When I first came to the fellowship and looked at the steps that my life now depends on, Steps 8 and 9 loomed large from the first moment. Even though before my first meeting I would have said the list of people I had harmed was less than a handful, once I was truly honest with myself I knew that I had to make amends to most of the people who cared about me.
Luckily for me, the steps are in the order they are for good reason. My sponsor took me through the first 7 steps, and by that time I was entirely ready for steps 8 and 9, not to say I was looking forward to it, however step 4 had shown me the amazing effect that “deep spiritual surgery” could have on my life and my outlook.
Admitting the harm I had done to others was the first part of Step 8, however the real eye-opener was in getting honest (isn’t it always with the written steps) – actually considering how I would react if those things were done to me was a complete shock. Not only was I not the nice person I thought I was, I also react to harm far more vehemently than the people I was harming.
Angry/Sad/Upset just didn’t do justice to how I would feel on the receiving end of my actions. Wrathful/Murderous/Suicidal/Dejected were far more apt to describe the emotions I would feel.
Having completed my Step 8 and having shown it to my sponsor, I was not only willing but eager to make amends to these people. I able to see clearly the impact I’d had on the people whom I claimed to love and care for. I am now less likely to behave in such ways in the future, contingent on continuing my spiritual growth of course, as I can consider how I would feel before I act (most of the time).
Jon, Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth