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Rigorously Honest and Sober: Step 4

 

Rigorous Honesty when doing step 4To be rigorously honest, I’m terrified of my part in it.  I’ve also been completely turned upside down as to my part in it all. He put me in a box and then spun it on its corner, making it seemingly impossible for me to find perspective, find my bearings. So to delve into the reality of it all in all this darkness seems beyond my reach. Yet, to be active in my program and to stay sober, I must try. To make myself the priority and not sink into the defeatism I feel I must find perspective; I must find the truth.

I’m already overshooting my part in it. I’m taking too much responsibility and I’m putting it all on me. I am my resentment. I am my remorse. I am overwhelmed with guilt and self-loathing. This makes it ever more apparent that I must complete a fourth step. I will complete a personal inventory of the situation to discover the truth of the damage and rid myself of the emotional baggage and the regret. I will discover my real part in it opposed to my felt part, the part I let him put on me.  This step entails first plucking out the flaws in my character which caused the failure. That’s where the resentment comes in.

Resentment doesn’t have to be all anger and fire and brimstone. It can manifest in the chest in pangs of pain and sadness. This pain and sadness has a specific person whispering behind it. My resentment took its form with a boyfriend who, after we decided to part, spent a good deal of time belittling me, speaking ill of me, tearing me down, finding any way to make me hurt as much as he himself hurt. He succeeded. I suppose I’ve found my resentment’s identifier and cause.  In step four, the cause of the resentment can affect our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, and our personal or sex relations. It seems that this has hit the nail on the head with all except my ambitions. At least I still have those.

My self-esteem took a serious hit as I was disparaged. My security certainly did as well I did not continue to feel safe. My reflections of our sex relations have transformed into a nightmare of fun house mirrors and mocking as his words “I don’t care about you” play repeatedly on a wicked tape in my head. This might affect my personal relations as I am not sure if I will trust the same so readily or be so open so willingly the next time, or if I can keep the cynicism at bay.

The next part is the most difficult part of the step; my part in it all. It would be easy to stop now and call him an emotionally abusive jerk and be done with it. Sink into a depression, contemplate popping some benzos and become a victim; wondering why I keep finding myself in this situation. The Big Book states, “being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations” (p.64). The point of doing this step is to recognize our flaws and discover these patterns so that we can improve and hopefully, at some point, halt the repetition and improve on our flaws. So here it is; I let him have power over me. I am allowing the disregard of my own self worth by continuing to feel everything he said I am even though I know the falseness of it. That is where I can, for now, stop the pattern.

I can rise above his words and stop his power over me by truly knowing that those lies are deceit.  I can know my truth and begin to build back my self-esteem, security, and relations to their healthiest yet. I can begin to stop the pattern by not only knowing my truth, but by remembering it, and turning myself over to a Higher Power.

 

By: Molly Siegel

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