Time after time, newcomers have tried to keep to themselves shoddy facts about their lives. Trying to avoid the humbling experience of the Fifth Step, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell.
We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness, and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else their entire life story.
Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 72-73