The 4th Step Inventory: The Nuts & Bolts of Addiction Recovery
Step 4 – “We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
For many, the thought of doing a 4th Step inventory may well seem overwhelming considering the hard road addiction has left behind. Sitting down and listing all the wrongs you’ve committed and the people you’ve hurt can be a painful process for anyone to undertake.
While few people in 12 Step recovery look forward to doing a 4th Step inventory, the growth and healing that results makes it well worth the effort. In effect, facing the wrongs done in the past opens up the whole can of worms in terms of how a person views him or herself and others.
Doing a 4th Step inventory also reveals the destructive motivations and thinking that addiction bred in your life, which is essentially the nuts and bolts of the recovery process.
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Taking a Moral Inventory: What’s That Mean?
In essence, morals are the values that a person chooses to live his or her life by. Whereas one person may value success and stability, another may value his or her children and family.
As far as morals go, a 4th Step inventory centers on the morals or values that best support your recovery efforts. By examining the values held in the past, a person stands to gain valuable insight as to how and why addiction gained a foothold in his or her life, according to the journal of Frontiers in Psychiatry.
With this knowledge in hand, it becomes that much easier to identify the types of values and choices that will keep you drug-free.
Uncovering Self Deception
More often than not, a person enters into drug abuse (or alcohol abuse) as a means for coping with daily life pressures, be they relationship problems, work problems or feelings of low self-esteem. In effect, substance abuse provides a ready escape from issues a person would rather not face.
Doing a 4th Step inventory brings these hidden issues to light, and in the process uncovers the hidden truths and self-deceptions that drive a person to seek escape through drugs.
Understanding Harmful Belief Systems
Behind every destructive choice or behavior lies an equally destructive thought process. In effect, a person’s thoughts and belief systems become the guidelines for everyday living.
Through the process of doing a 4th Step inventory, the underlying belief systems that fueled drug-using behaviors soon come to light. According to the journal of Biology and Philosophy, harmful belief systems often take the form of:
Seeing the Big Picture
As painful as it may be, doing a 4th Step inventory provides you with a “big picture” perspective of your life in terms of where you were then and where you want to go now. No doubt, it takes courage to be honest about the quality of one’s life no matter who the person is.
The good new is the courage you find to do and complete this step becomes a part of you. It’s this same courage that will help you overcome addiction’s hold in the coming days.