5th Step

I finished my 5th step today. We’ve been slogging through it for a while now, having to break it up in installments. We did my fear and sex inventory today. I wrote the inventory several months ago, and actually got a little chuckle about how dramatic some of the fears were. No laughing about the sex inventory, however. Poor guys.

I read in my 12 & 12 this morning about the feeling of oneness with God and man that some people get after their 5th. That didn’t happen to me. I felt pretty depressed after leaving my sponsor’s place. I had already arranged that I would be able to take the hour to reflect afterwards as the Big Book suggests, but I had this overwhelming feeling of, “now what?” I couldn’t put my finger on it. Uneasy.

I came home and sat in our hammock. I went over the steps so far and concluded I have, indeed, completed them all to the best of my ability. Then I got to thinking about my higher power. I was raised atheist, but when push came to shove, it was not hard for me to accept that there are many forces at work in the universe that are bigger than me and beyond my comprehension. I have lots of ideas about the God that is “out there.” Consciousness, nature, creativity, divine order, love. Honestly I don’t worry so much about defining it. And I’ve heard people share in the rooms about coming to a point in their sobriety where they had to get a bigger God. That doesn’t feel like a problem to me because my God is big. Like, everything big.

What I struggle with is making God personal to me. I don’t understand how to do that. Today my sponsor talked about how the Big Book says that God is inside us. That got my attention.

In the hammock I recalled a day in my first weeks of sobriety. I was sitting in a park with my temporary sponsor reading her some writing I had done for my first step. The last thing I wrote and the only thing I remember is that I felt I was broken because I was incapable of loving. Not incapable of being loved, but of loving. This really frightened me because here I was a mom of a 3 year old and a 6 month old, and feeling like I didn’t know how to love these kids. They were burdened with a mom who couldn’t love. They were fucked.

This fear has greatly subsided, but it’s still under there. What occurred to me today is that if God is the stuff that connects us all together (love), and if God is inside me, then this belief that I am unable to love is the root of all my problems. It is me not believing in God.

I am capable of loving, I just don’t know how to do it very well. I don’t know how to do it without fear. Some times I look at my kids and my love for them makes me want to fall to pieces. And now I see that the drinking, the overeating, the compulsive Facebooking and whatever else are me trying to run away from the pain of loving. It’s not about me and my pain, though. I want to start living in the space of, “What can I contribute to this?” instead of “How can I avoid feeling hurt here?”

I don’t know how to get there, though. So I’m placing faith in the steps and those that came before me. I’m moving forward and asking for the ways in which I block myself from feeling love to be removed. I’d like them all to be taken, but how about getting cracking on fear first? Ok, God?

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3 thoughts on “5th Step

  1. I remember feeling depressed and uneasy after finishing my 5th step. I expected this sudden relief, but it didn’t happen for me and I’ve heard others say the same. It’s been a few months since then and now I notice more when my flaws are getting in the way of things. Steps 4 and 5 took a long time for me, I guess is what I’m saying. All of them have, but I feel like I’m where I need to be. As for god, someone said something about god’s will is “doing the next right thing” and that stuck with me. When I do the “right” thing, I feel closer to my god, though I barely define it at all. I have kids too and find I escape less into my phone and other distractions because I feel better when I’m present with them. I think you’re so right put faith in the steps and the rest will follow.

    • My favorite quote of the moment is by Joan of Arc, “Act, and God will act.” Doing the next right thing is getting into action. I have a tendency to just sit around and try and think myself out of whatever is going on. I totally believe that I have to surrender to action to feel God in my life. Easier said than done!

  2. What a great post. I had a moment of insight on this recently, when watching an episode of Soul Series where a sufi mystic was the guest. It transformed my concept of what I’m doing when I talk to my own HP – I’m learning to go inward, to tap in rather than think I’m reaching out. And to be kinder to myself, because if that force is in me, then I must be okay at my core, despite evidence to the contrary!

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