Date: 17 May 1998
I am on the beginning of the fourth step. I have been sober since Jan 17, 1997 and I am looking forward to looking forward to taking that step when I get that far. Making that list will take quite a while but the 9th step could take forever. Oh Well, one step at a time and I will get there someday. I was so happy the other day when my sponsor said to me, Doris, I think you just did the 3rd step. I was soooooo pleased. Than I walked outside to have a ciggarette at 11'30 at night and I had a flash: The fourth step is next" I felt a little like I had been slammed and I just looked up and said to God," Could I just have a little rest first?" and He said "Yes". With that my third step felt quite complete. Doris
Member: Linda P
Location: CA, USA
Date: 17 May 1998
Hi everyone, Linda an alcholic. The eighth step is rather interesting. Be sure to retain your 4th step when you approach this one, as it mentions in the BB on page 76, "We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory." Initially the 4th step asked for a list of people who we were resentful with, reason, and how it effected us, (lots more to that step than what I am writing here) then we were asked to go over that list and see where we were to blame. This is where I believe our list begins for the 8th step that the book is talking about. There were others added to my 8th step list that were not originally on my 4th step, where no resentments were involved. Where I blantanly hurt someone intentionally without provocation. Then this step implies that I needed to be willing to make amends to those I harmed. If I was not, then to pray for the willingness to come. Of course I was willing. To those old friends I was unable to locate, I remain willing if they cross my path. My list was brief, as thorough as a person with about 8 months could be at the time. Five years into sobriety I found I owed financial amends to a couple of stores I shoplifted in during my drinking years. Interesting how the brain does that isn't it? I justified the need to have whatever it was at the time, and thought nothing more about it. It was a late night meeting that I heard someone share about the espisodes in making amends when it hit me, oh my God, I have not cleared everything up. Of course I got together with my sponsor, I was in terrible fear I might get drunk as I was not so thorough at the very beginning like I thought I was. She reminded me of progress, not perfection is what I am aiming for. Another 8th step to include these two businesses was made, and a discussion with my sponsor of just how I would do my amends. Guess you guys will have to wait to see how I handled that one next week. ha ha. It is very difficult to talk of the 8th step without coupling it up with a 9th.
Doris, so glad to hear you have done your third step. The rest will come in time. Thank God the steps have an order to them, and that our sponsors and God somehow get us emotionally prepared before we take each one. See you at the Coffee Pot.
Love to all,
Member: David B
Location: Idaho Falls
Date: 17 May 1998
I'm David, a Recovered Alcoholic. I am so grateful for my sponsors in this living program of recovery. They pointed out the fact that I might do well to consider myself as the number one person on the 8th step list. Was there another living person that had done as much harm to me as I had done to myself? For that matter had I done as much harm to any other person as I had done to myself?
In the working of the steps my sponsors pointed me in the direction of taking baby steps. Per the 12 and 12 there is only one step we can work perfectly and it is step one. It has been necessary for me to admit there was a power greater than myself and in the beginning let that power be the group.
During my second year, while in the midst of writing my third fourth step my sponsor took me aside and WE started working a baby fourth. It consisted of one resentment. WE did steps four through nine on that one resentment. The result being my sponsor fulfilling the only responsibility a sponsor has to a newcomer. HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO WORK THE STEPS IN A FASHION I COULD UNDERSTAND.
The eight step is truly an expression of a perfect ideal and speaks loudly of a trait none of us possesses, willingness. The only way for me to aquire willingness is to pray for it.
When God granted me the willingness to stop hurting myself ,in the eight step, my soberiety became just that much more important to me. It was a matter of me admitting to myself one more time that I was the problem and my conscious contact with God was the solution.
Had I not became willing to make ammends to me I might well have gotten pissed off at someone and not given a hoot about hurting myself again. I never gave a hoot about it before. I think thats how we loose a lot of members back to the bottle. You can talk good stuff all day long and unless you apply it to the way you live today it won't keep you sober. The application of the eight step in my soberiety has enabled me to say no to many "opportunities" that would not have been good for David.
The eight step as I understand it isn't there to make sure I get financially right with a company that has gone out of business since I stiffed them for $750 back in 1980. It is there to help insure I don't repeat the mistakes of the past that made me act like a drunk.
Because of the eighth step I wouldn't treat myself that way anymore.
Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 18 May 1998
Hi all y,all, I am very definately a real alcoholic and my name is Sanders. Doris, I don,t mean to "rain" on your parade but I have been looking in my BB for the part about resting after the 3rd step and I don,t find it. As amatter of fact it tells me that I thought well before taking this step and that unless it was followed IMEDIATELY with rigorous action (4 ), it would have little permanant effect. Seriously, I do believe that is why the caution about the 3rd is there. Some folks read the white print also and that gets me confused so I try to stay in the black print only. I was very fortunate to have had the sponser I did when I did the 8th step. I had my list from the 4th and I did not have to add any names to it. Ther were two people on there that I was not willing to make amends to and my sponser told me to stay away from both of them as it could only make matters worse. Later I went through a phase of wanting to "comply" with this step and make the amends even if I was not willing and he still said no. I'll share about the 9th next week but it took me several years before I truely became willing to make amends to these two and especially to one of them. I'll cover this also next week. I do like to see people share about the steps as this is our program of recovery, the 12 steps and I love them all but my favorite is 11. Love to all y,all Sanders
Member: DALE W.
Location: OKC OK USA
Date: 19 May 1998
HI MY NAME IS DALE IM AN HONEST TO GOODNESS REAL ALCOHOLIC.THIS IS ALL VERY NEW TO ME I JUST GOT OUT OF TREATMENT.IVE TAKEN STEPS 1,2.AND3.IV'E BEGUN TO RESERCH STEP 4.IV'E LOCATED A TEMP SPONSOR WHO'S BEEN SOBER FOR 10YRS AND HE HAS NOT TAKEN THE FOURTH STEP. THIS DOESNOT MAKE SENSE TO ME .I FEEL YOU SHOULD MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STEP ASAP.I'M GOING TO TRY AND FIND A FULL TIME SPONSOR WHO KNOWS THE ROPES, AND WILL GUIDE ME THRU THE PROGRAM BY THE BOOK MEANING THE BIG ONE.THANKS DALE W.OKC OK
Member: Michele B.
Location: East Orange, NJ
Date: 19 May 1998
Hello everyone, my name is Michele and I am an Alcoholic. I want to thank Jesus Christ who is God as I understand him, for the grace and power that keeps me sober and for the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. You are all so wonderful for the wisdom and experience that you have all shared on the 8th step. For me, my sponsor helped me to construct my 8th step list when I did my 5th step. Step 8 may be one of the easiest steps because it only requires be to make a list and pray for a willing spirit to continue in the process. Although my list was made, I found that when I didn't follow through and make the amends, the stain of the defect would resurface. I thank God that I am growing up. Life is worth living and I am free.
Member: Joan S.
Location: Cortland, NY
Date: 19 May 1998
I'm Joan and I'm an alcoholic...taking a few minutes before work to get my head screwed on straight. I've been sober since 11/22/71, and I find the 8th Step--and all the others--to be as important now as when I was first getting sober. Believe it or not, I still hurt people, even sober, when my character defects get in the way (they didn't all go away with steps 6 & 7). I still need to keep an eye on who I might have belittled with my arrogance, or been mean to with my fear and ESPECIALLY now, I need to pray for the grace to be willing to make amends instead of to justify, rationalize or otherwise avoid being honest. I can sometimes see in myself the tendency to slack off & rest on my laurels (or my lazy butt)
Date: 19 May 1998
Hi, I'm Claudia, an alchoholic, powerless over alcohol. As always, I am grateful to be at a meeting of Alchoholics Anonymous. I have found the 8th Step to be one of the most difficult steps to complete. I am finally making substantial progress after struggling with willingness for about ten years. I attend a step meeting every Sunday and finally got tired of saying that I was still "working" on the 8th Step. My original sponsor and current sponsor both helped me to go back a couple of steps to make sure I was willing to have my defects removed. I tend to still believe that I should "perfect" myself and then go to my higher power and say "Here I am. I'm good enough now!" I'm learning that I go to my higher power as I am, warts and all. I need to be able to go to others the same way. I believe I am now willing to make amends to those who are on my list with the exception of my mother. Our relationship continues to improve, but I don't feel as though I am ready to make "direct" amends. Thank you for letting me share.
Member: Bonnie C
Date: 19 May 1998
Hi extended (((family))), bonnie/alcoholic here, Step 8 - when I got finished with my 4th step, my sponsor took the paper and cut a strip off the left margin that had the names of those that I had written about, told me to keep it for future reference and burned the rest in her grill on her deck. My name was first on that list and since then I have taken many 8th steps, for I have done many inventories, every time I come up against an area of my life that isn't working, I do a 4th step on it, today it's like going to the dentist, I really dont wanna take the time to do it but being in emotional pain is not the quality I want for my life. And that includes an 8th step. My books are in my car right now so I cant check this but I think it says on the last page of the 9th tradition in the 12&12 (of all places) that unless I work these steps to the best of my ability that I surely sign my own death warrant. Half measures availed me nothing. So why even bother. I don't want to be sober and miserable, I want all this program promises on 83 and 84 BB so I do all the steps over and over again until I get the freedom from the problem. Some I've done many times for I only let them go in degrees. If youve done the steps and you are still miserable, do them again on that particular area and see if that works for you. One of my dear friends with 11 yrs sobriety put a gun in his mouth and succeeded. He was one of those that boasted of only having to do these steps once and even when some of our fellowship would suggest getting out the old pen and paper or finding a new sponsor he would just sit back and rest on his laurels. Might sound like I'm taking his inventory, and yes i am for i do not want what he had and I have to be aware of how he got there. I can love and disagree today. Most of the time I live 83 and 84 and the second half of the 3rd step prayer today, because I was willing to do the work and not drink in between meetings. It does work but you have to work it. Please God bless all who venture here
firstname.lastname@example.org Bonnie C 5/30/80
Member: Barbara B
Location: W PA
Date: 20 May 1998
BARB B, Alcoholic, from the Burg, PA, yep, I did the most damage, to me. However, I have choices today. Today, there is no justification, for being unkind to any of God's creatures. I was just reminded of that earlier this eve by my HP. That is the greatest amend for me to remember and practice. I also have to remember that it is only my HP (JC) who gives me the grace and the empowerment, which by the way I was reminded in a meeting earlier today, that empowerment is called Love. I was powerless, before, no love, for me, for anybody. Needed to learn to love myself. Still learning, time takes time. I remember, studying the Bible years ago first time I got sober without the program, I studied, and studied, and finally got released from my obsession with studying, by this simple pearl: Much study wearies the soul, my primary purpose, is to Love God with, my mind, body, and soul, and love my neighbor as myself. So my amends are based in that truth as God would have them in his time. There are people I owe amends to some are dead, some I may never run across again, but I believe I make those amends as I love myself, I am also loving my neighbor, because, Our Common welfare should come first. Our common good. Love, unconditional love. Even when I am unforgiving, that calls for an amend on my part so I can be free as well.
Date: 21 May 1998
Wow! Thanks Linda, Bonnie, Joan, Barbara and all. And Doris, always a delight with your openness...Making a list was done one day when felled with a cold. Stopped in my tracts, I finally put to paper what was swimming aimlessly in my head. After a step 3 and prayer for honesty and insight, I took names from 4th step and did a walk thru of my life which was a great exercise in looking at the big picture. My 4th was ala BB which was wonderful but didn't examine my life thru the years.
Listing all persons, places and things harmed, I got a bit over zealous listing every blessed infraction--all part of my former self--grandiose even in self examination!! We tidied up the list and viola!!
Next step...obsessing about how to become "entirely ready", as in PERFECT !! Next week. Love to all, Jane
Member: Jeri C.
Date: 21 May 1998
Hi to All My name is Jeri and I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I remember when I made my list after looking over my 4th step. I picked up the phone and called my sponsor. I told her that there was NO WAY I was going to make amends to my X husband. She said calmly, "Someday your sobriety might depend on you making amends to him." IT DID AND SO I DID. AT ABOUT A YEAR SOBER I MADE (SINCERE) AMENDS TO MY EXHUSBAND. I LEARNED a lesson-NEVER say NEVER. Thank you for all the wonderful sharing. AAnother recovering drunk & addict Jeri C. AA birthday 5-31-76
Member: Martina G
Date: 21 May 1998
I have to make amends to my children soon, whom I have harmed more than anyone else (I say soon because I made a commitment to do so). I am petrified, as they are now adults and we have never had this kind of discussion. I doubt they want to have any discussion with me on this subject.
To those who pray - please pray for me. I have no courage about this.
Member: Kim B
Location: Southern California
Date: 22 May 1998
Kim, Alcoholic. Making Amends, I thought when I got here to the program years ago, that the world owed me, because look what you did to me! Today thru working the steps, talking to those who have walked this path before me and becoming willing, I can now take a look at my behavior and have become responsible for my actions. I still have a few amends to make from years ago and each time the 8th and 9th step comes up in meetings I'm reminded of it. So why am I procrasting and putting it off. Actually I'm not going to beat myself up over it I only have a few amends to make as I have made so many amends compared to what's left. Progress not perfection. The 8th and 9th steps "SEEM" like they are so hard to do, but getting willing, taking the action and walking thru it when we get to the other side it's the greatest feeling in the world!! Thanks for listening.
