Aug 01 2013

Using Step Eight

Published by at 1:16 pm under Using the Steps

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

Welcome to Using Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps in Our Personal Lives from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss how Al-Anon members use the basic principles of Al-Anon.

Today we’re going to ask Al-Anon members how they used Step Eight to help them overcome the impacts of a loved one’s drinking.

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6 comments

6 comments on “Using Step Eight”

  1. Kathy says:

    All this Step asks is for me to be willing. When I first did the Steps, over 20 years ago, I was in a different place than I am in now. I had been married for 30 years to an active alcoholic before I came into program. I made a list but couldn’t understand who I had hurt, other than my children.

    My husband was on the list as “maybe someday.” I was on the list because I was told that I should put myself there. I didn’t really understand how I had hurt myself.

    Time has passed–many Al-Anon meetings, a sponsor and sponsees. Much service in the program, in the group and above the group. My list today is different. Some people are gone, some I remember but have no idea how to get in touch with them. I have asked my Higher Power to show me who I am and in doing so He has shown me who to put on my list from all those long ago years.

    If I can’t find them or remember an incident but not their full name, I pray for them. The alcoholic passed in 1999 and these years have been years of growth and understanding of myself and my part in my life. Thanks to Al-Anon they have been wonderful years–some pain in understanding, but much joy in the life I have and never thought would be possible. I understand that I am where I am because of who I am and what I’ve done. I think that is my amends to myself, Step 9. I am still very willing.

  2. A says:

    I took a few years to work through the Steps in order and by the time I got to Step 8, I was seeing positive results from working the Steps in my personal and work life. I had already experienced the importance of “willingness” in Steps 3, 4, 5, and 6. By this time I had begun to rely more on spiritual principles instead of trying to fix every problem with my thinking. This was working for me so I kept doing it. I often prayed for willingness and I believe it always came when I needed it. Of course, I didn’t know these prayers would work at the time, but I felt desperate for change and that’s what I asked for.

    As I made a list of people and institutions I thought I had harmed, I began to look at things in a more balanced way. Sometimes people had harmed me and I acknowledged that hurt people hurt people. This made it easier to put aside what they had done and look at what I had done, or even sometimes just look at my distorted thinking. This Step did me a lot of good as practice at seeing things realistically and at compassion for myself and others.

  3. MG says:

    I’m so grateful for Al-Anon. I’ve been attending meetings for over 3 years. With the help of the program and my Higher Power, I’ve discovered a new way of life and a whole new me. When I realized that Step 8 said I could “become willing” to make amends, it was such a relief. Being willing is a big step, and I’m glad to have a way to ease into the bigger step of actually stating my amends to some of the people in my life. I plan to use Al-Anon in all facets of my life, in all my relationships, forever and ever. Amen.

  4. Leah says:

    One of the first things my sponsor suggested is to put my name on the top of my Eighth Step list. I never realized how much harm I had done to myself and then passed that down to others. The comment above mentioned losing respect from adult children. Well, I am happy to say that I have regained the respect from my adult children because they see the respect I have for myself.

    One of the greatest compliments one of my adult sons said about my Al-Anon recovery is, “What you see in my mom is someone who takes care of herself now, not someone who is selfish.” What a blessing! Concentrating on myself and taking care of myself is not selfish. What a relief!

    Keep Coming Back! I know I will!

  5. Sandi C says:

    I found that by making amends I was concentrating on myself and not the alcoholic. Staying focused on myself allows me to grow and enables me to detach from the alcoholic’s behavior.

  6. Kim says:

    I have been going to Al-Anon meetings since April of this year. Boy, what a life-changing experience! I do have a sponsor now so I am beginning my recovery book. It seems I am learning something new every day. Pertaining to this particular podcast, and step 8, it helps to see how much I’ve hurt others but how much I have hurt myself and not even realizing it.

    I am learning that I need to focus on me, my happiness, my character challenges, etc. This has been hard! Learning to love myself is something I don’t feel I have ever done. My husband and I have been married for 29 yrs. I married him when he was an alcoholic, but didn’t realize it then. He went to AA, still goes, at the same time I decided to try Al-Anon.

    Thank God for this program and the spiritual guidance I seek. It’s been hard but good. Trying hard NOT to focus on my qualifier has been a challenge and I’m recognizing that that is where I spent most of my waking moments. Lost friends, relatives got made, adult children losing respect for me. I have a lot of amends to make and as I understand it starts with making amends with ME.

    Thank You

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