From the July 1970 magazine.

5th Step

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

SOME AA members, in particular those of us with only a few months of sobriety, who may be seriously investigating the Twelve Steps for the first time, are especially reluctant or fearful to take the Fifth Step--to admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. I sympathize fully. But the year 1968, my first full calendar year of sober living in AA, can well be characterized as "My Year of Taking Step Five"; and I would like to pass along the fears and reservations, then actions and experiences, and subsequently freedom, self-knowledge, and joy that have accompanied my own efforts. As we continually try to practice in the program, I am not telling anyone else what to do; I am describing what I did.

I did not rush into the Fifth Step or, for that matter, into any Step other than the First. For the beginning six or seven months, through the end of 1967 and into early 1968, I concentrated on learning how not to take the first drink today by going to a meeting a day, sometimes more, and by talking over coffee with others who had come in about when I did, as well as with many who had several years of sobriety.

-- L. L.

Manhattan, New York

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Subscribe