Alumni Perspective: Step 5 in Action

 By Quinn B., Graham Munro Treatment Centre Alumni

After writing Step Four to the very best of my ability, I was thrilled to move on to Step Five and get everything out of my head and off my chest. I hoped for and somewhat expected to feel a great sense of relief upon completing the step. To be honest, I expected to feel relieved just to be done with it. 

When the day came to read my inventory, I was nervous and full of dread. I sat on Zoom with my sponsor, her sponsorship sister, and my sponsorship sister with a pit in my stomach. At first, I was hesitant about this multi-person set-up because I figured more people listening would equate to more people judging me (this is an old idea I’ve been working on leaving behind). The truth is that more people listening means more support, trust, and understanding, three things I needed a lot at this moment and was grateful to have. 

Reading my inventory was awkward at first, but my nerves began to dissipate as I read further. I could feel a weight slowly lifting off my shoulders. 

Before working Step Five I could not have possibly understood how vital and necessary it was. Step Five is not only about reading your inventory to another human being and your Higher Power – it’s about reading it aloud and internalizing it. Learning how and understanding how I showed up (or didn’t show up) in my active addiction was the most crucial part of this step for me. Noticing patterns in the defects of character I had listed and taking stock of how many there were on the page, I was deeply humbled.

Completing my first Step Five has given me the ability to say, “Yes, I was this person, but with this program and the guidance of my Higher Power, I don’t have to be anymore.” I now feel like I am on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email