I completed my Fifth Step last night with my sponsor. We began with the Third Step prayer and then basically, I began to talk about passages in my life and the feelings that accompanied them. At the end of my story, we talked about the various feelings and thought processes that had been part of each phase of my life. My sponsor made a list as I was talking of possible character defects. We then went over that list to see if I was in agreement. I also had a list and we went over that with the result that I have 50 character defects.
I was rigorously honest in what I brought up. Some of these defects are ones that are from the past and no longer are present; however, some are wedged in tight to my psyche and will take time to excise.
My sponsor suggested a couple of things. One is to write down each of the defects, cut out a slip of paper with each one listed, and put the slips of paper for all 50 in my God box. Then, each day I will draw out one defect to work on, pray about, and give up to my HP. The second thing to do is to make a list of those characteristics that I portray to the outward world and another list of those things that are really inside me.
So here is what I came up with:
Outwardly--confident, happy, free, calm, caring about others, deliberate
Inwardly--controlling, tense, obsessive, self-centered, fearful, critical, lonely, inhibited
This was a humbling but wonderful experience for me. I feel a lot of relief to have divulged things that I have never told another. I am grateful for the opportunity to share these things with another person.
"Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility." AA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions