Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Step Eight: Making Our List and Becoming Willing

We Made a List of All Persons We Had Harmed and Became Willing to Make Amends to Them All
List the people I've harmed and the specific ways I harmed each one.
-My Mom; I've stolen and borrowed countless dollars from her
-Tristan; I misled him, even though I didn't mean to, and it led to an ugly situation
-Misty; I broke her and Tristan up. Though Tristan was largely to blame as well, I played my part.
-John; I broke him and Alisha up. Alisha definitely had her part in it, but I did nothing to stop it.
-Bill; I stole a handful of pills from him a while back.
-Peter; I should have said a lot more than I did to save our marriage.
-Dave; Even though breathing down my neck pushed me away, I could have handled his concern a lot better.
-Doug; He hurt me the most, but my negligence caused it.
-Blythe; she was the first to call me on my shit, and died very angry with me.
-Airian; I pushed her away a little too readily

Why is saying "I'm sorry" alone not sufficient to repair the damage I have caused? Words are cheap, especially from someone who has hurt you.

Why is only changing my behavior not sufficient to repair the damage I have caused? No one will gain closure from this. If there is one thing in my life that I crave the most, it's closure.

Do I have financial amends that I don't want to make? A few, I'm still dealing with National Grid down my throat, so that's ongoing.

What would my life be like if I had already made these amends? I wouldn't feel bad about spending money.

Do I owe amends to people who have also harmed me? You betcha.

What have I done to become willing to make these amends? Swallowed my pride, even in some situations that were only partially my fault.  Pride is that thing that gets in the way of my forgiveness. Me and forgiveness have a bumpy road together...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Step Eight: Preparing to Work Step Eight

We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all

Am I hesitating in any way about working the Eighth Step? Why? There are so many unsaid things to the people who used to be my family, and since Blythe is dead, there is nothing I CAN say to her.  That whole situation was a clusterfuck, and I don't want to reopen the can of worms...

Do I realize the need to slow down and consult my sponsor before making amends? I did rush in the past, and as a result Dave told me in short to fuck off.  I did it too soon, and didn't word it right.  I may never speak with him again, but I think I did my part and apologized for my part in the situation.

Have I created more harm in any situation by rushing out to make amends before I was ready?  How?  I shouldn't have put in that clause "you owe me an apology too, but I'll man up and apologize first."  That was arrogant of me, even though I fully believe it's the truth.  I was told to not even pray for him and his kids.  I fucked it up, and he'll never be a part of my life again.  Part of me is glad, but there is still a part of me that still mourns the loss.

List the resentments that are in the way of my willingness to make amends.

-Dave was entirely out of line in his disregard for my need for space, and held it against me
-Doug acted on a selfish impulse, and refused to try and make it work
-Blythe is now some kind of martyr, even though she was partially at fault herself
-Michelle is a crazy bitch who was responsible for a lot of grief for two months strait.  I can't stand to be in the same room as her.

Can I let these resentments go now?  If not, can I muster the willingness to add these names to my list anyway, and worry about becoming willing later? I'm getting better at letting things go, so the more recent offenses are easier to forgive.  Michelle for instance.  She is sick.  I have no desire to "help" her like the Big Book says, but I can see that her offense was a direct result of her disease.  I'm going to have to get over what my old family did to me if I ever want to get over it.

Are there any people to whom I owe amends who may be a threat to my safety or about whom I'm truly concerned in some other way?  What are my fears? If I try to apologize again to Dave or Doug I'm just going to make it worse.  I've said my peace.  No, it's not "fine," but it's time to get on with my life.

I bleed it out, dig it deeper just to throw it away