Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step Five:  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Having honestly written down some hard truths about ourselves in step 4, it may seem like a useless exercise in beating ourselves up for past resentments and  mistakes made. That might be true if not for the steps that follow .  Step 5 is the first part of the solution to these things we now have put on paper.


What are the exact nature of my wrongs?

These are the things you wrote down in your 4th step inventory. Resentments, fears, harm caused  to others, including in sex relations. Putting it simply, you will read this inventory to someone , inviting God(as you understand him) in on it and be prepared for some discussion with your sponsor or as the Big Book says, “a closed mouth understanding friend”.

How do I admit my wrongs to God if I’m not sure there is one?

Again we do not have to have a complete faith and trust in God. Only a willingness to believe that a power greater than ourselves could possibly help us solve our problem. That problem being alcoholism, or drug addiction, or whatever obsession we are trying to free ourselves from. Everything about a higher power follows our willingness to believe.

Who is the other human being I should admit these  wrongs to? Is it OK to share it with my parents or another family member?

Probably not. One of the principles that goes along with the 12 steps is to not cause harm to others. There is a pretty good chance that, if you have been totally honest in your inventory  this could most likely cause some pain to your parents or siblings. One of the purposes  for having a sponsor is they are typically the person who listens to your 4th step, as well as giving you guidance and support throughout the whole process. Of course you could also share this with your priest, minister, Rabbi . Someone who’s  duty it is to hear these kinds of things. But as most 12 step literature suggests it is better to read and discuss this with some who understands addiction/alcoholism.