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Post Info TOPIC: Alanon Step 4 (10-16-2016)


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Alanon Step 4 (10-16-2016)


Step 4

 
Made a searching and moral inventory of ourselves
 
Quote  from the C2C page333  my life is in constant state of change. Awareness allows me to keep pace with the change. Today that we listen to my words and watch my actions. Only by knowing the person I am can I create the person I want to become:

 My Share

I have shared before that my  first Step 4 was far from fearless. I was  terrified to look within because I was afraid I would find that al the  terrible things that my family had said about me, over the years were true.  My sponsor assured me that I was human and that I would find some destructive actions that hurt me and that was the purpose of th step.  I decided if I wanted to recover I needed to look within and  trust the process . I am so pleased that I did.

 I was told that alanon was a self acceptance program and not a self improvement program .  I was to look within, in order to see what I was doing that might be hurting me so that I could develop new constructive tools to live by .  This was so true.  Growing up with the disease, I had formed many inaccurate beliefs that I thought were my truth  I thought that if I helped others, they would automatically help me and if I made myself invisible others would appreciate this selflessness  and take care of me.   How wrong I was!! This step indicated that many of my actions were a form of manipulations and my motives were insincere.

Owning this was not easy but has helped me to learn how to validate myself while still being supportive of others .  This step helped me to accept  that I am a perfectly imperfectly  human and for that I am grateful.  

 

Step 4 questions 

. If any of the reservations about  doing this Step ? You may want to set a reasonable goal for doing this Step.

 You can write your goal down and give yourself as much time as you want. For instance, "I want to do a Fourth Step in the next eighteen months." Or, "I want to do the Fourth Step in the next three weeks."

 Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

How am I tolerant? In what ways and my caring?

In my open to another's point of view?

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

Do I get upset when I don't win? What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to save places?

Remove myself from dangerous situations? Even if it's my own home?

 

 



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Betty


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Hello Betty,

I am eager to do Step 4.  Can you clarify what is meant by "suggestions for doing this step"?  Is it the questions below, or something else?  

Thank you so much.



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I use a "talk typing program" and the word should have been "reservation "about working this step. This taught  me that I should proof read more carefully.I have corrected the sentence.

Thanks 
Betty



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Betty


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Thank you Betty for being the step board chairperson. This is a great forum and you are being very responsive.

I love the steps--I feel like the first time I did the 4th step it was a little early (6 mos in). I wish I listened to those who told me to stay on steps 1 2 3 for the first yr and just touch on the rest of them as I came across them in the daily readings or at meetings etc. I just used it as a new way to beat myself up & I also didn't have the "fearless" part down, because I hadn't fully started relying on or understanding a higher power in my life. Therefore, I really didn't have the faith to be honest and that my HP wouldn't judge me. There is no real time table for when u will be ready-many ppl take years before they thoroughly do an inventory.

If anyone is new, I would suggest doing the first 3 steps very thoroughly before attempting the 4th. (many ppl ask what it means to "work a step": In my experience it means reading all u can about those steps from Al-anon literature, going to step meetings and listening to others share on the steps, talking with a sponsor as u learn about and begin applying them; answering the questions in the Paths to Recovery Book on all the steps.) 

Since that 1st inventory I have done about 3 more 4th steps. I find "blue print for progress" a great tool & also to answer the questions in Paths to Recovery book. My second 4th step was basically a written life story that I shared with a sponsor & that was very VERY enlightening to see it all down on paper. I began to more clearly see my patterns, wounds and to almost immediately have a measurably greater sense of self compassion and self acceptance.

Warmly, Luvy



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I agree Luvy, Thanks for sharing.

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Betty


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Am  I open to another's point of view?I am typically open to another persons point of view if I take the time to detach emotionally from a situation and attempt to look at it objectively. I tend to close down that part of myself when I am reacting emotionally and when my ego takes over.

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

I am a fixer. I believe that I make wise decisions and that if people would just do what I would do in a given situation, then they would likely have more favorable outcomes. I am learning here that the respectful thing to do is to allow people their own process in figuring out things for themselves.

Do I get upset when I don't win? What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

I do get upset when I don't win, but it is not because I didn't win, its more because I feel like I never win. I react from a victim viewpoint, that life isn't fair. When I don't take care of myself, and I take care of others, I wind up spent, tired and resentful that others do not try for me as hard as I feel like I try for them.

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?

I take care of responsibilities that are not mine, because I worry it will not get done otherwise. Also, if I have some control in the situation, I feel like I can spin it in a way that is favorable for me, but also benefit the other person.

