Step 8

13053837_sThis blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Cindy Weathers, MA,MFTi.

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

At first, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of not only making a list of the people you have harmed but also making amends to these people.  First and foremost, there is one person that should be included, which you may forget, and that is yourself.  You have to include yourself on that list, because if you don’t your self-esteem will have a difficult time in making it’s own recovery.

At this point, you only need to make a list and be willing to make amends.  You do not have to confront anyone or amend yet.  The first people on your list may be your family but these are also the ones that may be the most difficult to make amends.  With family, it is helpful to exercise the two virtues that require constant work – patience and tolerance.  Remember, your family most likely practiced these virtues when you were using.

Next, you will want to consider all others:  friends, former or current employers, and anyone else that may have been harmed.  Like most of the 12 steps, this one is not necessarily and one-time event.  It is a process that continues to unfold as more clarity is obtained and more information is revealed.

Step 8 has started with your willingness to begin, however notice that this step contains the word ALL twice.  Step 8 is not completed until ALL are included in your willingness, even though you may never, or not in the foreseeable future, cross paths with some.   Many review this list with their sponsor or therapist before taking any action to make amends.  Completing this step and creating a list will help you gain clarity and bring you closer to developing a plan for Step 9.  Good Luck!





Elana Clark-Faler
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