Member: FAYLA G
Location: GALENA KS
Date: 23 May 1998
HI,FAYLA ALCOHOLIC HERE.MARTINA i am praying for you ,I had to make amends to my children who are grown ,I was just a drunk i didnt even deserve to be called mom ,I thought only of myself another drink ,and who i could leave them with ,while i drank,when i was mad i spanked them too hard ,i even slaped them in the face ,i am so ashamed of the things i did to my children ,there all grown up now and i worked hard threw the years to make amends even befor i quit drinking,Thats when they used that guilt on me ,i tryed to do any thing they asked,I was so full of quilt ,befor i quit drinking i felt like i was dieing from the inside out,MY life today i dont kiss there ass any more IF they want my love ,they have it ,I dont beg for theres anymore ,MY OLDEST daug.still likes to try to make me live in the past ,I told her one day ,icant live in the past with you,if she ever gives up her drugs ,she may stop liveing there too ,I Pray for KAREN all the time ,to see us togeather you would think we are a normal ,loveing mother and daug . but dont be fooled ,all hell breaks loose when i say no to her, love and prayers FAYLA G ,
Member: Tom F
Location: CLAREMONT NH
Date: 23 May 1998
Hi everyone I'm Tom and I AM an alcoholic, and always will be. This I have to always keep in the front of my mind. The longer I go without a drink the easier it becomes for me to forget who and what I am. I,ve never completed a fourth and fifth step completely that is probably a big part of my continual relapses. So every day I work steps 1 thru 3 to the best of my ability. I think I've finally got a grasp on accepting the fact that I am powerless over alcohol. As far as working the rest of the steps I am willing to work them when the time is right. As for now I feel it is time to make the fearless and searching moral Inventory. I'm sure this will open the door to the list I'll need to make when I am at step 8........For now I have to keep things rather simple...I can complicate the smallest things....Today I don't drink, go to a meeting, and ask for help from a Power greater than I to keep me away from a drink for one day... Today I have the key of willingness and for that I am truly grateful. God bless us all...................
Member: Caroline Z
Location: ST. LOUIS, MO
Date: 23 May 1998
HI, MY NAME IS CAROLINE AND I'M AN ALCOHOLIC. tHIS IS MY FIRST EXPERIENCE ON LINE FOR A MEETING, SO BE PATIENT WITH MY TYPING! I HAVE 10 YEARS OF SOBRIETY, AND THE STEPS HAVE SAVED MY LIFE. THE EIGTH WAS PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT AND IMPORTANT. THE PEOPLE I HARMED MOST WERE MY CHILDREN, AND I HAVE WRITTEN SO MANY LETTERS TO THEM/SPENT A LOT OF TIME TALKING TO THEM OVER THE YEARS. I BELIEVE THAT THE AMENDING PROCESS HAS ALLOWED US TO HAVE A STRONGER RELATIONSHIP, AND THEY HAVE BECOME SUCH GOOD PEOPLE. I ALSO HARMED MY WORK ENVIRONMENT BY MY INABILITY TO FOCUS/LENGTHY LUNCHES WHICH INCLUDED ETOH, AND A GENERALLY WHINY ATTITUDE. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS AN ACT OF COURAGE TO BE ABLE TO TRY TO LOOK CLEARLY AT OURSELVES AND ADMIT THT MY DRINKING WAS NOT JUST ABOUT ME, MY TIME, MY HEALTH. UNTIL RECOVERY, I WAS NOT AWARE THAT I AM NOT AN ISLAND, AND THAT EVERYTHING I DO AND SAY AFFECTS THOSE AROUND ME--WE ARE TRULY A WEBJ, AND I'M AN IMPORTNT PART OF THAT WEB. UNTIL AA, I DIDN'T REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT I AM , THAT WHAT I SAY AND DO REALLY MATTERS TO THOSE AROUND ME . THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT THAT I CONTINUE TO TAKE INVENTORY/LOOK AT MY BEHAVIOR ON A REGULAR BASIS. I AM GRATEFUL TO AA FOR MY LIFE, AND TEACHING ME A NEW WAY OF LIVING. I AM PRIVILEGED TO GIVE BACK THE WAY I HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO, AND I'M GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT. BLESSED BE. CAROLINE