Step 5: ADMITTED TO OURSELVES AND TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING THE EXACT NATURE OF OUR WRONGS.
My addiction led me to hide from my problems and create lies to cover what was really happening. My end to gambling came at the cost of everything coming out. The problem with that is that it came out in pieces and still comes back to haunt me today. While it is part of the solution it is not all of it.
I can identify my defects of character but unless I work to make changes it means nothing. It is in the changes that I grow and heal. In the past I might have identified a problem but been unwilling to look to make the change. This would be like seeing an overflowing tub and done nothing to stop it. I must be willing to act to remedy the problem even if it takes time to find the best remedy.
My immaturity can be seen today, just as it was in the past, by the way I handle my defects.
Honesty with myself has it’s problems because what I did is such a mess. The problem is that if I don’t be honest with myself and others it only leads to more trouble. The meetings have helped me be more open and honest because the people I share it with first are people who have been in addiction too.
It is the therapy of meetings that help me gauge a proper tone and keep me focused on the right direction to take my recovery. Without this opportunity it is likely that my resentment and anger would destroy me and those around me.
I have begun to have peace of mind by forgiving myself and stopping the lies to myself. This in turn changes my perspective on how I interact with others. It isn’t about removing the guilt but rather accepting it as part of who I was. I no longer use it to beat myself into the past. I work to change my today rather than dwell on yesterday.
Admitting the problem to my fellow recovering addicts reminds me I am not alone in my fight. When I first did this it lifted the weight off my shoulders for a moment but as time went on it helped me carry it differently. Now it is a reminder of what I need to do going forward rather than a burden to beat myself down with.
Admitting our problem should be a goal. Each person we admit it to reminds us of the path we are on and makes it harder to go back. The more who know provides us with an ever dwindling place to act on relapse.
I respect those who are open to change and willing to take steps to get better. It is imperative that I avoid those who would encourage me to return to my old ways, which I know lead to my self destructive past.
Trust comes hard because I need to trust myself before I can trust others. Over time I have learned to trust my fellow recovering addicts who have continued to grow despite the temptations. Trust also goes to those who are around me and have shown a willingness to be open to change.