How I Compiled Step Eight Honestly

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Those Other People
September 25, 2023
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The Big Book infers that we are to take stock honestly (p 64). My sponsor took this direction seriously with me because I had almost slipped after five months sober. I was informed that my mind was not always honest and that I must appeal God for help while writing my Step Eight inventory.

I was reminded that Bill Wilson wrote about the “…Great Reality deep down within us.” (p 55). This would be my source to find the unvarnished truth, rather than my deceitful alco-logical thinking which led me to the bar room, year after year.

So, I prayed to God repeatedly—like a mantra. As I wrote, with God’s help, there appeared ever so many memories of people I had harmed. These included having my name appearing in the local newspaper, over and over, for public intoxication which had to embarrass my wonderful Christian parents. Also, my younger sister when she entered high school because of the dismal reputation I left behind. I went on a two-week drinking binge during my senior year!

Reviewing this process, I began to realize how dishonest with myself I had been through all those drunken years. It is easy to suppress unpleasant memories, thus avoiding the accompanying guilt. Of course, without guilt, nothing changes!

I will be forever grateful to my sponsor for his direction and Big Book knowledge on this step. We are told not to regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it (p 83). I am still susceptible to guilt feelings to a certain degree, but not overwhelmingly. I have done what I can to make things right. Also, we are told about amends we cannot make: “We don’t worry about them if we can honestly say we would right them is we could.”

By Bob S.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.