This surely sounds like a tall order! But much needed. For this is the way we get rid of all the shame and the guilt, so we are able to forgive ourselves and others.
Doing this step for the first time, when I was just newly sober, was quite scary! I had no problem putting down on paper all my wrongs in step 4, or even telling "god" as I understood him! But telling another human being? OMG. How am I supposed to tell someone of all my wrongs? ALL MY WRONGS? Wouldn't that lead to more guilt and shame? And what is the person listening going to think of me? Oh my goodness, this just seemed like way too much. But at the same time all the guilt and shame that I already had piled on, was just eating me up. I didn't know how I was going to be able to live with it all hanging over me, let alone stay sober. And saying sober is the most important thing in my life today.
My first 5th step was the hardest. I was in so much pain and so scared. I remember talking to my sponsor before we met to do the 5th step. She said, that most importantly I have to feel that I am ready to do it. She also assured me that I didn't have to disclose all of my wrongs that one time, I could do another 4th and 5th step later. She also explained that saying it all out loud will free me from the burden that I have been caring, so it's all up to me of how much I want to get rid off.
Finally we met. I reluctantly started reading my list which I made in step 4. Tears started rolling down my face. As I was reading, everything become real, and even I couldn't believe the things I have done. My sponsor gently reminded me that it was ok to have these feelings and it was ok to hurt. She understood as only another alcoholic would; we all have done horrible things under the lash of alcoholism. So I continued...I started to feel a bit of relief...slowly...it was all coming out and leaving me.
I recently did another 5th step, as AA suggests to continue doing steps thru sobriety. It was so much different than my first few. There are still some things on my list, but good grief nothing like when I was drinking! And that is a true gift of sobriety! I live a pretty normal life now, and I do pretty normal things, though there is always room for improvement! What an amazing journey this has been so far!
Happy, Joyous and Free! and Sober!
Click HERE to read AA Step Five.