I wasn’t looking forward to starting my Step Eight as I was aware of the harm I had caused whilst I was drinking; especially to my family. Although I was aware I still couldn’t prevent myself or prevent it happening because I couldn’t stop drinking, well not for long. I always promised I wouldn’t do it again or I wouldn’t drink again but the promises always got broken.
I needed the help and guidance of my Sponsor throughout my Step Eight. She explained that it would be done in three columns. The first would list the people that I had harmed. When I say harmed, this meant physical, mental, emotional or spiritual damage to people. The second was the nature of the harm I had actually done and the third was how I thought I would feel if it was done to me. These last two columns helped me to become willing to make amends.
Basically I had to put myself in the other person’s shoes. My Sponsor suggested that I got myself a thesaurus to look words up for the third column. I thought of words like ‘pain’ and ‘hurt’ and changed them to ‘devastation’ and ‘victimized’. I believe that these words had to be harsher for me to feel the real impact of the harm I had caused. Looking at all the misery and harm I had caused in black and white made me feel terrible. I could have easily slipped into self-pity, but I relied on my Sponsor and put more action into the programme. I would read my Just for Today Card more than once, review my gratitude list more and relied on my Higher Power through prayer. I just kept looking forward to making my amends. I knew that this was the beginning of the end of my isolation from my fellows and my Higher Power.
This step taught and confirmed to me that I truly didn’t want to be that person anymore. This programme and what has been shown to me has allowed me to leave my past behind and start anew. Practising and using spiritual principles in my everyday life, I now walk in the sunlight of the spirit, maintaining this on a daily basis.