I've been thinking quite a bit about step four which I'm about to begin. In Al-Anon there is a work book that is used to help with this step which is a "searching and fearless moral inventory" to include resentments, fears, harms to others, and sexual conduct. I've heard that some people fear this step. For me, I'm looking forward to doing this work. I've been to therapists and told them my story. With Al-Anon, I think that this step will be more helpful than going to a therapist because I'll be focusing on the attitudes, thoughts, beliefs, fears, actions, behaviors, and the behavior patterns that have caused my failure to deal with the alcoholic and many other aspects of my life. I also understand that Step Four is a repetitive thing as are all the steps. Hopefully, I'll get new insight into why I so often feel defeated, discontented and often so empty.
I know that there are people that I resent. Primary on that list will be the alcoholic. But I also realize that it is the disease that I dislike so much as my qualifier is one of the best people that I know.
What do I fear? I fear a slip. I fear loss of the ones that I love. I don't fear for myself, yet I probably should have a fear for loss of myself and my own well-being. That is what I need to work on--taking care of myself and fearing for my own sanity.
The harms that I have done to others will make quite a list. I have been selfish, resentful, jealous, bitter, and aloof many times. I've put way too much emphasis on work and not enough on just having fun. I've harmed myself in as many ways as I've harmed others.
Sexual conduct is an area of the inventory where I will need courage and strength. Working this step is a matter of trust also. My inclination is to be ashamed of thoughts and actions around this topic. But like eating my first oyster, it's best to take a deep breath, swallow and not chew on this topic for too long.
God grant me the strength....