What’s the 5th Step of AA All About?

The key to Alcoholics Anonymous is the organization’s infamous 12-step program. Each and every one of these steps is perfectly aligned to help you heal mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

One of the most important steps along the way is step 5. While it might seem inconsequential and shallow, it’s actually a key tool in helping you move forward in your journey.

What Is Step 5?

Step 5 sounds simple in its instruction. It tells you to “[admit] to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

With that in mind, it seems like simply confessing the mistakes you’ve made is all you need to do. However, it goes much deeper than that. It’s actually the first step of bringing other people into your recovery journey.

Many of the prior steps focused on self-reflection and contemplating a higher power. This step takes that information and helps you begin to bring it into the world.

What Not to Do in Step 5

5th Step of AA

Step 5 is about admitting your wrongs so you can put the past behind you.

You might think that this means you should immediately begin telling everyone how sorry you are for the mistakes you’ve made. However, this is actually another step. Instead, it’s just important to focus on being willing to admit you’re sorry.

You might even want to try and justify the way you acted. Definitely avoid this, as it will just invoke anger in the affected parties.

Additionally, thinking of all the things you’ve done wrong might make you feel guilty and sad. It’s important not to focus on these feelings, as this isn’t part of the program. These feelings can drive you to start drinking once again.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, focus on putting the past behind you. What’s done is done, and nothing you can do will change those events.

Need more help on figuring out what not to do in step 5? We’re here to answer your questions. Just give us a call at 877-640-2220 Who Answers? for more info.

What You Should Do in Step 5

Step 5 is important because it gives you the opportunity to identify the exact areas of your life in which addiction has caused harm. This will help you always remember the mistakes you made so you can never make them again.

Additionally, it will help you investigate just how much alcohol has interfered with your relationships with friends, family, your higher power, and yourself.

By having the courage to tell another person about these problems, you’ll have to engage in trust. This is one key part of living a lifestyle free from alcohol. By building trust with a sponsor, you’ll be able to once again build trust in other parts of your life.

Understanding How to Be Vulnerable

Being able to admit all of these wrongs also takes a lot of vulnerability. A huge part of making a full recovery is being vulnerable, as nearly every step along the way takes a huge amount of strength and reflection.

Step 5 in particular, however, will have a huge payback for this vulnerability. It will allow you to eliminate your isolation and loneliness and reconnect with others.

By reconnecting with others, you’ll be able to experience true kinship with family, friends, and your definition of a higher power.

In the end, many people find a lot of comfort and relief when step 5 is complete. Not only will you have begun the process of reaching out with others, you’ll also feel like a huge burden is being lifted off your chest.

Ready to begin your Alcoholics Anonymous journey? By calling us at 877-640-2220 Who Answers? , we can help you find a group meeting in your area.

Find A Meeting Today Phone icon 888-711-0965 Info iconWho Answers?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: ARK Behavioral Health, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.