Step 5 AA | Confess Your FlawsIn its simplest form, the fifth step is basically a confession of personal wrongdoings and the beginnings of your spiritual housecleaning. Although in step four we admitted the exact nature of our wrongs, the process of clearing away the wreckage of the past will not be completed until we have shared those wrongs with another person in step five. Including a well-chosen person to be part of this healing process helps us to become aware of our own self-delusion, where we have not been totally honest and where there are patterns of destructive thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes painful but always rewarding, the incredible emotional and mental relief you will feel coupled with profound personal insight makes the fifth step a valuable exercise. Successful completion of step 5 marks a return to sanity, and a much clearer recognition of who and what we are. The same holds true with the admission that we make in the fifth step.
A Deeper Look at the 12 Steps: Step 5
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 5: Be Honest About Your Mistakes. “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”. Step 5 of Alcoholics Anonymous teaches you that you can be forgiven for your shortcomings and also forgive others who have hurt.
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How Do You Complete This Step?
This is perhaps difficult, especially discussing our defects with another person. We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves. There is doubt about that. In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. Many of us thought it necessary to go much further.
For many newcomers to sobriety, the steps look like a tall order. I remember, at a very young age, reading the steps where I went to church. Too young to understand their purpose, I remember thinking whoever practiced those steps must be pretty extreme. Even as an upcoming alcoholic and drug addict in grade school, I knew the steps sounded a little…well… cultish. Unfortunately addiction is, by its very nature, exceptionally extreme.
Download pamphlets and handouts to use in Big Book Group Sessions. Our workbook companion to Alcoholics Anonymous' 12 steps of recovery from alcoholism and addiction is called Steps by the Big Book. We provide this study guide based on personal experience to help those following AA's 12 steps as outlined in the original Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous AA. The 12 Steps are suggested guides for recovery from alcoholism or addictions. There is no rule that says anyone has to do them, and there is no regulation about how they should be done.