Step Five: Coming Clean to Another Alcoholic

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Now that you have finished your written accounting of your past misdeeds and ongoing resentments, the time has come to share this heavy burden with your higher power and your sponsor. The goal behind this important step is to demonstrate you are still worthy of love and compassions despite your past transgressions, these sins do not define the person you are today in the eyes of those around you.

Most recovering alcoholics and addicts are well aware they will be sharing their fourth step moral inventory with their sponsor upon completion. Hopefully you did not let any guilt or shame impede your progress on the previous step, and have not omitted anything in your writings. Your sponsor should have a plan as to how your fifth step will be performed, if you have any ideas or preferences regarding the setting or timing of this activity you should share them with your sponsor before the planned event. It is important you feel safe and comfortable while you are sharing the content of your fourth step with your sponsor so that you will feel encouraged to be fully open and honest during this important step.

It is usually recommended that after performing your fifth step with your sponsor, you spend some time alone meditating and connecting with your higher power. Most recovering addicts and alcoholics report an immense feeling of relief and serenity after taking this step. For the first time in years they are no longer shouldering the guilt and shame of their past. If you are feeling any anxiety or trepidation about completing your fifth step, you should look forward to this relief and use it as motivation to work this step thoroughly to the best of your abilities. Whatever you do, do NOT keep anything secret from your sponsor on this step, as any omission will inhibit your progress in recovery and could lead to relapse.

The fifth step is an opportunity to shrug off the heavy burden of guilt and shame you’ve been carrying around due to your past misdeeds. It should also bolster your connection to your sponsor and higher power as you are met with compassion and understanding after disclosing the full extent of your sins. In order for you to successfully move forward in your recovery, it is crucial you make no omissions while taking this step with your sponsor. A lack of complete honesty would defeat the purpose of this step and severely damage your program of recovery. Rather than dwell on an unfounded fear of rejection by your sponsor, think of the huge weight lifting from your mind after completing this step and proceed confident in the knowledge you will be met with love and compassion by both your sponsor and higher power!

ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit