Secular Sobriety Discussion: Enemies, Mismanaged Feelings, and Step Four

Welcome to our discussion based on Joe C.’s Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. We post choice quotes from the daily reading, as well as the discussion questions, and encourage you to think on it and respond in the comments. Please keep our community guidelines in mind while commenting.

We don’t have to be enemy-free to be successful in recovery. IN fact, our rightful paths may rattle the foundation, which may lead to more adversaries. Understanding anger is essential for sustained recovery, and personal inventory plays an important role in mapping out the cause and effect of our conflicts. Today we look at Step Four.

….Some inventories look at the good and bad: shameful acts vs. great accomplishments, healthy expressions of fear and anger vs. unhealthy expressions of fear and anger and our histories of deception and avoidance vs. examples of bravery and honesty. Mismanaged feelings are addiction triggers. Step Four uncovers the emotional triggers that set off the freeze, fight and flight reflexes.

Discussion questions

  • If I am awaiting my first or tenth Step Four, are my expectations in check and do I have a plan–a timeline for starting and completing it?
  • Are anger and other triggering feelings still a mystery to me?

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