Once we’ve examined our lives and come to an open, and honest, inventory of how our lives are going, it’s time to “face the music.” Step Five is:
“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Put another way, Step Five reads:
“Will talk to another person about our exact nature.”
So far, the work we’ve been doing through the Twelve Steps has been focused on ourselves – the things we’ve done and had no control over, we realize we need outside help, we’ve looked to a higher power, and we’ve made an inventory of our lives. Now comes the time when we turn toward others and admit that we’ve made mistakes.
A difficult step forward
Many people in recovery try to skip this step. After all, it’s hard to turn to another person and say, “I admit it. I see it. I have a real problem with this addiction.” Instead, many may believe that admitting the problems to God and admitting the problems to themselves should be sufficient. However, it’s not enough. When you try to hide the wrongs you’ve done, you’re at great risk for making the same mistakes. In fact, without completing this step with commitment, it is very likely you will turn back to your addiction.
Dismissing our egos
It is hard to feel like you look “bad” to someone else. For this reason, we want to put the best of ourselves on display. This can be seen on social media – where we get snippets of others’ highlights reels. So, when it comes to turning toward another human being and saying “Hey, I really messed up,” it can seem as though we can’t keep up with all those other “perfect” lives.
The thing is, when we release our egos in this matter, and we admit the things we’ve done that were wrong, we can then move on. Those things that are still weighing on our souls can be released and we can be freed from them.
Uncovering what we were masking
The reason the fifth step is so powerful is that we are being frank and honest with others about the things we’ve done wrong over the years. Many times, addictions are formed to cover those wrongs up so that we don’t have to face them head-on. By trying to keep these things covered, the potential for turning back toward drinking when trying to hide from the mistakes we’ve made. It leads to further deception and self-destructive behavior.
Who to turn to?
In AA, it’s important to turn to someone who is truly objective, understands the Twelve Steps and his or her own role, can maintain confidentiality, and is an active listener. This person can be a spiritual adviser, a sponsor through AA, or even a therapist.
If you’d like to turn to us for help in Step Five, we’re here for you. Simply contact us today to get the help you need in your recovery journey.