AA Step 4

Note, this is how I do AA’s step 4. Not a guru, not your sponsor, not the only way to do this.

You will need in addition to the previous supplies mentioned, a ruler and pencil. Possibly a separate notebook for this step alone. On my first 4 step, I used a financial planner with many columns. You could try this if it will work for you.

Read BB page 64 to 71, 12×12 step 4 chapter.

You will also want to review your step work and the reading done up to this point. Is there anything you have left out? You will need your drinking/using history from step one for some of this.

In your notebook or financial planner, make columns or use the first column for the names, places, ideas, institutions and situations that caused us to feel injustice. Go down the column and only list these things. Don’t do anything else yet. This is your mega all-time grudge list. Name it all. It’s quite cathartic.

Next column, next to each listing in column 1, write down what caused it. Do not move on to the 3rd column until column 2 is finished for all of it.

Column 3: Affects… Next to each, mark down if the resentment/situation affects your SE (self-esteem), Sec (Security), A (ambitions), PR (personal relationships), SR (sexual relationships), P (pocketbook, or finances), F(fear), Note: You will often find more names to add to the resentment list the more you dig, I certainly did. Go ahead and add them to column 1, and write down the cause as you find them.

Re-read last paragraph page 66 through page 67 again. Column 4, prayer list. Do nothing with this column yet.

Column 5 see page 67 again. How can I be helpful to them/others?

Column 6 see page 67, Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, or frightened?

Column 7, see page 67. Where were we to blame?

Column 8 see page 48. What was my sin involved, use the 7 deadly sins list.

Column 9. page 69 BB. Whom had we hurt?

Column 10. Was I self-pitied or depressed?

Column 11. Did we unjustifyably arouse jealousy, suspition or bitterness? Page 69 BB

Column 12. What should we have done instead?

Column 13 Was the relationship selfish or not?

Column 14 Was I filled with anger, worry, self-pity, or depression? P 69 BB

Stop! Take a 24 hour break

We move on to list 2, Fears.

Do the exact same columns as the resentments list.

Column 15, Has self-reliance failed us?

Column 16, Did we set the ball rolling? Were we at fault?

Read page 251 BB and page 551 BB

We ask Him to remove our fears and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once we commenced to outgrow fear. Page 68 BB

Stop! Take a 24 Hour Break!

Lists 3 and 4 Personal and Sexual Relationships and people we have harmed.

Duplicate the columns in List 1 and 2 one thing you may notice, that most of the names on the resentment list will end up here.

Column 17, Do we owe an amends for our part? Leave room for Column 18, Am I willing to make amends? Do not fill that in yet, that’s for a future step.

Add every person’s name listed above to a prayer list.

List 5 Character ASSETS

List the things you did right, the things about you that are positives, the things about you that are good.

Other parts you perhaps could include….

Financial Inventory, Employment Inventory, Legal Inventory… Information on those is included in the 12×12


Never do this type of inventory without a sponsor. It’s hard core AF.


What about the Recovery Bible?

Morning all, I’m listening to a podcast, and am finishing the morning cup. This morning, during my daily call with a recovery friend, I realized that I had no clue where my recovery Bible was. I had no idea. So, I began digging. I’m the current custodian of 2 recovery Bibles at this point.

Do I use them? Rarely. I did find both of them, and a couple of other books that I had thought I’d lost. My problem with these specific books is that I’m Catholic. There, I’ve said it. These books are written by and for Protestants. This is one of the rare times that I even bring up recovery Bibles.

Now, for the lessons included within. In no fellowship that I attend are those books either conference approved or fellowship approved. That said, over the years, whether or not something is fellowship/conference approved hasn’t meant one whit to me.

Back to the bible. I have a Bible, one which I actually crack open and read. The recovery Bibles, are a supplement to my recovery and a supplement to my Scripture reading.

Now, I understand that many if not most of you read the protestant Bible, I apologize if my words offend. For sobriety or clean time purposes, Faith is so important, and most fellowships do not suggest that you believe in any specific Higher Power.

Finally, if you believe in a faith in which a Bible is a part, I do recommend getting a Recovery Bible. Why? Because the information contained inside actually helped me stay clean at some point.

Hugs, hope your day goes well. -L

It’s almost morning, and I’m not in bed quite yet


Another black night for me. It’s been a day of tears and missing my best friend. She’s somewhere in Montana on the way to Arizona, and I’m here sitting at her desk, listening to 80’s rock in a way to get over the grieving.

I’ve been down the grieving road before. I’ll be okay in time. We do talk on the phone, but I’m being selfish and lonely.

Lonely, that’s a word I don’t use often.

Snuggie and Duke are asleep. Today was a two meeting day. I needed the insight from the first meeting, on step 4. There are character defects that need to be peeled off. Right now they feel like a 3rd degree sunburn from hell. Working the program like I’ve been taught, when a major change happens, I’m supposed to hit the steps over again.

Well, with my sponsor moving to Arizona, I have the best reason. I feel kinda like I did when I moved away from home for the first time. Scared and alone.

