Step 5 – As Sick As Our Secrets

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs

As Sick As Our Secrets
Seana A (NY)

It took courage and willingness to do Step Five. I felt like I had been such a bad and deceptive person who had done disgusting things that I was much too ashamed to share aloud. Being sexually compulsive, I had had anonymous sex, abusive degrading sex, wasted huge chunks of my life in fantasy and romantic obsession and stayed in long-term destructive relationships. There were things I didn't want to reveal to anyone. 

However, I had heard in program that I was as sick as my secrets. Unless I was willing to expose who I really was to myself, to God and to another person, I knew I couldn't get better. I went to the SCA Fourth Step writing workshop and answered the questions on childhood, adolescence and adulthood and even the questions "which you swore you would go to the grave with unspoken". 

I read my answers aloud to my sponsor, my therapist, my spiritual director or a program friend. When I was finished, I had such a sense of relief and compassion for myself. I was not a fundamentally bad person. I was a human being looking for love and support and nurturing. I didn't get them as I was growing up and I wasn't taught how to give them to myself. Now I could clearly see the patterns in my life and what worked to give me what I needed and what didn't. None of the people I confided in ran screaming from the room. I was a garden variety sex addict and I could be helped like everyone else who diligently wanted the program. Turning my Fourth Step over out loud felt like putting down years of accumulated baggage. I felt like I could fly! It was another step in accepting my past and myself and getting the knowledge and insight to help change my behavior in a loving and gentle way in the future.