We saw this sign, Friday night, outside a resto on the way to the Friday night meeting. It has since made the rounds on Instagram.
It was another stellar day today. It’s too bad we can’t do things outside. That would be tossing anonymity out the window, wouldn’t it …
I spent the weekend with my friends, and ended the weekend with more friends.
We sat a full house, heard a speaker on Step Four, and got all the way around the room for discussion. The season of visitors has begun. In past years, our numbers spiked because we are a popular meeting on the weekend. And with concerts and filming in the city this season, we will welcome folks from far and wide.
We talked about Step Four.
I remember how, in that first year, this time around, my First Fourth was a laundry list of “WhoDunItToMe” which turned into speaking “Victimese.” This is a common thought with folks who are up there in double digit sobriety.
Over the years, repeated passed of my Fourth repeated the same shit over and over. I was not mentally ready to drop the rock, however I did read the book, “Drop the Rock.”
Last Spring, I worked another Fourth, because I was with my new sponsor, and the way he asked me to write it differed from past rounds. Instead of the Big Book column format, he had me:
- Write a dateline/emotion/table (from the year of birth to the present) which would have been 48 entries for me, at the time.
- Then the three lists:
- Fears and
This last pass was much shorter as I did not retread old material, but drilled down into myself, what I was feeling from beginning to end, to be able to chart what happened when, and how my behavior began, evolved and turned alcoholic.
Then we discussed decisions, some of which were Self Preservation decisions, therefore exempt from the inventory.
But that was not the end of that step.
The year that followed, God began to chip away at my bag of rocks I was carrying around, and after a year and some months of trying to get my attention, dropped the wall on me after the last retreat I attended in Vermont.
Which ended up in an emotional breakdown, which led to a very fast and dirty inventory of shit I really needed to write down and didn’t at the time. This period of time fell between steps Six and Seven. Needless to say when all was said and done, I had indeed
DROPPED THE ROCK(S).
A few weeks back, one of my long sober lady friends spoke at a Thursday night meeting, and she said something that stuck …
The whole point of sobriety is to become free, to let go of the past, and to live in the NOW.
Successive Fourth Steps are required as we get and stay sober. And the Requisite Tenth Step is also the daily inventory that keeps us on track on a daily basis.
Sobriety is supposed to lead to Happy, Joyous and Free.
In the long run, we don’t get sober to remain miserable and mired in the past. We got sober to rid ourselves of the past, get rid of the wreckage of our pasts, to find ourselves, to clean our side of the street, and get right with the God of our Understanding, AND to become Happy, Joyous and Free…
This is as free as I have ever felt in my life.
And the cherry on the sundae, is, when the time is right, and you begin to work with others, is to have a sponsee trust you and you, in turn, get to give it back, by hearing someone’s Fifth Step.
That changed my life in ways I never imagined.
The Steps will change your life in ways you would not imagine…
Happy Joyous and Free …