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  1. Cool 2 unapproved 4th steps for historical Unpublished NA Fourth Step Guides This is NOT NA Conference-approved literatrue This edition distributed by www.stepstudy.org Unpublished NA Fourth Step Guides In this document, we offer two unpublished NA Fourth Step guides. These guides come from early drafts of the Basic Text and It Works: How and Why. Because much of the material in these drafts did not make the final cut, these are not NA conference-approved Fourth Step guides. However, these guides are still valuable for the insight they provide into an early method of writing Fourth Step inventory that has been largely lost in modern NA. With the publication of the official Narcotics Anonymous Step Working Guides, most NA members who do work Steps, work them based on the official guides, and the earlier ways have been forgotten. The Fouth Step guides presented here allow us to take a step back to the spiritual roots of our program. By taking guidance from an early tradition within the fellowship and adopting its style of fearless self-examination, we may find a new way of relating to the Spirit of recovery and to our program as a whole. Blessings on those who apply these principles in all of their affairs. From the Santa Monica version of the Basic Text STEP FOUR WE MADE A SEARCHING AND FEARLESS MORAL INVENTORY OF OURSELVES. Step Four helps us see exactly what our problems are and shows us our strengths. Let's face it. When we were using, we weren't very honest with ourselves. We are finally beginning to become honest when we admit our addiction has whipped us and that we need help. For some of us it took a long time to admit we were beaten. We found that we do not recover- physically, mentally, or emotionally--overnight. Step Four is going to help us toward recovery more than we can imagine. Some people make the mistake of approaching the Fourth Step as if it were a confession of how horrible they are-what a bad person they had been. This is not the purpose of this step. We are trying to free ourselves of living in old, useless patterns. We take the Fourth Step to gain the necessary strength and insight to enable us to grow in this new way of life. A binge of emotional sorrow over real or imagined wrongs will not help us. In fact, it can be quite harmful. Our purpose is to be rid of guilt-not wallow in it! We must be done with the past, not cling to it. We want to look our past in the face and see it for what it really was and then to release it so that we can live today. The past, for most of us, has been a ghost in the closet. We have been afraid to open that closet for fear of what that ghost may do to us. We don't have to do this alone. Our will and our life is now in the hands of the source of all strength-we tap into the Source! Writing a thorough and honest inventory looked impossible to most of us. It was-as long as we were operating under our own power. We take a few quiet moments before writing and pray for the power to carry it out. We may approach the Fourth Step in a number of ways. It is advisable that before we start, we go over the first three Steps with our sponsor. We get comfortable with our understanding of these steps. We allow ourselves the privilege of feeling good about what we are doing. We have been thrashing about for a long time and have gotten nowhere. Now, we are going to take it easy and not let things frighten us. We don't write the inventory with any particular person in mind. If we do that, we may wind up slanting what we write in order to please them. Only time will tell, and the Fifth Step will take care of itself. We stay here in the Now-- we are on step Four. We cannot work Step Five until we have completed step Four. With pen and paper, we begin our moral inventory. If the word "moral" bothers us, we call it a positive/negative inventory, or a good/bad inventory. The way to write an inventory is to write it! Thinking about it, theorizing about it, talking about it will not get it written. We sit down with a notebook, pray, pick our pen and start writing. All we seek to do is find out which things about us need changing. If we were grocers we would not hesitate to separate the rotten fruit from the good and throw out the rotten. It is important to remember where we came from so that we don't return. We had to go through what we did to get to where we are now. A basic rule of thumb is that we can write too little, but we can never write too much. The inventory will fit the individual, so we simply write until the brain is emptied. Anything we think about is possibly inventory material. We realize how little we have to lose and how much we have to gain. We plunge into this step with no reservations. We sit down with paper and pen and pray for God's help in revealing the defects that are causing pain and suffering. We pray for courage to be fearless and thorough so that this inventory may help us put our lives in order. When we pray and take action it always goes better for us. INVENTORY TOPICS: 1. Resentments write about all people, places, things, institutions, ideas, or principles that we resent, or feel threatened by-past and present. Make a list of all these things first, then write about each, telling: A) What Happened? (Be specific!) B) How did it make us feel? (Examples: Was my pride or self respect hurt? Were our ambitions or security threatened in any way? Was our livelihood endangered? Was a personal or sexual relationship hurt or threatened? ) Do this for each item, leaving some space after each After you've done this with everything on your list, then go back and answer: C) Where was I at fault? Where was I selfish, dishonest, self-seeking or frightened? Though I might not have been all wrong, in what way was I to blame for the situation? Answer these questions for each item-be honest and thorough! 2. Fear: Write about your fears, even though they might not have any relation to your resentments. Answer these questions about each: Why do I have this fear? Am I afraid because I cannot depend on myself? 3. Sex: Write about your experience or problems with sex, whether deep relationships, short affairs, or individual problems that seemed to have nothing to do with others. (Be specific!) Then answer these questions about each item: Where have I been selfish ? Where have I been dishonest? Where have I been inconsiderate? Whom did I hurt? Did I create jealousy or suspicion or cause bitterness? Was the relationship a selfish one? Where was I at fault? What might I have done instead? 