A List of People I had Harmed

When I got asked to do a share on step eight, at first I thought “not that step”, but as I have learned from being in AA it’s my attitude. So then I thought about it and said “yes”, because recovery has given me a lot already with awesome opportunities to grow. To grow spiritually in my everyday life, as well as in my AA recovery, being a good home group member. I hope if you’re doing your step eight, my experience on it from when I did it years ago helps you.

Back when I was doing step eight I was asked to do more writing by my sponsor by making a written inventory on people I’d wronged, and organizations. I thought: more writing – really? Has he forgotten that I’m not great at writing things? And: I don’t want to look at myself, it’s their fault. But they’re just excuses. I thought why can’t I move on past this step, but I now know this needs to be a complete cleaning of my side of the street, before moving on to be better and well. So I thought best not hold back – it needs to be done. So I began writing and treating it like a little project on myself.

I was told it is a tough step, I’m to keep in touch with my sponsor, taking on his suggestions guiding me with it. Because what I learned from doing step eight, would not make me feel comfortable but uncomfortable on seeing who I had hurt on paper from my drinking. Or how I acted with booze in me, or in a dry drunk. My attitude towards these people I’d not been nice to and how I’d wronged in hurtful ways was not a nice image of me to see.

I now know I was full of negativity, resentment, anger. An embarrassing also depressive character when I was drinking. That was the frame of mind I was in constantly.

I had a list of people I had harmed and became willing to make amends and so I put everything down in my step eight, leaving nothing out, even if I felt ashamed or didn’t want to. If I wasn’t thorough, or I rejected it, it would be one of my character defects, dishonesty. I would defiantly drink again.

I needed to move on, create a better pleasant life for those around me and for myself to be content in life. So when I found something hard or embarrassing to put on my step eight, I would contact my sponsor and ask does this really have to go down? He asked me what it was and who I had harmed.

He said to put it down, it’s all got to be done. Then suggested calling someone who has been around a while and a newcomer, and pray afterwards. I thought how is this going to help make me feel better?

Well, I did it and this was my experience of what I got after. The person I called who had been around a while put me at ease sharing his experience on step eight just like my sponsor did. I found my emotions of discomfort loosen a bit. And the newcomer reminded me how far I have come, how my life has changed for the better.

The AA big book has lots of information on this step, and while I was doing this. a few people and my sponsor suggested other books. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions has good information on this step.

Life is better now, I have great things happening. I’m grateful to have the life I have today. Completing this step was important to my recovery and the life I lead today with support from Alcoholics Anonymous.


Road to Recovery Group of Alcoholics Anonymous