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The 4th Step

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madison1101

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I have been in AA for 19 years, and in the past year have relapsed many times. I most recently entered outpatient treatment, and realize I need to work another 4th step, but not sure where to begin with it. I have a sponsor, and intend to talk to her about it, but would love some input.

I have done many 4th steps in the past 19 years, and have been in psychotherapy the entire time, so I have discussed everything with my therapist. As a result, I am not sure what to include in my new 4th step, because I believe I will be repeating stuff I have covered in previous 4ths.

Any input would be most appreciated.

Trish
 

BobW188

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I'd say that if there are things still on your mind, they're worth including. First, they are "unfinished business." Though you've listed them in the past, you haven't fully moved on from them; and they may have played a role in your recent troubles. so, when in doubt: include.
 
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madison1101

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I'd say that if there are things still on your mind, they're worth including. First, they are "unfinished business." Though you've listed them in the past, you haven't fully moved on from them; and they may have played a role in your recent troubles. so, when in doubt: include.

Thanks for your advice. I realize that I do have some unfinished business. I am definitely a work in progress.

Thanks,
Trish
 
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devonian

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I have been in AA for 19 years, and in the past year have relapsed many times. I most recently entered outpatient treatment, and realize I need to work another 4th step, but not sure where to begin with it. I have a sponsor, and intend to talk to her about it, but would love some input.

I have done many 4th steps in the past 19 years, and have been in psychotherapy the entire time, so I have discussed everything with my therapist. As a result, I am not sure what to include in my new 4th step, because I believe I will be repeating stuff I have covered in previous 4ths.

Any input would be most appreciated.

Trish

Regarding step 4, Page 65 says: "Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty."

Regarding step 5, Page 72 says: "Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives.

A friend once said that most people relapse because even though they list many resentments, sometimes hundreds, they leave off the one thing that they plan on taking to their grave. This is the one thing that they know that they could never admit to another person in their 5th step. This one thing is the reason that they relapse. Complete and absolute honesty is required. These are often, resentments that they have for themselves, something that they are ashamed of. Something that they did that they can't bear to let anyone else know about. Review your prior 4th steps, did you leave off anything like this? Did you remember to list the things you are angry with yourself?

Also, on page 64 it says: "In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry."

Some people think that all they have to list is people that they still hold resentments. But the instructions say list the people, institutions, or principles with whom we were angry. Just because you think you don't have a resentment, you should list it.

I have been told that the word resentment comes from the prefix "re" which means to do over, and the latin word "sentari" which means "to feel". So a resentment is to feel and re-feel something over and over. The goal of the 4th step is to break this loop.

I read once that our memories will not remember something if we do not refresh the memory occasionally. So, if you recall something that made you angry 15 years ago, you are still refreshing this anger. You are re-feeling it. It is a resentment.

If you feel that you have done this thoroughly and honestly, let me know, I may have another suggestion.
 
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ww2pigeon

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After many years in the fellowship I felt the same way. But I still was hanging on to some old behaviors and feeling that I kept doing over and over. Finally after a really bad bout with these behaviors I decide I need to go deep Spiritually, and I couldn't find what I needed in A.A. So I decide to take a bible study on line from Beth Moore. It is call I'm believing God. And I work that Bible Study with Great Introspectiveness. I need it. It allowed me to get down to some really hard core issues and really LOOK at the real me.
I think therapy is great and it has also help me, but my experience is that a therapist will only take me as deep as I felt comfortable. I needed to step out side my comfort zone. And that book study really helped me do that. Have a bless day.
 
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