Step 4 and 5 kicked my ass. I’m glad to be just another bozo on the bus, but this bozo was running out of meetings practically weeping. The emotional upheaval of step 4 aka Pandora’s Box of Pain, aka grievous fortification was an anguish I didn’t even know existed.
My insides wanted to collapse; something no one should have to witness–so I ran. I ran outside, took a left, right into a graveyard.
Between my tears and peoples’ graves and the metaphorical rain cloud above my head I decided it was all a little too intense. Knowing what would help most was the experience, strength, and hope of another alcoholic; I headed back up the stairs just as a friend was coming down. She told me I was in a safe place and I knew she was right.
Step 5 was almost as amazing as people said it would be. It took almost 4 hours to go through the resentments I had against myself. At the end my sponsor put her hand on my shoulder and said, “You never have to be that person again.”
Fast-forward a couple hours. I’m standing in the kitchen eating a salad, nighttime, late dinner as usual. All of a sudden my throat started closing, breathing was shallow and breaths were broken. I looked down at my salad…almonds!!! I’ve developed allergies as an adult before and despite the fact that I’ve never been allergic to nuts, I figured that the allergy gods were rearing their ugly allergy heads.
To avoid an untimely death I went to the walk-in ER and told them I was having a fatal allergic reaction. The doctor saw me almost immediately.
“This is not an allergic reaction,” he said calmly.
“Yes it is.” I said shakily and dumbfounded, you stewpid doctor.
“Have you gone through anything emotional today?”
I paused. Shut the fuck up.
“Yeah, Step 5.” I answered
“What’s step 5?” He asked, I was almost offended that he didn’t know. This is all about me, dammit.
So I told him.
“Jesus, yeah, that’ll do it. You’re having a panic attack.”
Classic, the only panic attack I’ve ever had was after the 5th step. My resentments almost took me out! Literally! The next day at a meeting I demanded $537 out of the basket for my ER visit due to step work. I was only half serious.