The 12 Step Program: Step 4


During Step 3, of the 12 Step Recovery Program, you evaluated your willpower and created a plan, along with others, to gain it back entirely. So far, on your road to recovery, you’ve admitted that you had an addiction to drugs or alcohol that was out of your control, but also acknowledged, through admittance, that you can gain back your sanity. Step 4 is about coming face-to-face with your addiction to understand the root cause of how it all began. Asking vital personal questions during this step, we begin to, “make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”  Throughout the 12 Step Recovery Program, you will be faced with numerous self-growth opportunities that create a new blueprint and foundation for your sober life ahead. 


What does Step 4 accomplish?

Step four is taking an inventory of your character in full. During this step, you break down your emotions, thoughts, triggers and past and current actions. You dissect your character flaws to understand what action needs to be taken to correct them and become a more harmonious and healthy human being. During this step, you will learn how to identify your negative thoughts and feelings and create a foundation for healing and sober living. 


Why reflect on past negativity when we are trying to grow from it?

Growth blossoms from understanding past trauma and negative circumstances. In order to fully move past a life season that was engulfed in the throes of addiction, you have to understand your triggers, pain points and causes so that you know how to handle less-than-ideal situations in the future seasons of life using healthy coping mechanisms. To gain full control of your life, and sobriety, it is imperative for you to recount and fully fathom the whole picture of your life, including what led up to your addiction and why. 


What is the goal of Step 4? 

Oftentimes, during addiction, we create fictitious stories and unhealthy excuses as to why we are where we are. Coming into a life of sobriety we must discern fact from fiction in order to gain a clear self-appraisal of where we came from to where we currently stand.  The goal of step 4, in short, is to understand our emotions, actions and responsibility on a higher level. During this step, we learn that we can no longer hide behind the façade we’ve built, but rather, must look at ourselves in the mirror and accept all we were, all we are and all we plan to become. 


If you had to describe Step 4 in one word what would it be?

Honesty. Step 4 is about questioning who you have come to know within yourself. During this step, honesty is crucial for your growth. As painful as it may be to discuss, address and conquer past experiences that caused you mental (or physical) harm, it is vital that you reflect upon those instances with yourself and others to push toward an awakened, sober life. You will benefit from your raw honesty. Holding onto secrets of the past stunts your path to full sobriety and self-growth.

Do you or someone you know need help? East Point Recovery Center can help. Call our admissions line (855) 88-SOBER