Step Four of twelve is a big boy – the success of this step takes nothing short of courage. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Addiction causes problems, no argument here. The problems are generally beyond what the addict understands. But the addict knows that to look closely at self means that they have to face truth. They know that this is going to be painful. It is like walking into a morgue to identify a dead relative. You are already in possession of his material belongings, you are pretty sure, but as you enter the room you hope that it is not true. Walking into that room takes Courage.
Courage is acting when you are certain that there will be pain as a result. Firemen run into burning buildings to save children – they are acutely aware of the risks – but they run anyway. Police confront bank robbers who are carrying guns – the outcome is uncertain – but they act anyway. These acts of selflessness, knowing the dangers, risking great pain, are examples of great courage.
As one drills down into the depths of one’s life the reality becomes clearer. The fear of facing actions soon gives way to understanding self. The understanding of emotional insecurity caused by addiction, the worry, anger, self-pity, and depression begins to shed light on a dark life. The understanding of how the addiction drove the person into insane behavior will surface.
But the process takes Courage. Narcotics Anonymous has the best Step Working Guide on the market – but I have minor conflict with their message of cause and effect. The important issue is in being thorough. The NA Step Working Guide offers a thorough map through the process.
The AA Big Book says “…more will be revealed…”
See Also: On Addiction