| print this
INVENTORY & RESTITUTION
material contained herein is merely an outline of
the inventory and restitution steps and is not intended
to replace or supplant:
careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.
b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.
c. Study of the program.
d. Daily practice of the program.
e. Reading of approved printed matter on
f. Informal discussion with other members.
instruction is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction
- - a help - - a brief course in fundamentals.
This meeting covers Steps 4, 8, 9, 10. We will take
them in order.
No. 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory
intent and purpose of this step is plain. All alcoholics
have a definite need for a good self-analysis - - a sort
of self-appraisal. Other people have certainly analyzed
us, appraised us, criticized us and even judged us. It might
be a good idea to judge ourselves, calmly and honestly.
We need inventory because:
our faults, weaknesses, defects of character, are the
cause of our drinking,
our drinking has weakened our character and led us into
all kinds of wrong action, wrong attitudes, wrong viewpoints.
either event we obviously need an inventory and the only
kind of inventory to make is a good one. Moreover,
the job is up to us. We created or we
let develop all the anti-social actions that got us
in the wrong. So we have got to work it out. We
must make out a list of our faults and then we must
do something about it.
inventory must be four things:
must be honest. Why waste time fooling ourselves
with a phony list? We have fooled ourselves for years,
we tried to fool others, and now is a good time to look
ourselves squarely in the eye.
must be searching. Why skip over a vital matter
lightly and quickly? Our trouble is a grave mental disease,
confused by screwy thinking. Therefore, we must search
diligently and fearlessly to get at the truth of what
is wrong with us - - just dig in and search.
must be fearless. We must not be afraid we might
find things in our heart, mind and soul that we will
hate to discover. If we do find such things they may
be the root of our trouble.
must be a moral inventory.
Some, in error, think the inventory is a lot of unpaid
debts, plus a list of unmade apologies. Our trouble
lies much deeper.
will find the root of our trouble lies in Resentments,
False Pride, Envy, Jealousy, Selfishness and many other
things. Laziness is an important one. In other words
we are making an inventory of our character: our attitude
toward others, our very way of living.
We are not preparing a financial statement. We will
pay our bills all right, because we cannot even begin
to practice A.A. without honesty.
No. 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed,
and became willing to make amends to them all.
this step we will make a written* list of those we have
harmed. We ask God to let his will be done, not our
will, and ask for the strength and courage to become willing
to forget resentments and false pride and make amends to
those we have harmed. We must not do this step grudgingly,
or as an unpleasant task to be rid of quickly. We must do
it willingly, fairly, and humbly - - without condescension.
original Detroit pamphlet said "a list (mental or
written)," but the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
later made it clear that it needed to be written.
No. 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever
possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
is where we make peace with ourselves by making peace with
those we have hurt. The amends we make must be direct.
We must pay in kind for the hurt we have done them.
we have cheated we must make restitution.
we have hurt their feelings we must ask forgiveness from
list of harms done may be long but the list of amends is
equally long. For every wrong we have done, there
is a right we may do to compensate.
There is only one exception.
We must develop a sense of justice, a spirit of fairness,
an attitude of common sense. If our effort to make amends
would create further harm or cause a scandal, we will have
to skip the direct amends and clean the matter up under
No. 10. Continued to take personal inventory
and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
coming into A.A. we usually will have a pretty big inventory
to work on, as in Steps Four, Eight, and Nine. But even
after that, we will not be perfect. We have a long way to
go. We will continue to make mistakes and will be inclined
to do some more wrong thinking and wrong doing. So at intervals,
we continue to take inventory. Here the purpose is
to check on our progress. We certainly cannot be perfect,
so the need for regular inventory is apparent.
These inventories are personal.
We confine the inventory to ourselves. We are the ones who
need it. Never mind the other fellow! He too is probably
troubled and will have to make his own inventory.
When we make these inventories, probably the best
way to start is to go over (one by one) each of the
twelve steps, and try to discover just what (in these
steps) we are not following.
businessman has to make a physical inventory from
time to time. We have to make a personal inventory of ourselves
from time to time if we want to recover from a serious mental
Defects and Vices
much for the inventory steps - - now look at some
of the things we would do well to cover in an inventory:
so on through a long list.
- - the common vice of all alcoholics.
- - who is without some of it? Self-Importance, Mr. Big.
Pride - - too big to admit a fault or an error.
- - the spoiled child in a grown man.
- - an alcoholic usually is sore at the whole world. Everybody
of common honesty - - usually fooling ourselves and trying
to fool others. False pretense, sham.
- - the outgrowth of anger and resentment.
- - just wanting what the other fellow worked to
- - a sure-fire cause of discontent and unhappiness.
- - just plain laziness.
Our Inventory Could
Show a List of Virtues
we very definitely lack and should go to work on to develop
Honest Pride in work well done
Industry (go to work and really work)
And so on through a long list.
Consider a Few
we have lost faith we must work desperately hard to
get it back. Ask God to give us faith in him, our
fellow man, and ourselves.
we have lost hope we are dead pigeons. Only those
who have been cruelly hurt and in desperate need can
know the wonderful sense of security that lies in
hope for better things.
our own self-sufficient conduct of our own life has
failed us, we must put our trust in God, who
has never failed.
question pertaining to drinking, or stopping drinking,
is silly or irrelevant. The matter is too serious.
In A.A. we learn by question and answer. We learn
by exchanging our thought and our experience with
each other. Any question we ask may help someone else.
To cover as many questions as possible in the short
time available, all answers must be limited to three
state of humility is very difficult to attain, but
the goal is well worth the effort, considering the
serenity that is achieved.