A Searching, Fearless,
Moral, Inventory 4th Step Guide
history of this 4th Step Guide is vague but it has been attributed
members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Various versions could be
found on early recovery computer bulletin boards (BBS). One
version was dubbed "The California 4th Step Guide" as it was
believed that the originators were located in California. Another
version "suggested" that a person should have at least 5 years
of recovery before using this guide. In any event this guide
has well over 300 questions for a person to answer starting
with your childhood years, through adolescence, and into your
adult life. The guide works for all 12 step programs as the
guide is not specific to any particular program. The guide
has a very good set of general directions for doing a 4th step.
by Anonymous Members of Alcoholics Anonymous
paper and pen and start writing. The AA Big Book says on
eight different occasions that we write out this step. It's the
writing it down that helps trigger the release.
has been our experience that we all have compulsive behavior which
needs to be controlled, thereby the problems that were actually
caused by the compulsive
behavior will disappear. Which leaves us with the problems that
caused us to become compulsive. And these, as you are perhaps
beginning to find out, are the ones that stay painfully with us
unless we do something about it. (In the past, they were so painfully
with us that we needed an escape to relieve the pain). We
seemed to always be able to quit a compulsion. We just couldn't
stay quit. In taking Step Four through Nine, we are doing certain
things which we find will bring us to a point in life-enjoyment
and comfort whereby we no longer need to be compulsive. We don't
need compulsive means to escape because the problem has been bled
has been our experience that it really does not matter particularly
intent is when you take Step Four. Or what your attitude is. Or
what your ideas are as to what it will do for you and how. What
matters is that you take the step honestly and to the best of
your ability. Quit rationalizing that you'll take it better if
you take it later...or after you have been in the program longer...or
any of the other lame excuses that all of us who have gone before
you have used.
compulsive human beings, we all wanted to excel-really excel-at
some activity or other. May we suggest this: if you ever decided
to get with it (not perfectly, but the best you can honestly do)
right here and now is good time to get with it. A thorough Fourth
and Fifth Step will give you more relief and comfort than you
have any way of knowing. This is the action that can lead to a
real joy in living...the sort that you may not have experienced
since early childhood (if then)...something that you have been
searching for but couldn't quite find.
Two does not say, "Came to believe IN a Power greater than ourselves,"
but "Came to believe THAT a Power greater than ourselves..." could
help us become sane, happy people. For instance, the Group is
greater than I am as an
individual...which would make it a Greater Power. Whatever you
look to as a Higher Power, you must remember that in Step Three
you turn...not just your compulsive behavior, but your will and
your life...over to that Higher Power. So that whatever is uncovered
in the process of taking Steps Four and Five...whatever your difficulty...you
must remember that you have turned it over...and then keep on
Anonymous is an organization of people helping each other to recover
from the disease of alcoholism. The Twelve Steps were written
by the founders of the AA fellowship as guidelines to aid alcoholics
find a better way of life without the use of alcohol. We who have
become aware of their philosophy of life have found these Steps
invaluable in our "Search for Serenity."
have found that most of us have created needless mental, physical,
and spiritual problems for ourselves because of our own compulsive
behavior. The dictionary gives us a psychological definition of
compulsion as being; "An irresistible repeated irrational impulse.""
The AA Big Book refers to "self will run riot." We may also think
of compulsion in terms of "excessive wants that dominate our normal
purpose of this outline is to help any person become aware of
the actions and reactions involved in their daily living which
have caused them to become compulsive.
guide for AA's Fourth Step was written by AA's-we have adapted
to fit any person involved in a Twelve Step Program so that they
better aware of their own compulsive behavior.
AA Big Book suggest that we take Steps Four and Five immediately
after Step Three. You're starting now to take Step Four so set
up an appointment right away to take your Fifth Step. Select your
sponsor, or a minister (being sure it is one who understands the
problem, not one who will "moralize" at you), or a doctor, or
a close-mouthed friend in the program. Give yourself about a month
to finish Step Four. And don't put off starting Step Four because
you can't find anyone "suitable" to take Step Five with.
us stress that you are not being graded on spelling, punctuation,
or grammar. This Fourth Step is for you eyes only. You're going
to tell it to someone, but this is for you. If you decide to erase
or scratch through something, don't do it. It might be one of
the keys that would unlock some part of your personality that
is now hidden from you. And remember, you can't take a perfect
inventory, but you can do your honest best. And let us assure
you that your honest best certainly will be very, very good.
book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions states: "Creation gave
us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn't be complete
human beings. If men and women didn't exert themselves to be secure
in their person, made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter,
there would be no survival. If they didn't reproduce, the earth
wouldn't be populated. If there were no social instinct, if men
cared nothing for the society of one another, there would be no
society. So these desires...for the sex relation, for material
and emotional security, and for companionship...are perfectly
necessary and right, are surely God-given." (pg. 43)
is when these instincts are warped and bent out of shape that
we get in trouble, for their distortion brings pain. The compulsive
behavior helped to escape from such pain. And this is what your
inventory is about...to help you recognize those instincts of
yours that are warped and out of control, and develop awareness
of yourself and your reactions.
will want to write out the resentments, fears, guilts, hates,
and sexual hang-ups that you can remember. What you want to be
aware of is your reaction to what happened to you. A moral inventory
deals with feelings-both good and bad. Don't get into what was
done to you (i.e. "I resented my mother because she favored my
sister and didn't love me" or "I hated my father for whipping
me in front of my friends"). Or what you did to someone (i.e.
"I used to tell on my brother so I'd look good to my parents,"
or "I felt superior to my brothers and sister because my parents
down the things that you remember and feel the pain of embarrassment,
fear, or guilt. Where were you at fault and what is it about it
that hurt you now. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions reads,
"Since Step Four is but the beginning of a lifetime practice,
it can be suggested that we first have a look at those personal
flaws which are acutely troublesome and fairly obvious. Work on
getting to the root of the big problems now. Dig in and let the
pressure begin to ease off." (pg 51)
you find that any question awakens some painful or distressing
memory, write it down (even though it is not an answer to that
particular question). Search out and fearlessly put down on paper
those things that are painful, embarrassing, fill you with fear,
shame, or any other uncomfortable feelings (which could be guilt,
is a long outline. Don't let it scare or dissuade you. Take each
question and in your own words write out your answer-let it all
not tear up any part of it. If you feel the statement you made
was wrong, make a notation as to why it is wrong. Promise yourself
to be honest and fearless. Trust us when we tell you that your
rewards will be great. Some people have been discouraged in taking
an inventory because they don't feel they have become honest enough,
or can remember everything that happened to them. Just do your
best-your honest best. The same about memory. We-no one-is capable
of remembering every incident of their lives, so deal with what
you are capable of remembering. Now.
keep in mind that the Fourth Step is not dealing with changing
anything. An inventory doesn't change things, it simply lists
things. Your inventory is only a story of your feelings and acts
from the beginning until now. "We went back through our lives.
Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty." (AA Big Book. pg
have found that it helps to carry around a pocket size notebook
so that they could jot down anything that pops into their head.
It will be useful to you in your inventory. It really doesn't
matter if you write information down that could be slightly incorrect
insofar as dates, places, etc. Just get it down! Arrange to have
a safe place to put your Fourth Step inventory. Nothing should
be left out "because someone might see it who isn't supposed to."
Once it is transferred to the main inventory you can throw it
(the pocket notations) away. Remember, in Step Four we put down
all the things that we wince at...just remembering them we screw
our eyes closed and think "Oh no!" or "Damn!" "Not that!" Just
write it down. It is not hurting anyone but you.
what the AA Big Book has to say about the Fourth Step (pg 64-71).
And The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (pg 43-55). The AA
Big Book refers to the "...wreckage of your past..." and from
this we are tempted to deal only with the problems left in the
wake of our compulsive behavior...the problems outside of us.
The problems that were created as the result of our compulsive
behavior. But...Steps Four and Five deal with how the past has
affected our world within. How our negative feelings about ourselves
and others have wrecked us spiritually, mentally, and physically.
The AA Big Book instructs us to write about fears (hates), resentments
(guilts), or our sexual hang-ups. Breaking these instructions
down into three parts helps to hurry things along. Most of our
patterns are set up in childhood and early adolescence. Therefore,
your inventory will be divided into three parts:
Childhood 2. Adolescence 3. Adulthood
birth, we are exposed to our parent's behavior, beliefs, expectations
and attitudes. These were based on their parent's behavior, beliefs,
attitudes, etc...back through the generations. So, since we can't
really pin the blame, let's instead get about the job of finding
begin if parents were too young, to old, too poor, too rich, to
children, only one child, want a boy and got a girl, wanted a
girl and got a boy,
parents didn't get to finish high school, parents had to get married
parents couldn't cope with responsibility, had to give up a career,
had a lack of financial security, were sick either emotionally
or physically, threatened "not to love" children as they didn't
"measure up", death of a parent, divorce, etc., etc., etc.
mothers make their children feel guilty because they have to work.
(They usually appear as a "good woman" who has sacrificed her
life working and
depriving herself for her children). This attitude automatically
puts the child in a
never ending debt of guilt for being alive and so much of a problem.
