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Deconstructing Step Six of AA's Addiction Recovery Process

Christine O'Kelly
Nov 13, 2007
In step four of AA's addiction recovery process, the addict made a mental inventory of themselves. In step five, the addict reveals his or her own character defects to another person, taking accountability for them.

Now in step 6 of AA's addiction recovery process, it's time for the addict to take action and allow God to remove those defects from their character.

Some examples of common defects of character include:

- Anger
- Gluttony
- Greed
- Pride
- Envy
- Lust
- Sloth
- Arrogance
- Boasting
- Cheating
- Close-mindedness
- Criticizing
- Dependency
- Dishonesty
- Fear
- Gossiping
- Hopelessness
- Impatience
- Insulting
- Intolerance
- Lying
- Negative Thinking
- Self pity

Maybe It Is Time to Let Go of the Defects in Your Character That Are Destroying Your Life

Definitions:

1) Defects: blemish; fault; imperfection
2) Character: the complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person or a group

As you become more familiar with the sixth step, we realize the world is he world is not out to get you. You may find that you were not the only 'sane' person in a world full of idiots.

When working through the sixth step, may people realize that it was themself who who was declaring war against millions and that entering into a world with those odds is insanity.

Taking Accountability for Our Own Actions

According to the doctrines of AA, our Higher Power will not do for us what we are supposed to do ourselves. This law upsets a lot of people because it places responsibility of our lives on our shoulders.

If we want to eat, we must get a job, earn money, and buy food. If we want a car to drive, we must do the same. We cannot expect other people or some higher power to take care of our every need while we shirk our responsibilities.

If we have failed then it is of our own doing. Other people and situations may have made or do make it more difficult for us to succeed than for others, but this is still no excuse for not taking the reigns of responsibility in our lives.

Waiting on the side lines for our lives to take off is foolish. What is even worse is when the addict places his or her happiness in the behavior of another human being. Only when our sense of self is derived from within and we take complete responsibility for our life do our lives truly begin to flourish.

When We Reinvent Ourselves, We Reinvent Our Lives

Many have said that the definition of insanity is doing the same think over and over again yet expecting different results. If the addict continue to harbor all of the character defects that they admitted they had in steps four and five, how can they possibly expect the results to change? In order to transcend that which causes the addict to drink or take drugs, he or she must release that which consumes and clouds the character.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is an author for The Mark Houston Recovery Center, a drug rehab in Texas that offers a 90-day program for males designed around the principals of the traditional 12 steps to recovery. The team is passionate about its mission to help men free themselves from alcohol and drug addiction and recreate and reclaim their lives.
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