Step 4. Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action. Well? I may have wanted to launch? I may have been boxed in and choking on reoccurring sharp fragments of my history, gasping for my seemingly last breath for the absolute last time. The really really last time. At this point in my sobriety I wanted to pick up the pen more than anything if only because others were doing it and I wanted to be like them.. Or simply because I had never been this desperate. Especially sober and able to feel the desperation and fear.
So, simple enough. We listed people whom we had resentment toward. With whom we were angry or had been. I can do this! My life is on the line here! Just quitting drinking is shaky at best, I get that..I'll eventually pick up the alcohol again unless I can find out why I need it so badly. The answers are in the 4th. I know it. So that's it then. I'll go home and get quiet as suggested by my sponsor. Pray for direction from the Higher Power. Get the Big Book out and read Step 3. Get my new 9x12 spiral bound notebook there in front of me and a good pen with lots of ink. Find out what is at the root of my alcoholic symptoms? This is it! My big chance to get some answers. Why I've been such a screw up my entire life and drank like I did.!
May as well review the 3 pertinent ideas also in preparation. The abc's on the page wrapping up Steps 1 and 2 leading me into my 3rd Step decision. (A) I'm alcoholic and cannot manage my own life. (B) probably no human power can relieve my alcoholism. (C) God could and would if He were sought. Yup. I am convinced. I have made my decision.
I'm ready to launch! My life on the line. The program of recovery laid out in masterly detail lies ahead. I have the willingness. I am ready to get down to causes and conditions surrounding my alcoholism. This is my life or death mission. I'll write for atleast 2 hours tonight. Get my list of people institutions and principles down, maybe even finished!
Suddenly the thought hits me. It comes over me like a warm snuggly security blanket and I feel happy joyous and free.. Is that new girl going to be at the meeting tonight? Seeing I'm putting all this effort in preparing myself to write my 4th Step? I'm working the program right? I am thinking about it? Discussing it with myself. Maybe God sent her to me. Maybe she's Gods will for me. So, I'll go to the meeting tonight and follow through on what may be Gods will. I will absolutely start my writing tomorrow night.
Well...The next night came and went with no sign of picking up the pen. I did however clean out the dustballs from behind the refrigerator in the coming weeks. I laundered and folded everything in the house that even resembled fabric. Vacuumed the basement. Stocked the kitchen with healthy organic stuff. I had myself convinced I was taking proper care of myself unaware it was to justify my avoiding the pen..
The future Mrs. RIGHT NOW from the Friday night (you're alcoholic when you say you are) group never materialized. Her insides were much too different than her outsides even for me the king of settling for less.. No she's "Gods will for me" apparently. No save me, fix me, make me normal. I did however try to fill in the blank spots surrounding an old girlfriend for a few obsessive days. I even agreed to allow her to talk to old boyfriends around the halls as I had been working on discussing my jealousy issues at my Men's 12/12 ( your problem is only this big) meeting.. That ended badly, again. I will probably be making amends for making amends at some point. Anyway..
So it roughly said. Though our 3rd Step decision to surrender was vital and crucial? It would probably wear off eventually unless followed by an effort to face and be rid of the things in ourselves that are blocking us from the spirit. It also eludes to those who start off slowly yet are at the very least willing to drop the intellectual cure driven by selfishness for the surrender to a spiritual power. With them it may take a while or they may grow into it more slowly than those who get beaned off the head by Jesus in one grand wake up call. Some of us go into overtime searching for our own conception of the spiritual realm and get it after it's seemingly game over..
Willingness is key, you can believe that. Willingness is indispensable. So what I myself found was as long as I prayed for willingness? The willingness would come. As I focused on my 3rd Step decision with all it's wording changes. I would remain willing and when it was time to get down to causes and conditions? I did. Oh, it wasn't as fast as others I knew in the program. I was still judging myself by their standard. But I also knew I was sicker than most so.....whatever. Keep going. Don't give up on yourself this time.
Eventually I saw myself completely stuck in another crisis that had no one left to blame it all on. I could no longer justify my insane thoughts and acts sober. Who was this crazy man in my head! Even I knew I was full of crap now. So sitting on the edge of my bed blubbering and wishing for the end was quite fitting really. Curtains. The end. You kind of know it's all over I think. At least I did. The impending doom had arrived. I was now fully doomed. Completely hopeless. I was still beyond human aid sure but had let my 3rd Step decision run down and wear off. Just like it said it would. It was only me now. Just me. No more God, no more people, no more nothing. Should I kill myself was no longer the question. It was now about how I'm going to do it.
It had been months since my initial convincing testimony. The day when I had my horrific life painted over in a calming periwinkle blue for the last time. Since I was ready to launch out on the 4th Step course suggested in the Book was obviously my only option? Everything from that point on was marked time. I had no idea about recovery I only knew how to survive.
It takes what it takes I guess? For me it took what it took. I was dragged out of my old life kicking and screaming for sure. Even so, the day did come and I did pick up the pen. Like my life depended on it actually. Oh boy was I in some serious pain. I wrote everyday all day until my pen finger blistered and bled. My mind was already mush. I was beaten and willing to surrender. It was my time to see myself for who I really was. The selfishness and self centeredness at the root of my malady would take shape..
The Big Book 12 Steps are suggested for those who are willing to make an admission of hopelessness. Not all alcoholics or problem drinkers are hopeless. I hope others don't see my experience as the alcoholic norm. If anything it resembles the hopeless alcoholic norm and even then? Our experiences vary. So really? I speak for myself here.. Although it says many had never attempted a 4th Step inventory? It may seem scary, risky, vulnerable? A bit of willingness and most are on their way to a new freedom and outlook on life they had never known as they continue to live life one day at a time sober. After all, it's a 12 Step program not a 4 Step program. I like the wording at the end of the 4th Step. It says something like if you have been thorough and honest, you've written down a lot. You've made a good beginning. You have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.
I made a beginning.