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Post Info TOPIC: Step Four - Al-Anon

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Step Four - Al-Anon

Step Four - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

From: Paths to Recovery - pg. 42 (copyright 1997, by al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

It is often said at meetings that the words rationalization and justification can become our best friends and our worst enemies. We may discover we have blamed all our difficulties on the alcoholic and excussed ourselves with rationalizations. We probably know most of our own faults intimately and may be unacquainted with our virtues. Self-rightuous justification is no longer an acceptable excuse. If we think we don't possess courage, we can ask our Higher Power to provide it and a sponsor or a friend in the program to help us remember it.

Love - Dot


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Before Step Four I certainly justified and rationalized any of my actions. Wouldn't anyone living with what I did act the same. And if he'd just get sober all OUR problems would be over.

What an eye-opener when he did have times of sobriety that it didn't solve OUR problems.

Step Four got me started on a journey of self-realization that through the Steps gave me the courage to take charge of my life and begin to solve MY problems.

Love and hugs - Dot

-- Edited by dot at 18:50, 2006-01-08



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I think the fearless moral inventory was one of the hardest things to do.  At first it was easier to blame myself and to try to figure out why someone would behave that way towards me.  It must have been something I did or said..or didn't do or say correctly.  Then, I went through blaming the other person for everything.  I finally got to a point where I could distinguish what I could and could not affect..  I had to take a hard look at myself to see what I was bringing the table.  I had to take a serious look and what I was doing to myself.  Now, I am able to put most thing through that filter.  What decisions have I made to improve my situation, and to protect my husband and kids.  It isn't always easy and there are times when I definitely revert back to blaming myself for not being a good enough daughter. 



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I can of course always justify my screaming and shouting and carrying on as part of the blowing off on living with the A.  I no longer scream shout or carry on but I am certainly still human. There is no way that I just ignore it or take responsibility for the A's behavior either. He of course was much more comfortable when I was screaming and shouting in some ways because he could use that as an excuse to act out.  Not that he needs one he will continue acting out until he decides not to. I do not know what his bottom will be but I do not intend to be there with him riding the bottom and trying to pull him out of it.

I think it is enormously difficult for me to give up on having the A be "there" for me on any level. I used to try to cajole, control, career anything to get him to stop acting out.  Nothing affected him. He loved the caressing and making it up to him too. In fact I think he loved it whenever he was at the center of it all and had all the power. Taking my own power back has been very difficult. I have had to negotiate feeling totally abandoned on many many levels by the A. Of course the A was never there for me on so many levels to give him that kind of power was ludicrous to begin with. He was never there when I was sick, financially struggling, isolated, alone, upset, vulnerable, hurt, angry, shy, ..he could never ever be there.

Recently I was crying about my childhood issues, he totally ignored me and had a conversation in front of me about how concerned he was about a friend's financial condition (a friend he knows I dislike intensely). I don't know whether to take it personally as a direct attack or just see it as another example of his not being able to be "there" on any level at all.  When I can look at him objectively I can see he does none of it personally he's constantly on some reaction and action to use so how could he be "there" for me.


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