4. Miscellaneous: Basically, any negative thoughts or feelings you may have should appear somewhere in your inventory. If you have anything left over after writing about resentments fears, and sex, here is the place to put it. Any guilt, shame, regret, embarrassment, etc. that you've not already written about. When we were active in our addiction we lived under a regime of fear. In attaining our new life, we want to be free of unreasonable fear. A lot of times we try to look good in front of other people, but deep down inside we are often afraid of who we are and where we came from. We write down our fears, our resentments and our guilts. We examine in depth our relationships with people, places and situations asking ourselves what we have demanded of these relationships. Often the answers will show that we are placing unreasonable demands on reality. We often find we are demanding that other people stop being who they are. Most of us find we were neither so terrible nor so wonderful as we supposed. We are surprised to find that we have many good points in our inventory. Anyone who has some time in the program and who has worked these steps will tell us that the Fourth Step was a turning point in our lives. Ultimately we find out that we are just human, with the same fears, longings and troubles as everyone else. One of the greatest benefits of the NA program is discovering that we need never be alone again. Others have felt as we feel. Others have failed where we failed. They are here now in the strength of the fellowship, ready and eager to help us. This Fourth Step can be a wonderful adventure, reviewing our past performance and our present behavior to see what we want to keep and what we want to be rid of. This Step has the reputation of being difficult. In reality, it's quite simple. As recovering addicts, we now have the right to reach for levels of greater comfort and we can reach them by getting a handle on what we've been doing wrong. If we want to feel good, we have to stop doing the things that make us feel bad. We are not going to be perfect. If we were perfect, we would not be human. The important thing is that we do our best. We use the tools available to us, and because we do not want to lose any of what we have gained, we want to continue in the program. It is our experience that no matter how searching and thorough, no inventory is of any lasting effect unless it is promptly followed by an equally thorough Fifth Step. From the Chicagoland Draft of It Works STEP FOUR "We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." The Fourth Step is an action step; it is a cleansing of the mind and spirit. The decision we made in Step Three is an important one, but it will have no lasting effect unless it is accompanied by an honest appraisal of our innermost faults and defects. Making our moral inventory, we learn about the true nature of our addiction. Using drugs was only a symptom of our disease. In Step Four, we look at the things which prevented us from being happy. We do this by taking an inventory of ourselves. This personal inventory is similar to the one businesses take. It is to see which items are useful and which are obsolete, what works and what doesn't, and what can be done to improve the quality of our lives. Step Four was a step to freedom. It was here that we began to take a look at ourselves. We did this in order to identify our liabilities, defects of character, and assets. All the reasons we thought we had to use needed to be put behind us. We had hesitated looking at the things we had been trying to run away from all our lives. We got to the point where we wanted to see ourselves and get comfortable. We wanted to know who we were. What kind of person were we? Arrogance and fear have caused us to rationalize every possible form of destructive behavior and thought. Our problem is not only the behavior, but also the rationalization. Without taking personal inventory, we go on doing what we have always done. We need to bring our patterns of behavior out into the open so that we can examine them. We need to look at ourselves and our behavior to see what is unproductive and blocks our recovery. Before actually writing Step Four, we need first to keep in mind that by having done the three steps, that we have come to believe in a God of our understanding who can give us the strength to do a fearless moral inventory. We work closely with a sponsor while writing our inventory. Once we are ready to begin, we ask that the God of our understanding will give us the, honesty, strength and willingness to complete Step Four. We need not be apprehensive when we begin this step, as it clearly offers relief from the years of unresolved guilt experienced by many addicts. Too often we approach this step with such low self esteem that we thought ourselves incapable of doing an inventory. The job may look too big for us, which in fact it is. We realize that this is not a step we can complete on our own. Now that we have become willing to practice the first three steps of Narcotics Anonymous, we exercise all our new faith in a Power Greater than ourselves. This indeed will give us more than enough strength to take inventory of our lives. Our new-found faith will remove the fear we lived with for so long and give us the courage to explore thoroughly the nature of our defects and the behavior that resulted from them which were established during our active addiction and carried into our early recovery. When we are ready to begin, we asked for guidance and start writing. It is extremely important that we work closely with a sponsor. A sponsor, or friend whom we trust in the Fellowship, can share their experience with us as we reach this step. We often feel comforted by our sponsor's identifying our defects in the items we put on paper which caused so much grief in our lives. If we face our fears to begin a thorough inventory, we can begin by listing our fears and the reasons for them. It is important to remember that a God of our understanding is with us as we write our inventory. If the God of our understanding protected us through our insanity during active addiction which we are now writing about; there is nothing to fear in putting it on paper. We do