This step appears to be the boogeyman for some people. Granted it may be hard to disclose some of or deepest darkest secrets. But the program tells us that this is a necessary thing to do. The reason is that we may not overcome our drinking if we harbor resentments and fears. So, it is crucial that we admit our faults to another person. This person that we select to hear our story can be our sponsor, a closed mouth friend or a member of the clergy.
We are to admit the exact nature of our wrongs. Our list is not a list of every dirty rotten thing we have ever done. What we want to look for here is what is the inherent quality of our lying. Why do we lie when at times the truth would serve us better? We want to find out what is driving this lying, cheating or stealing that we do. We need to look and see if we think that rules don’t apply to us. They just apply to other unfortunate people. We may think that we deserve more than others without working for it.
I may lie to build up your opinion of me. I may suffer from low self-esteem, and this could be partially fueling my lying. I falsely believe that if you knew who I really was you would abandon me as others have in the past. Alcoholics have abandonment issues. This can be the result of things that happened in our childhood. At the time we may have not understood what was going on. Why were people coming and going in and out of my life? This also raised trust issues. As an adult we may still find it hard to trust others. As a result, we inflate the persona we present to the world. We become consultants of most things and experts on others. All of these factors must be discussed and brought to light with another person. This helps to give us an understanding of why we did, what we did. It can help us to see what we need to face and be rid of in order to allow the Higher Power into our lives.
The word nature means “the inherent quality of something.” We need to see what is behind our infidelities. Did we think we deserved more that our fair share of things? Did we believe that we should not have to work for things? That they just be handed to us on a silver platter? This is alcoholic thinking, and it is what we must be rid of. We have to come to believe that we are just one among many. Yes, we are special in our own way. But others too are special in their own way. We have to let go of our “better than” attitude and behavior. All of these things and more are discussed in Step 5. Remember that we agreed to go to any length for release from alcohol. By admitting our wrongs we are on the right path to permanent sobriety.