Step 4. My nemesis.
I’ve been sitting around with the first column of my 4th Step, done, for weeks. I stare at the second column and cringe. Resentments.
It seems so easy in theory. Writing down all the reasons you are angry, hateful, pissed, or sore. But, it isn’t. It isn’t easy at all. The past few weeks as I’ve looked down at the ruled paper in my little, blue journal, and I’ve felt helpless. I have over one hundred people on my resentment list. And now, I have to remember, and write down, all the reasons these people have rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, it’s easy to remember, I just don’t want to remember. And, there it is, one of the reasons I drank in the first place.
I met with my AA buddy, and spiritual pseudo-shaman if you will, for coffee today after this morning’s AA meeting. He got on my case for not having done work on my 4th Step. I knew he was right. I knew that it was my own fear that had me paralyzed, but, I couldn’t help that I didn’t want to work through it, I told myself I was just being true to my instincts. I’d wait, I needed to wait.
As he semi-lectured me, I thought, ugh, don’t I already have a sponsor to harp on and on about this shit? And, the longer he went on the more I just wanted to pull out my little, blue journal just so he’d leave me alone. To hear that my reluctance to write my 4th Step was a weakness, a fear, set me off. It wasn’t a resentment toward my friend, but, a little fire that ignited under my butt. I’m not weak. I’m strong. I’m not avoiding things any more, I’m an action taker. And, I won’t stand for this!
Maybe it’s that raging alcoholic in me, but, no one was going to tell me what I needed to do or how I should go about doing it. I wasn’t going to do it any way but my own. And, if my plan of avoidance wasn’t good enough, well, I’ll be fucked, I’m going to write that shit tonight. I’m not afraid! And, I did.
After a kick in the pants, I woke up. 4th Step isn’t going to write itself. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and want to remember all these shitty people and places that have effected my life in ways big and small. I just have to do it. It’s like so many things in my life, I put them off, put them off, put them off, and then when I actually got around to tackling them, I wondered why I waited so long to get crackin’.
When I first started working the steps in AA, everyone around me kept saying “Don’t drag your feet on your fourth step. Everyone does. But don’t do it!” And, I thought to myself, there’s no way I’m going to drag my feet. I’m motivated. I’m ready. I’m willing.
Here’s the deal. Motivation, doesn’t matter. Ready, willing, and able-ness….doesn’t mater. It’s DOING. It’s ACTION. 4th Step is a walk in the mud. It’s never going to be something I’m going to wake up looking forward to, so it’s better to just dive into the shit and start slingin’.
So, I have two columns done. A good kick in the pants is just what this stubborn chick needed. And, I’m going to keep that momentum going. I know that if I wait, rest on my laurels, that in a week or so, I’m going to be right back in the land of the foot-draggers.
But, dear God, 4th Step. She’s a bitch. A shit slingin’ bitch.