Step Four

Diligently Working Step Four

In a recent Sexaholics Anonymous meeting that I was leading, I chose the topic of Step Four: ”Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” I wanted to encourage others in my SA group to work this Step diligently.

Step Four was a lot of work for me when I first started working it, using the instructions in the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” instructions for Step Four. Working Step Four, I was to complete a series of lists and observations about myself, and the lists were quite hard to face.  But I needed to face myself and ask myself questions such as: “Who have I resented, feared, or harmed?  How did that affect me?  What did I do to them?” This important for me to complete, because these things were the core of why I acted out sexually.  The observations and prayers in Step Four are important, because in really looking at myself and praying, I was able to do the the hard work that helped me face most of my past.

Finding Emotional Sobriety Through Working the Steps in Sexaholics Anonymous

It took me about a year to complete Step Four the first time, and I don’t recommend that to anyone. I would do some work on Step Four, and then set it aside for a few weeks before I could face it again.  I avoided the work because I didn’t want to face my lifelong conflicts with my father, my brothers, friends, bosses, and more.  I had spent decades not looking at those conflicts, and I really did not want to to start looking at them. But my Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor and other fellow SA members told me that Step Four would change me, and that it would heal these conflicts.

That was a huge promise, but it was that promise that moved me forward.  I knew that avoiding my problems for decades had only created holes in my soul that were not healing, and those holes led me to feeling inadequate, unworthy, alone, and afraid.  I know that my first brush through the Steps on my own had helped a bit, but at the time I was still eaten up inside by these things.  I wanted to be better.  I wanted the “emotional sobriety” that is mentioned in the SA “White Book” (p. 88) and that I saw in the eyes of oldtimers.  And so that was enough to get me working on my Step Four again. And the result was indeed everything they had promised.

Sober since 2014  

Working the Twelve Steps in Sexaholics Anonymous