My Journey to Healing, as a spouse of a recovering Porn addict.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Personal inventory (step 4)

I am trying to create a personal inventory.  I don't know how.  I have the manual to help me, but that is it.  Well I have my Heavenly Father too.  I have been praying and thinking about it for several weeks.  Today during nap time I sat down and wrote 3 pages.  Yet I came away feeling both like I accomplished something and like I didn't do it right.  What I wrote feels more like a blog post than an inventory.  I fell like I did it wrong, and yet I wrote what was in my heart and in my head.    I am more or less the facilitator of our group (waiting for final approval from the Bishop) I have no one to advise me on my inventory.  No one to help me complete step 5.  I had an idea of who to go to, but Now I don't think it feels right.  I don't feel the inventory is complete, or done right.  But how could it not be done right? There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It's personal and there are many many ways to do it.  I think mostly I just feel inadequate.  I think there has been very few places and situations in my life that I have felt like What I have done was good enough or that I was good enough.  I grew up without much praise.  Not that my parents were bad parents, they had many many struggles that I saw and knew that they were doing their best.  But through growing up I was rarely made to feel like I had done all I could.  Often times through my husbands addiction that has been thrown at me by him in many ways.  It has been thrown at me by so many people in so many places.

I have had praise too.  Every month when I teach people thank me for my lesson, tell me how wonderful it was.  Yet I still feel so inadequate.  and writing my inventory I feel the same.  It isn't the processes of it that makes me feel that way, it was a relief to write it, freeing.  Yet Now a couple hours later I feel like I did it all wrong.  Probably because The Adversary wants me to feel that way.  I wish I had someone I could share it with.  Someone in the know.  That is my prayer for now.  Along with continued prayers in the inventory because I don't feel it is finished.  I feel there is more inside that needs to come out.  not in the inadequate way, but in the helpful, search for more and let it out so you can finish healing way.


  1. I am on step 4 as well, and clueless as what I am supposed to write. I haven't written anything yet.
    Sound like if what you wrote was in your heart then it is sufficient. My husband wrote his last week, showed it to me, then he prayed about it and God led him to Mosiah 5. He got his answer there and felt it was time to let it go and he deleted it.
    It was a powerful experience for him. I wish I was there, but I am not.
    I am going to think and pray on step 4 this weekend and see what happens.

    Don't be to hard on yourself...Remember you are better than you think you are:)I am saying this to myself as well. Satan is tricky and can make me feel inadequate with one thought.

    HUGS and Prayers to you my friend!

  2. Hi there,

    I have done many Step 4's/5's as well as listened to many Step 5's. I have found through it all that there is no "right" way to do it. I always tell my sponsee's what worked for me through my inventory and they take it and chew on it and inevitably end up doing it their own way - which is the RIGHT way. So I'll do the same here. For me, since I moved a lot it worked best for me to split my inventory up into age categories/places lived. I think by the end I had 8-10 different segments. Then I would focus on a particular time period/place lived and just work on remembering everything from that time period and I would write down key words to help remember it later. I wasn't actually inventorying yet, I was just coming up with memories. I did that for each time period/place lived. Inevitably thinking about one memory could and would bring up memories of other times and I'd categorize the memories as they came up.

    Its important to note that I also got a blessing before all of this happened. I asked my Bishop to ask HF to help me with my memories and to help me remember anything that is "pertinent to my recovery." I'm sure I have a whole load of memories out there that are best left as a memory. Once I had that blessing I trusted it and I believed that anything that came up was something HF wanted me to process and it was for my own good.

    Then got to the nitty gritty. For each memory I would write about it and answer the following questions: Who did I hurt? How did I hurt them? What do I need to change to not do it again? How did I feel about this event at it's occurance? How do I feel about it now? How will I allow my Savior to heal me from this?

    I know this seems like a lot of work, and this may not work for you, that's ok - but this is what I needed to do for me to feel complete. My Step 4 took me a good 4 months or so to complete. This was at an almost daily pace.

    Some things I've noticed with my sponsee's when they report their inventories that are common mistakes.

    1. Don't inventory events and feelings just surrounding the addiction. The inventory should be EVERYTHING such as manipulations, lies, drug/alcohol abuse, grudges, thefts, abuse either as the abuser or the victim. Basically it should be anything you still hold negative feelings about.
    2. Don't forget the positive! There are two inventories I recommend people do prior to the big kahuna. First, inventory the tender mercies in your life and second, inventory your Christ like attributes. This gives you a positive ground to start your big kahuna inventory with.

    Some other ways I have seen people split up their inventory are:

    1. Some write it as a complete story and it reads like a novel. This is good, but people tend to bring it too much drama doing it this way and get caught up in the whirlwind of telling a story instead of docusing on the event/feeling, accountability in it and how to heal from it.
    2. Another one of my sponsee's split hers up more by category: "Lies", "Manipulation", "Abuse", "Addiction" etc...

    Satan wants you stuck on this step because he KNOWS the reward on the other side. Freedom from all the heaviness and shame and feelings of worthlessness! He does not want you to progress so he will constantly whisper in your ear "it's not good enough", "You didn't do it right - you may as well just not do it."

    So like Sparrow said - don't be too hard on yourself. Do it to the best of your ability the first time around and if you miss stuff you can always go back and do more later. For me now, I inventory and confess stuff as it comes up so it's more of a maintenance process now.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions (you too Sparrow) and good luck! You're awesome!


  3. Sidreis, thank you this is most helpful!

  4. And my inventory has now gone from 2 pages to 8. I think I am done :) I hope I am done. I feel finished, but we shall see what tomorrow, or enxt week, or year or month brings. For now I am ready to move to step 5. I think I found someone local who has gone through AA. Just waiting for her to call me back.