Jenna’s Perspective: Step 5

By Jenna, Renascent Alumni

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

I think the biggest task within Step 5 is understanding that “our wrongs” are a part of our reality. A lot of times, especially at the beginning of my recovery, I tried to pretend those parts of my life didn’t exist. I think a lot of people also struggle with that.

Being able to talk to my partner about the nature of my wrongs on an ongoing basis helps me a lot. Sometimes this includes me sharing about things that may have happened before I met him, but it helps. It makes some of those bad memories feel less intense, and helps me to accept my reality. Through this process, I have found passion in other areas in my life.

A few years ago, I got into a car accident and thought my life was over because my health started to deteriorate afterwards. I went through a second round of addiction. I really got into drugs again and found it hard to cope. The biggest reason for that – I think – is because I wasn’t accepting my reality. The biggest reason why someone does drugs is to escape their reality. However, accepting my reality helped me come to terms with it all.

The other person that I speak to frequently about “wrongs” that bother me, is my best friend. It’s nice to have that connection. Renascent was also great at helping me achieve that initial reality-check too. Renascent helped me accept who I am and realize that I am not alone.

For those struggling to take this step – I say love yourself because you are enough. I got the words, “I am enough,” tattooed on my arm. It is something I wanted to remind myself of constantly. I am more than what the drugs are. Drugs will just have a temporary effect, much like using a Band-Aid when you actually need stitches.

I think that my biggest goal in recovery has been to get people to reach out and realize that there is more to life than trying to erase the pain; and that their life is worth living. When I was going through my trauma, I didn’t think I had anyone. I wasn’t reaching out in the right ways.

You have to look for support in the right areas and turning to Renascent and learning to build a community and accept myself was great. But it doesn’t happen overnight.

Though I am over two years in recovery, I am still learning to accept my past. You need to love yourself and take it day-by-day. My motto has been, “Take it five minutes at a time,” because I learned that cravings just last five minutes. 

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