Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Principle - Integrity
Honesty and willingness collide. We face our past and share every aspect. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the faith to overcome it.
Okay, so you thought taking a written inventory of your resentments and fears was bad enough. Now you are asked to share your inventory not only with God, but with another human being! Most of us think that admitting to God is scary as it is, but why tell another person?
Confession Promotes Healing: We are as Sick as our Secrets.
Low Self Worth
Acceptance of Others
It's important that you choose wisely this person who will listen to your inventory. It is best to choose someone who is also active in practicing the 12 steps of recovery: ideally, one who takes regular written inventories and shares them regularly with another person. The person should also be close-mouthed, trustworthy and understand the importance of confidentiality. If such a person is not available, perhaps a minister, priest or someone in a similar capacity can be approached. Most clergy nowadays are trained and aware of the 12 steps of recovery.
There is something powerful about sharing your inventory with another person. From my personal experience, I have found that telling someone else my story -- my fears and resentments, has left me feeling connected with humanity. I have found that the other person usually understands how I feel and have either experienced the same or knows others who have. Second, there is something liberating about the 5th step: by telling another person, I no longer seem to be holding on to the weight of the fears and resentments.
Why not just admit to God the exact nature of our wrongs? Do we need to tell another person? The act of admitting to another human being the exact nature of wrongs is humbling, even humiliating at times, but most of the time, it is a liberating feeling to unload the burden that has been weighing us down for years.
It is important to share this "inventory", which we drew up in the previous step, with God, or our concept of a Higher Power, Ourselves, and another human being. If you are working the 12 steps by yourself, you are in order for some difficulty. A sponsor is some other human being which guides us through the steps. Another source for this "other human being" could be a holy man, such as a member of the clergy. But it is imperative that this inventory be shared. Without sharing this with another human being you should not proceed to the next step. It will seem a difficult task, but it is one of the most freeing moments in your life.
"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone
Pages 72-75 discuss the 5th step.
The instruction part of this step is quite easy, and I think in some respects perhaps it's easy enough to assume that perhaps it may not be so important to get this far in the steps, or perhaps to somehow skip this step.
The Big Book is pretty clear on the potential dangers of failing to do a proper 5th step. On the "lighter" side of things, on p72 we are warned that "a solitary self-appraisal (is) insufficient." Often what this means for me is that I'm not clearly seeing the harm I've done others, or in other situations I'm not seeing that I had no part in something (common with some child hood issues) or that I am grossly misunderstanding my part. That whole "lack of a sense of proportion, an inability to think straight" can be deadly if we are attempting to work the action steps solo.
On the more serious side of things, the Big Book states quite clearly about why we need to complete a 5th step: "If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome addictive gaming."
(Yes, I'm adapting language from p72-73 for our purposes here).
It goes on to say "Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they returned to addictive gaming. Having perservered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness, and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story."
The essential method I've been shown for doing the 5th step looks like this:
I meet with my sponsor. She usually has me read p60-63 of the Big Book, and we open with a prayer. (The reading reminds me that my self-will and self-centeredness are the reason that I'm here.) Then we begin working our way through the 5th step, with me reading to her what is on my inventory.
I have a separate sheet of paper, where we list character defects; a small selection of my usual suspects includes:
And many others--these are just a sampling. Your favorite defects may look different.
After each resentment that I read, we note what my defect of character is in each case, or in some cases the lasting effect that a situation has had on me. If there are repeats (and there always are), I put a tick mark next to the defect and we keep moving.
The resentment list often takes the longest to share. As needed my sponsor may make commentary about notes for the future steps (things to consider for the 7th step, or things to think about for the amends in 9).
I continue on with reading my fear list, and then on to the sex inventory.
At any point, where it seems useful to provide commentary, ask questions, or share "Yes I did that too", my sponsor is right there. It's very hard to generalize this portion because it's so very individual.
On the occaisions where the 4th step has been very, very long, the 5th step may be broken up into 2 or more sessions.
John mentions the importance of doing the 5th step with someone. I also wanted to echo this because while my experience with 5th steps has largely been doing them with sponsors, I've also had emergency situations where I utilized trusted friends in the program. The criteria on how we choose the person to do our 5th step with is on 73-75 and is well worth the read. Page 75 sums it up nicely, that we are on a "life-and-death errand". Since the ability to stand a chance of having a game free life on a day by day basis hinges on this step so critically, this is not hyperbole.
A word about special circumstances: I had one secret I had never told anyone that was not a resentment, not a fear, and didn't qualify for my sex inventory either. Nevertheless it was something I had deep shame wrapped around, and had not ever told a soul. I asked my sponsor about this, and she pointed out that it did suggest I should tell someone all my life story.
I didn't even want to tell my sponsor this particular piece of information about my life, and so she referred me to a spiritual advisor. I explained to the spiritual advisor what I needed to do, and the woman agreed to bear witness to and guide me with my last secret. It was a deeply humbling and enriching experience, and I've been ever grateful that my sponsor referred me to this person, who I've never felt the need to revisit.
