Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service. Alcoholics Anonymous (Kindle Location 1180). Kindle Edition.
This step gave me pause. I watched others delay this step for months and even years, some never taking the step and going back to drinking, or just never reaching the level of contentment in sobriety that Step 4 makes possible. I decided to take the plunge early to get it over with.
I couldn’t take the step just once, because the first time only cleared out the first layer of sludge, but the first layer was the heaviest and it was the one that weighed me down and made drinking necessary for relief. After that, the layers were easier.
Taking Step 4 was way easier than it sounds. I was confused and scared and it sounded hard. And what did this have to do with quitting drinking? The steps didn’t make any sense to me. But I did it anyway. I wanted to be sober.
Part of the problem of getting through Step 4 is knowing that Step 5 is looming ahead. I didn’t want to inventory anything that I would later have to share with someone! Fortunately, I was able to put this out of my mind and just do Step 4. I could always hide my notes later…
Searching, fearless and moral. I have never been fearless, and I am a poster child for avoidance, so searching doesn’t come too naturally for sure, and what the hell was this “moral” stuff about? Well, it’s about what I had done wrong, of course. And how I had hurt other people and myself. I didn’t want to think about it or talk about it and now I had to write it down. Sheesh!
I was relieved to find out that I could just pretend to be fearless to make a start, and I didn’t need to search too far to figure out what the inventory should include, and I did know right from wrong, so I wrote it all down and moved on to the next step.