Taking Step Four deflated my ego. It helped to make me right sized and create space in my being for my higher power to begin to work in my life. I learned some truth about myself -- that I wasn't always the nice guy I thought myself to be. I learned there as a lot wrong with me besides just drinking to much.
I discovered my part in soured relationships and began to take responsibility for my actions. Just the act of writing the fourth column took much of the fire out of my resentments. I learned that I was afraid about much of life and dependent on others to feel good about myself.
I relived and recorded embarrassing incidents in my past. I cringed recalling some of what I had done, both drunk and sober. Some of the things I used to laugh about were no longer funny. I wrote down icky secrets I'd been hiding for thirty years.
Writing my fourth was uncomfortable, painful. My disease wanted anything but the real honest truth and tried to get me off track by telling me to take short cuts -- to minimize, rationalize and justify. I put my pen down times, wanting to run. Only the date with my sponsor for the fifth kept me going.
In the end I fought through my demons and wrote my fourth step to the best of my ability. I'm sure I had some divine help to keep going, but my conscious motivation was simple. I wanted what you had. I wanted that sense of ease and comfort I saw on the faces of the oldtimers. I wanted to belong -- to be in the center of the herd. And I knew that the fourth was a key to gaining admission to the AA club.