Step Four as if there were no Step Five. We begin to see the greater freedom that lies ahead. Many of us found our first Fourth Step was the hardest one to do. We made countless false starts, or we filled up countless pages with writing that had nothing to do with this step. We read all we could find on doing the Fourth Step and talked to everyone who said anything about their Fourth Step at meetings. We were just putting off getting started. We really had to tell our whole story. We found it was very important to get all that down. We had to be searching and fearless, looking carefully at ourselves. Our sponsors told us that we needed to write (in some way record) our Fourth Step. Just thinking about it was not enough. We found that we needed to write a lot. Some addicts try to cut corners by making a simple self-examination. Some may try to talk out problems with another person, rather than writing a complete inventory. These avoidance methods may bring temporary relief from pressing problems, but these solutions are inadequate. Our experience has shown that a written inventory is the best assurance of self-honesty. Writing about our fears, resentments, character defects and assets gives us a perspective we can gain in no other way. It is difficult to deny justify or rationalize our behavior when it is written on the page. If we lie on paper, we recognize it and work towards deeper honesty. These are some of the immediate advantages of a written inventory. In taking our inventory we take a good long look at what has occurred in our lives. We feel that fear, in its numerous forms, is what crippled us. Since it is difficult to understand the cause of our fear when we are experiencing this fear, we concentrate on the various forms it takes. It makes no difference at this point in our recovery how small our problems seem to be or how often we have thought or talked about them. At this point, it is important to emphasize that being thorough is not the same as being perfect. The best way most of us found to start our Fourth Step was to pray and ask God to help us. As we wrote our inventory, our Higher Power was usually the only one in the room with us. We wrote in confidence and privacy. Since God helped us through the madness we were now writing about, we didn't have to be afraid of putting it down on paper. Nothing that we wrote on that paper hurt us. It was all a benefit to us. There was something revealed we needed to see, something that avowed us to grow and be free. We soon realized that greater freedom lay ahead for us as we got more honest in our Fourth Step inventory. We really had to tell our whole story. We found it was very important to get all that down. We had to be searching and fearless, looking carefully at ourselves. Our sponsors told us that we needed to write in some way record our Fourth Step. Just thinking about it was not enough. We found that we needed to write a lot. Some addicts try to cut corners by making a simple self-examination. Some may try to talk out problems with another person, rather than writing a complete inventory. These avoidance methods may bring temporary relief from pressing problems, but these solutions are inadequate. Our experience has shown that a written inventory is the best assurance of self-honesty. Writing about our fears, resentments, character defects and assets gives us a perspective we can gain in no other way. It is difficult to deny justify or rationalize our behavior when it is written on the page. If we lie on paper, we recognize it and work towards deeper honesty. These are some of the immediate advantages of a written inventory In taking our inventory we take a good long look at what has occurred in our lives. We feel that fear, in its numerous forms, is what crippled us. Since it is difficult to understand the cause of our fear when we are experiencing this fear, we concentrate on the various forms it takes. It makes no difference at this point in our recovery how small our problems seem to be or how often we have thought or talked about them. At this point, it is important to emphasize that being thorough is not the same as being perfect. The best way most of us found to start our Fourth Step was to pray and ask God to help us. As we wrote our inventory, our Higher Power was usually the only one in the room with us. We wrote in confidence and privacy. Since God helped us through the madness we were now writing about, we didn't have to be afraid of putting it down on paper. Nothing that we wrote on that paper hurt us. It was all a benefit to us. There was something revealed we needed to see, something that allowed us to grow and be free. We soon realized that greater freedom lay ahead for us as we got more honest in our Fourth Step inventory. Once we had gone through all our turmoil about what a moral inventory was, we were faced with the problem of starting to write. We did lots of procrastinating here, too. We would sit down to write and we would forget a pencil. We would get a pencil and find we had the wrong paper. We would get the pencil and paper together and then we would have to get our coffee. There was so much pain and guilt that would be coming out and we knew it. So there was almost no end to our procrastination. The more we revealed, the better it was. It was important to put everything down that gave an accurate picture of us. This was the first time we had to really face ourselves and what we had done to others. A lot of us got concerned with the format. We found that that didn't matter. What mattered was that we needed to be as honest as we could be. We found we had to stop and search to get down to how we really felt. How did we know when we were through writing? They told us we would know when we were done. That seemed pretty strange to us at the time. Then we found through our own experience it was true. We just had to get our story down so we could see a true picture of ourselves. We finally saw we had played a part in the things that had happened to us. People were abusive to us but we often gave them good cause or permission to act that way. We manipulated people and then were surprised when they didn't do everything the way we wanted them to. We needed to have a turning point in our lives. We needed to be able to look at the past, accept it for what it was, and let it go. What happened, happened. If we didn't do that, our past kept hurting