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It comes as no surprise the 12 steps are in a certain order for a reason and each step prepares you for the next – there’s a method to the madness. For Step six, it is crucial that you are ready to have all your defects of character removed. The previous steps promise freedom, happiness, serenity, and peace among other things, but Step Six promises to make the feeling of uselessness and self-pity disappear.
For as long as I can remember those two words, uselessness and self-pity, have been part of my life. Therefore, I was excited to tackle this step and more than ready to no longer feel useless and pitiful. It may seem silly to think someone would not be ready to relieve themselves of their defects. However, this step is about change, and change tends to cause fear and anxiety. I felt anxious, but was ready to commit to this change and had already begun to change so much about my life – this was the next big step. Active addiction turned me into a stranger, and I did things and acted like someone I did not even recognize. Even though I was no longer using, I still had to work on who I was as a person.
I had a list of my defects that I discovered from working the fourth step – some I was aware of, some were new to me. My sponsor recommended I read the book Drop the Rock, which covers steps six and seven. Each defect is like a rock and can either sink your recovery if it’s held onto or block further progress.
I reached a breakthrough point and I was prepared to let go.
I prayed to my Higher Power to walk with me on this journey and relieve me of these defects of character. Every day I prayed. If I noticed myself acting out on one of them, I called my sponsor and we came up with an amends to make, and a new way of thinking. We discussed the defect and talked about what the opposite of it is and what I had to do for that change to happen. Over time, I was able to recognize a difference in my new character. I began to like who I was becoming, and that says everything in and of itself – no more self-pity, but rather growth and a new outlook on my life in recovery.