Fourth Step Inventory ProcessMay 31, 2023
Playing Checkers or Playing ChessJune 28, 2023
Pondering Step Five left me with a great deal of apprehension, but my sponsor didn’t allow time to back out. The Big Book tells us to start Step Four “at once” (p. 64) after the Third Step Prayer and to get into Step Five at “first opportunity” (p. 74).
When was that? Well, my sponsor considered that to mean starting the Fifth Step just a few minutes after we went through the many actions suggested on Step Four (p. 64-71).
There was no wiggle time for my alco-logical mind to “consider” yea or nay. Action—not thinking—was the key! Steps Six and Seven (p. 76) followed abruptly and before you can say Jack Robison (An old fashion phrase) I was starting to list amends. My Ninth Step amends continued as I began living in the spirit of Steps Ten, Eleven and Twelve.
This rapid process did not alleviate my mental obsession for alcohol by “next Thursday,” so to speak, however, throughout the next year it began to diminish as I continued daily AA meetings and spending most of my spare time with sober friends at different Los Angeles recovery clubs.
After a year or so I realized those tempting “drinking thoughts” had all but disappeared and have not returned with any frequency. Consequently, I have not had anything alcoholic to drink since my first meeting. I believe doing the middle steps with my sponsor in a timely manner was very helpful.
Timeliness continues as I live in the spirit of maintenance steps Ten, Eleven and Twelve. I find it important to rectify my daily mistakes at once, quickly, and immediately (Step Ten). I pray morning, day and night (Step Eleven) and make myself available throughout the day for AA work with other alcoholics (Step Twelve).
I thank God that my sponsor taught me the importance of acting in the now—tomorrow may be too late!
By Bob S.