4th Step... Guilt... Self-Forgiveness?

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
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Re: 4th Step... Guilt... Self-Forgiveness?

Post by Roberth » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:40 pm

Hello David A. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. Like you I felt guilt too. My sponsor told me I had good reason to feel that way. It was because there in black and white were the things I did that I was guilty of. Like most new-comers we what immediate gratification. I was worried about me not the people I had harmed. If I didn’t want to feel guilty I had to repair the damage I had done.
He told me put me name on the bottom of my amends list instead of the top. He said by the time I got to me I would have forgiven myself in ways I couldn’t imagine. Damn if he wasn’t right.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!

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Re: 4th Step... Guilt... Self-Forgiveness?

Post by tomsteve » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:18 pm

hope youre doing good, david.

"I just can't stop hating myself. Are there any practices in self-forgiveness that anyone can help me out with? Any experiences? Anything at all, really."

when I was real early in recovery- I still had that fog ya mention- I was already lookin at the 4th step. I knew it was very detrimental for me to look at my resentments- to learn why I was who I was. lookin at my past and all the damage I had done, I wasn't likin myself to much. 2 things happened that helped me:
1) I brought it up at a meeting how horrible I felt for what I had done to people.places, and things in my past. I was actually cryin at the meeting while talkin about how I felt about myself. this old fart sittin next to me( who turned into my 1st sponsor) looked at me and said,"quit kikin yourself in the ass. youre not a bad man, youre a sick man. bad men don't have regrets and remorse."
outside after the meeting he came up to me and asked where I was at in the steps. I told him I was reading on and learning step 4. he said to the extent,"that good, but move back a step or 3."
I really didn't know why, but said,"ok."

2)fast forward about a month or so. I was crankin on my 4th step. my HG had clients from a detox regularly. one day I realized I had heard,"i got to my 4th step and drank" quite often. I was baffled.
so,after the meeting, I went up to that old fart:" I noticed tonight I hear quite a few people say they got to the 4th step and drank. ive been crankin on the 4th step lately. how come im not drinkin?"
his simple reply:
"you did the first 3 steps."

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Re: 4th Step... Guilt... Self-Forgiveness?

Post by Sleddog75 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:31 am

Good question Dave A. Really good. Here's what I have found based on the truth of my experience doing the steps and going to meetings and working with others. Self-forgiveness...not our job. If I had the ability to forgive myself I wouldn't need God. Insert the 12th step ---> In forgiving others, God will forgive us. In working with others we heal up the past. Here's another way an old timer in my group put it...forgiving self...the entire step process is about eliminating self. If I'm focused on self in any capacity...I might be losing focus on what's most important and I found it right on page 77 "our real purpose is to outfit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and to others"

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Re: 4th Step... Guilt... Self-Forgiveness?

Post by Sober_RI » Thu May 18, 2017 3:04 pm

I know what you mean, I heard someone say once that if you feel bad/guilty, that's good, because it means you have a conscience. Eventually the feeling will pass but hopefully you will learn from your mistakes and become a better person.

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