Step 5 sounds a lot like “confession,” but in reality it should be seen as a letting go of these “desires” and “initial choices” spoken about in Step 4. By speaking out this inner baggage the addict begins to let go of the things which have plagued he or she for years.
“The Fifth Step is the key to freedom. It allows us to live clean in the here and now. Sharing the exact nature of our wrongs sets us free to live. After taking a thorough Fourth Step, we have to deal with what we have found in our inventory. We are told that if we keep these defects inside us, they will lead us back to using. Holding on to our past would eventually sicken us and keep us from taking part in this new way of life. If we are not honest when we take a Fifth Step, we will have the same negative results that dishonesty brought us in the past,” quote from the booklet entitled Twelve Concepts for NA Service.
According to Hazelden, at step 5 recovering addicts “share our lists with our Higher Power and another human being. This confession often brings a vast sense of relief. In addition, Step 5 refines the information gathered in Step Four. We ask our listener for an objective view of our inventory with others and asking for their feedback helps bring our self-image into clearer focus.”