed. In Step Five, my sponsor focused the light of truth onto the unrealized driving forces of selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.

Step Four had provided tools for me to face and be rid of these grosser handicaps… but still, countless other destructive little demons, of the grosser variety, lurked in some dark dank space deep inside my subconscious mind just raring to take over, per usual. When the listed “Harms to others” and “sexual conduct” items were exposed, he had me include them on my Eighth Step as they were being discussed.

We discussed and utilized the Step Four tools to face and be rid of the repeated emotions of anger (resentments) that had been plaguing me for years (p. 67). We also prayed for God to show me what I should do in each of these specific matters (p. 69). Where previously, I had found only a temporary relief, I have now found a tool that provides a permanent release from these deadly ingredients of mental obsession.

What a blessing!

Also, where I had been selfish and dishonest were discussed and brought into my immediate awareness—this allowed me freedom to act on them as they would continue to arise throughout the rest of my life. I then learned that all these tools were to be used over and again as I began living in the spirit of Step Ten; that these newly learned were to become a major ingredient in my forthcoming growth and Maintenance Steps, Ten, Eleven and Twelve. We learn tools in Steps Four through Nine—we use them in Step Ten!

In Step Three I asked God to relive me of the bondage of self, although I didn’t know what that was, but then I knew! This short Step Five period with my sponsor has allowed me a permanent release—not just temporary relief—from my obsession to get “boiled as an owl” (p. 191).

By Bob S.

Like this story? Join thousands of other A.A.'s who receive new stories each month delivered right into their inbox.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.