Lesson 9: Inventory … An Explanation

In this lesson I actually begin my inventory worksheets, and continue to work on Principal 4 and Step 4.

Since there are no questions in this lesson, just information, I transferred it into this post. I changed the “you” & “your” into “I” & “me” to make it about MY recovery not just generalized.

Think About It…

Now that I have the background information and I’ve built my accountability team its time to start writing my inventory. This lesson will provide me with the tools I need.

How do I start my inventory?

The Celebrate Recovery Inventory is divided into five sections. It will help me keep focused on reality and recall events that I may have repressed. I must remember, I am not going through this alone. I have developed my support team to help guide me, but even more important, I am growing in my relationship with Jesus Christ!

It will take me more than one page to write out y inventory. I have several paper copies and have one on the computer as well to use.

Column 1: “The Person, Place, Institution”

  • In this column I list the person or object I resent or fear. I need to go as far back as I can. Resentment is mostly unexpressed anger and fear.

    • “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31

Column 2: “The Cause” (Event)

  • It has been said that “hurt people hurt people.” In this column I am going to list the specific actions the person did to hurt me. What did that person do to cause me resentment an d/or fear? An example would be the alcoholic father who was emotionally unavailable for me as I was growing up. Another example would be the parent who attempted to control and dominate my life. This reflective look might be painful, but …

    • “Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Column 3: “The Effect” (Feelings)

  • In this column I will write down how that specific hurtful action affected my life. List the effects it had on my past and present.

Column 4: “The Damage” (Belief Systems, Losses, Insecurities)

  • Which of my basic instincts were injured?

    • Social – broken relationships, slander
    • Security – physical safety, financial loss
    • Sexual – abusive relationships, damaged intimacy

  • No matter how I have been hurt, no matter how lost I may feel, God wants to comfort and restore me.
  • “I will look for those that are lost, I bring back those that wander off, bandage those that are hurt, and heal those that are sick.” Ezekiel 34:16

Column 5: My Part (Character defects, Behaviors, Choices)

  • I need to ask myself, “What part of the resentment against another is my responsibility?” I need to ask God to show me my part in a broken or damaged marriage or relationship, with a distant child or parent, or maybe a lost job. In addition I need to list all the people who I have hurt and how I hurt them.

    • “Examine me, O god, and keep my mind; test me, and discover … if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139: 23-24

Please note: I have been in an abusive relationship, both as a child and as an adult, I can find great freedom in this part of my inventory. I will see that I had NO part, NO responsibility for the cause of the resentment. By simply writing the words “Not Guilty” in column 5, I can begin to be free from the misplaced shame and guilt I carry with me.

Celebrate Recovery has rewritten Step 4 for me as an abuse victim.

  • I made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself, realizing all wrongs can be forgiven. I renounce the lie that the abuse is my fault.

More Tools:

  1. Memorize Isaiah 1:8: “Come let’s talk this over! says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!”
  2. Read Principal 4 “Balancing The Scale” Verses
  3. Keep my inventory balanced. List both good and bad! This is very important! As God reveals the good things I have done in the past, or that I am doing in the present, I can list them on the back of my inventory pages. Removed this tool because Karrie W. said to only deal with negative on the inventory sheets!
  4. Continue to develop my support team!
  5. Pray continuously!

Lesson 8: Sponsor

In this lesson I learn how a sponsor and accountability partner are helpful in my recovery. I continue to work on Principal 4 and Step 4.








Write About It …

1. Why is it important for me to have a support team?

* It will help me keep my inventory balanced, give me someone to call on when I am having a hard time, the girls can encourage me and help me build trust in others.

2. What qualities am I looking for in a sponsor?

* She needs to be kind, caring, strong, willing to call me on my denial, tell me the truth even when it’s not what I want to hear. She needs to be able to give grace and understanding when I am struggling with reality. She needs to be honest with me, be able to talk openly with me, be non judgmental when it comes to my choices and inventory. She needs to call and text me back, be willing to meet with me when I really need her support. She needs to be able to laugh, cry, celebrate, and mourn with me. She needs to have sobriety in at least one area of recovery that we share. She needs to understand what it is like to raise kids or at least understand that their needs need to be taken care of first.

