I know some of the feelings I felt when I was working on Step 4.
- I was afraid to dig up old dirt.
- I wasn’t sure HOW to do Step 4 “correctly”
- It seemed to be all over the place
- It was mostly negative stuff and sexual stuff
- I didn’t really know where to start
- I didn’t know how or when it would ever end
- It took me about a year and a half to actually get it “done”
- I was really fearful that someone would find what I’d written
- I second guessed myself a lot
When I finally started working with a sponsor, this was probably one of the biggest things he did to help me initially – give me an outline of how he did Step 4.
I’ve mentioned before that he had me read the “Big Book” – the AA Book, which breaks down Step 4 in to a bit more detail.
Here’s what the first part (and to me the most important part) of Step 4 looks like:
If you’d like to download this format, click on the image or text above!
In this template, Step 4 is broken down in to 4 main categories:
- Sexual Harms Done
- Other Harms Done
The reason I feel “Resentments” is the most important step to write down is because I see it as the CORE issue I have that leads to everything else: pornography, fear, lust, etc.
Some of my common resentments are:
- feeling my way is better
- didn’t communicate what I expected from him clearly
- didn’t try to understand first
- worry too much about what others think
- had hidden expectations
- expected too much
- didn’t respect him for what he’s going through
- feeling I know more than him
What I’ve seen, and continue to see in some ways, is that these core issues, all of which are symptoms of pride, almost always lead to other sins – acting out in my addiction because I don’t care, because I’m mad at someone or something, or because I feel alone or upset.
I hope this information can help others.
I know there isn’t a “right way” to do Step 4, but this format really helped me get it done effectively for me.