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Alcoholism and the Fifth Step in Alanon
Find A Sponsor You Can Easily Talk To
What is the Fifth Step?
Are you a member of Al-anon, the program that has helped millions of people around the world find peace, serenity and happiness, despite having an alcoholic or drug abuser in their family or circle of friends? If so, you are probably aware of the 12 Steps that we follow. This article contains suggestions for completing your 5th Step.
Once you have completed your self inventory in the Alanon Fourth Step, your next responsibility is to admit “to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Although it may frighten you at first, to imagine telling someone else all the times you were unkind, selfish or emotional, in years to come you may find that this process is also one of the most rewarding experiences you will go through in your lifetime.
Often new members wonder how they can share their deepest, darkest secrets with someone else. First of all, you may find it easier if you do it a little at a time. Since completing an Alanon Fourth Step by using the “Blueprint for Progress” can take months, you will probably discuss your self-inventory with your Alanon sponsor a little at a time, too. In this way, you really have the time you need to carefully go through the process, without feeling hurried or stressed. In fact, most Alanon members feel a tremendous sense of relief when they discover that there are other people who have shared similar experiences, and are willing to listen as you unburden yourself.
If You Have Not Already Used the Blueprint for Progress for Your 4th Step, You Will Want to Use it Now
This is the workbook that most Al-anon members use to complete their 4th Step or personal inventory of their strengths and weaknesses. It is a very interesting experience. After you complete it, you will want to discuss it with your Al-anon sponsor. Some people go through it in a small group or one chapter at a time with their sponsor.
Finding an Alanon Sponsor
Before you even begin your Alanon 4th Step, you may want to pause a moment and consider who you will want to do your Alanon 5th Step with. If you haven't already found a sponsor, this would be the ideal time to ask someone to fill that position. This will be the person who will help you complete all the Alanon steps, so you need to give careful consideration when choosing a sponsor. Does this person have at least a year's experience in Alanon? Have they completed the steps themselves? Do you feel comfortable talking with this person?
Remember that you may be sharing some pretty embarrassing things about yourself. Listen to different members share at your meetings. Ask a few to meet for coffee, or give them a call sometime between meetings. Once you find someone that you are comfortable talking to, ask her to be your sponsor.
Once you have a sponsor, they will guide you through all your steps, particularly steps 4 through 9. When you are ready, complete your 4th Step and then share it with your sponsor. This is how you do your Alanon 5th Step.
This Book is Perfect If You Want to Learn More About All of the 12 Steps of Alanon
It is a good idea to have an overview of all the steps when you are in Al-anon. This book explains them all. You can order it and read it in the privacy of your home between meetings.
Meeting With Your Alanon Sponsor
Once you have a sponsor to help walk you through the Alanon Steps, you need to decide when and where you and your sponsor are going to meet. Most people meet one-on-one with their sponsors, completing a little of their "Blueprint for Progress" at a time, and discussing it as they go. In this way, doing an Alanon 5th Step becomes a process that is completed at the same time you do your Alanon 4th Step.
However, there is another way of completing your Alanon 4th and 5th Steps that has been gaining popularity in some parts of the country. If you wish, you and your sponsor can form a small group of members who are completing their Alanon 4th Step at the same time. This is usually a group of 4 or 5 people who are all of the same gender, and who have the same sponsor. This enables the sponsor to work with several newcomers at the same time, if they are all comfortable with that arrangement. You'll find that completing your Alanon 5th Step this way will bring you closer to a group of members who may become lifelong friends, as each of you shares your strengths and weaknesses with each other.
However you proceed with your Alanon 4th and 5th Steps, you are on a great adventure in self-discovery. Enjoy the journey!