AA: An in Depth Look at Step 5
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number one priority for a substance abuse treatment program is to help people live addiction free. One of the most common programs is Alcoholics Anonymous, a community based program involves alcoholics helping other alcoholics recovery from alcohol addiction.
This program is comprised of 12 steps. Each of these steps is designed to help an alcoholic gradually find their way through the perils of alcoholism and correct what is wrong in their life. These steps when followed, are to lead to both a spiritual and psychological awareness of both the addiction and your life.
What is the Alcoholics Anonymous Step Five?
Step five states: admit to god, to ourselves, and to one other person the exact nature of your wrongs. This fits right after step four, which is taking a moral inventory. Once you take this inventory, the program encourages you to examine the inventory admitting to god and another person the things that you did wrong.
The original step five does include god, but this is sometimes modified to say higher power to accommodate different beliefs. Step five builds directly on the previous four steps.
What Does it Mean?
This step is designed to be a humbling experience. It makes the things that you did wrong more real and more apparent when you have to admit them. The design of this step is to defeat the egotistical thought that an alcoholic can handle things alone without help. It forces the alcoholic to really see how powerless they are over the addiction.
Most people who get to step five are ready to admit this to their sponsor or someone else in the group that they trust. Similar to confession in religions, it is meant to make you come clean about the wrongs that you did and your character flaws that caused you to drink in the first place.
How Does it Help?
This step helps by teaching humility, courage, and how to be honest with yourself and others. When you understand how to talk to people about what happened and what you did wrong, you learn how it affects others around you. If you attempt to skip this step, you might not learn these lessons. It is extremely important to break old habit of thinking that you can handle everything on your own without help. This line of thought often leads to relapse into the previous pattern of drinking.
Some consider this to be one of the hardest lessons to learn in the 12 steps. It is extremely difficult admitting your failings and character flaws to someone else. Learning to do so makes it easier to change those behaviors which led to the addiction to alcohol in the first place.
For more information on the 12 steps or Alcoholics Anonymous, call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help you understand the 12 steps and your treatment options. Addiction is a treatable condition. You are not alone.