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Big Book Step Study vs 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, Step 4 Fear

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Well yes, by now I had pretty much dropped away from the 12/12. Besides ,my mind was all over the place dredging up the past. I was crucifying myself everytime I spoke at the 12/12 meeting. I stopped going to discussion meetings also. I had to put my AA recovery into perspective, I listened to my Sponsor. He suggested I keep my mouth shut for a bit and focus on myself and my Higher Power, I agreed. It seemed he was right about me, always trying to be validated by people, hoping for a self esteem boost by sharing at the meeting.

Fellowship had brought me this far but now it was about the 12 Steps. I would eventually be interested in the 12 Traditions and try and follow up my Big Book Step work with the reading and discussing of the 12 Steps at a 12/12 meeting. I even returned later to my old 12/12 meeting with a desire to listen more than anything. Plus, that's where I would find sponsees. Those like myself trying to read and apply what the 12/12 Book and others at the meeting offer for my daily AA sobriety. My attention would be drawn to Alcoholics like myself going to meetings everyday but not able to stay sober. I am not as concerned about the defensive petty rivalries in AA as much as trying to be of service to the man who still suffers. I am committed to the Big Book 12 Steps so, that's who I am and now primarily where I go. I am still in direct contact with my Sponsor everyday as I write my 4th. I am on a 4th Step writing  mission really, I can't do much else at this point. I pray and I write. I have picked up the pace and decided to put time into my writing everyday. The process of writing? The writing action was somehow helping me, I always felt better after I put some time into it. So, I have finished the resentment part of my 4th and with a new notebook am willing to look at my fears now. I hit my knees and pick up the pen overwhelmed with willingness. I had begun to change. The Big Book says "notice" the word fear is bracketed along side the difficulties with Mr. Brown. I get it, in my own work I have the same thing only the first name is Ray, not Mr. Brown. I'm on the right track, I see where I have fear bracketed in my "Affects my" column next to self esteem or security, personal relations, sex relations. ..

Yup. Fear is an evil and corroding thread woven into my existence. Ok, I see fear. Like self centered fear right? Or like fear of falling out of an airplane. Either one? I see it says even though I have no resentment in connection with the fear so, yes. I can have a fear that isn't connected to anything I had bracketed in my resentments. I pray and these fears come and I put them on the list. That's it really. I am relying on the Higher Power to direct my thinking..


Like, I'm afraid of what others think? That would be what, fear of peoples opinions? Yeah. So I write down fear of "peoples opinions" and begin to make my fear list. What's another one? Fear of "not being good enough"? I write that one on the list. As I review my resentment part and look over my "affects my" column I see lots of fears where I bracketed the word for many different reasons and add them to the list. Fear of "women"? Fear of "financial ruin"? Fear that people know the real me?  Fear that this 12 Step stuff won't work for me? Fear of my father hating me? Holy crap! I'm loaded with fear. It's everywhere! This fear has basically ruined me, I've ruined me. I notice the trains of circumstance line in the Book. Fear brought me misfortune I felt I didn't deserve but didn't I set the ball rolling?...Just about everything I do is backed by fear, no wonder I drank like I did everyday, I was always full of fear! A lot of these fears go back to when I was a kid, a young kid.

Ok, it's easy to drift off here. I think I can now navigate around my whacked out childhood, I need to stay focused. I ask for help again to pick up the pen and keep going, get out of my head, this isn't Step school here or Big Book AA college . It's a spiritual journey. I must remember self knowledge won't fix me, my reliance is on the Higher Power. I have my fear list completed and there's maybe a little over 100 fears. I admit to myself that many of these are petty and embarrassing to look at but so what. This is between me and the Higher Power. The only other one to see this is my Sponsor and he is admittedly as much of a fearball as I am. Now I'm going to answer the questions on Page 68? yes.


Wait, top of 68 it says we think fear ought to be classed with stealing...What does that mean? Maybe self centered fear is like me grabbing at emotional security? I know when I'm self centered I am looking for control or to be validated. Trying to arrange others for my self esteem? Like alone I don't have the courage or strength to handle the situation or thoughts running around in my head so I try to steal my security by arranging others to meet my needs?   Talk about stealing others emotional security!  Well, yeah. Something like that sure..

I'm insecure? I will become cocky, sarcastic. and hopefully get a laugh and some attention. Maybe I'll focus on someone who is worse than me, assassinate them to take the focus of me. Just a nudge and a wink is all I need to remove my self-centeredness. If people are offering? I'm stealing..What did I know, I had no courage or strength, coping skills. I relied on using others for my self esteem. If you liked me then I liked me. If you didn't? It was war. I became a subtle manipulative dirty fighter. Anything to get my needs met, anything to steal some self esteem. Me me me, it's always about me. Is this because I'm extremely  self centered? Always full of fear? I suffer from extremely low self esteem? Everybody's everything and I'm nothing..Well, I haven't got all the answers around fear but I  can see it centers in my alcoholic mind. I've got a real fear problem. Man, I'm drifting again here. Back to the work. Pray? Pick up the pen and take the fear from the list and answer the questions. It says we reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, ok I've done that. We asked ourselves why we had them? First question, why we had them? I get back on my knees and pray over the 1st fear on the list, fear of others opinion. For some reason I get a clear flash of the time in 2nd grade when I ripped my pants and everyone saw my underwear? What is this? 2nd grade? My Sponsor said pray and write down what comes to mind so whatever I guess. Ripped pants in second grade it is.

Fear list:

  "fear of others opinion."

1  first question.  why I had it? Ripped my pants in 2nd grade, everyone was laughing at me. Even Mike who Leslie liked better already was getting all the attention pointing at me and laughing.

next question.

2  where did self reliance fail me?  I felt lost and alone like nobody would help me or save me, not even my mother. I went to the office but nobody came with a new pair of pants. I was completely separated from everyone. I rode my bike home by myself. I felt like nobody liked me.

next question.

3  where was I cocky? I made fun of Mike and told myself I didn't need any friends anyway.

next question.

4  what is the better way?  I have willingness today. I believe the Higher Power shows me courage and strength to face life successfully no matter how afraid of people and their opinions I am.


I ask my Higher Power who I choose to call God at this point in my Steps to remove my fear and direct my attention to who He would have me be. As strange as it may appear? I actually commence to outgrow fear. I have answered the 4 questions to over a hundred fears on my fear list. Like it said I got it all down on paper. I am starting to see myself, my God is letting me see my terrible destructiveness yet I am safe and protected. I feel I am changing. I have prayed for direction to see my resentment and fear. These are facts about myself I never knew existed. My constant inner conflict is being exposed and I am relieved. I want it, I am not afraid.


Bottom of page 68, Now about sex.





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