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Recovery Sandwich

Why is step 6 only one tiny little paragraph in the Big Book you ask...

After many years of reading up on step 6, from Drop the Rock, the 12x12, and anything I could get my hands on in order to understand step 6, I've come to realize that I couldn't "learn" step 6. So there is no reason to write a whole chapter or a long-winded explanation about it!

For me, step 6 was not an action step. It was not an intellectual exercise. There is no writing assignment that makes it make more sense or that prepares me to take the step.

It's a step that happens when it happens. It either does or it doesn't. I am either ready, or I need to become ready. Either I am ready or I am not ready. There is no snippet of knowledge that will suddenly make the picture clear and convince me to be ready to take step 6.

I had to have the ever-loving shit beat out of me by vodka and dope before I became ready and even then there was more I had to experience.

I took step 6 after finally getting thoroughly honest with my sponsor. After 3 years of bullshitting and half-measuring along with a nasty relapse and near-death experience, I finally accepted the truth about who I had become and that's when I became ready.

I became ready out of necessity! I HAD TO or I knew I was not going to see too many more sunrises. I finally knew and understood that alcohol was my master and I was doomed if I didn't change. I knew from the inventory that I was a total selfish douche who was running from my truth, even in recovery, and that refusal to change was going to be the painful death of me. I finally knew that and felt it in my soul.

After my 5th step, I was instructed to go home and review my step work up to that point. To sit and think if I was still lying about myself, or if I had finally told someone all my fears, my fucked up desires, my nasty habits, and behavioral patterns. Had I been honest about who and what I REALLY had become?

For me, at that moment, while sitting on my bed, alone at 26 years old I knew I was doomed. I was going to die. I was probably going to take another run at killing myself, and this time I knew I would not chicken out. I couldn't live like this anymore. I had to change or I was a dead man.

And it was at that the stillness of my room, where I finally took step 6.

I finally figured out that the work that I did between the third step prayer and the seventh step prayer had revealed to me my truth and that truth was that I had to change or die.

If you look at the third step prayer and the seventh step prayer as the bread on a sandwich, with the main ingredients being the work you did in steps 4 and 5, you get a more complete picture of how to "take" step 6.

Step 6 by itself can't happen. And that is why all the talking, reading, studying, going to workshops and lectures about the step don't get us ready. We get ready to take that step first by drinking ourselves into desperation and second by doing the 3rd, 4th, and 5th steps thoroughly and honestly. If those things don't happen, neither will step 6!

Enjoy the journey 💕

Jeff W.

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