All of the Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural inclinations and desires; they puncture, squeeze, and finally deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few Steps are harder to take than the Fifth, which suggests that we admit to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Few Steps are harder to take, yes, but scarcely any other Step is as necessary to long-term freedom from gambling addiction.

Have I quit living by myself with the tormenting ghosts of yesterday?

Today I Pray

May God give me strength to face that great ego-pincher—Step Five. May I not hesitate to call a trusted hearer of Fifth Steps, set up a meeting, and share this Step. By accepting responsibility for my behavior, and then sharing my account of it with one other, I am actually unburdening myself.

Today I Will Remember

My Fifth Step pain is also my liberation.