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

Yes, because I do not have faith that other people will do what I feel is best for them.

 



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I want to start the 4th Step. I do not know how long it will take me to feel that I have done it well - I just know that I feel ready to start. It looks like each of these question could take me at least a couple of days to ponder. I may be working on this step for awhile.

Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

I feel an underlying anxiety in my life that I have known since I was a child. I 2nd guess myself, am unsure about my behavior. In that way I do not feel free to be myself, to make mistakes. I am somewhat afraid that what I do or say will be wrong. Maybe I am afraid that I AM a mistake and if I open up too much I will be found out.

I do not feel SPONTANEOUS as much as I would like to. It is as if I am always a little on guard, watching myself. Sexually and physically I am not as uninhibited and free as I would like to be. In groups of people, I am shy, a little bit afraid. I have done some public speaking and teaching, been ON in front of crowds, and done ok. And I have done cooperative work around tables with small groups of people and enjoyed it.

I tend toward my own solitude, though, which is not a bad thing, but I wonder about my unease around others. I am comfortable with my husband and a few close friends, and am grateful for them, but I think that I can say with some assurance that I am definitely blocked, socially.



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Betty and Luvy, thank you for your clarification.  I have a copy of Paths to Recovery, and I will get the Blueprint for Progress at my next opportunity.  Meanwhile, here are my answers to the Step 4 questions:

 

How am I tolerant? In what ways am I caring?

I think in general I am tolerant. I try not to be a snob or to think I am better than others ... and yet sometimes I have thought that.  That idea has mostly been "beaten out of me" by life experience that has given me more empathy for others, even if they do not live the same way I do. I try to be caring by listening to others in Al-Anon meetings.

 

Am I open to another's point of view?

In general, yes, but I can be judgmental in my thinking. I am getting less so.  I have learned so many times that a person I dismissed, for whatever reason, actually has something positive to offer. That is a humbling experience.  Or finding out that a good, dear friend actually had political beliefs quite different from mine ... but they were still a good person!  I  like the saying that it's good for me to have an open mind, just not so open that my brains fall out.

 

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

I have been a fixer, when my children were younger.  I wanted to shield them from any pain and to fight their battles for them.  I learned over time that that was not necessary or helpful.  

 

Where I like to be in charge is at work, if I have to give a presentation or training, I prepare, rehearse, and plan for every detail I possibly can so that I will be in control of the situation and no glitches will occur.  While this is good in the sense that a flawless presentation makes me look good and is respectful of the participants' time, I have learned that sometimes it is not necessary to go quite as far as I have gone with that.  I will still be OK if there is an "oops".

 

Do I get upset when I don't win?

Winning/losing doesn't affect me much.  I'd rather keep a good relationship than to "win." The downside of this is that I can tend to minimize my own strengths and my own value, and forget that maybe sometimes I deserve to win. I have gotten much better with age and experience.  I don't have to put myself lower than others, so that others will feel good.  They can feel good on their own.

 

What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

The consequences have been damage to myself and others. I have suffered exhaustion and stress, while others have lost an opportunity to learn and strengthen from their own experience.   (Thankfully my kids have turned out fine -- in my opinion -- but I realize some mis-steps I made due to outdated thinking about what makes a good mother or a good wife.)

 

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

When I have done this, it was probably because I felt it would make me look good, because the other person wouldnt do it well enough and that would reflect on me. It was due to my not letting go of the results and putting too much emphasis on what others would think of me.

 

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to safe places? Remove myself from dangerous situations? Even if it's my own home?

 

In my youth I was naive, trusting, and lacking self-confidence.  This was a dangerous combination, and I feel fortunate that -- although some bad things happened to me -- it could have been even worse.  I have felt that horrible feeling of feeling unsafe in my own home -- either physically or mentally unsafe.  Fortunately, today, with the help of Al Anon tools and therapy,  I learned that I could step away.  I learned how empowering it was to have a "go bag" packed in the car, and plans for places I could go, even though I hated being in the situation to require it. I learned that it is OK to take care of myself and not worry about how that would look to anyone else.





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Powerful share Freetime I too have known fear in my own home I am pleased that you havee taken the time to share the journey with such clarity and wisdom.

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Betty


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Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

Yes, in my relationships with others. I want meaningful friendships and I want to have a loving partnership and I don't feel like I have those. I know intellectually that I need to work on myself and become loving and happy towards myself to have these other things (and I need to rely on my HP for a lot of what I'm looking for from other people), but in my heart, I just want to be loved by others. I am at the awareness stage here.

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

Yes, I'm doing it.

How am I tolerant? In what ways and my caring?

I think I'm open and caring, but pretty detached. I don't get upset if someone is having a bad day -- I know that's their thing. I don't like the word "tolerant" because I think it makes it seem like I think I'm better than others and just tolerate them.

In my open to another's point of view?

Sometimes.


Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

Yes I am, and I'm good at it! I was an only child with two alcoholic parents and was a take-charge person from a young age. I've always been very responsible and dependable and have been in leadership positions for a long time. When I'm in a group, I can often see a clear way forward, but I now hang back from taking charge sometimes so that others can have a chance to be in charge. Yet, when I am the leader, I do a really good job.

Do I get upset when I don't win?

I like to win. I used to get very upset when I didn't win and I used to always want to be right and have everyone know I was right. this is an area of my life that has changed in al-anon. I found the statement "It's better to be kind than right" and it resonated with me deeply. When I find characteristics in my life that are ugly, I know it's something I want to change and this was one of them. I still like to win and "be right" but I would much rather be kind, so when I feel myself going that way, I let go of it.

What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

Resentment. I want to be treated with the attention and care that I give others and I don't get it back and I feel resentful.

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?

Only at work when I want to get something done quickly and don't want to wait for my staff to figure it out.

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

To get results on my time frame. I don't do this a lot. I used to -- but this is another place that I can see I have grown and changed in al-anon.

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to save places?

I don't get really crazy anymore. I used to. Now I just walk away.

Remove myself from dangerous situations? Even if it's my own home?

I don't find myself in dangerous situations, thankfully.

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Hello E.i.M. I appreciate that you have shared your process in working this important step. Your honesty and clarity reflect your dedication and i do hope you continue sharing this journey.

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Betty


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Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?
Yes, I feel blocked in my work. I think a lack of confidence has prevented me from finding a job that is right for me. I have struggled with dealing with stress and my emotions in general, I easily get overwhelmed - this has been a problem in many jobs. Being unable to work full time has left me financially dependent on others and therefore to stay in unhealthy situations.

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area? Yes.

How am I tolerant? In what ways and my caring?
I believe I'm quite tolerant. I'm usually open mined, I consider others opinions. Perhaps less tolerant with myself and judge myself more harshly than others. I care for others by listening to them. I can empathise easily with people. Sometimes too concerned with caring for others. Need to focus more on caring for myself.

In my open to another's point of view?
Usually, yes.

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?
I don't like being in charge. I sometimes feel like I can't cope when faced with a challenge. Become extremely anxious and stressed. Rely on others to do the fixing.

Do I get upset when I don't win? What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?
No, feel like I never win. Feel like I do my best but somehow things never seem to work out for me. I think taking care of others has lead to resentment, disappointment, stress and exhaustion. Feel like my own life has fallen apart while I've been take care of others. Feel like I've missed out on my opportunities in my life because I've been so concerned with other people.

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?
Sometimes I do out of guilt and feel resentful afterwards.

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?
In the past I found it difficult to say no to people. I was afraid of any confrontation. There are people in my life I'm afraid will leave me so I tend to go along with what they ask.

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to save places?
When I meditate regularly I usually deal with people calmly. I try to go to save places.

Remove myself from dangerous situations? Even if it's my own home?
Yes, when I felt I was in danger I left. I have arranged for safe places to stay if necessary.

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Hello Emma I appreciate that you have shared with such honesty and wisdom. Remember that it is progress not perfection that we seek so please keep on keeping on.

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Betty


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Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

Perhaps. But it is tricky. Doing a 4th Step on this area of my personality (my introversion) does not feel right to me at this time. My inwardness and tendency toward self reflection is part of my gift. I want to value it, not apologize for it. Be comfortable giving this who I am to others. I do not have to be popular. It is more important to be true to who I am and how I am. It is more important, at this point, that I not beat up on myself. A 4th Step is between me and myself.

So I will put that on the shelf for now.

How am I tolerant? In what ways am I caring?

(Though seemingly simple, this is a really good question for me.)

I allow different points of view and different ways of being. I like being around people who are different from me and hearing different points of view. But I argue too much, trying to prove my position and my cleverness. 

I listen. I am interested in what other people are doing. I try to be available to friends who need to talk, but have a hard time not feeling guilty if I don't feel up to it.

I help in collaborative efforts and do my part. I make a good organic vegetable soup. I make an effort to visit a friend's son who is in prison.

I acknowledge and say THANK YOU to service people - cashiers, nurses, janitors, housekeepers.

I am generally kind but I don't think that I say I LOVE YOU enough to those who are closest to me.

I take very good care of my dog, always walking her and making sure that she has what she needs, including a lot of affection.



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Thanks for sharing Shoofoolatte. I can understand your position and urge you to continue look within so ast o discover the wonder that is you. Thanks for your participation and honesty.

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Betty


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This step will probably be the most difficult for me. I think I will be stuck here for quite a while. I would like to give myself 6 weeks or so to complete this step.

Being relatively new to this program, I am learning new things about myself every single day that I either didn't know, or that I worked really hard to ignore. I don't think I know enough about myself yet to do a true "fearless moral inventory". I would like to attend more f2f meetings and hear the continued testimony of those who have many years of recovery under their belt. 

 

Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

Yes. In many areas of my life.

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

Yes. I am working on identifying those areas right now though. Some areas in my life I thought I was satisfied with, I am learning that I wasn't. It will take some time to fully understand the scope of what areas - other than the glaringly obvious - that I need to approach.

How am I tolerant? In what ways am I caring?

I am not so sure of this right now. For many years I was overly tolerant. I wouldn't say I was a doormat, but I would say that I took great pride in having a reputation as being unshakable. People would come to me for advice and guidance, I took such pleasure in that. In the last two years though, I have ended 5 significant relationships (both friends and romantic), no longer speak to any of my 3 brothers or their spouses/friends and most recently I lost my patience and blew up on the only active alcoholic I kept in my life. And I only kept that relationship because she is my mother.

I am not convinced that I am as tolerant as I thought I was. In my head, I was "cleaning up". Now I realize that my tolerance level is the pits. My expectations of them were so high that I let it override my empathy. When they didn't live up to my expectations, I cut them out of my life.

I am caring towards my children and animals. They are the light in my life.

One day, inevitably, my kids will anger me and I'm sure my dog will pee on something I love. Getting my tolerance level in check is important, so I don't do any damage to those I love most in the world. My babies.

Am I open to another's point of view?

I can be. Generally not though. It's not that I can't be taught or told, it's that I only value the opinions of those who live in a way that I want to emulate. 

For example : My new puppy. The breeder was giving me suggestions for food, vet care, obedience, I looked at the guys trashy house and thought "ya ok buddy. think I'll do it my way". The man, who lives and breathes this breed, I refused his knowledge because I judged his way of living.

Then there is a gentleman who is a rep for one of the wholesale suppliers I use for my company. He is well dressed, attractive, professional and well spoken. I have worked with him for 7 years now. I don't have romantic feelings for him, but he is someone I would consider "good stock". He came into my store, I had the puppy there and he was giving me all kinds of suggestions. I welcomed them and gave them good thought. 

I was willing to take the advice of someone with no knowledge, and rejected the advice of someone with vast knowledge, because of my own judgement. 

This is something I really need to work on.

 

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

 

YES YES YES YES on all accounts YES. I could write a novel on this.

 

Do I get upset when I don't win?

 

No. I get upset when I feel like I am not being heard or understood. I can accept someone else's win.

 

What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

 

I am an angry, bitter person full of resentments.

 

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?

 

Too many. I am a single mom. The father of my boys, he's a good man and he loves them, but he is quite useless. I take on a lot of his responsibilities simply because I love my children and I don't want them to miss out. I protect them from him quite often, as in I never let them know of their fathers shortcomings. I don't feel like it's my job to tell them their dad messed up. They will (and are) figure that out on their own. That is my job as a mother though, I don't carry any resentment there. My love for my children is so great that it overrides the rest of it.

In every other area of my life, I take on responsabilities that aren't mine, but I do carry resentment with these. I think I take them on to try and be that helper/fixer, but in the end I end up not helping/fixing anything, with more on my plate than I can handle. I know I do it looking for validation, affirmation that I am a good, needed and loving person.

 

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

 

Absolutely. I do it because I believe I am helping, and for validation affirmation that I am a good, needed and loving person.

 

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to safe places?

 

Currently, I feel like I know nothing. I don't know what's right and wrong anymore, I'm starting from square one.

The only thing I know I can do right, is sit and listen.

 

Remove myself from dangerous situations? Even if it's my own home?

 

As mentioned above, I have cut off every traumatic relationship. I don't have the issue of having to flee to a safe space anymore. I live alone with my kids.

The only truly dangerous situation is my mom driving drunk. My kids are not allowed in a car that she is driving, and I never put myself in a car with her either.

 



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Let go


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Good in depth 4th Step reviwe SarahGee, Thanks for your honesty and williness to share your process.
Keep coming back.

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Betty


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Continuing on with the questions of Step 4, it is helpful for me to take them one at a time. I'm still pondering that "am I caring?" question. My first response was of course I am caring, and then I started looking at myself and wondering HOW I was caring toward others. Then I realized that if I do not care for myself first, any attempts to care for someone else would always be compromised by my own need for self-caring.

Moving on.

Am I open to another's point of view?

Sometimes. Except when that point of view is unjust and unfair. When I hear bias and prejudice I generally turn the person off.

I have come to know that some people cannot see out of their own perspective, and that I cannot change them or persuade them to see things in a more open, fair, and compassionate way.

I have to let this go. I will listen as long as a person is not projecting their own fear and shame onto another person or group of people, or even onto me. When I start becoming aware that this is happening, I have to turn away. I sometimes state my view, and sometimes I just turn away because I do not want to argue.

Otherwise I am open to other people sharing different points of view. I welcome them because they help me to see things from a different perspective. We all come from different experiences, and that is ok. My way of seeing is just one of many, all of which are valid.

---

[I am dealing with a very narcissistic daughter-in-law. She is threatened by me and repeatedly brings up petty resentments from the past. Like, "when you sent us an engagement gift, it was addressed only to your son" (it was ordered from an online company and I had no say in how it was addressed.)  This was 6 or more years ago. I am so tired of trying to defend myself from these accusations that I ignore them now, and that seems to make her even madder at me. The lesson for me seems to be to Listen, and let it be. I can only say I'm sorry so many times.]



-- Edited by shoofoolatte on Saturday 22nd of October 2016 03:26:01 PM

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Thanks for continuing to share your process shoofoolatte  I appreciate your clarity and know that you will find that  after completing the Steps, needing to say "I am sorry" will diminish as you will have found a new way to make a meaningful  amend 



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Betty


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I am sticking with it.

There is a trickiness to this 4th Step, fearlessly looking at myself. As soon as I start honing in on seeing something, I dance around it, start making excuses, saying yes, but ... Anything to keep from seeing this character defect.

And character defect it is.

Last night, in the middle of the night I woke up (what else is news?) and there it was. Right before me. My need to criticize and judge. My not liking someone because they are so flawed. Including myself.

I have tried to cover it up, tried to be kind. But there at the center of my character was this thing that seemingly I have no control over. It is part of who and how I am. I am guilty as charged.

I just let myself sit with it. There is this thing about me that is central to how I act toward others. I seem to be powerless over it. It is ingrained in my character. Like being written in stone.

Others are hurt. Did I hurt them? ...

It is dismaying. I can do no more than just see it for now. I think that possibly there is a back story as to how I got this way.

This is unconscious territory, a dark pit of unresolved emotions. I do not know quite what to do or how to handle it. Maybe that is why they are called STEPS?

---


Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

I like to fix things.

Myself. I over-apologize, even for things that are not my responsibility. I am very conscious of flaws. I go on too many diets and corrective therapies. I am overly concerned about fitting up to others expectations, being accepted, never quite sure if I am truly lovable and loved.

I am critical and judgmental of others' behaviors and looks. Even when I am overtly courteous and complimentary I am inwardly judging. I could tell just about everybody else about all the things that they are doing wrong.

This is all rather embarrassing to admit, which is yet another flaw that I am trying to fix.

Do I like to be in charge?

Sometimes. But I also like for someone else to take the wheel at times. This does not seem to be an issue for me now. I am pretty well convinced that when I am in control I can make a big mess.



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Hugs shoofoolatte, my friend, This is indeed a deep inventory and takes time and effort. You are doing well.
The exact nature of our wrongs will be revealed and lifted as we proceed through the Steps. Glad that you are here.



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Betty


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Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?
I'm not sure what is meant by "blocked", but if there's something that's bothering me in terms of being true to myself it is about intimacy with my AH. Since the last time we had a big fight/argument about his drinking, I am avoiding to be intimate with him. I was truly hurt with what he told me. He humiliated me, the values I kept as a woman. I'm on the conservative side when it comes to sex. For years I suffered from guilt and remorse for being intimate with him before we got married. In took me years to forgive myself. And everytime the issue is about his drinking, he will make me feel so cheap, telling me that I flirted with him and that I was the one who initiated sexual intimacies before we got married. I felt so stupidly naive believing that it was all about "love", that he was sincere and pure in his intentions. I would like to believe that he didn't really mean what he said. I would like to express my love for him as a wife thru physical intimacy but I couldn't because I was so deeply hurt and I don't want to fall into that trap again. I could no longer trust his sincerity when it comes to physical intimacy.

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?
I don't really know.

How am I tolerant?
I don't think I was ever tolerant. I'm more on the strict side.