Or fathers play the same game by such statements as, "if I hadn't
has such a large family I could have been a great man..." some
neurotic mothers try and make their children feel guilty by telling
them what a hard time they had giving birth. There are parents
who make excuses for your bad behavior...teaching you how to excuse
anything you want to do; or parents who would not punish you and
taught you how to put things off; or who overprotected you; or
who gave you no tools to face life as it really is; or alcoholic
parents; or parents who were too strict, forcing a child to act
like an adult which then forces the adult to act like a child
to be perfect in all things, or gives them a model (sister, brother,
friend etc.) and constantly compares the child with the other
persons, etc., etc., etc.
remember, if you have gotten smart enough to figure out that your
were your big problem, then you must go one step further and figure
out what you can and will do about it. This is the purpose of
the Fourth Step. The purpose is not your parents inventory, if
the above paragraph sounded like it. Your parents did the best
job they knew how, sometimes it was good job and other times it
was a bad job. It is to help you become aware of your attitudes,
emotions, inappropriate behavior (and notice, please, that this
is behavior inappropriate for you), so that you may
begin life anew.
of you will object to many of the questions posed, because you
own character defects have not been so glaring. To these it can
be suggested that a conscientious examination is likely to reveal
the very defect the objectionable questions are concerned with.
One can get a mind that is so "closed" that it doesn't realize
it is closed. Because the surface record hasn't looked too bad,
many of us have been abashed to find that this is so simply because
we have buried these defects so deep under thick layers of self-justification.
Sick justifications that rationalize anything, whatever the defects,
have finally ambushed us into compulsive behavior and misery.
thoroughness ought to be the watchword when taking inventory.
In this connection we write it out to get clear thinking and an
honest appraisal. It is our first tangible evidence of our complete
willingness to move forward.
a final word...
try and quit conning yourself that you need to get into the "right
take this step. You're in the right mood to take this step when
you are ready to quit hurting and get well. All of our lives,
we have tried to "think our way into action." This time, we must,
"act our way into right thinking." We who have taken this step
can tell you that it works.
didn't know how it worked before we took it, and we can't tell
you how it works after we took it...so quite worrying about that.
you are seeking is not mere "relief"...you'll get that, don't
worry. What will
come will be real joy in living. Believe us, you can get it, and
a giant step toward getting it is to dump the accumulated garbage
that you are now carrying around.
get your pen and paper and begin!
Final words before you start: if you honestly don't know the answer
to a question, then just indicate that you don't know. But try
and answer each question in the best way that you can.
remember...if any question suggests an area of discomfort (trouble),
then write it out...get it down on paper...get rid of it!
Strive for Progress, NOT Perfection!
End of General Directions
1. What kind of relationship did your mother have with her parents?
2. What kind of relationship did your father have with his
3. Were you wanted at birth?
4. Write out the circumstances of your family at the time
of your birth.
Things such as:
a. Family size
b. Age differences (Your parents, brothers
c. Financial status
d. Was there laughter?
g. Were other relatives living with you?
h. Other circumstances?
5. In general, describe what you think your family thought of
a. Did you feel your parents' attitude
toward you was different than other
b. How old were you at the birth of brothers
c. How did you feel about the new arrivals?
d. Were either of your parents sick enough
to need hospitalizations?
e. Were you separated from any important
f. Was there fear or guilt about
this separation...in other words, did you feel
6. Were you threatened by the Boogey Man or the Devil if
a. If so, what were your fears in this
7. A child is made to feel guilty about his/her normal sexual
This comes about by his/her being caught and
punished for touching
himself/herself, or being caught masturbating,
or playing "Doctor", or
for participating in group masturbation. Many
parents tell children that
sexual feelings are evil and must be punished.
With no sex education,
and given this sort of teaching, a child will
naturally distort what he/she
knows about sex. When a child is exposed to
fully developed nude
persons (for instance in the bathroom
at home, or in public), he/she
may begin to feel inadequacy in adult life,
even after the person is a
thoroughly developed adult.
a. Write down any of the above experiences
that you have had or
make you feel
8. Did you have a difficult time pleasing one or both of your
a. Were you constantly directed and redirected
by your parents?
b. Did you obey docilely?
c. Did you have feelings of distress
d. Were you afraid of the dark?
e. Were you afraid to fight?
f. Or were you afraid not to fight because
of pressure from your mother
or father or older
brothers or sisters or others?
9. Did your parents submit to your whims and immature demands
of the time?
a. Did you have temper tantrums?
b. How did your parents punish you? By
trying to reason, or was it physical?
c. How did you react to punishment?
10. What kind of marriage do you think your parents had?
a. If they fought, did you resent it?
b. Did it scare you?
c. Were you used to breaking up their
d. Did you take one side or the other?
e. Were your parents preoccupied with
f. Did they lack awareness of your needs?
g. Was there an absence of affection,
concern, or loving attention in your
11. If your parents were from different religions, did you feel
confused about it?
a. What particular idea of "God" was
impressed upon you?
b. Did you reject this concept because
it seemed inadequate?
c. If you did reject this idea, did you
imagine you had abandoned the God
d. Did your parents teach you that God
was a loving God or a punishing
12. Were you afraid of storms?
13. List all the feelings of guilt, fear, resentments, you had
toward each person
in your life as a child (not your
14. Did you feel you were "bad"?
a. Did you put yourself into situations
that caused others to punish you?
15. List the first time that you ever stole anything?
a. Inventory all your childhood thefts.
16. How old were you when you first masturbated?
a. Were you ever caught and made to feel
b. Did you feel guilty even though you
c. What other kinds of sexual curiosity
were you involved in (homosexual,
with any other members of the family, anything else)?
17. If you were named after someone, what was that person like?
18. Did your family move often?
a. If so, did you make friends and then
have to break off the relationship so
often that you became
afraid to become close?
19. Do you remember starting school?
a. What were your feelings?
b. Try to remember each successive grade
in school and as you do, write
out the resentments
you felt toward teachers, pupils, anyone.
c. Any fights?
20. Did you resent your relatives, friends, or parents?
If so, list them. No
resentment is too small to mention.
The AA Big Book states,
"Resentment is the number one offender."
21. What kind of language did your parents use?
a. Were you ashamed of them for this
or anything else?
b. Did you ever see your parents in the
c. What were your feelings?
d. Did you ever see or hear your parents
e. What were your feelings?
22. In every family, a child usually has certain "chores" assigned.
a. What were yours?
b. Were they fair?
c. Could you do them in ways that would
please your parents?
d. Do you remember longing for a carefree
childhood because of the
absence of play?
23. Did your parents seem to like your friends better than they
a. Did your friends seem to like your
parents better than they did you?
b. If so, did you resent this?
24. Any bad experiences at Sunday school?
a. Or at summer camp?
25. Were you an only child?
a. Did you resent this or enjoy it?
26. Did your parents want a child of the opposite sex when they
a. Did they name you, or dress you, to
match their sex choice?
b. Did your appearance (looks, dress,
etc.) embarrass you?
c. Did you feel you were "different"
from your class mates?
27. Were you treated as a nuisance or a burden?
28. Did you treat possible friends with hostility or obnoxious
a. Did you force friends to abandon friendly
29. Did you feel your parents attitude toward you was different
parents toward their children?
Write down any other childhood memories that were painful.
Which of the above questions about childhood was the toughest
for you to answer?
Do you know why?
of Childhood Section
an adolescent relies on the misguided sex information obtained
from his peers. This can produce a number of severe problems (i.e.
never outgrowing the desire to have sex with the opposite parent,
brother, sister...sometimes the desire for sexual activities with
the parent of the same sex.) Although these are unconscious desires,
they bring on conscious guilts that have to be dealt with. Distortion
may come when a person is too young emotionally to handle adult
sex. There is involvement because of peer pressure or the desire
to please another. Not being in touch with adult feelings, pretenses
set up which then leads to anger, disappointment, and guilt. These
feelings, in turn, can have a tendency to prevent normal sexual
and emotional growth. The guilt prevents the person from talking
the feelings out with a mature adult, which may result in a need
to repeat the same pattern over and over again.
1. Write down your experience concerning the above, both heterosexual
2. Some girls are taught that men are interested in sex only,
and some boys are
taught that they must be "the greatest of all
time." These attitudes are
destructive and damaging to the total person.
a. Have you experienced
either of these attitudes?
b. Is there a pattern?
c. How has it affected
3. Did you have friends when you were an adolescent?
4. Did you consider friendly overtures a possible trick?
5. Did you have feelings of complete worthlessness?
6. What kind of friend were you?
7. What interest or lack of interest did you have in school?
8. How was your social life?
9. Did you participate in sports or creative activities such as
music, art, etc.?
10. What were the reasons for your participation or non-participation
11. Were you a trouble maker? If so, in what way?
a. Did you destroy
b. Did you resent leaders-either
physical or mental?
c. Did what seemed
to satisfy others provide no satisfaction for you?
d. Did you tend to
drift, lack initiative, be short on persistence?
e. Did you feel passive
f. Did you resent
not being the most handsome or beautiful person at
12. Did you feel you were a coward because you didn't want to
a. Of did you like
b. Were you a bully?
c. If you are a boy,
did you feel embarrassed because boys made fun of
you or girls avoided you?
d. If you are a girl,
did you feel embarrassed because girls made fun of
you or boys avoided you?
e. Were you very sensitive
to rebuff and almost automatically hostile?
13. Did you have a difficult time pleasing yourself?
a. Did it bother you
if you made mistakes?
b. Were you overly
concerned with every detail?
14. Some people feel inadequate as adults because they were at
exposed to youngsters more developed
at that time. Were you exposed to
other children in gym class or
the restrooms who were older than you and
more developed physically?
a. How did you feel
b. How do you feel
15. Did you drift in and out of relationships?
16. Did you suffer intensely from insecurities and tend to keep
people at a
17. Did you feel that deep down you lacked an identity of your
18. Did you resent not being part of a crowd?
a. Or not being a leader?
b. Or not being "in"?
19. Were you shy or outgoing?
a. How are you now?
20. Does any particular type of person make you shy?
21. If you dropped out of school explain your feelings and reasons?
22. Anything happen to you in high school that was a continuing
23. Did your parents compare you to other family members or friends?
a. Did you resent them
for wanting you to be like someone else?
24. How did you get the attention of your family?
25. Did you have great longings for someone to care for you?
a. Did you make an
effort to appear self-sufficient, independent of others,
b. Did you pout, sulk,
be a good child, have temper tantrums, act like a
26. Do you remember the kind of lies you told (if any)?
a. How did you feel
when you got caught lying?
27. What was the most embarrassing incident of your adolescence?
a. Are there any others
that you remember?
28. Did you have great difficulty in giving or receiving love
29. If sexual feeling were discounted and "put down" in your family,
there is a
strong possibility that you will feel
guilty about them. We "catch" attitudes. A
boy who's pushed to always do better,
or is criticized no matter what he
does, may find himself having trouble
in his sexual performance as an adult.
Or a girl who has been told that it is
not-okay to feel sexy may grow up to
dislike her own body and distrust her
feelings. These attitudes create
unnatural or uncomfortable sexual behavior.
a. Did you "catch"
any of these attitudes?
b. Can you see such
attitudes cropping up in your life now?
c. First sexual intercourse:
1. What were your feelings?
2. Did you feel guilty?
3. Did you feel disappointed?
4. Be as explicit about the feelings as you can.
30. List in detail any homosexual experience, masturbation fantasy,
sexual activity that you remember from
this time. Keep in mind that we are
not concerned about "with whom" or "on
what date" or "how often"...rather,
we are concerned about how you felt about
31. Did you get someone pregnant?
a. Or become pregnant
b. What did you do
and how did you feel about your actions?
32. Were you ashamed of your parents?
a. Were they too old,
too fat, too sloppy, too drunk, etc.?
b. Too whatever?
33. Did you have the kind of clothes that other kids wore?
34. Did you give the spiritual side of life a fair hearing?
a. Did you choose to
believe that your human intelligence is the last word?
35. Was there enough money for the things that you needed?
a. If not, were you
resentful that there wasn't?
b. If there was, did
you take it too much for granted?
c. Did you feel any
brothers or sisters got more than you did?
d. Write out your feelings
about money as an adolescent.
e. Did you tend to
36. Did you tend to dominate some or many aspects of your life?
37. Were you the kind of child you would want to have?
38. Were you a thief?
39. Were you ever double-promoted (skipped a grade)?
a. If so, did you have
trouble catching-up emotionally?
b. Were you held back
c. How did you act?
d. How did you feel...did
you feel uncomfortable because you were
younger, older, than the other students?
40. Were you undependable as a friend...breaking off relationships
explanation when someone or something
who seemed better came along?
41. Did you pit one member of your family against another?
42. What was the best experience you had during this period of
a. The worst?
We've covered a lot of ground on these questions. Now, is there
anything that made you particularly uncomfortable when writing
about it? Have you put down everything that you can remember now
that bugged you then? Even the simplest, most nit- picking things
are important if they trouble you. Put them down now.
of Adolescence Section
Are you afraid of getting too close to another person for fear
of being rejected?
2. Do you test your relationships repeatedly, looking for slights
indifference in order to find some ground for
3. Do you reject others before they can reject you?
4. Are you so thin-skinned that you have trouble admitting any
a. List some of your weaknesses that
you are able to accept.
b. How well do you accept yourself in
your own humanness?
c. Are you able to be less defensive
about these weaknesses?
5. Define Love.
a. What do you feel it is?
b. Do you drift in and out of relationships?
c. Does it seem that people mean little
d. Do you feel the desire for mothering/fathering?
e. For active caring?
f. For unlimited acceptance?
6. If you are married or have been married... list the things
you and your mate
had in common and what your goals were at the
onset of your marriage.
a. If you have been married more than
once, do this with each marriage.
b. Now list the things that were different
7. If you married a cold, unloving person, ask yourself why you
chose that one to
be your mate?
a. Did you use it as an excuse to find
b. Was your mother or father cold and
unloving...and is this your chance to
get even with
them through your spouse?
8. Why did you get married?
a. Or...why haven't you gotten married?
b. Was the marriage for the right reasons?
c. Did you marry earlier than your peer
e. Do you accept or resent the responsibilities
of marriage and family?
f. Do you share in the responsibilities
for the families' problems?
9. Are you able to be cheerful when everything seems to be leading
10. Do you resist the impulse to complain to others about your
a. Are you able to forgive those who
have injured you?
11. Do you continue to assume excessive responsibility if there
is no longer a
12. Do you allow your family to come between you and your spouse?
13. Do you make excessive demands and expectations of your spouse?
14. Are you able to admit that you have no authority or power
over any other
15. Do you create a pleasant, cheerful environment?
a. Do you try to?
16. Do you feel all human beings are basically good and sensitive?
17. Are you still a baby in your parent's eyes and take advantage
a. Do you resent it?
18. Are you a baby in the eyes of your spouse?
a. Do you resent it?
19. Do you infringe on the rights and dignity of others?
20. Have your parents gotten you out of trouble you should have
been able to
handle by yourself?
21. Do you gossip about others?
22. Are you comfortable with someone who is less fortunate than
23. Do you know how to respond to the needs of others?
a. To give of yourself?
24. When, and how, and in just what instances did your selfish
pursuit of sex
relations damage other people and
a. What people were hurt?
b. How badly?
c. Did you spoil your marriage and injure
d. Did you jeopardize your job or your
standing in the community?
e. Just how did you react to these situations
at the time?
f. Did you burn with guilt that
nothing could extinguish?
g. Did you have bouts of depression?
h. Or did you insist that you were the
pursued and not the pursuer...and thus
25. How have you reacted to frustration in sexual matters?
a. When denied, have you become vengeful
b. Did you "take it out" on other people?
c. If there was rejection or coldness
in your home, did you use this as a
reason for promiscuity?
d. Did you tend to be promiscuous with
little or no lasting satisfaction or
26. Many people who are lonely and don't really know how to love
senselessly in "sexcapades." The
temporary loss of loneliness makes one
call sex "love," but when the sexual
partner is gone, it makes for an even
greater feeling of loneliness.
a. Have you ever experienced this?
27. Are laws made for other people?
a. Do you make up your own laws as you
28. If revenge were possible right now, who would be the top people
on your list?
29. What are your present feelings about sex, parents, brothers,
grandparents, friends, your children,
your mate, your intimate friends, your
job, on being a compulsive person,
finances, divorce or marriage (depending
on your present status).
30. What are your hopes and goals?
31. Does diversion and distraction interfere with your adult goals?
a. Do you believe that your situation
is not really hopeless and that you are
capable of improving
b. Are you able to feel that tomorrow
will be brighter if you've had a bad day?
32. Do you use sex as a punishment or a reward?
33. How much time do you spend with your family?
a. With the program?
34. What is your greatest fear?
35. What is your sex life like?
a. Is it as mature as you might want
it to be?
b. Are you disappointed in your mate
for not fulfilling your sexual needs?
c. Are you careless of your partner's
d. Write out your ideal of a healthy
36. Do you engage in sex in order to build your own ego by a feeling
37. Are you afraid of being sexually rejected?
38. Are you ashamed of your body or the way you look?
a. Write out what's wrong with the physical
b. Write out the best things about you
c. Now write out the things about yourself
that you are ashamed of.
39. Do you feel you are still trying to please your parents?
40. Do you drive yourself to the point of exhaustion?
41. Do you accept that you can only do your best?
42. Do you use people to get what you want?
43. Do you expect others to pour out love, affection, and services?
44. Do you gossip or perform "character assassination" on others
in order to
"make it" in the business or social
a. Or do you do this in an effort to
feel superior (to the one gossiped about)?