Yes, Snuggie and Duke are here, which is a huge change. I have friends and recovery family to lean on. I thought about using today though. Writing, another homework assignment, from my sponsor, helps with the flow of the pain. I know that the emotions are hitting like a flash flood right now. I need to write it, and wait it out.

So, that’s what I’m doing.

How I handled getting kicked off the farm was burying myself in service work and by writing for hours. I filled a few notebooks. This morning, I grabbed my recovery books and pulled them out of their covers.

For awhile, I thought about replacing them. It’s something I do every few years. I write notes in the margins, and highlight them anew. I mark down the things I identify with, and notes from the meetings.

I find sheets of paper in the old books, printouts from the Grapevine or articles printed up for Area.

This time, though the notes in the margins are needed. Every highlighted word and scribble over the last couple of years are the things that will pull me through. I’m going to be okay. Besides, I have sponsees to work with, and service work to do over the next few days.

There are newcomers to help, notes to be written and steps to work. I’ve got dishes and laundry to do, and the garage needs the fall once over done. The last of the office equipment needs to come in as well. Also, I need to find my bread recipes and get to baking.

For some reason, I don’t feel as lonely anymore. Writing is how I flush the self-pity pot.

Thanks for your time,


Stuck at home

Hello all,

It has been a very quiet few days at home. I’ve been here since Tuesday night, relaxing and hoping for some peace and quiet.

I haven’t spent much time on the patio this week. I’m not sure why. It’s most unsettling, not having a normal routine anymore. Duke misses being out there. I’m thinking that together, we can sit in a little bit. The main problem? I’ve run the batteries down on most of the electronics. When we sit together, we don’t bark so much.

Duke is napping, he was out for a bit, but since it is after 9 at night, I just can’t let him stay out. He barks at people who visit the football field. I admit, some of them egg the boy on.

I’ve hit 4 meetings this week. 2 for either fellowship. Tonight, I stayed home. The IBS made leaving the area of the house just not worth the effort. I’d have to bring a change of clothes to even attempt it.

I’ve been away from social media for awhile as well. I haven’t been posting as much to facebook or reddit except for jokes and whatnot. I’m just not feeling the urge.

I’ve been working on the budget. Since I no longer live in South Dakota, I’m not going to be keeping up the Costco membership. I don’t see heading over there for anything except medical purposes. Going over to shop? A waste of time and money.

Other than that, I’ve been working on cleaning the bedroom and office still. The kids cleaning tools really do work. The only problem, I don’t have a decent mop yet.

Other things I’ve been doing to make life simpler, I have a medication minder now. I set up my medications once per week. This lets me know that if I forget, I can see that I haven’t taken them. It also lets me know that I have done so.

I’ve noticed that I’m much more forgetful than I used to be. I can’t remember certain things anymore, even when I’ve just done them. Writing in my journal, bullet journal style certainly does help. The problem? Remembering to journal at times. There are days that I sit down at the desk, and the next thing I notice, is that it’s time to go to bed.

The forgetfulness is driving me nuts. That’s a short trip, I know.

On the recovery front, many of my character defects have taken their toll on my serenity and my sanity.

I don’t want to be the joking and snarky bitch that I’ve been for decades anymore. I just want a quiet life. I don’t want the hubbub, I just want quiet. Being a snarky bitch is really getting in the way. There are times that those who have been not so close to me, don’t understand that I really hate being this way.

The snarkiness and smartass remarks are making the depression worse. I just most days fight the depression more than anything else. Wanting to change for the better, having a quiet life, and not succeeding because I am expected to think, act and live a certain way really sucks.

Another way my character defects have destroyed my life lately is that they have hurt my husband. He expects me to blow up and have a short fuse. That hurts more than the expectations of others that I be a snarky bitch.

I don’t know what to do, other than to keep writing, and keep praying.

That’s all for now.


The only Big Book some will ever see

I confess that I pull these topics off the top of my head most days. Sometimes, I am able to tie them to other topics I have shared on, usually, it is just random thoughts. This is another one of those random thoughts.

I heard, when I first came to AA that I needed to behave as I could be truly the only Big Book that someone would ever see. I’m still confused by this, especially since most people do not know that I am an alcoholic, let alone in recovery. Yes, close family and friends know, as does my medical team. Yet the broad public does not know and does not need to know.

So breaking down this phrase a little bit more, I take it as if I am supposed to behave as if God is my new Employer. I am to behave as if God is my director. I am to be helpful to others if I am able, and to pray for those that I am not able to help.

If I am requested, on those rare occasions that it happens, to help another alcoholic outside of the rooms, I am to give the information and to share my experience strength and hope with others, especially alcoholics.

I try, when working with strangers, to keep my alcoholism off the topic list, and yet to act with the best manners I can. This is a huge change from years ago. I was an entitled brat. The world owed me, or so I thought, and I was to be catered to.

Ironically, as the daughter of a hard-working man and woman, I was owed nothing. I had contributed nothing to society, and yet…

By working the steps, especially step 3, and changing my will and life, I don’t believe that anymore.

Today, I am just grateful to be alive.

That’s all I have for now, may God be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit.