We Got a Pretty Severe Shock (Step Eight Continued)

When listing the people we had harmed, most of us hit another solid obstacle.  We got a pretty severe shock when we realized that we were preparing to make a face-to-face admission of our wretched conduct to those we had hurt.  It had been embarrassing enough when in confidence we had admitted these things to God, to ourselves, and to another human being.  But the prospect of actually visiting or even writing the people concerned now overwhelmed us, especially when we remembered in what poor favor we stood with most of them.  There were cases, too, where we had damaged others who were still happily unaware of being hurt.  Why, we cried, shouldn’t bygones be bygones?  Why do we have to think of these people at all?  These were som of the ways in which fear conspired with pride to hinder our making a list of all the people we had harmed.

I don’t want to pass this off lightly, and I won’t.  The thing is I’m not quite sure what to do with this.  I understand that my first Step Eight happened long ago and far away, and that in going through the steps again, for the third time in 24 years of sobriety, I’m taking a deeper, better, newer look.  Hopefully I’ve made amends as I’ve gone through life for the past 24 years, sober in AA.  That’s the ideal and the plan anyway.

Coming at this from a new and present perspective, and listing the people I have trouble with at work first on the “list,” I’m pretty much stymied as to how to proceed.  I’ve known these people only in sobriety, and I really hope my behavior hasn’t been “wretched,” but I don’t want to gloss over it if it has been.

Food for thought, and I will continue.


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