What Is Step 8 In AA?

May 2, 2023

Step 8 in AA is one of the most challenging of all of the 12-Step Program's steps. It asks you to make a list of the people you've harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.

You can start your list by thinking about all the ways you've hurt others in the past and how that caused them pain. Then write it down on paper.

Step 8: Make a List of All Persons You Have Harmed

The process of making a list is a useful exercise that helps you to ponder the big picture. It also helps to remove some of the clutter that may be crowding out your ability to focus on what’s really important.

Using the right tools to make the list is an essential part of the process, as is thinking about who you have harmed and how you might be able to make amends. This might include friends, family members or colleagues who have been affected by your actions.

While it may be tempting to skip over this step and jump straight to the actual act of making amends, you should not. Taking the time to make this type of list is the best way to honor your past and look forward to a sober future. The most important part of this process is that you commit to making amends to those who have been harmed by your behavior and you do it with integrity.

Step 9: Make Amends to Those You Have Harmed

Making amends to those you have harmed is a crucial part of recovery. It is a spiritual practice that can help you release the guilt and shame that you may have accumulated as a result of your addiction.

Step 9 entails meeting with those people and taking responsibility for the damage you have caused. The goal is not to just say "I'm sorry," but to fix that damage by repairing relationships and building trust again.

However, it is important to keep in mind that this is not always possible. There are some people who do not want to hear from you and that can make it difficult to make direct amends to them.

For example, if you threw an intoxicated punch at your friend's house and punched a hole in their wall, it is not likely that they would want to meet with you and apologize for what you did. Rather, you can make indirect amends, such as donating money to help them or volunteering your time.

Step 10: Ask for Help

Step 10 of AA is about taking a personal inventory to identify and manage your negative emotions. While you won’t be able to suppress all of them, there are ways to minimize the most destructive ones and get through life in one piece.

A good way to start is to ask for help. You can do this by soliciting the assistance of your therapist, sober friends and other 12-Step peers.

A good rule of thumb is to take a personal inventory twice a day, one at the beginning of your day and again before bed. Using this strategy will give you a more thorough understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, which can help you decide what steps to take next in recovery. It’s also a great time to look for patterns that may lead to future problems. Taking a personal inventory might sound daunting, but it’s a necessary component to a successful recovery. The most important thing to remember is to keep your ego in check as you go through the process.

Step 11: Share Your Amends

Making amends can be a very difficult process. It requires patience, forethought, and a strong commitment to sobriety.

It can also evoke emotions that may be challenging to deal with, such as shame and regret. Having a sponsor can help you to stay grounded and focus on your goals for this step.

A sponsor can offer guidance and expertise to help you make wise decisions. They can also point out areas of confusion or misunderstanding.

If you are attempting to make amends with someone that is not ready to hear them, it can be helpful to have a friend or loved one who is willing to support you. This person can also help you to understand why the other person might not want to accept your amends and give you an opportunity to apologize in a more gentle way.

You can also make indirect amends, which are symbolic and based on what you can do to repair a rift or improve a relationship. For example, you could donate to a charity that the person was passionate about or set time aside for reflection and prayer. These actions can be a form of restitution that is acceptable in Step 9.


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