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Forward Motion

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I remember the honest and gut-wrenching inventories I went through when I worked my Fourth Step. The first time was difficult. The second time was not as difficult, but it took me deeper into my hidden valleys as the layers of secrets were peeled away. Feelings of sadness, anger, and fear were thrown at me like javelins. I had no idea they were deep inside of me, and their presence brought on anxiety attacks. I thanked God for the courage to work this Step. I thanked God that my sponsor had held my hand. I thanked God for walking with me through the entire experience. I was amazed at what I’d stuffed down over the years. The Fourth Step can be a grueling experience for anyone—and can be a most exhilarating one too! It is not something I look forward to doing again, but I probably will.

I am learning that if I review my emotions and my behavior daily, then responding to and resolving issues becomes easier and fewer matters build up over time. First, I look at what I did and why I did it. Then, I list the defects and assets of the day, just as I did when taking the Fourth Step. If I’ve made a mistake, I own it. I respond appropriately with either an apology, restitution, or prayer for the willingness to accept it and let it go. Any of these is progress for me. I must continue with forward motion.

I strive for honesty in all that I do. By revisiting my behaviors and feelings through a Tenth Step inventory, I’m able to deal with events more readily and with a better attitude. I see where a different action might have elicited a different result. I share what I find with a sponsor or other Overeaters Anonymous members to get feedback. I move ahead with confidence as I learn to change.

The practice of a daily inventory helps me avoid turmoil and chaos. It gives me the patience I need to stop and think before I act. As I review my behavior, continue to turn over my will and life to my HP, admit my errors, and atone for them, I experience a more peaceful existence. I know what the right thing to do is, and I do it. This is my recovery. This is my life.

— Liz B., Chicago, Illinois USA

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