45. If you are a thief, what have you stolen?
a. Don't forget to include employer's
time and the good feelings others had
and you destroyed.
b. Have you used your employer's facilities,
supplies or equipment for your
46. Do you have a pattern of getting sick?
a. Do you go to doctors repeatedly without
finding anything organically
b. Do you use illness as an excuse to
avoid responsibilities or to get
47. In business relationships, write out your resentments toward
bosses and co-
a. Do you feel jealous of them?
b. Are you concerned that others in your
office will get more money or
c. Do you try to prove you can "take
it" on a job that is rough and tough?
d. Do you complain about how hard you
e. List all the negative feelings you
have about the people involved in your
f. Are you indifferent and/or careless
on your job?
g. Do you think you should be the boss?
h. Do you use the excuse that your boss,
or your family or friends, shouldn't
expect so much
i. Are you able to laugh at yourself
for sometimes trying to be other than
that which you
j. Do you feel good about yourself
when you complete a job because you
want to finish
48. If you are divorced, or getting one, write out your negative
feelings about the
situation and the people involved. Resentments,
fears, guilts, etc.,
concerning your relationship with your
mate, including feelings about your
a. Do you expect the children to make
a decision on which parent they love
b. How well are you able to accept situations
you cannot change?
c. Are you able to back away from conflict
49. If married, write out exactly how you feel about your spouse
a. Are they living up to your expectations?
b. What are your expectations?
50. Do you feel that no one really understands you?
51. Is your need for affection so intense that the demands for
it may be
exhausting in a sexual relationship?
52. Are your expectations unreasonable?
53. How do you think you would be different if "they" were out
of your life?
54. Are you uncomfortable in social situations?
a. Do you have trouble introducing people
to each other?
b. Are you able to relax or do you find
55. Do you still feel different from other members of the program
or apart from
a. Do you feel superior or inferior?
b. Do you avoid looking at yourself by
making statements such as, "Oh well,
some of us are sicker than others?"
56. Do you judge or make fun of people who appear to be less fortunate
mentally, physically, or morally
than you think you are?
57. Do you compare yourself to others to make yourself suffer
by picking people
who are further along in the program
than you, or people who are talented in
areas you are not?
58. Are you able to accept the facts of a situation, thereby deciding
what to do
59. The only person you can adequately compare yourself to is
a. How were you five days ago?
b. Five weeks ago?
c. Five months ago?
d. At your first meeting?
e. How are you now?
60. List every act you swore you would take to the grave, disclosing
to no one.
Be open and honest. (Remember,
life gave us all good and bad experiences.
Usually the things you are most
ashamed of are the very acts that made
you try to grow into something
of someone better. If you want freedom, you
have to let go of it all. The AA
Big Book states..."We will not regret the past
nor wish to shut the door on it...No
matter how far down the scale we have
gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others..." (pg. 83-84) If you
want to help bring peace into the
lives of the people you will be dealing with
later, you must find it in your
own life first.
61. In what ways are you the responsible person?
62. Are you a tightwad?
a. What are your fears concerning money?
b. Do you spend money with no thought
c. Are you heavily in debt?
63. Do you try to fill your life with the gratification of impulses?
64. Is your personal appearance particularly careless or prideful?
a. On sight, do you judge people by their
appearance (whether sloppy or
b. Are you never satisfied with yourself
65. What things make you feel greedy, envious, angry?
66. Do you strive for wealth or reputation, or both, to the exclusion
values in life?
67. Are you scornful of ideas that weren't your own?
68. Do you tell others how bad you have been or are, or do you
go to the other
extreme and tell people how great
you are or were? (The first
communication can be pride in reserves;
the second can be a way to give
your ego a false sense of security).
69. Write your feelings for parents, brothers, sisters, and other
a. What resentments or hates do you still
b. What still makes you feel guilty about
70. Do you pad your expense account or use household money to
buy things for
71. Do you feel a resentment toward another member of the program?
72. What kinds of things do you lie about the most?
73. Do you still need to play the Big Shot?
74. Do you strive for success in a desperate effort to deny inner
needs, to repel
the feelings of emptiness?
75. Are you hurt when people turn away and won't play your games?
76. Do you resent not getting as much attention as you did when
brand new in the program?
77. Do you worry about other people's Higher Power not being as
a. Or maybe even better?
b. How do you feel about people who claim
to be Godly?
78. What is your conception of "God as you understand Him"?
79. Are you comparing yourself with others in spiritual growth?
a. Have you known someone who had a spiritual
approach you wish you
b. Do you feel superior or inferior spiritually?
80. Do you still feel guilty about masturbation?
81. Do you feel superior because you have more education, money,
"right color skin", social background,
vocation, or any other seeming
a. List your feelings of superiority.
82. Do you feel inferior because you have less of the above?
a. List your feelings of inferiority.
83. Do you think you are superior to the general run of people?
a. List all the ways in which you are
84. Do you think you are inferior to the general run of people?
a. List all the ways in which you are
85. Do you have a hard time getting to places on time?
86. Do you resent others who don't seem to have problems finding
87. Are you aware of any clear adult goals?
88. Do you seek enjoyment or entertainment of one kind or another
rarely capable of thorough enjoyment?
