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Step 5 – Integrity – Principled Recovery Series



“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

By admitting to the past poor behavior examined in step 4, clients are able to let go of shame and guilt. The spiritual principle behind this step is integrity.

A SOZO Client’s Point of View: 

“Integrity is a word that I don’t remember ever using before coming to SOZO to get sober. The fifth step said, “admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” I had no idea that, when I wrote my fourth step inventory, I was listing “the exact nature of my wrongs”, but I guess I was. And now it was time to meet with God and another human being to discuss these things. I chose, as my human being, my A.A. sponsor, who I was beginning to like a little by now. He seemed like a pretty good guy. When my sponsor asked me if I minded if he formally invited God into our conversation, I was a little stunned and didn’t know what to say, so I just nodded “yes”. By “formally invite” he meant praying, which was a habit that I was just getting used to. He asked God to join us and be with me as I shared my fifth step with him. Strangely enough, I found this prayer to be a very comforting idea and I liked the thought of God being right in the room with us. I soon found out that writing my inventory in a private room is a whole lot different than sharing it with my sponsor in front of God. Looking back on the process, I guess that “coming out” in front of God and man is a process that called for integrity on my part. So, here I was, just trying to follow the process of moving through the steps at SOZO, and, with hardly even trying, I now had experienced five tremendous spiritual principles: honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity. The thought entered my mind at this point that I just might be able to stay sober for a long time. I was beginning to like this life”.


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) defines the 12 Steps as “a set of principles, spiritual in nature, when practiced as a way of life, that can expel the obsession to drink (or use drugs) and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

The 12 steps are a process of getting honest with yourself, cleaning up the wreckage of your past, and learning how to live your life in a better, more meaningful & principled way. Based on the idea of God as each individual understands him, the 12 steps are generally spiritual in nature. 

In this article series, we examine each of the 12 step principles from a  SOZO client’s perspective, as they journey through the twelve steps. Through direct survey feedback, we’ll join various clients and their growing awareness of the spiritual principles behind each step in this series of articles.