us. A lot of old feelings influenced how we lived in our today's. So getting our past out in the open and accepting it clearly could set us free. It would let us start on new, clean ground. One of the mast painful things about that first inventory was confronting all the lies that we had been telling our whole lives. It was so hard to sit down and finally tell the truth. We finally got away from all the terrible things we thought had happened to us. We saw we had manufactured a lot of that. Those were our reactions. It was our disappointments at being let down because we didn't get what we wanted. Seeing that clearly was the whole point of the Fourth Step for many of us. What is a moral inventory? In a moral inventory, our goal is to get an accurate picture of ourselves. What happened with us? What are we like today? Our sponsors shared with us that in order to get a true picture of ourselves, we had to take a look at every area of our lives. We had to look at sex. We had to write about relationships. We had to look at crime and things we hurt people with. We had to write about our inadequacies, our insecurities. What kind of moral person were we? Were we giving persons? Or, were we takers? Were we loving persons? Or, did we have a lot of hate in us? As we began to write down the answers to these questions, we began to get a good picture of the kind of person we were morally. We saw there were a lot of things wrong with us. Many of us couldn't give. We couldn't share. We didn't know much about how to love. Any method we use will be effective if we are searching and fearless. The outline below suggests a structure for examining ourselves. It contains the basic elements which comprise our self-appraisal. This is where we identify and examine our feelings. We refer to the Basic Text and jot down words which trigger an awareness of our feelings. Writing serves as a means for drawing a picture of our feelings. I. REVIEW YOUR FIRST THREE STEPS: Review your first Three Steps with a sponsor. II. WRITE ABOUT YOUR RESENTMENTS. Our resentments caused us discomfort, putting us in a negative flame of mind which tended to breed further resentments. We were angry about what happened and kept a mental grudge list. We regretted the clever things we had not said. We planned retaliations for things that may or may not have happened. We were obsessed with the past and future, and therefore cheated ourselves of the present, We need to write about these resentments now to see the part we played in forming them. A. LIST THE PEOPLE, PRINCIPLES, AND INSTITUTIONS YOU RESENT. Most of us started with our childhood, but any order will work as long as it is complete. We included all the people (parents, mates, friends, enemies, etc.), the organizations (jails, police, hospitals, schools, etc.), and the concepts (religions, politics, prejudice, social groups, etc.) at whom we were angry. B. LIST THE CAUSES OF EACH RESENTMENT. We explained the reasons for our anger. Was our self-respect or pride hurt? Was our safety threatened in any way? Was our livelihood attacked? Was a personal or sexual relationship hurt or threatened? We listed whomever or whatever we resented, the cause of the resentment, and -how it affected us. C. WITH EACH RESENTMENT, TRY TO SEE WHERE YOU WERE MISTAKEN AND WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE INSTEAD. Try to forget about the other people's mistakes, and concentrate on your own. For each situation, we answered these questions: Where have I been selfish? Where have I not been completely honest? Was I thanking only of myself, manipulating toward my own ends? Was I afraid? What part did I play in the situation, in what way was I to blame for the situation? We write our personal inventory, not the other people's. We make a list of our faults, not theirs. We realized ourselves are not perfect. Where others have wronged us, we must realize that we need to stop expecting perfection from them. This allows us an opportunity to look at ourselves which is critical to our recovery. III. WRITE ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIPS. We list the many ways in which each of us has been intolerant. At times, we probably refused to allow others the privilege of voicing or even having an opinion, and this attitude caused indifference or hostility. We had a need, generated by pride and fear, to "always be right". We were unnecessarily critical of others; yet when constructive criticism was directed towards us, we were less than receptive. Every suggestion was met with either irritation or despair. Did we listen only to ourselves? When were we intolerant of others? When did we feel superior to others and correct them? A. LOOK AT EACH PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. Examine the positive and negative aspects of each one, being honest about your assets and liabilities. Avoid spending time on the wrongs others have done. We focus on our mistakes, and concern ourselves with areas where self-centeredness seemed to prevail. We must look within and honestly appraise our motives. This is our inventory and if it is to succeed, we need to list our faults, not those of others. Self-pity is one of the ways we manipulated others for our benefit. Indulging in self-pity is asking others to change or to bow to our demands; it is looking for a way to avoid responsibility. We ask ourselves these questions: When did we use self-pity to get attention? Did we lie or "stretch the truth" to make ourselves loot more pathetic? Did we make others feel guilty by feeling sorry for ourselves? Did we bill ourselves as victims of life and everyone around us? This list may include but does not have to be limited to: family, friends, lovers, workmates, God, self and other members of the N. A. Fellowship. Everyone feels down at times, but addicts can not afford to feel sorry for themselves. When we didn't get what we wanted, did we choose to pout or complain? Were we so consumed with self-pity and our own suffering that we had very little perspective or understanding of others? Did we exaggerate our problems? Could we feel any concern for others when so consumed with self? Were others frustrated by our negativity? As addicts, our emotions often run to extremes-past the point of what is appropriate. We must now find a way to change our actions or be driven back to active addiction. B. WRITE ABOUT