As with the previous three steps of the 12-step program, step 4 requires you to look at your life before and during your addiction. While you are struggling with addiction, you may see things through foggy glasses. Perhaps you have blamed others for the troubles in your life rather than looking at the true cause of these issues.
In step 3 you learned to let go and let God, but during step four of a 12-step program, you are required to remove the glasses and excuses and look at the real causes of the difficulties in your life. This process may be difficult to begin, but is both worth it and necessary for your recovery.
How Step 4 Helps You Recover From Addiction
Throughout the first three steps, you have admitted to your addiction, found God, and turned your life over to God. In step four, you will begin to look at the wreckage your addiction has caused in your life and how you can work to repair it. Once you have taken a moral inventory, you can begin looking at your life through clear lenses.
Why It’s Called A “Moral Inventory”
We refer to this self-inventory as a “moral inventory” because it’s a checklist of our actions that have gone against our morals. Everyone has a moral code that they follow through life, but when suffering from addiction, you may do things that go against that code.
Those suffering from addiction often resort to stealing and lying in order to get the substances to feed their addiction. They may also unfortunately sell their body for cash or drugs and begin associating with people they may not have otherwise.
Looking At And Healing From Our Past
In addition to looking at the moral transgressions caused by your addiction, this is also a time to look at the roots of addiction. This includes looking at events in your past including your childhood.
Many times, addictions are caused by unmet needs, abuse or neglect in your past. By confronting the pains in your past, you can begin to heal the wounds they have caused.
During step four, you must also evaluate your current and past relationships as well as your feelings. This will help you to more completely view the extent of your addictions. Once you have this information, you will be able to focus on how to repair the damage your addictions have caused while building a brighter future.
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