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It requires a search and inventory of oneself that considers what causes a person’s alcoholism. During the process, they discover and examine liabilities.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous’ philosophy, AUD is a symptom of a spiritual disease, and recognizing that disease is necessary for a person to recover.
Recovery doesn't require above-average writing ability to create a moral inventory. But it does mean evaluating oneself and acknowledging what you find.
The purpose of step four is to begin the spiritual growth necessary for recovery.
It emphasizes establishing or improving your relationship with a higher power, as well as with yourself and your loved ones.
This step requires honesty and a candid look at yourself, your past, and your character defects.
The majority of people with AUD struggle to understand the difference between fact and fiction due to how alcohol has affected their memory. They tend to create stories that allow them to live as they do until they're ready to begin recovery.
This step is where someone gains a new perspective on their patterns, their mistakes, and their responsibilities. Instead of staying mired in their self-pity, they consider their previous behaviors and take responsibility for them.
The fearless moral inventory, also known as searching and fearless moral inventory, is the action someone takes at this point in their recovery process.
This step is rooted in being honest with oneself and letting go of the delusional thinking that was part of addiction. For many, this step feels good because they are finally being truthful and removing the weight of living a lie.
However, it’s also a challenging step because it requires reflection on the damage the AA participant caused in their relationships.
Step four is about sorting through past behavior with complete honesty.
The inventory allows you to examine the negative thoughts and emotions that ruled your life. It requires you to look at how you avoided responsibility and blamed others for your behavior.
In step four, you take responsibility for your past and current behavior. You acknowledge things that are embarrassing, painful, or difficult that are the root of your addiction.
AA participants write their fearless moral inventory while examining their feelings of fear, anger, resentment, pride, shame, and pity. They address any abuse they’ve experienced or any secrets they’ve kept.
The inventory is a deep and vulnerable step requiring complete honesty, but it’s one that is necessary for recovery.
Step four of AA’s 12-step program is challenging for many AA participants.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, start by:
Remember, nearly everyone who completes this step has things they believe are too terrible to include on the list. Include them anyway. Otherwise, your list is incomplete and you're not being honest.
It’s important to understand that AA is a place for people who also struggle with alcohol addiction and there’s nothing you can list that is unique or too shocking for other participants.
There are several questions that you can ask yourself and answer that will help you work through step 4, including:
Step four is necessary because a personal inventory is crucial in understanding how you will grow spiritually in your recovery.
You decide in this step what parts of your character to retain and emphasize and which parts to modify or discard entirely. Like most human beings, you have things you want to change or improve. This is when you address those things.
In this step, you confront and assess the extent of your addiction. This helps you learn more about the severity of your substance abuse.
Some people even discover other addictions they didn’t realize they had and can seek addiction treatment for more than alcohol.
Additionally, during this step, you look back at how your relationships with the people you love and trust who you harmed as a result of your addiction.
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