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Writing up my list of defects was easy enough. It was solitary, and in a pinch I could always destroy it. Thoroughness and honesty rode beside me as I chronicled my history of wrong actions and thoughts alone in the basement. I acknowledged the holes I dug, the bridges I burned, and the people I hurt.

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

The most telling part of my list was how much of it wasn’t a direct result of alcohol. The drunken arguments, the misplaced anger, the inability to think correctly played their parts, but many of my resentments would’ve existed regardless of my addiction. See, I never learned how to live within society, and so I removed myself through isolation and booze. Turning my brain into mush seemed like a perfectly reasonable coping mechanism.

I felt I had already admitted all of this to God, merely by the fact that he already knew. I had talked to him many times before: while gripping the wheel wide-eyed, while gripping the toilet eyes shut, while gripping my head eyes wet. He knew the pain I was in. And I knew that he knew the pain I was in.

But the shit just kept happening.

I felt I had already admitted all of this to myself as well, merely by the fact that I’m me. I had a constant monologue in my head which beat me up daily, overreacting to my shortcomings and underappreciating my strengths. Self-knowledge clearly was not the answer.

Because the shit just kept happening.

That left admitting the exact nature of my wrongs to another human being. Guess which one I had never tried before?

One thought on “I held these truths to be self- evident.

  1. “The most telling part of my list was how much of it wasn’t a direct result of alcohol.” – 12 the Hard Way (above)

    “… Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.” – Big Book, Chapter 5, page 64

    Count me in.

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