In what ways and my caring?
I am not showy when it comes to affection. I seldom do something "extra" to show that I care. I feel that as long as I do my responsibility for others, I am caring. Caring is more of "doing not feeling"

In my open to another's point of view?
Yes, I am open to other's point of view. I may not agree but I listen and respect other's point of view. Although I always have the tendency to express my own, this sometimes causes conflict because other's think I am starting an argument by saying a different point of view.

Am I a fixer?
I don't think so, but I have the tendency to speak out when I see something wrong.

Do I like to be in charge?
Only if the rest wants me to be. I seldom volunteer, I have the tendency to protect myself from criticism. Although in extreme cases, I take charge when there's no one assuming the responsibility.

Do I get upset when I don't win?
Not really, perhaps a down moment but not really upset.

What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?
I couldn't recall any instance where it was detrimental to my own well-being. If there were, I think I accepted the consequences on me, thinking that I allowed it, so be it. I have the tendency to think things over first if caring for others will have a negative consequence on me.

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine?
Only in extreme cases, say something bad will happen if no one will do something.
Why or why not?
I believe people should be responsible enough to be doing things they should do and capable of doing themselves.

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?
Yes sometimes I do a little "spoiling", if I wanted to do someone a favor or show someone I care and love, but I make it obvious or known that "a little spoiling" is really my intention.
With my husband I used to, I thought that was being a good wife. But, realizing that he has a drinking problem and that "being a good wife" is being manipulated and being abused, I stopped doing it or think first before helping.

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others?
I easily trust people I know and are close to me. But I have the tendency to be cautious when I already had a negative experience with them.
I think this is what happened between me and my AH. I used to trust him. But learning from what I've been thru, I tend to deal with him with precaution.

Do I go to save places?
When I was in my younger years I would dare, for the adventure. But I guess with age, one becomes more careful.

Remove myself from dangerous situations?
As much as possible or when necessary.
Even if it's my own home?
In the worse case, but if I can remove that from my home instead of me, why not.


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HI jocelgp

 Thanks for sharing with such clarity  i do believe that a separate 4 th Step on the sexual aspect of your  relationship would help.  It sounds as if this is an area where you are most blocked.  Keep on  keeping on .  Your recovery is wonderful to witness  



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Betty


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How do I go about doing a separate 4th Step?

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I think you started it already You mentioned that hubby is accusing you of having sex prior to marriage Start from there examine your motives for engaging in sex before you married and move from there. You can do this privately and then share an over view of what youy uncovered.

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Betty


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Do I get upset when I don't win? What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

When I was little I could not skip like the other children, so my mother put me in ballet lessons. I was so uncoordinated that they wouldn't accept me in the "tap" lesson classes.

Then, in school sports, I was always the last one chosen to be on a team.

I learned early about being not winning, at least in sports. To this day, I'm not very interested in watching or participating in team sports.

[Fortunately I found physical activities that I enjoyed: swimming, yoga, running - solitary sports in which I could be active without feeling like a "loser".]

But being right and winning an argument is a different story. I hold very strongly to my convictions. If I let someone else have the last word, it is usually because I'm tired of the argument and convinced that the other party is hopelessly mired in their own delusions.

This probably borders on being a character defect. Emotionally, I do not like to give ground. I cling to the safety of my convictions. This may be a way that I use to protect myself and my space.

"Live and let live" is a good slogan for me.

What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

Victimhood. When I take care of others rather than myself, I end up back in victimhood. Licking my wounds.

"After all I did for you, and now you treat me like this??!!" I feel sorry for myself. I end up blaming my emotional predicament on someone else's supposed behavior.

I am gradually coming to realize that taking care of myself, first, is essential. Before I even think of taking care of someone else.

I like it that this is a program of self affirmation and acceptance. Going through these questions, one at a time, is very helpful for me. THank you.



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Hello again Shoofoo, Thank you for your dedication and clarity. This step is indeed a process and takes time end energy. It is clear that are keeping an open mind and the focus on yourself.

I know that I had to do many 4 th steps in order to uncover the deep negative drivers hidden within. My biggest was "my will" Instead of MY will wanting to do things My will did not wan to do anything. I wanted to sit back watch everyone work or perform, judge them and that was it . I wanted to be a princess -- How surprised I was to discover this !!
I love that this is a program of self acceptance as it makes this process easier. Keep on keeping on.

