Wednesday, 08 April 2015

First Step Inventory

by Dov (See all authors)

We write down the details of our acting out history on paper (keeping it safe from other eyes, of course). Start with the first discovery of schmutz pleasure or sex in general, and what happened afterward, our next acting out habit behavior, the next ones, and how we went overboard with each, mainly focusing on exactly what we did. Not the reasons or motives for anything we did, but just the historical facts including as best we can: times we did it, money spent on it, lying we did to cover it up, years it spanned, and so on for the next behavior... Till we get to the last time we had to act out, a week or day or year ago.

We write it 100% purely for ourselves, and NOT to be read by anyone at all and NOT to read it to anybody else, ever. That's important. This is not prose, a chance at making things look ugly, or not so ugly, or like anything at all. "Lashon n'kiyah" is silly here. This is simply our precious chance to be real with ourselves about the bare-bone facts of our behavior. What G-d saw. Sounds simple, no? It is a chance at some plain old objectivity, for a change. And trust me - it IS a big change for all of us. That's why so many guys argue with the idea of actually WRITING it, for various excuses. It's why so many who DO write, try to write it as a dramatic story or an expose' of some sort. It's not exciting, not fluid, not pretty. Nor is it sad, either. It's just the truth. And Hashem absolutely LOVES the truth. And we do, too - eventually.

Once you are done with writing it all out, we will talk about what to do with it, be"H. We share our story with the group - or with a trusted rov - or with a single trusted recovery friend. Perhaps you will not be ready to share it ALL with them - that's OK! It will all have to be shared eventually, for we are truly only as sick as our secrets. Experience teaches us this over and over. You will know it, too, when you try it. But honestly sharing our first step inventory with OTHERS turns out to be our first chance at learning how to be truly honest with OURSELVES. That is the way honesty really works: first we start with a kernel of self-honesty. Then we do the 'impossible' and share it with others. Being truly honest and open with others reflects back on us and we begin to open up with much greater honesty within ourselves.

Eventually, we will start to do something that we thought we were doing all along: being honest with our G-d. Gevalt, we were not doing that...

Real life is starting, slowly and one imperfect day at a time...