A.A. Oldtimers…On the Fifth Step
A.A. Grapevine, March 1945. Vol. 1 No. 10
Editorial: On the Fifth Step
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
This is a tough step and takes courage to do. It is, however, a step that can be done if you make sufficient effort.
It is not new. The Catholic church uses it in their confessional and the psychiatrist uses it.
Drinking is caused by inner conflicts and the only way to get rid of these conflicts is to bring them out in the open and destroy them. Wrongs cause conflicts, hence the necessity of this step.
Take the first phrase, "Admitted to God." How do you do this? First learn humility so that you can ask help in a humble manner. If you have difficulty in admitting the actuality of a supreme power, work on the premise that there might be one. Once you get your mind in tune with the infinite it is not difficult to realize that you have no secrets from God.
"Admitted to ourselves." This can only be done when we are honest with ourselves. In this program it is folly to try to kid yourself. Be ruthless in your soul searching and come clean.
Great care should be taken in choosing "another human being." It must be someone you can trust. Your lawyer, your doctor, your priest or minister, another A.A., or a friend; someone who will act as a sounding board and keep your confidence.
Once you take this step you will be astounded at the relief you feel. The burden of despair will be lifted from your back and you will be free.
It is essential for every A.A. to realize the importance of taking this 5th step. By so doing, all enmities, resentments and wrong thinking may be cast out and we can continue to the next step with a clear conscience.
It is advisable to repeat this step from time to time because it is human to err and even A.A.s are human.