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Betty


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Thank you for all of your encouragement, Betty. Taking this slowly, and one question at a time, is helpful to me. I am realizing things about myself that I ordinarily would gloss over. Saying "oh yeah, I'm like that," without truly letting it sink in. These are long ingrained traits that I have developed that have lead me to a very painful place and way of being. I need to change - or at least get some deeper insights - into who and how I am. If I am really going to be honest with myself, without beating up on myself, I have to sit with the questions and myself for awhile. Become willing to see and accept myself as I am. I never realized how profoundly important it is to take the time to do this. Again, thank you.

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?

Probably, yes.

I am sensitive to criticism. When others criticize me, I automatically think that I have done something wrong, that I am the problem. So I try to fix things up.

My first response is to take the blame.

This ends up back-firing into a resentment for me, and in my inadvertent way, I put the blame back on others the responsibility of my own hurt. It becomes a vicious cycle.

We are all different. Each one of us has different ways of being, different tasks to do and parts to play.

I am only responsible for my part.

Realizing this, I feel sad for the incredible load I have been carrying. And responsible (again) for the load that I give to others.

There must be a way out of this cycle of reciprocal blaming. At this point, Step 4, I think that being aware that this is happening is a start to breaking out of the toxic cycle. That will involve knowing what is, and what is not, my responsibility.

I may have to do some more work on this, but I'm beginning to see that other peoples' feelings, mental health issues, addictive behaviors, are not usually my responsibility. I can let them be and get back into my own life.



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"put yourself in the place where grace can flow to you." - robert lax


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Good Work my Friend. You are uncovering your truth and I am happy for you.

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Betty


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This is the step that brought me to this board.  I have struggled with how to do it thoroughly.  As I list my character flaws and look at my resentments and fears I have had to pray and ponder.  Looking into myself is hard.  I know there are things in there that have been hidden a long time and I'm not even sure if I can see them.  The best advice I have been given came from an old timer at AA.  He told me to clean one room at a time.  To come back and revisit this step as I grow in recovery.  So today I will answer these questions as a part of my housecleaning.

Do you feel blocked in any are of your life?

I do have a hard time letting people into my life.  Really into my life.

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

Yes. Here is where I'm uncertain.  How?

How am I tolerant? In what ways am I caring?

I am tolerant of other people's views and lifestyles to a point.  The farther away from my "ideal" the less tolerant I find myself.  I am caring towards people who seem to need to be cared for.  I tend to overextend myself in this area. 

Am I open to another's point of view?

Yes. I am open.  I enjoy hearing about something from a different perspective. I try to be respectful even when I don't agree.

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

YES and YES. I am a fixer over and over! I want to fix everything that I see as wrong with the world.  I am learning through this program that fixing is not my job.  And that my HP can do a much better job than I can.  I have purposefully stop myself from this and allow Him to do his work.

Being in charge has been in my nature for as long as I can remember.  As the oldest girl in a large family, I was in charge a lot.  I believe that this was a positive character trait until it became a negative one.  The feeling that I always need to be in charge stems from the complete lack of control I had in my AH's life where his disease was concerned.  I am striving to back off when I should and take charge when I should.  "The wisdom to know the difference" 

Do I get upset when I don't win? What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

I don't get upset when I don't win.  I have come to expect it.

I have become physically and emotionally sick and exhausted from taking care of other people instead of myself.  I have found myself on the edge of some very dark places when I am concentrating on everyone but me.  God has brought me back from those places many times and Al-Anon is teaching my how to stay away from them by taking care of me.

Do I take on responsibilities that are not mine? Why or why not?

I have learned not to as much, but I do.  Most of the time it's because I feel like it will get done better or faster if I do it as opposed to someone else. Goes right back to that need to be in charge.

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

I do this more for my husband than anyone else.  In the beginning it was part of who I was brought up to be......a good Southern girl takes care of her man.  It became something that was expected of me and caused resentment to build up.  As he grows in his recovery, we are both learning that I don't have to do everything for him.  Sometimes he says I can do it myself and sometimes it's me who reminds him.  With recovery working from both sides it makes this a lot easier.

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to safe places?

I trust that I can deal with others in most situations with tolerance and an open mind.  My "safe" place is not far away.  Mostly just a place to regroup and calm down when I feel out of control.  My home has been an emotional battle ground, but never a physical one.



-- Edited by Kim C on Wednesday 16th of November 2016 06:42:10 PM

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Kim C


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Hi again im I agree cleaning one room at a time is a great way to work this step. Many of my defects were hidden under psoitve actions and unitl I "examned my motives" i did not see them.
Keep up the good work Focus on yourself each day which is a great gift to give yourself. I have experienced and been told that alanon is not a self improvement program but a "self acceptance" program Step 4 helped me to see the destructive attitude and tools that I used that hurt me so that I could replacee them with constructive thoughts

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Betty


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Shoofoolate thank you for your share. Your responses really resonate with me. I am just about to start my Step 4 work and this was inspiring. Thanks for reminding me I am not alone. 

Amy



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Hi Amy remember to make this a "fearless inventory" I did this by listing all my assets and what I was grateful for as you begin this process(each day) Then you will see what you great tools you have to build your new found self on. Good luck

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Betty


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After posting about my qualifer working on his 4th step; it made me think about if I at a place to work on mine. I have been eager to work this step but also want to make sure that I'm 'ready' to do so.

Figured starting with these questions will help me connect if I should go deeper into this step. In 6 months; I hope to have fully worked this step for the first time.  






Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

yes, I feel blocked in my ability to stay organized and stay focused on personal relationships


Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

I think working this step will help me to process why these blocs are there and what is or isn't preventing me from moving past the block

How am I tolerant? In what ways and my caring?

I am tolerant to the process of other's discovering things for themselves.  

In my open to another's point of view?

I am so open to other's points of views. I think that taking on the perspective of others helps me to understand why I may or may not respond in the ways I do to them.  I cannot control anything or truly understand what anyone is thinking; but for me to think about why a person is responding in a certain way and then what I need to do for myself in order to stay sane in my reactions is so important. 

Am I a fixer? Do I like to be in charge?

yes! I am a teacher--it's my nature to fix and change!  But I also want people to discover things on their own (even if I know I may know the easier way to get there.  

Do I get upset when I don't win? What consequences have I had from taking care of others instead of myself?

This is a new thing for me; but yes, I do get upset if I don't win because I always do what I am supposed to and feel like I should be rewarded for that.  Caring for others has resulted in me not being connected with what I want and need to do to be happy.  

Do I take on responsibilities are not mine? Why or why not?

All the time; because  I like to help; because I usually think I 'm right, because if I can take a burden off someone else to make their day a little eaiser, I will. 

Do I do for others what they can do for themselves? Why?

NO!  I used to but this is something that I am learning to not do.  I also remember to pause and wait for someone to ask for help before I step in to offer it.  And if I can see that they are able to do it themself; I will coach them to get there on their own.  

In what way do I trust myself in dealing with others? Do I go to save places?

I trust that I have a good judge of character and that people have good intentions.  

Remove myself from dangerous situations? Even if it's my own home

yes, I have no concerns for my own safety. I can identify when things are feeling icky and remove myself from it. 



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Hi Crau, Glad that you took the time to reflect on this important Step.   I have worked many a 4th through 10th Step during my time in program because  we are always growing and changing .Recovery is a process and as we move forward more is revealed.


Thanks for your honesty and clarity



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Betty


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I have reservations about doing 4th step, I did this step about a year ago and now am reviewing this step.  A reasonable goal is to be done in 3 months. I want to do a 4th step about my relationship with a narccastic boyfriend and be done in 3 months in July 2017. Yes I do feel blocked in the area of relationship with a narc abuser. I think it will be helpful to do a 4th step on this relationship.  I am tolerant and I accept the addicts in my life, I accept the narc. The addicts have a disease only a higher power can help them and I accept the narc who has a psychiatric disorder and a disease of addiction who I believe can be helped by only God and by professional help. I know I can accept them but I do not have to accept their abusive behaviors towards me. I have been around all races, many cultures and different sexual orientations. I am also a social worker & have clients who are addicts, criminals, disenfranchised, etc. I am an indigenous female and have life experience & education with diversity. I am a caring person, I ask about people, I develop feelings for others, I express my feelings towards my family and boyfriend. I show my caring when I am available to talk to people, show my support in different ways. I do confront my loved ones about inappropriate actions in regards to thier addiction and behaviors which show I care for them. I know Narc are attracted to Alanons because Narcs are abusers and users and Alanons are givers, perfect match. So please do not comment or try to give psychological advice or comments.



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carol dick


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C

Hello Carol I found that the Fourth step, in Al-Anon asks  simply that we make a "searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves "so that we can uncover what we are doing in our interactions with others that might be hurting us. In the process of making this inventory it  is also important to balance out the negative with a list of our assets so that we can uncover what we can build on going forward,

I found this exercise to be extremely important in getting to know myself and to let go of blaming and judging, criticizing others



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Betty


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I completed the 12 step in Alanon. Now I am going over the 4th step again. I know what you are talking about, been in Alanon for a while. It is a continually process and can never be completed, we will always go backward, slip in Alanon, because we are human and not perfect.



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