Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 1 - We are no longer in denial, we are able to admit that our lives were unmanageable because alcohol was controlling us, we couldn't control it.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 2 - In the second step we searched deep within ourselves and found our own higher power whom-ever or what-ever that may be to us that will give us hope, strength, and courage restoring us to sanity.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 3 - With the third step we have to be completely willing to turn over the way we think (which has been negative) as well as our actions (which have been negative) over to our 'higher power' as we individually understand him.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 4 - In this step we searched deep inside taking honest moral inventory of our self, who have I been, what have I done, and where have my behaviors taken me. Where have I ended up due to my addictive behaviors? This step wasn't easy and takes time but it's critical to our recovery.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 5 - This is a hard step and unless it's worked thoroughly and completely to the best of our ability we are only short changing ourselves. It was hard enough in step 4 to take responsibility for our shortcoming s by admitting them to our self. In this step, we have to take what we know now, our deep dark secrets and admit them to another person as well as our 'higher power'. It wasn't easy but we did it and the denial we once hid behind is now gone, and it feels good. We are on our way now to a healthy and happy sobriety.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 6 - In this step we are preparing ourselves to let go of the negative character flaws and defects that we now recognize about our self. By the time step 6 is completed we not only identified our shortcomings but we are completely willing to give them up and get rid of them which is in no way easy to do.
Alcoholics Anonymous Step 7 - With Step 7 we have already made our fearless moral inventory in which we found character flaws and defects in ourselves that once we really reflected upon, were quite humiliating. We have learned a lot about ourselves since then and we are growing spiritually because of what we've recognized and learned. We are no longer justifying our past behaviors and faults, instead we're humbly seeing and feeling them.
When working this step we have to remember it has to do with people in our lives, personal relationships as well as others. This step can take some time and can be difficult because we're thinking about our past behaviors and actions that may have harmed people in our life. Right now we're just reflecting on our past and making a list of the people in our lives that were affected by our behaviors and alcoholism.
In order to really let go, we have to not only be aware of the people in our lives that we have harmed or hurt but we have to be willing to make amends. Right now we're just listing the people in our lives that our behaviors, actions, choices and reactions have hurt, caused sorrow, pain, injury, or grief to.
This can go a lot further than just the people in our lives that we love and care about. People we work with, neighbors, friends etc. This also includes people that we have possibly harmed during our sobriety that we still may be hurting and affecting now. Our selfishness, irresponsibility, tempers, and dishonesty causes emotional, mental and spiritual pain and damage to others and we not only need to be aware, but have the desire and be willing to make amends. Sometimes people are even physically affected and hurt due to our past and present behaviors and alcoholism such as accidents or physical confrontations.
There may even be people in your life that were or still are financially affected by your harmful behaviors and alcoholism. Borrowing money and never paying back, stealing, neglecting to pay child support etc. Maybe you have relationships or a marriage that failed and you're still angry and not able to see your part yet that played a role in it.
You may be surprised while working step 8 and realize that there's still a lot of anger or resentment on your part that needs to be worked through because you're having a hard time letting go. It's very important to see our part in problems or failed relationships in order to let go and move forward. This may mean you still have work to be done before you can work through step 8 and that's ok. Each step takes time, there's no time frame when working through the 12 steps so they mustn't be hurried through.
You will see that each step is important and very powerful when they're completed. Taking responsibility for our own behaviors, actions and choices is very powerful and will make a huge difference in your abstinence and sobriety.