RA offers hope, sanity, and recovery, especially to those who, despite their best efforts, have yet to find full recoveries, no matter what their problems or behaviors may be and their family and friends.
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 Part 2: Formally Going Through Steps One through Eight
 
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5. Formally Going Through Step Five
 
 

STEP FIVE

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

1. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 33, in the first paragraph, it says:

"Having made your personal inventory, what shall you do about it? You have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with your Creator, and to discover the obstacles in your path. You have admitted certain defects; you have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; you have put your finger on the weak items in your personal inventory. Now these are about to be [cast] out. This requires action on your part, which, when completed, will mean that you have admitted to God, to yourself, and to another human being, the exact nature of your defects. This brings us to the fifth step in the Program of Recovery mentioned in the preceding chapter."

2. The pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for the Fifth Step are on pages 33 and 34 in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. R.A.'s suggestions for sharing the Fifth Step are on pages 14 and 15 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. If you have read, discussed, and most importantly, followed these "clear-cut directions" and suggestions, you have already shared the details of your Fifth Step with another person.

3. You are now going to formally go through the Fifth Step by admitting to God, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your defects.

4. In order to do this, you first need to understand what the "exact nature" of your defects is, and how this differs from the list you have in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook.

5. So, let's look at what the Big Book says is the exact nature of your defects.

6. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 28, in the first full paragraph, it says:

"Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly, without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt."

7. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 29, in the second paragraph, it says:

"First, we search out the flaws in our make-up which have caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, is what has defeated us, we consider its common manifestations."

8. To consider the flaws in your make-up, let us look at the list of character defects from your inventory on R.A.'S STEP WORKSHEET “B” in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook on page 17.

9. Think about each of them.

10. Don't all of them boil down to a root of selfishness—self-centeredness? Can you now see that "selfishness—self-centeredness" is the root of your troubles? Can you now see that this is the exact nature of your defects?

11. If you can now see this, then you will need to admit to God, and to yourself, that the exact nature of your defects has been selfishness—self-centeredness.

12. Please open R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook to page 16 and look at the box labeled Step Five on R.A.'S STEP WORKSHEET “A.”

13. Can you now see that the exact nature of your defects of character, the root of your troubles, has been selfishness—self-centeredness?

a. If you can admit this to God and to yourself, then circle “yes.”

b. If you can't admit this now, but believe that maybe someday, even if it's five or ten years from now, you will be able to admit this, then circle “maybe.”

c. If you do not believe that selfishness—self-centeredness is the root of your troubles, then circle “no.”

14. The final part of this process is to make your admission to another human being.

15. If you are with another person, you can simply turn to them and admit that the exact nature of your defects of character, the root of your troubles, has been selfishness—self-centeredness.

14. If you are talking to someone on the phone, you can make your admission to them.

15. If you are listening to this or reading this by yourself, please find another person you can talk to as soon as you can and make your admission to them.

16. Once you have made your admission to another person, please open R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook to page 16 and look at the box labeled Step Five on R.A.'S STEP WORKSHEET “A.”

a. If you have admitted to another human being that the exact nature of your defects of character, the root of your troubles, has been selfishness—self-centeredness, then circle “yes.”

b. If you have not done this now, but believe that maybe someday, even if it's five or ten years from now, you will be able to do this, then circle “maybe.”

c. If you do not believe that selfishness—self-centeredness is the root of your troubles, and you refuse to admit this to another human being then circle “no.”

17. If you have circled “no,” please consider the limitations imposed by holding onto your old attitudes. Perhaps you will be able to see that your defects of character are manifestations of your selfishness—self-centeredness. Perhaps you can then change from saying “no,” to “yes” or “maybe.”

18. If you have circled "yes" or "maybe" you "have admitted to God, to yourself, and to another human being, the exact nature of your defects.“ You have now completed formally going through STEP FIVE.

19. Even if you are still circling the “no,” please continue on with the rest of the steps. Please recognize that working the Twelve Steps DOES produce results.

20. Remember the results that the pioneers promise us when we follow their "clear-cut directions" for doing the Fifth Step. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 34 in the fourth paragraph, the "Fifth Step Promises" say:

Pocket your pride and go to it! Illumine every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once you have taken this step, withholding nothing, you will be delighted. You can look the world in the eye. You can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Your fears will fall from you. You will begin to feel the nearness of your Creator. You may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now you will begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will come strongly. You will know you are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.

21. Next, we suggest that you keep following Dr. Bob's example, and, if possible, immediately continue on by formally going through Step Six.

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