Step 5: Going to Any Lengths to Free Yourself

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

The Twelve-Steps for Recovery is an approach that was first integrated in the Alcoholics Anonymous support group as program for achieving recovery from alcohol abuse. Today, this method is integrated and used in a variety of treatment setting and support groups for overcoming a variety of drug addictions.

The twelve step program is based on the premise of spirituality, religion and God having an impact on changing a person’s life and empowering their ability to overcome their addiction. While the 12 steps may be altered depending on the type of program attended, recovery is sought in multiple areas, including physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.

What Is Involved in Step 5?

The Twelve Steps are an essential set of spiritual principles intended to guide an addict through their recovery journey. The first four steps of the 12-step program are more internal in nature, in the sense that these principles guide a person through a private experience.

Step 5 effectively leads a recovering addict from the shameful nature of his or her past and allows a person to break away from the isolating tendencies of an addiction lifestyle.

How Step 5 Becomes Challenging

Two men in living room talkingStep 5 of the 12 Step process outlines, “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” While seemingly simple and straightforward, this can actually be quite a challenging step for many addicts who have struggled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

This step goes against the nature of addiction, which is commonly characterized by isolation and self-destruction. It can be difficult to admit openly to others the extent of your struggles or wrongdoings, but this step is crucial for moving forward in recovery.

How to Integrate Step 5 into Your Life

If you are battling an addiction and have found yourself stuck in your patterns, consider how the integration of this step might actually be a freeing part of your life, enabling you to move forward in recovery.

Sharing with like-minded individuals in a group setting can be a safe place for you to open up about your struggles and free yourself of your past. Consider joining a local 12-step based support group to integrate this aspect of recovery in your own journey.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How has the 12 Step Process for Addiction recovery been helpful in your own journey? Which step has been more challenging for you, and how did you overcome the challenges you may have faced along the way?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
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