A reader asks:
By estimating, how long should it take to complete a 4th step, and in the 5th step by being honest with myself, honest with God and another human being. Can being to honest with a sponsor can cause him to turn me over to the cops from my pass behavior? How will I know how for to go when making amends and confessing short commings. Do I really have to pay back that 15,Grand I stole from the bank in order to stay clean and to live a peacfull life?
And I answer:
Well let me see.
How long should it take to complete a 4th and 5th step? Not too long. In my experience, people who agonize over it are postponing the inevitable. You don’t have to write a novel.
Can being honest with a sponsor cause him to turn you over to the cops? Yes, it can. If your story contains terrible crimes, it is my suggestion that you talk to a therapist before you talk to a sponsor. For one thing, it’s a terrible burden to put on an AA sponsor. You put that person in the position of knowing that a potentially dangerous person is going untried. AA is not a haven for criminals. It’s a place for sick people to get better.
How far do you have to go in admitting shortcomings and making amends? All I have is my AA experience. You have to go all the way. If you think you can stay sober having stolen 15 grand, and not giving it back, I don’t know, maybe you can. If you’re like me, and to drink is to die, you may not want to take a chance.
Please read the Big Book and the 12 and 12. There are further guidelines there. I don’t know if this comment is made in jest, but it asks some serious questions. To me it sounds like someone who is not willing to go to any lengths, and hoping that by making fun of a rather drastic program, he can feel superior to it. I wish him luck.