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Facing It, Feeling It

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There it was. I had done the first three Steps with my sponsor and we both knew what was coming next. He knew it was going to be a big step in my recovery, but to me it looked more like a pending emotional breakdown. Turns out he was right.

I had built a pretty good system of denial and rationalization; I had tap danced around truly facing myself in any objective way. I was afraid I was going to have to drag out all the worst things in my life and lay them before the world.

My sponsor helped by sharing with me some of his own discoveries from his Fourth Step. I guess I am not the only one who has lied, stolen, cheated, and been self-centered. I felt such relief, just as I had felt relief at my first OA meeting when I discovered I was not the only one who obsessed about food and was addicted to it.

We started with the small stuff. As we discussed my writings, my sponsor to my amazement pointed out some of my assets as well as my shortcomings. As I built a deeper trust with my sponsor, I began to build courage to go deeper within myself and start to see both where I had caused myself or others harm and what I had done well. As we waded through my list of resentments, regrets, fears, obsessions, and more, I began to realize that many of my life problems had to do with ego, pride, and fear of not being worthy enough to deserve a good life. My self esteem had been so low that I’d felt the need to seem better than others just to accept myself as okay.

I finally got to the point of looking at myself objectively and began recognizing and turning over my shortcomings and growing and using my assets. My old version of FEAR had been Feel Everything and Run. Today, I prefer to see FEAR as Face Everything and Recover or Feel Emotions and Recover. Doing my Fourth Step made this transition possible.

— Anonymous

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