3. How have I attempted to find a sponsor/accountability partner?

* I have asked the women I feel are safe and have similar areas of recovery as me, I have prayed for God to reveal her to me, and I have asked for guidance from others in my recovery areas.

4. What are some new places and ways I can try to find a sponsor/accountability partner?

* They can be found on Fridays at large group and open share and Tuesday nights at step study.

5. What is the difference between a sponsor and accountability partner?

* Sponsor should have completed a step study. An accountability partner can be anywhere in their recovery.

6. List the names and numbers of possible sponsors or accountability partners. These should be people I have met on my “Road to Recovery” who have touched me in the sharing of their experiences, strengths, and hopes.

* I have chosen not to list these people here due to the rule of anonymity and confidentiality reasons, but I do have a phone list in my CR Bible that I can refer to if I need to reach out to others.

Lesson 7: Moral

In this lesson I begin to learn about how my actions have affected others and myself. I begin to work on Principal 4 and Step 4.


Make Time






Write About It …

1. Where will I go for quiet time to begin my inventory?

* I can do my inventory at home while Gavin is sleeping after he is born.

2. What date have I set aside to start? What time?

* I have some of my inventory done already from previous step study attempts, but because of my pregnancy I can’t seem to set a specific time and date right now!

3. What are my fears as I begin my inventory? Why?

* In the past it was that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the emotions that come with the events of my past. Now after working on it more I have no fear of it.

4. What can I do to help me “wake up” my feelings?

* I can talk about my past and allow my feelings to surface, pray for guidance, acknowledge that I am not “fine” or “okay” all the time and not hide my feelings in the first place.

5. Describe my experience in turning my life over to Christ.

* Turning my life over to Christ is a daily process and one I don’t always do so well. Turning my heart over happened when I was 13 and I recently rededicated my heart just before I started step study the first time in July 2009. Neither were big or fancy moments just moments of clarity! ~ Recent events reminded me of a time when I was 14 that I took a paperback bible, tore it in half, set it on Pastor Steve’s door step, rang the door bell and walked down the block. I watched as he dropped to his knees and prayed for me at that moment. It was then that I knew that God was real and he loves me!!!

6. How do I attempt to turn over my will to God’s care on a daily basis?

* Quite honestly, I just don’t try on a daily basis and I need to work on that more. I do however talk to God like he is my best friend when I do try to remember to turn my will over to him.

7. What things I have used to block the pain of my past?

* Anger, denial, avoidance by bottling it up or keeping myself busy, sarcasm, played the victim, cleaned my house or rearranged furniture, tried to “fix” others instead of myself, ran away from love and acceptance

8. What have I done to step out of my denial?

* Acknowledged my past through previous attempts at my inventory, admitted my problems to myself, to God and to others I trust, by coming to CR and step study, admitting when I am wrong and trying to turn away from the wrongdoing.

9. How can I continue to find new ways out of my denial of the past?

* By continuing to come to CR and working the steps, asking God to reveal more things that I need to deal with, continue to admit when I am wrong, leaning on my sponsor and accountability partners and continue to allow myself to feel my feelings.

10. Why is it important to do a written inventory?

* It will help me to find more patterns or addictions, makes the past more real, helps me to acknowledge and work on changing my character defects, to help me get real with myself, helps me see the good stuff, allow me to let go of the things that I’m “Not Guilty” for.

11. What are some of the good things I have done in the past?

* I attended a program of healing called “SaveOne” and allowed God to heal my hurts from a past abortion at age 17, I have been attending CR, I made the unselfish decision to give up my two older boys for adoption, I chose to stay drug free when I was being pressured by my family, I walked away from two abusive relationships.

12. What are some of the negative things I have done in the past?

* Walked away from my first marriage and leaving my two older boys behind, walked away from my faith in Christ because of one of the abusive relationships, stuffed my emotions, denied abuse from the past, took my anger out on others, lied to others, tried to control others actions, attempted suicide.

13. Do I have a sponsor or accountability partner to help me keep my inventory balanced?

* I have a wonderful sponsor who challenges me and several girls that I think of as accountability partners.