The purpose of a searching and fearless moral inventory is to sort through the confusion and the contradiction of our lives so that we can find out who we really are.
Basic Text, p. 27
Using addicts are a confused and confusing bunch of people. It’s hard to tell from one minute to the next what they’re going to do or who they’re going to be. Usually, the addict is just as surprised as anyone else.
When we used, our behavior was dictated by the needs of our addiction. Many of us still identify our personalities closely with the behavior we practiced while using, leading us to feel shame and despair. Today, we don’t have to be the people we once were, shaped by our addiction; recovery has allowed us to change.
We can use the Fourth Step inventory to see past the needs of the old using life and find out who we want to be today. Writing about our behavior and noticing how we feel about that behavior helps us understand who we want to be. Our inventory helps us see beyond the demands of active addiction, beyond our desire to be loved and accepted—we find out who we are at the root. We begin to understand what’s appropriate for us, and what we want our lives to be like. This is the beginning of becoming who we really are.
Just for today: If I want to find out who I am, I’ll look at who I’ve been and who I want to be.
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