Paul told me that, for him, the easiest part was to remember and list all the people he had harmed.
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When PIRs do a personal inventory, they list the things--their thoughts, feelings, character traits, and behaviors--that stand in the way of recovery and those personal strengths that can help in recovery.
A business that tries to sell useless or damaged things goes broke; a PIR who holds on to useless and unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors also goes "broke" and risks relapse.
The moral inventory in Step Four gives PIRs a practical tool for honestly and courageously facing how their addictive actions may have hurt others and harmed themselves in the process.
There is no right or wrong way to do this Step, and those who work it don't stop to try to figure out why they did what they did--they merely make a list in whatever way works best for them, trying to be as "searching and fearless" as they can be.
Author Karen Nagy outlines Steps Four through Ten: the "Relationship Steps." Mending relationships that were broken due to addiction is an ongoing task in recovery.
Many PIRs [people in recovery] also need help establishing healthy relationships.Now I've discovered that these "relationship" Steps are a balanced, healthy way even for non-PIRs to examine their own selves and their relationships with others.But the Steps are especially useful if you dating a PIR, because the skills you learn from the Steps may be helpful in your relationship.Step Four asks people to make "a searching and fearless moral inventory" of themselves.As the Big Book explains it, a personal inventory works much like a business inventory, similar to when a store owner sorts through his or her goods to see which are salable, which are damaged, and which have to be thrown out.My friend Paul told me about helping PIRs make "resentment lists." He said at first they'll say "heck no, I don't have any resentments," until they actually start listing the people and things that make them angry.