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- November 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm #3685822
Hello my name is jcham and I am an alcoholic. I have finished up step 8 and will be going over it with my sponsor Monday. From there I will set out to try and make right any wrongs I have done. I dont suspect there will be that many change’s over what I think I owe and to whom I will owe it to. There are two that are questonable.
The first, I caused some harm with an ex girlfriend. Long story short she co signed for a merchandise card and agreed to pay in the event that I couldnt. Big surprise I couldnt. I contacted her about 4 years ago to see how she had been to let her know some of my issues were being ironed out and that I was getting my head above water. She had a few choice words, handed the phone to her mother and then she had a few choice words told me not to contact her daughter ever again. Trust me the phone call was horrible.
I owe this person some money, my sponsor casually tells me to send her a check. In truth after that phone call any mail addresed from me would probably end up in the trash. Considering I may run into her in the future this is not fair to her or to me. Or perhaps some sort of charity. Well no contact means no contact and as far as charity The Big Book or the 12 and 12 states DIRECT AMENDS whenever possible. It doesnt say in the event that you cant pay directly give to charity. It says some amends can never be made. I guess what works for me is that in the event our paths cross again, do a face to face and cut a check. I’m willing to do that, I dont have a right to save myself at the expence of others.
The second, another ex-girlfriend. For the most part in the end her and I did the best we could to destroy one another. Police, property stolen from both sides, restraining orders and probation, etc, etc. I thought about this long and hard, prayed daily over what the right answer might be. The other night on my way to getting some Ice cream it came to me. I have come to the conclusion that there is no way I could amends this wrong with money. I could say I owe here this and I owe her that but in light of the destruction I caused no amount of money could set this right. I have also been advised that I call her first to see if she would be open to meeting with me, leave the ball in her court. On Christmas I gave her a painting that I painted, when I left I took it with me. We fought constantly over the painting. I thought perhaps this painting might go back to its owner with a very humble I’m sorry.
I dont know this whole 8th step started with me being pissed off that others wronged me more than I wronged them and that I dont owe anyone crap. I’ve beaten my head silly, obsessed over whats wrong and whats right and have come up with lets just get on with the 9th step.
Today I am free of the obsession to drink and do drugs. If this be my admission price for more of the same then I’ll galdly pay it. Thank you God :day4
JchamNovember 15, 2013 at 12:37 am #3989560
It doesn’t sound to me like you were able to see your part in the 4th column of the 4th step. Did you do a 4th column in your 4th step?
If not I would find a sponsor who could take me through the book in order and do exactly what the book explains.
If this is not the case than u may just be balkin on the 9th step. It says in 8 that we became willing to make amends to them all. It doesnt say we were ready to make amends as soon as we started in the process. It took time for me. On each of my amends I sat down with my sponsor and he had me write out the harms I caused on an individual basis. But because I saw my part in the 4th step I was able to see that there were harms I caused, it wasn’t just everyone else that was the problem. The problem was me the whole time, and my self-centered lifestyle.November 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm #3989554
Well jrock good point and thankyou for your input. Maybe we are reading out of diferent Big Books but mine gives clear instructions on how to write a forth step and it even has an example showing three columns. Never mentioned a fourth column, anywhere. You must have meant did I look at my own stuff. I think it says “Putting out if our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened” Ya I did that but continue to read because this is why when making an amends I need to take everything into consideration.
I did want to follow up with a responce to what has happened in the last week or so. If you did read my post then here is the conclusion. I did meet with my sponsor and he went over my 8th step list and sent me into the 9th. I gave two examples (above) of some questionable amends. Well my sponsor agreed the amends with the merchandise card had to be scratched and that I was to ask God to forgive me. The women and her mother made it very clear that they did not want me to contact them again. I’m sure showing up with 4k might make them change their minds but they want no contact, respect is the amends they deserve. Again if she does contact me or we run into one another in the future I will remain open.
The other amends I mentioned I had to look at very close and very hard. I had to look at both sides, wrongs she had done me and wrongs I had done her. As I mentioned her and I did the best we could to destroy our lives. I did make the call and left a very nice voice mail. After a day or so I figured this amends was a wash.
Last night the phone rang and my caller ID came up with her name. Very excited and very proud I answered the phone. It ended up to be a town police officer calling from her home phone.
The police officer told me that this woman wanted nothing to do with me but wanted her things returned to her. At first I said no problem I would send them via the mail and would be done with it. I talked with my wife, called my sponsor and did some thinking. I called back the responding officer and told her that I was sorry but I wouldnt be able to return the items after all. The police officer told me that if I was working any type of program I would send these things back to her. Well again, We made DIRECT amends to people whenever possible except when to do so would injure them or others. Sending these items back and possibly ending up in jail just might injure me, my wife and my family wouldnt it? I was willing to make the amends, made the call did my part but she was just not open to it. The best amends I can hope for is just to stay away and never contact this person ever again. Some wrongs I can never fully right, bottom line.
The big book gives clear cut instructions on sticking to my own stuff. However when there is a posibility that someone or myself may get hurt a compleat analysis of everything needs to be taken into consideration. As least this has been the case for me.
I do have to say that this call from the police really opened my eyes to what this step is really about. Many of my other amends have now been scratched out of respect for the people I have harmed. I’m sober now by God’s Grace, I went from a rock bottom junkie to a saint. I’m no longer that junkie and I’m done trying to be that saint. I’ve never been much of a middle of the road type of guy, maybe its time I start. God Bless:Val004:
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