YOUR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS. This may include deep relationships or short affairs, spouses, lovers or others. We all have sexual needs and desires. Our sexual needs are natural. We answered these questions about each relationship: Did I manipulate and lie to others to meet my own needs? Did I care about the other person? How did I demonstrate that? Did I feel better or less than my partner? Did I sell myself short? Did I end up feeling worthless, used and abused? Did I think that only sex would make me happy and fulfilled? Did my relationships end in pain and unhappiness both for myself and others? As with everything else, we need to ask direction from a Power greater than ourselves. With this in mind, sexual relationships can be a fulfilling and joyful experience. IV. WRITE ABOUT YOUR FEARS. We answered these questions about our fears: Why do I have this fear? Am I afraid because I trust upon myself? Am I afraid of fear itself? Self-sufficiency may seem to be a good lifestyle, until we meet barriers greater than ourselves. Some of us were very confident and self-assured, especially when we were using. But it never conquered our fears, or any other problem. At best it hid them, sometimes so deeply that we did insane things without really knowing why. We begin to see that our fear originates within us, and we are responsible for its numerous forms. There is a better way. We are now on a completely different foundation: Instead of being self-reliant, we are God-reliant. Instead of depending on self, which is limited, we trust in a Power greater than ourselves, which is limitless. We need to examine ourselves in close detail in order to modify those attitudes which have not worked for us, for our peace of mind. We are trying to build a happy life in recovery, and Step Four is our first clear-cut attempt at that. A part of Step Four is looking at our fears. We test them and find them to be unreasonable. Some of our fears include: Fear of rejection, abandonment, responsibility, commitment, growing up, success, failure, life without drugs. If we have looked closely, we have found that we are afraid of almost everything. Our fears have kept us from doing the things we want to do and becoming the people we want to be. If we are as honest as we can be, many of our previous fears will be cast aside once and for all. Our liabilities may destroy us if we have a lack of faith in the God of our understanding. With a loving God's help, we are guided through our confusion. What are-the results that come from making a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves? Our Basic Text says: Anyone who has some time in the program and has worked this step will tell you that the Fourth Step was a turning point in their life. The results of living the Fourth Step are freedom from the past, freedom to be ourselves, and knowledge of who and what we really are. If we have written a thorough inventory, we end up with a large amount of information about ourselves. We have carefully examined our resentments and begin to understand how worthless and deadly they really are. We realize their power to destroy us, and now seek a better way to live. We grow toward freedom, peace of mind and balance. Throughout these pages we have learned that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. By taking the remaining steps, we will begin to realize that through God and our own efforts, we can remove the various forms of self-centeredness that have kept us from a greater spiritual awareness. If we have sincerely taken the first three steps and followed through with a searching and fearless moral inventory, we become aware of some strong realities about ourselves and are ready to move on. We do a Fifth Step right away while the inventory is still fresh. Those of us who took this approach to the Fourth Step saw that it wasn't our needs that got us into trouble. It was the ways we were going about meeting those needs. If we needed approval and the way we tried to meet that need was by bullying people and monopolizing conversations trying to be the life of the party, that defeated the purpose. If we wanted financial security and we were running up a bunch of bills we couldn't pay, then that need wasn't going to be met. A few of us worked this step from a somewhat different perspective than most. Some of us looked at our lives and what it was we wanted from them. We saw we all had needs that, for the most part, we deserved to have met. All of us had needs for love and affection and approval and productive work. All of us had certain basic financial necessities. As we watched other people do their Fourth Steps, we came to see that there were different approaches to this step that worked. Each of us had to find a way to work the step that gave us a true picture of ourselves. Our sponsors were usually able to provide the guidance we needed. If we wanted to feel comfortable with ourselves yet we were jumping into bed with anyone who asked.
  2. WAs written by Greg P,who wrote our Traditions in the Basic Text, 3 other I.P's,and his story in the Basic Text. It was NA's first aproved 4th step,until it was replaced eventualy with the yellow 4th,years before the step guides. -- monk
  3. AN APPROACH TO THE FOURTH STEP INVENTORY The purpose of a searching and fearless moral inventory is to sort through the confusion and the contradiction of our lives so that we can find out who we really are. We are starting a new way of life and need to be rid of the burdens and traps which have controlled us and prevented growth. As we approach this step, most of us are afraid that there's a monster inside of us that, if released, will destroy us. This fear can cause us to put off our inventory or may even prevent us from taking this crucial step at all. We need to remember that fear is lack of faith; and now that we have found a loving, personal god to turn to we no longer need to be afraid. We have been experts at self-deception and rationalization; by writing our inventory we can overcome these obstacles. A thorough written inventory will unlock parts of our subconscious which remain hidden when we simply think about or talk about who we are. Once it's all down on paper it's much easier to see, and much harder to deny our true nature. Self-honesty is one of the keys to our new way of life. The only way to get clean is to stop using and the only way to take an inventory is to sit down and do it. Many specific inventory methods have been used successfully by our members. This inventory method has worked for some of us and can work for you if you'll follow through. Remember, you cannot write a bad inventory - only a better one, and you can write too little - but never too much. INSTRUCTIONS 1. You will need a pad of lined paper or a theme book, a pen, and a good dictionary. 