Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm writing a 4th Step inventory again

That's right. Doing the steps again. Why, because that's what the book says to do. I also agreed at the beginning to go to any length for victory over alcohol.
So what do you one-time-through live-in-10-11-and-12ers think of that?
If it pisses you off, it's because you must defend your stance. If it doesn't piss you off then you're doing fine and don't need to worry about it.
I saw a guy at our convention this last weekend. I talked about doing another set of steps and his head turned purple as he told me how that was bullshit.
I did not defend nor get a stir. But I wished I'd have posed this question... Did you get something out of your first time through or last time through the steps? If so, then why in the fuck would you deny yourself that experience again? Has your ego not rebuilt? Mine has snd I aim to get to the bottom of it. Hope to be 5th stepping this soon.


  1. It's all semantics. What we choose to call it isn't the issue. Whether we actually do it or not is. I really see no point in Admitting I'm powerless over alcohol again. Nor coming to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I came to believe that already. Now comes three. Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand God. Having made a decision I must consummate that decision by going forward with steps 4 through 9. As far as AA goes anyways. Having said that, I'm certain that's the topic of the post. An inventory and acting on that inventory. So if you choose to call it "Steps Again" or step 10 it doesn't really matter. Step 10 suggests we continue to take inventory. My interpretation goes as follows. This thought brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory “step 4” and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. Verbatim. That's what the book says. The book goes on to say “Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear”. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. That's step 7 right there. “We discuss them with someone immediately” That's step five. “and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone” That's step eight and nine.
    So in doing step 10 as per the books instructions we're really doing Step 4, Step 5 Step 7 and Step 8-9

    Having said that it's a matter of what you want to call it, how often you want to do it and how long you want your list to get.
    Stating that you do the steps each and every year may lead some to believe that you don't live in 10 and 11 in favor of repeating 4-9 once a year.

  2. I've heard that perspective before.

    As far as semantics go, we look at the word "regular" with regards to inventory. Ask a business if one inventory in forever is enough.

    We don't spend much time on 1 2 3 and pretty much doing that on our own and while writting that 4th step, which I usually limit to about 20 pages. When we 5th step that, we start by reviewing 1 2 and 3, then the 4th stepper gets to review 1 through 5 again when they "return home".

    We spend a month or three on 4 through 9 and the rest of the year... that's 9 or 11 months or so, on 10 11 and 12.

  3. The more I post about this on the internet, the more I realize how few groups do this.

    Being once from Denver, I thought it was the norm. Many groups in Denver do steps yearly. Joe Hawk and Mark Houston have talked about it since the 90s.

    To me it seems normal. A very specific time is alloted for the middle-work. September 1st seems to work good because it's after summer when folks are winding down that busy time... kids are getting settled in school, and it's best done before the big holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years. So start 4 in September and be done with amends by Thanksgiving.

    Our group has it in our group conscience to do steps yearly.

  4. We get clear on when to and why not to do inventory. It's not a problem solver. If you're doing inventory, you're just adding more 3rd column... aka bullshit. Your ego will create itself in its own image.

    My ego is as mysterious and powerful as God Himself, as far as I'm concerned. My ego is too powerful to mess with. I believe this true with me. It's my experience.

    The only reason to do the middle work 4 through 9 is to seek God. It's also the only reason to meet with other alkies, be it at a meeting or whatever. Wherever two or more are gathered in My Name...

    A.A. is not about learning. It's not a self-help program. It's not about me finding a way to keep myself sober. If that would do it, I'd have sobered up someplace else long ago.

    A.A. is about letting God get and keep me sober.