This reminds me of a story of when I was newly sober and almost went out drinking.
I almost ordered a drink at five months sober. This made me rightfully terrified during a visit with my sponsor. We immediately went through the first three steps. But, on my second visit (the next Saturday), I was still in tremendous fear. This provided me with willingness to go to any lengths to find secure sobriety.
Consequently, I felt completely willing, in Step Six, to allow God to remove whatever defects of character might make me drink. If this would have happened months later, I may not have felt that way. I will be eternally grateful that my new sponsor followed the timing suggestions of the Big Book.
Steps Five, Six and Seven are often considered the “same day steps”. The Big Book “timetable” certainly connects them in a timely series (e.g.: Step Four, at once, after Step Three), Step Five (at first opportunity after Step Four completion), Step Six and Seven when ready (then, not later; when Step Six is complete).
I am always reminded that Dr. Bob took Earl T. through the “six step program as it was at that time” in three or four hours (p 263).
I have not had to drink since! Now, when sponsoring, I try to also “Strike while the iron is hot!” I got sober in southern California. You are asked to raise your hand, if you have less than thirty days. One of my newcomer friends enthusiastically jerked his hand in the air at the first meeting. The next week, a little less, And then, you guessed it, not at all.
He later informed me that these AAs are too fanatic; he and his friend simply go to the bar, drink a few beers, and discuss sobriety. Poor guy was facing years in prison. I never saw him again, but his story makes the point.
I spent much of my youth in a poolroom atmosphere and other dens of iniquity. Much of such language followed me into AA. Yes, I was willing to face and get rid of it. Plus smoking, bragging, and maybe all the things my sponsor had pointed out to me just a few minutes earlier in Step Five. Of course, this was only a beginning. I was to discover many more defect later.
Step Six is only two short paragraphs in the Big Book, but for me it was a vitally important beginning. As soon as they crop up, I need to be willing to face and be rid of my character defects!
By Bob S.