2. Sit at a table or desk to write, make sure you have plenty of room and that you will not be unnecessarily interrupted. 3. In going through this guide look up the definition of any words that you do not know the meaning of. 4. When you are actually writing, leave a wide margin so that you can add or comment later. 5. Try to write down what comes to you first and don't edit your inventory. 6. Don't worry about spelling or neatness; your inventory should be readable but it doesn't have to be a work of art. 7. Do not erase or obliterate anything you write. Strike out "wrong" words or errors with a single line that can be read through. 8. If something "pops" into your head when you are working on something else write it down or make a note on a separate sheet so that you can return to it later. Then get back to what you were doing before. 9. You are writing your inventory for you. At this point the fifth step does not exist. Write down everything, even the things that you are unwilling to share. You can always take out something later, but by writing it down at least you will have a chance to see it more clearly. 10. Write until you have nothing left to write. Your inventory will probably take more than one sitting to write. Try to stop at the end of a section and start again as soon as possible. I. Begin your inventory by taking the first three steps in writing: what do they mean to you and how do you work them. a. Admit your powerlessness in writing and discuss how your life is unmanageable. b. Write about the "Power greater than yourself" that you have come to believe in, and what you hope this power can do for you. c. Write about your decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of God, and make this commitment in writing. II. RESENTMENT is the way most of us have reacted to the past. It is the reliving of past experiences again and again in our lives. The more often you have relived an event or gotten into "should have" and "if only" then the more significant that event probably is. a. Write about each incident in your life which you have had to relive in your mind at some later date. This includes both "good" and "bad" experiences. b. Write about past actions that you would change if you had the opportunity. c. Write about any events in your life which you feel caused a change in you. d. Write a dictionary definition and at least three sentences on each of the following feelings as they applied to people, places, things and ideas. self-pity greed pride lust contempt intolerance hatred apathy jealousy inertia envy selfishness dishonesty III. ANGER is the way most of us have reacted to the present. It is our reaction to and denial of reality. Write about the things that make you angry, irritate you, or make you feel uncomfortable. What are your "buttons" and how do they get "pushed"? Are there any key words, phrases, actions, or situations which are sure to "set you off"? The following is a list of some of the things that we often react to with anger. Some of these will apply to you and some will not. Use this list as a starting point and to get you thinking in terms of anger. being criticized being contradicted being ignored being kidded practical jokes being laughed at being gossiped about or talked about being called names (stupid, fat, skinny, asshole, *****, *****, bas***d. etc.) being touched being stood too close to being praised IV. FEAR is the way we have reacted to the future. It is our response to the unknown, a fantasy in reverse. Write at least three sentences on each of your fears - past and present (especially those you think are irrational or those which you think no longer bother you). The following is a list of fears. Some of these will apply to you and some will not. Use this list as a starting point and to get you thinking in terms of fear. people principles God insanity death police punishment institutions jails authority rejection asylums acceptance failure success self-assessment honesty religion insecurity accidents animals snakes spiders insects the dark heights disease cancer heart attack obesity starvation hospitals drugs impotence misconduct sex marriage discipline rape being disliked moral codes gambling responsibility hurting others stealing past crimes justice pain ego deflation inferiority obsessions public speaking claustrophobia attack suffocating sarcasm other races water mistakes desire pride V. SEX is an area in which most of us have had problems. One of our old timers sometimes refers to us as "lovers in distress" and this is certainly true. Most of us carry a burden of false shame and false guilt because we have tried to live up to an unrealistic or false moral code. a. Write about your "perfect" relationship (casual affair, lover, or spouse) and how your actual relationships have lived up to and fallen short of this ideal. b. Write about your sexual fantasies whether or not you have acted them out. c. Write at least three sentences about each of the following sex related acts or desires that apply to you or that you have strong feelings about. Use this list as a starting point and add any others you can think of. adultery rape sadism incest masochism pornography prostitution molestation voyeurism homosexuality animal sex teasing inter-racial sex masturbation indecent exposure sexual jealousy oral sex group sex abortion sex "aids" fetishes drug abuse as a sex act sex relations or acts which you feel are abnormal or unnatural VI. ASSETS must also be considered if we are to get an accurate and complete picture of ourselves. This is very difficult for most of us because it is hard for us to accept that we have good qualities. We each have a combination of assets and liabilities and through this program we try to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive. a. Write about each event in your life when you did something good without expecting anything in return. b. Write at least three sentences on each of the following assets of character. Use this list as a starting point and add any other assets that come to mind. being clean sense of humor love open mindedness willingness humility God awareness friendship modesty self-acceptance self-honesty patience honesty w/others forgiveness simplicity serenity courage trust faith acceptance generosity positive action caring promptness self-supporting sharing gratitude VII. Answer the following QUESTIONS in writing. 