AA 4th Step

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AA 4th Step

Post by Martinc on Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:26 am

Is there anyone out there who has done the AA 4th Step?
I'm not a recovering alcoholic going through the 12 step programme but my counselor suggested I take the 4th step to unravel some historical issues I have.
I've downloaded a number of guides and worksheets but haven't started writing yet.
I guess I'm hesitant to begin because the nature of the questions is so deeply personal and I wonder who apart from me is going to see them.
Does the output have to be read by anyone else? The AA suggests that it should be your sponsor, but I don't have one. (Unless it's my counselor?)
I also have an issue with the belief or acknowledgement of a higher being. I was brought up very Christian (Baptist/Methodist) but as I matured I lost all faith and became a strong agnostic.
Will this be an issue?
So if there's anyone with experience of the 4th step I would love to hear from you.
Martinc

Martinc

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Location : Upper Hutt
Registration date : 2010-10-27

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Re: AA 4th Step

Post by Fluffy_Ducks on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:59 am

i dont have experience with the 4th step, having never been through alcoholism myself. but if you want a pair of eyes to read through what you write, you can send it to my inbox.

i am a life coach, so can understand the nature of deep and hard to answer questions. entirely up to you. i can give you a bit of a prod by asking questions you maybe havne't thought about, or simply provide a supportive ear/eyes before you take it back to the councellor.

good on you for looking to take steps to better yourself.
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Re: AA 4th Step

Post by Martinc on Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:22 pm

Thanks Fluffy_Ducks - I'e since spoken again wiht my cousellor -= he's offered to be my sponsor if I ever get anything written down.
The problem I'm facing is that just thinnking about some of those terrible things from my past makes me feel so worthles and low that suicide is a real possibility. My wife says this is just escapism but it's pretty real to me.
The 4th step is "a fearless and complete moral inventory" and the guids sort of prompt you to itemise things. My list feels like it will fill a book, but I just can't get past the first step of writing something down.
Perseverance!

Martinc

Number of posts : 44
Location : Upper Hutt
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Re: AA 4th Step

Post by Fluffy_Ducks on Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:23 am

FEAR -

False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

The task itself doesn't put us in danger, the fear however, does.

or (F*** Everything And Run) hehehe

your wife is correct in the 'escapism' concept. the simple (no matter how difficult or easy) act of writing things down is actually NOT going to kill you. it will only place words on paper.

but i understand that revisiting those memories is exceptionally difficult and that is the challenge.

the light at the end of the tunnel though - for you - is that facing the task, and completing it, is actually an AMAZING task, and one that even beginning could evoke feelings of empowerment, successfulness, and achievement.

could you focus on the TASK, rather than the things it brings up??
focus on the sense of achievement, and the courage it takes to face those things.... and kind of let the emotional roller coaster happen in the background, the emotions shift aside - i dunno. you might not be ready to manage it in that way.

I might have an exercise that could help actually.... if you wish to hear it.
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Re: AA 4th Step

Post by Scamp on Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:25 pm

Hi Martin,

I went for the second time to a peer-support group meeting last night with GROW. After the meeting I was told that the 12 steps they prescribe are based on the 12 steps of AA. Steps 2 & 3 are swapped around.

Like you, I have issues with religion. At the first GROW meeting my understanding that they accept all people regardless of religious beliefs or otherwise was officially announced. During that meeting, however, there was the odd reference to God.

After the meeting last night I mentioned that I thought all religion was left at the door and all inside are areligious. Not so. I was told that one has to have some sort of belief in a supreme entity. They said that, like the AA, the GROW group was started by the catholic church. The individual who started GROW had to fight a few internal battles to get the go ahead.

I wonder why your counsellor prescribes part of the AA process. Are they not aware of the mental health support group counterpart? Maybe you should put this to your counsellor so that they can give better advice to others.

It seems to me that counsellors are just humans too and fallible. My life is littered by people who say with authority that they know what they are doing and I have to trust and comply but in actual fact they have some sort of power issue. Trouble is trying to sort out what to believe and what not to believe. I find the scientific approach the best. Nobody knows anything for sure with absolute certainty. It goes a little crazy, for example, when the global warming deniers make their assertions, the scientists make their probabilistic conclusions, the newspapers promulgate the rubbish and the masses (usually the religious creationists) all follow. It's a pitiful world.

Getting back on topic, I can understand your reservations about stirring up disturbing memories. There is a lot too be said about the benefits of Freudian subliminal suppression. There's the saying "let sleeping dogs lie". The same might apply to the black dog of depression. Having said that, though, there may well be some cases where it did prove worthwhile.

My guess is that you will need a lot of support to cope. Sounds like your wife is not offering that support. Sounds like she could do better, perhaps be a little more empathetic. To overcome that it seems you will have to resolve communication issues - be calm and reasonable and hope your wife reciprocates. If she remains adamant then don't get upset. Why not consider taking up Fluffy_Duck's offer and send her your notes. Sounds like it might be worthwhile. Having said that, though, I am still mindful of your concerns.

With all due respect to Fluffy_Ducks, writing things down won't kill you but it will affect your thinking which can have a fatal outcome. I mean, I'm not a pro-gun advocate but I understand what they mean when they say guns don't kill people, people kill people. Consider the business analogy. Measuring business growth by looking at the stock market results does not take into account the businesses that go under. It only looks at the survivors. Perhaps the same with advice to take the 4th step.

The advice people give is simply that. Always be aware that people have a right to make up their own mind. Look after number one. Be prepared to suffer the consequences. Do not externalise the blame. If you are deliberately or unintentionally misled then put it down to experience.

Let us know what you decide to do.
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Re: AA 4th Step

Post by Fluffy_Ducks on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:39 am

how you getting on martin?
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