Step 8~Made A List Of All Persons That We Had Harmed, And Became Willing to Make Amends To Them All

There is a lot of work that we must do before we are ready to work step 8, we must work steps 1-7 first which will give us a foundation on which to build our recovery. Amends means to change. We admit our wrong and change our behavior.

“In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps,
you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.”

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, How It Works, pg. 70~

How It Works

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. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self- appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol
-A.A. Big Book p.76 

More about Step 8 in the Big Book

“We might ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have harmed others. What kind of harm do people do to one another anyway? To define the word in a practical way, we might call it the results of instincts in collision, which can cause physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual damage to people.

If our tempers are consistently bad, we arouse anger in others.  

If we lie or cheat, we deprive others not only of their worldly goods, but of their emotional security and peace of mind. We really issue then an invitation to become contemptuous and vengeful. 

If our sex conduct is selfish, we may excite jealousy, misery, and a strong desire to retaliate in kind. 

What happens when we try to dominate the whole family, either by rule of iron or by constant outpouring of minute directions for just how their lives should be lived from hour to hour? 

What happens when we wallow in depression, self pity oozing from every pore, and inflict that upon those about us?

Such a roster of harms done others ~~the kind that make daily living with us practicing alcoholics difficult and often unbearable~~could be extended almost indefinitely. 

When we take such personality traits as these into shop, office, and the society of our fellows, they can do damage almost as extensive as as that we have caused at home. ” ~source: 12 Steps and 12 Traditions book of AA, p. 80-81

“The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough.”~source: Alcoholics Anonymous book, p.82

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