By Jason, Renascent Alumni
Hello Friends, my name is Jason and I am here to share about my experience with Step 4. This Step is crucial for our recovery and often is the one that makes or breaks us. The important thing to remember about this Step is that addiction is a disease and not a moral deficiency. That said, we must have the courage to move on to this Step and not fall back on fear or cowardice towards our inner workings. Being honest with ourselves while working this Step is what this Step is all about. My experience with working it has shown that I had more under my belt than I realized or cared to admit. Never the less, I still took the courage to pierce the veil and expose every truth about myself to find where my strengths are and where I need to improve.
As people living with addiction, having strength is always a good thing, right? Well, being a strong drinker has brought us to where we are today. Just because we can ‘Hold our liquor’ doesn’t mean it’s a strength. Quite often, the ability to hide being drunk has brought us to the point where we tend to hide every bad thing about ourselves. That is what I like to call a major red flag and should be put into the ‘things I need to work on’ category. On the other side, the things I thought I needed to work on were actually strengths and the only thing I found out about that was that I tended to ‘sell myself short’ of the qualities that made me, me. Deciphering appropriate strengths and weaknesses is apart of the ‘moral inventory’ that we should be diligent on.
Some of you may be wondering, “how far should I go with this step?” the answer to that question is “don’t stop”. The wonderful thing about both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, is that they are “Just for today” programs. The way I see it, is that it will always be a just for today program, as long as I continue to work the program every single day. Step 10 says “We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” This implies that as long as we wish to stay sober, we will always wish to be honest with ourselves. Thomas Jefferson once said “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” and I say that “a wise addict is a sober addict.”
The last thing I will talk about this Step are the resentments in which brought me to drink and use drugs. Resentments are one of the backbones to which causes us to use and quite often are why we are where we are today. I found that working with my resentments and meditating on the ones I found hard to give up, gave me a huge sense of freedom and tranquility and skyrocketed my recovery to the point where I never stopped working on myself. Resentments are not to be held onto if we wish to recover and they must be squashed early in our recovery if we wish to stay sober. “The past can hurt, but the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”- Rafiki.
My last bit of advice is to take it easy on yourselves, moderate the hard things, take breaks but never stop working on yourself. Recovery is the hardest, but best thing we could do for ourselves. Lastly, I’d like to thank Renascent for my recovery, and for this opportunity to write to you about Step 4. Thank you for reading.