Jamie’s Perspective: Step 4

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes it doesn’t happen according to our schedule.

For me, Step 4, making a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of myself, was the hardest.  I’ve essentially struggled with addiction since I was prescribed opioids as a child.  I was only seven at the time, and suffering from debilitating, chronic pain.  Sometimes it was almost impossible to sleep without medication.  Needless to say, life wasn’t always easy.

Several years ago, I lost both my father and my sister within a couple of months.  That took my substance use to a whole new level.

In Step 4, I had to face a lot of demons.  Doing the work dredged up some difficult emotions, including insecurity and fear.  It took a lot longer than I expected, and it was often painful.  But I wanted to really sit and observe my feelings and emotions about everything that had happened.

In hindsight, I may have spent too much time in Step 4.  While reflection is important, so is moving on.  It’s different for everyone, but in some ways the more time I spent focussing on the past, the more I felt encumbered by the burden.  Fortunately, I had someone who could help me process my experiences, and today I feel a freedom I didn’t have before.

Ultimately, Step 4 – although really difficult – was part of the process that has helped me overcome my history.  Life today isn’t perfect, but it’s a far cry from what it was.  I’m eight months into recovery, and I know I have the strength and resilience to keep going.

Every day is a new day.

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 alumni@renascent.ca.