April 4, 2013

AA Step Eight - Made a List

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

OMG, this has been the Step which had become my blocker to growth for sure! The sheer thought of making a list of people I have harmed, AND become willing to make amends to them ALL, has kept me awake for many nights; the memories are just too much to bare! Although in this step you do not actually make the amends, (amends are made in Step 9), and you do have to be willing to revisit the past. I am so overwhelmed and I am so fearful to go through these emotions again, and to look at the terrible way I have treated people in my life, some who I actually cared for very much. But in the midst of my alcoholic disease, self-pity and self-centeredness blocked me from sharing my love with them; I just used them to fill up my own ego, so that I could hide all my own insecurities underneath it. Horrible. Yes my ego is still saying, nah, wasn't that bad, it was them anyway! Well, maybe... some... but I did plenty of damage too! It is time to clean my side of the street. No matter how hard this maybe, I know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel! 

Here are some pieces from Step 8 that resonate with me.
This is a very large order. It is a task which we may perform with increasing sill, but never really finish. Learning how to live in the greatest peace, partnership, and brotherhood with all men and women, of whatever description, is a moving and fascinating adventure. – 12&12, pg. 77.
This reopening of emotional wounds, some old, some perhaps forgotten, and some still painfully festering, will at first look like a purposeless and pointless piece of surgery. But if a willing start is made, then the great adventure of doing this will so quickly reveal themselves that the pain will be lessened as one obstacle after another melts away.  – 12&12, pg. 77.
"If we haven't the will to do this, we ask until it comes."
Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. – 12&12, pg. 80.
Whenever our pencil falters, we can fortify and cheer ourselves by remembering what A.A. experience in this Step has meant to others. It is the beginning of the end of isolation from our fellows and from God. - 12&12, pg. 82.
The AA Step 8 can be found on page 77 in the AA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.


  1. Yup - it's all about the willingness, first and foremost to me at least. The list is the list. We don't get hung up on it - just the facts, ma'am. I remember finding my list overwhelming, but I didn't get overwhelmed. I had to look at it in a business like fashion, like the inventory. I didn't have anyone on my resentment list on it, but i certainly had a lot of harms. I had to pray and talk to my sponsor about them all, and sometimes the list gets edited. But for the most part I have a few left. One or two are painful ones, but they will get done. I tell my sponsees not to think of the amends they might have to make when making the list - just make it.

    When I get hung up on an amend, or balk or slow down (guilty to all three, by the way!), I realize I don't have a step 9 issue - I have a step 8 one. I have lost willingness. So I pray again, and get it back.

    Great post!!


    1. Thanks Paul! So true. And, I know it's just a list but dag. All those memories just come flooding right back in! But I am willing, I need this to be resolved and done so I can put it to rest! And I do realize that I don't have to do all of it all at once too! That's good :)


Keep moving forward!