89. Do you turn play into work? (i.e. games, sports, hobbies that
are not fun or
90. Are you still judging the outside of others by the inside
91. Have you bothered to ask the people who seem happy how they
92. How much time do you spend with the welfare and happiness
a. Have you learned how to hear other
people, to see them, to know them?
93. Do you still envy people who do not appear to be compulsive?
94. Are you hostile because you don't like the hand life has dealt
95. What are your present fears? List them.
96. How do you presently get other people's attention?
c. Temper tantrums?
d. Being extra good (and letting them
e. Playing stupid?
f. Frustrating others' activities?
h. Other ways?
of Adulthood Section
questions - Here and now
In addition to your compulsive behavior, what character defects
your financial instability?
a. Do you tend to be impulsive about
2. Did fear and inferiority about fitness for your job destroy
your confidence and
fill you with conflict?
a. Did you try to cover up these feelings
or inadequacy by bluffing, cheating,
lying, or evading
b. Or by griping that others failed to
recognize your truly exceptional
3. Are your standards for yourself unduly high?
4. Did you overvalue yourself and play the "big shot"?
a. Did you have such unprincipled ambition
that you double-crossed and
5. Are you extravagant?
a. Do you recklessly borrow money, caring
little whether it is repaid or not?
6. Are you a penny-pincher, refusing to support your family properly?
a. Did you try to cut corners financially?
b. What about "quick" money deals?
The most common symptoms of emotional insecurity are worry, anger,
self-pity and depression. These stem from causes which sometimes
seem to be within us, and at other times without. To take inventory
in this respect we ought to consider carefully all personal relationships
which bring continuous and recurring troubles. It should be remembered
that this kind of insecurity may arise in any area where instincts
are threatened. Questioning directed to this end might run like
this: Looking at both past and present, what sex situations have
caused me anxiety, bitterness, frustration or depression? Appraising
each situation carefully and fairly, can you see where you have
been at fault?
these perplexities beset you because of selfishness or unreasonable
demands? Or, if your disturbance was seemingly caused by the behavior
of others, why do you lack the ability to accept conditions you
you feel that faith and dependency on a Higher Power is somewhat
weak, even cowardly? Has your inability to accept much on faith
been handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasonable
prejudice? Do you dissect spiritual beliefs and practices of spiritually-minded
persons as a basis of wholesale condemnation? What would your
choice be if you fearlessly had to face the proposition that God
either is or He isn't?
are the sort of fundamental inquiries that can disclose the source
discomfort and indicate whether you are able to alter you own
conduct and so adjust yourself to self-discipline. Suppose a particular
insecurity constantly arouses the same feelings again and again.
You can ask to what extent your own mistakes have fed your gnawing
anxieties, and if the actions of others are part of the cause,
what can you do about that? If you are unable to change the present
state of affairs, are you willing to take the measures necessary
to shape your life conditions as they are?
I really willing to forgive myself? It takes a great deal of humility
to be ready for the final phase of your inventory. If we accept
ourselves as we are, with all our shortcomings as revealed in
our inventory, we can go to another human being with our inventory
and reveal all there is to know about ourselves. If we are truly
humble in the sense that we are beginning to rely increasingly
on our Higher Power in more of our affairs, then we are ready
for the last phase.
you made your appointment you need only to keep that appointment
and verbally discuss every portion of your inventory.
Difficulties commonly experienced are:
1. Will the other person keep my inventory
2. Will the other person laugh at me?
3. Will the other person think me silly?
4. Will the other person think me ridiculous?
5. Will the other person think me weird?
6. Will the other person think me despicable?
7. Will the other person think me base?
8. Will the other person become disgusted
9. Will the other person reject me?
In taking your inventory you wrote down all these fears realizing
they stem from our need to present a "good" image of ourselves
to everyone. We fear that if we don't, they will have nothing
to do with us. We will be isolated and outcast and, therefore,
worthless. On closer examination, it is the need to "doctor" or
distort our image which has been the real barrier between us and
the rest of the world, which in fact do isolate us in spite-or
because-of the false front we present. Nothing draws us to others,
and others to us like honesty and humility. They represent true
humanity and that is what really attracts us to each other.
1. Feeling more a part of the human race.
2. Closer to our fellows.
3. Self worth increases.
4. A sense of well-being comes over us
as never before.
5. We get an inkling of what serenity
" A friend is someone who knows everything there is to know about
you, and loves you in spite of it."
of Conclusion Section