Focus on Your Inventory
During this process, you may find yourself obsessing over damage done to you by other people. I admit I did on many occasions. Others may have caused profound harm to you, but for now, it is essential that you concentrate on your own mistakes, and not on the mistakes of others. This is your inventory, no one else’s. You are responsible for your recovery and changing your life. Let others work out their own problems with God just as you and I are doing. Their personal problems are not our job and certainly none of our business. Any resentment you have should be listed and cataloged as part of your inventory. You can discuss them with your sponsor or mentor at the appropriate time.
My recovery partners and I approached our personal moral inventories in different ways. But there were some common characteristics. We each faced some tough questions posed to us by our sponsors and other people who were helping us in our recovery. Then we wrote about ourselves in journals, noting our responses to the questions asked. Personally, I found recovery workbooks quite helpful. We wrote about our family history and any memories of our families which we thought were important, writing down every thought, memory and feeling the best we could. We wrote about the people who harmed us. We wrote about the people we harmed. We wrote a great deal about our sexual experiences, why we did the things we did, and how we felt when we were doing them, and how we felt after doing them. We wrote about love, what we desired for love to be like and how we may have been disappointed by those we loved. We wrote it all. We wrote everything. Here are some of the questions that we asked ourselves:
- What are you angry about and why?
- How have others hurt you?
- Who hurt you? Was it parents, family members, people from church or school, neighbor, enemy, friend?
- What or whom are you afraid of?
- Do you remember your first sexual experience? What was it?
- How old were you when you began the behaviors that turned into your sexual addiction?
- How have you violated your own sexual ethics?
- When did you first think you may be addicted sexually?
- How have your sexually addictive behaviors increased over time?
- How have you violated or objectified others sexually, personally or socially?
- How have your sexually addictive behaviors impacted your spouse, your children, your health and your career?
- How have you violated or objectified yourself?
- How have you abused those weaker than you?
- How have you been greedy?
- How have you been selfish?
- How have you been a hypocrite religiously, sexually or socially?
- How have you expressed unwarranted pride?
- How have you manipulated others and your own thinking through self-pity?
- When and why do you feel self-pity?
- Why are you willing to sacrifice long-term health and sanity for short-term gratification?
- How and why have you minimized your mistakes and addictions?
- How have you exaggerated your successes?
- Have you minimized your successes? Why?
- What do you like about yourself?
- What do you not like about yourself?
- What do others like about you?
- How have you blamed others for your difficulties?
- What do you feel guilty about?
- Is there anything that you are intentionally avoiding? What is it?
- Are you, or about what are you procrastinating regarding your inventory?
- Why do you lie?