1. How do you see yourself? What is your self-image? 2. What do you want to be when you grow up? 3. What do you want out of life? 4. What things have you done for acceptance that you really didn't want to do? 5. What things did you do while you were using that you find yourself unable to do today? 6. What can you do today that you couldn't do before? 7. What are your fantasies and dreams (other than sex)? 8. What is your definition of freedom? 9. Have you intentionally left anything out of your inventory? 10. Are there any events written in your inventory which never actually happened? 11. Is there anything else you can think of that specifically helps to make you, you? 12. What fears and problems have occurred in the process of writing this inventory? 13. What is your definition of surrender? 14. How do boredom, isolation, and loneliness affect you and how do you deal with them? 15. When is your N.A. birthday? Anyone who has some time in the program and who has worked these steps will tell us that the Fourth Step was a turning point in their lives. Ultimately we find out that we are just human, with the same fears, longings and troubles as everyone else. One of the greatest benefits of the N.A. program is discovering that we need never be alone again. Others have felt as we feel. Others have failed where we failed. They are here now in strength of the Fellowship, ready and eager to help us. This Fourth Step can be a wonderful adventure, reviewing our past performance and our present behavior to see what we want to keep and what we want to be rid of. No one is forcing us to give up our misery. This step has the reputation of being difficult. In reality, it's quite simple. As recovering addicts, we now have the right to reach for levels of greater comfort and we can reach them by getting a handle on what we've been doing wrong. If we want to feel good, we have to stop doing the things that make us feel bad. We are not going to be perfect. If we were perfect, we would not be human. The important thing is that we do our best. We use the tools available to us and we develop the ability to survive our emotions. we do not want to lose any of what we have gained; we want to continue in the program. It is our experience that no matter how searching and thorough, no inventory is of any lasting effect unless it is promptly followed by an equally thorough Fifth Step. -- monk
  4. SPONSOR/SPONSEE STEP TWO WORKSHEET "We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." The insanity referred to in this step is not the insanity of using drugs. We were restored to the sanity of not using by surrendering to Step 1, we now find ourselves clean and our lives are still unmanageable in many areas. Much of that umanageability comes from doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results each time. Of course, the results are always the same, unmanageability and insanity in our lives. But what is there to do, go on the best we can, or begin to change with the Second Step as our guide through ongoing recovery. The next question we begin to ask is: What is the power greater than ourselves? Many of us immediately thought this meant our Higher Power, but we are not introduced to a Higher Power until the Third Step. Our Higher Power is the ultimate power greater than ourselves, whatever our concept of a Higher Power is. However, this is not the power greater than ourselves that we are referring to in the Second Step. The best way to explain this is that a power greater than ourselves can change from situation to situation. I like to call it gifts from my Higher Power. A power greater than ourselves can be the NA program, a sponsor, another person, pain or something we may read, etc. It is anything that makes us aware of the insanity of a situation if we act out on a defect or negative will. Now having an understanding of the Second Step, let's look at some of the ways we can apply the Second Step into our lives. 1. The first way we applied this step when we came into the program was that NA becomes a power greater than ourselves. It helps us get through early problems without using and teaches us different ways of doing things. 2. Something someone may share with us can become a power greater than ourselves, if it makes us aware of something we are doing in the wrong way so we can then change it. 3. Pain many times becomes. a power greater than ourselves. Sometimes it is the only thing that will make us do something in a different way to get sane results. 4. A Sponsor or some other recovering addict can become a power greater than ourselves, by making us aware of the way we are doing things. You can now see a power greater than ourselves can change from, situation to situation. The important thing is to be aware of how to apply this is principle in your life, so that insanity and unmanageability does not take hold. The principle of the step can be a power greater than ourselves. The following questions, you are to write about on a separate paper and return to your sponsor. 1. What does "we" mean as it applies to Step 2? 2. Write out definition of "came to" as they apply to Step 2. 3. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of the word "believe." 4. Write out your own definition of the word "believe." 5. What is your definition of "a power greater than yourself"? 6. List 3 powers greater than yourself in your active using. 7. List 3 powers greater than yourself in your recovery. 8. What are the 3 characteristics that a higher power should have? 9. What does the word "could" mean to you? 10. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "could." 11. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "restore." 12. Write out how you were insane when using. 13. Write out how you are insane in recovery. 14. Write out your definition of "sanity." 15. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "sanity." 16. What are the benefits of "coming to believe in a power greater than yourself?" 17. Name 10 positive things that a power greater than yourself has done for you. 5 while using and 5 in recovery. 18. What is a power greater than yourself? 19. What type of sanity is the second step referring to? 20. How can I apply this step into my life? 21. What does this step mean to me? -- monk
  5. SPONSOR/SPONSEE STEP ONE WORKSHEET "We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable." The first mistake that many of us make when we come into the program, is that we think drugs are the problem. When we say to the newcomer that drugs are only a symptom of a much deeper problem (addiction), it is hard for them to understand this. To get a better understanding of addiction, we must look at the disease concept of addiction. From that point of view, addiction is a disease of attitudes, personality and a general negative outlook, that is rooted in fear, insecurity and low self-esteem. The main ingredients of addiction are obsession and compulsions. Obsession - that fixed idea that takes us back time and time again to our particular drug, or some substitute, (substitute being anything that makes us feel good and get instant gratification, such as money, power, sex, food, anger, etc.) to recap the ease and comfort we once knew. Compulsion - once having started the process with one fix, one pill, one drink or one substitute we cannot stop through our own power of will. Because of our physical sensitivity to drugs and anything that makes us feel good we are completely in the grip of a destructive power greater than ourselves. Looking at addiction from this point of view, we see how addiction makes our lives unmanageable with or without drugs. At this point we must surrender and accept how powerless we are over our addiction. When we do this a very strange thing happens, we begin to gain power through the (WE) part of the program and the next Eleven Steps. It has often been said that the First Step is our past and the things of our past that are with us today. And the next Eleven Steps are our future. Now that we have a better understanding of our addiction, let us look at some ways we can apply the First Step in our daily lives. The most obvious is that we can't pick up that first drug or our lives will become unmanageable. We must accept and surrender to this JUST FOR TODAY. Let's now take a look at some non-chemical ways we must apply this Step in our lives. 1. You go out to your car in the morning and it has a flat tire. Rather than feeding into the addiction attitudes of anger or frustration, which will create unmanageability, we must accept and surrender to the fact that the tire is flat and take action to correct the situation. As addicts we tend resist the act of surrendering and using this Step on every day problems making our lives unmanageable. 2. Another situation could be you go out to your car and you start it up and the motor dies. It can't be fixed. You need it for your job. You must be able to apply the first step to this situation. Accept and surrender that the car cannot be fixed and you then gain the power to find alternate transportation. Or you can refuse to surrender and apply the Step and let your life become unmanageable. The choice is yours. The First Step can be and must be applied to all areas of our life. This is called Living the Steps. The bottom line is that drugs are one symptom of our disease. The only relief we get from our disease is by working the Steps. It is a new and exciting experience that will bring many changes into our lives. The following questions you are to write about on a separate sheet of paper and return to your sponsor. 1. What do you have to give to the "we" of N.A.? 2. How have you been isolating? 3. How good are you at being a part of? 4. How many times is the word "admitted" in our steps? 5. Why is this word so important? 6. How good are you at admitting? 7. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "admitted". 8. Write your own definition of "admitted." 9. What is your definition of powerless. 10. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "powerless". 11. What does the word "were" mean as used in the 1st step. 12. What is "our addiction"? 13. Look through the 1st ten chapters of Basic Text and write down all definitions for addiction. (Stated or Implied) 14. What is the disease of addiction? 15. Why is being clean not enough? 16. How was my life unmanageable in my addiction? 17. How is my life unmanageable in recovery? 18. How do I apply the First Step in my life? 19. How are our Steps different than any other 12 Step program 20. Am I willing to accept the Steps as a way of life? 21. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "addiction". 22. Write out how you were powerless over your addiction when using and in your recovery. 23. What does "had become" mean when used in the 1st Step? 24. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "unmanageable." 25. Write out your definition of "unmanageable." 26. How was your life unmanageable when you were using and in recovery. 27. Who managed your life when using and who manages your life in recovery? 28. What does sponsorship have to do with the 1st Step? 29. Write out benefits of accepting your powerlessness over your addiction. 30. Write out the benefits of surrendering your life to N.A. One last thing that must be pointed out is the WE portion of this Step and all our Steps. All our Steps begin with WE except the 12th, which has the word WE in the center. This makes us different than any other 12 Step program. Narcotics Anonymous is a WE program not a me program. Part of our strength and power comes from WE. Together we can. I can't, WE can. This is why we need meetings for the rest of our lives. This is why we need contact daily with other recovering addicts. A statement many newcomers may' ask is, "If I stop using,, I should be cured and I don't need the program or meetings anymore." The only way I know to clear up this denial is to answer this way. A non-addict (a non-addict is a person who does not have the addictive personality) who goes to the hospital for an operation is given a physically addictive drug for pain during a period of two weeks. He becomes physically addicted. They detox him and he goes on with his life without any problem. However, addicts with the disease of addiction, having addictive personalities are unable to just stop with no problems, we were addicted long before we used. -- monk