“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” Now that you have taken steps to correct your behavior and thinking moving forward, it is time to do what you can to right the wrongs of your past. The eighth step prepares us for the amends process, giving us an opportunity to reflect on these past misdeeds and formulate an appropriate apology. With a clear mind and a heart filled with gratitude, the eighth step should not plague you with feelings of guilt or shame, as you worked through those feelings in your fourth and fifth step. This is a time to focus instead on healing and reconciliation.
You should approach this step without thoughts of those resentments you have acknowledged in your fourth step - this is not about prompting others to make amends with you, you are simply cleaning your side of the street so you can move forward in your recovery. As you revisit your moral inventory made during your fourth step, identify anyone you may have injured regardless of your intent. Reflect back on the situation which led to this person being harmed, focusing only on your role in the event. As you build your list of persons whom you owe amends, be sure to include a description of exactly how you harmed each individual as it may take some pondering to recall everything correctly.
Once you have thoroughly reviewed your fourth step and reflected on your life in active addiction to ensure you’ve not unintentionally left anyone off of your amends list, you should prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to speak to these individuals and offer your amends to them. Keep in mind you have no control over how they will respond to your proffered apology, and their reaction has no bearing on your working the steps. All you are responsible for is putting forth your best effort to right the wrongs of your past. Let go of any expectations you have regarding this process, and ask your higher power for the strength to see it through.
The amends process is broken up into two steps for a reason. For recovering addicts and alcoholics, making amends to those we have wronged in our active substance abuse is often a massive undertaking, requiring substantial time and effort. The eighth step provides us an opportunity to get our ducks in a row, as well as to mentally and emotionally prepare to go to our fellow man and own up to our mistakes, asking for the opportunity to make amends. So long as you remain committed to complete honesty both with yourself and with your sponsor, refusing to intentionally omit anyone from your amends list due to resentments nor assigning expectations to the process, you will have thoroughly worked your eighth step and with your higher power’s help you can begin making these amends.
ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT
Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.
Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit www.evolutionstreatment.com