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Post Info TOPIC: Step 4 Inventory


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Posts: 2
Step 4 Inventory

This is a tough one. My A keeps telling me NOTHING is my fault, but I know that's not true....

I AM TOO CONTROLLING of others and situations

In an effort to keep my life in one piece, I have become a control freak. I used to have the ability to be flexible and spontaneous, but that is gone. Everything is on a schedule, anyone who deviates from that schedule is doing so to hurt me. If I can't control a situation, I attempt to keep control in other ways, by cleaning compulsively or coming down on the kids. I have realized that not everything can be controlled and must be let go.


I didn't USED to be. Everything must be done a certain way, if not it is wrong, even though I won't say that. The A knows it is, and his low self esteem is made lower. I am told over and over I am perfect, and he is wrong. I strive to be perfect and the cycle continues. I will try to let my family do things their own way. I will not criticize if things aren't perfect.


I am a mother, and wife of an A (alcoholic, compusive gambler). Everything is done for everyone else, nothing for me. I once went an entire year without a haircut. I became resentful, angry, and depressed. Part of my recovery is taking care of myself and being slightly selfish at times. I will always be a caretaker, but it must start from within.

I AM A RESCUER (aren't we all?)

I rescue animals, mostly dogs. I have decided I do this because it is easier to rescue dogs than people. You get a certain high from it and can't wait to get just one more. While this is a noble, wonderful occupation, I must put it aside until my life is manageable and it is not just a diversion.

That's all for now.



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Posts: 10

Hey Kelly,

The personal inventory will reveal that we play a part in everything we experience. I thought I was a victim and everyone else was the problem. I self justified my comings and going to my advantage. I used others. I never felt remorse. It was all about me.

The Step 4 inventory opened up a silent me. One that was always there but could not come out. I had lived an illusion. I could not separate the real from fantasy. I was as sick as my secrets.

I found that I felt badly about the real me. By looking into my past actions with others and how that affected our relationships, I felt hopeless. I became very hard on myself. The miracle was that as I felt this loss of self esteem an self worth, I began to find them in a new life. I had faced myself for the first time. With rigorous honesty and prayers, I finally had in words on a paper who I had been.

There was a common thread in column four. My part repeated the self centered obsessive person that I had been. I hurt others and myself. It was finally in the open. It now could begin to be healed. I finally had owned it...This is the great truth of Step 4.

Blessings, JV.



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Posts: 17

I am looking at my traits of being over involved on many many levels in my life. I have had to pull back a great deal in my work. Lately I have been laid off and I had a lot of resentment about hat. The issue was that I felt over involved there on many levels. Now when I do get some work (which is very very very part time) I just do my best and let it go. I have no control over whether I will be brought back full time or not. I can be willing but that's about it. Being over involved was one way I tried to control that.  The fact is that I had very very little control there as I did with the A. And the fact is that I also had to deal with people who were dysfunctional.


I can be very martyrlike about the A and the financial predicaments he causes and how much I have helped him. I have stopped being over involved with him. I have stopped volunteering. If he wants help he will have to ask for it. I think one reason I was over involved was because he is so often out of control on so many areas. Being over involved was one way that I tried to control the chaos. I don't think it made that much difference and being over involved meant I was manipulated far more. He goes to people who can feel sorry for him. Poor thing he has all the excuses in the world for his plight.  He of course takes very little responsibility for it.

And being over invovled meant that I was completely thrown off base when he was punishing and vindicative. I cannot control that he is not grateful for my help. He just takes it totally  for granted so I stopped doing it and focused on myself.

I know when I am calm and non reactive around him it saves a lot of energy but I am not always able to maintain that.  I try to monitor my resentment level now daily.  And I try to watch my interactions around those I feel resentment towards because I know I can sabatage myself very very quickly.

So for me right now the overinvolved and the martyrdom stuff is very very key. I am glad that other members of al-anon mention them and talk about them because I need to be focused on how self destructive they are for me.


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