Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Everyone seemed spooked by the prospect of Step 4, yet everyone also touted this step as being one of the big ones. My sponsor was pretty no-nonsense about it. I did what she said. “Write down everybody who has ever pissed you off,” she said. Wow. Okay. Oh, hell yeah, gimme ma notebook.
It took me a long time to complete Step 4. I had a looming history that should have raised many a red flag, but didn’t, to recollect.
So, nervously, recyclable or compostable (I never know) carrying tray of Starbucks in one hand (coffee is a given for me & my sponsor), my red notebook in the other, we met.
Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Weeeellll…that sounded daunting. What if she judged me??? What if she kicked me out & said I was going to Hell?
Fast forward because I have ADD.
None of the bad stuff happened. What did happen was this:
I was freed.
From my own past and the chains that all those rotten secrets held around me were GONE. Fricking gone. Not only did my sponsor listen without judgment and with complete attention and acceptance, she shared her own stuff with me.
I can honestly say I have never been the same since that day. Saying out loud what happened to me, the choices I made, the things I did, was really an experience I have never had. And it was an experience that keeps on giving.
What made me skip ahead to this is this:
Today I bumped into an old childhood friend. We have been friends since forever, I think! Anyway, as we laughed about how we were growing up versus the kind of parents we are now, she politely asked, “Can I ask you about something,” to which I retorted, “Oh, you mean when I stole a car in 8th grade & wrecked it?” “Yes!” I spilled it all out right there. That had been one of my secrets that kept me in bondage – I was babysitting, started drinking tequila, took the car after my other friend came over; we went to our friend’s house & back to the house where I was babysitting. Should have been enough, right? But no, not for this blossoming alcoholic…let’s get back in the car and go back over to that same friend’s house! Upon going home on that trip, I hit a tree. Cops. Parents. Scolding looks. Wait. It gets better. When I got home, my mom came to the door d.r.u.n.k. So, I guess no red flag was going up in her camp…She took my makeup away the next day and gave it back the day after that. I had to pay for the damage myself $1500. Ouch. It took me years to pay it off, but I did. I lost a lot of friends over that – understandably so – what parent would allow that friendship to continue?
The reason I am writing this today is because I know that dreadful story has no hold on me anymore. It lost it’s power the day I took my fifth step. I saw clearly how misguided and “unparented” I was. Yes, I had responsibility in that situation, but as a 13-year-old child, God only knows what was really going on with me. I’m sure in some way it was a twisted cry for help.
And guess what? As I re-told the story to my dear friend, I left out no sordid detail. That’s just part of my story and it certainly doesn’t define me anymore.
Alright, peace out.