Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Beauty of the 4th Step

My emotions are all over the place, is this a normal part of the process?

by Dov (See all authors)

"We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves"


Someone posted on the forum:

Usually I am a very calm person. Now I feel like a woman. I am very aware of my moods and I feel that I have very bad days and very euphoric days. I also feel very angry a lot of the time. Is this a normal part of the process of recovery or am I doing something wrong?

Dov replies:

Take the drug away from any addict (or, if you choose the "habit" or YH model, then even though it may not be a true drug, it is still some degree of nechoma - so say instead: remove that "tool for nechoma") and you will be left with an angry, fearful, resentful, and/or entitled person sans his drug/tool for nechoma. That's all we have really done here. In my book, that is not recovery at all. It's just torture. Nu, a better and more useful torture than the one before - lust tortures us in a far more destructive way - but it's still the t-word. Who wants it?!

It seems to me, friend, that you are standing at the precipice that we call "uh-oh. This guy needs to do the 4th step, etc., and quick!"

The beauty of the 4th step is that it allows us to see and accept ourselves as we are. Not that we don't feel any need to change - we do - but that's not the point. Just the acceptance of these facts about ourselves unloads us of the self-doubt - or even self-disgust - that calls you to wonder "what theheckis going on with me? Is there a shrink in the house?!". It removes the greater part of the pain we feel being so angry at people, resentful about not having something (respect, lust, money whatever), and fearful beneath it all. And it opens the door on being able to daven to Hashem and face people - without feeling either like a pathetic, haughty loser or like "if they (yes, even Him) would only do things the way I want them to be, things would be alright!"

I say, alei vehatzlach! This is natural - but "look out" if you just sit with it for too long... it bites, and it bites hard.