Folks, if you are in a similar situation and find yourself with a trusted person or advisor to offer you assistance, please do not be dissuaded from doing this out of fear of thinking you are doing your 5th step wrong.
Cheers, Desire to Stop
ALL quoted text (unless otherwise stated) comes from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (with wording sometimes changed only to make it more relevant for gaming addiction). I will include page numbers.
Hoping & praying for a measure of recovery for all of us today.
Ah i got your "god" thing.. but its very bad to use god in this cotent.. better to say "energy" or whatever... but god.. is more church-jesus-style...
Okay. This seems to be the deal and I'm sure someone will be along to give the official answer. In the meantime...This program is based on the 12 step program, which is like the Alcoholic Anonymous program. God is part of that.
HOWEVER, this group is definitely open to agnostics, atheists and others. There is a section of the forums that focuses on altering the steps for them. you do not have to believe in a God to get benefit out of this.
It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine....
But if you know a little about AA you know that there program is not really that good for "agnostigs, atheists" it dont forces you to believe in god, but it says like: "..if you not believing in that god-thing, you will not get (good) benefit.. because you are powerless and a higher force HAS to help you.." total .... whatever for me.
Strength must come out of you not from a "higher" god or whatever the stupid humans invent.
To just copy that is not really wise... i mean why copying anything, who needs 12 steps?
Why not 5 or just one?
ItA´s only after we lost everything that weA´re free to do anything.
May I give another perspective on the Higher power?
It can be argued and indeed it is hidden within and between the lines of every holy book that the "God-like" divinity rests WITHIN every single Human - its like every person actually IS an "angel/god-like" being but due to the pressures of life/survival/etc has either fogotten or does not understand HOW to achieve perfection of spirit/life in their daily existence.
I personally believe that the greatest and most productive/creative/spiritual/famous/etc people are able to REALISE THEIR FULL/ALMOST-FULL POTENTIAL and by being in complete control and being able to CHOOSE everything that they want to feel/achieve in their lives - they become close to the "higher power".
What if the concept of "higher power" had little to do with an external influence; but everything to do with being totally in control of your life and feeling great about everything in it as a result?
I reckon if you did, you would feel that the "higher power" of your "guardian sub-conscious mind" was working extremely well for you!
Personally I believe in the "External Higher Power" because I have experienced it personally, but in order to live beautifully, we have to make our own higher self WORK.
Thats allways the argument... because you feel it from outside that doesnt mean its inside of anyone...
I read this words over and over again.. its just words.. its like trying to discribe the never ending universe...
Everyone should stand on his own if he needs help and ask for it, dont reject that, but try not to play "god" for anyone or try to help without asking.
ItA´s only after we lost everything that weA´re free to do anything.
Lots of interesting thoughts... The 12 steps came from the Big Book of AA. This was writen in 1938. So there is lots in there that is specific to that time including God. When i started AA there was lots of talk about changing to make it gender specific and more modern. Im glad they didnt. Thats like changing the words to a national anthem. We all know it was specific to the time it was wrote, but we still sing it. Same with the God thing. I use the word - but only as shorthand. To me its more spirit of the universe cosmic kharma thing. Thats my hippy past. I know plenty in AA who are agnostics. And atheists. To those who object to God or higher i say take what you need and leave the rest. Alternatively, those who are closed minded about what we have to offer can always continue gaming. Overcoming addiction is not easy, and you have to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and be willing to try something else. To gamers - our own best ideas brought us to this point. Perhaps its time to try something different. - dark
Olga/non member since Dec. 2008 Check out my latest video on Gaming Addiction and public awareness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6JZLnQ29o
First of all hello to all, and thank you for this great site.
Ive started the program as soon as I got onto this site, printed it out - ive answered the questions so far up to the end of Stage 4 - I had about 4 or 5 pages written in an hour.
So, im stuck at stage 5 at the current moment, and dont really want to skip this step.The trouble is telling that you have a problem with another person. I really dont have any trustworthy contacts except for my Mum and Dad, and I dont think they would think this is the approach to take.When I told my Mum, she said you dont need to analyze and plan so much, you need to just get in and do it. I didn't tell my father, because he said a similar thing to me before.
So, do you think its ok to tell this board (or others) my answers so far, or will that not work?
Your sponsor is a highly recommended choice for doing Step 5 with. Family may not be the best choice due to them being close to you. A sponsor is a trusted person that has been through what you have and has worked the steps with their sponsor. A sponsor's goal is only to offer what has worked for them and doesn't have any motives to guide you in a direction that would benefit themselves.
It is my opinion that a step 5 does not belong posted online. Its much too personal. A sponsor works best.
However, I have heard of people that do their step 5 with complete strangers, it doesn't have to be a sponsor or even someone you know. It must be a "other person" and it doesn't say "your sponsor". Most people choose their sponsors because they feel they will be understand the material. They feel they can also trust the confidentiality if a sponsor.