Dear Fellow Travelers,
Step Nine Essay
How the weeks seem to slip away and with them the countless hours
reading and researching all that has been learned over what some could
call a lifetime. This then is the step of action, real action, where all
of the humility and truth we have gathered in the first eight steps are
so heavily relied on to complete step nine. The feared, and at times
rightfully so, 4th step begins to pale in light of step nine. If those
reading this started out on this journey of discovery, they now know that
nothing is impossible when we seek God in all our actions. This step is
no different, well maybe just a little, as we make sure our actions and
words concern our defects only. All of the good done in the previous
eight steps has brought us to the making of amends.
Step nine, then, is the concrete we use to show we are in earnest to change
our behaviors. There is no room in this or any step to show others their
part in our misdeeds; just ours.
How is this to be done? First of all we do not run amuck to everyone on our list: no, no, no. Remember how we sat with our sponsor and looked over our eighth step and some items were removed? We have to now see who or what must be excluded from our face-to-face amends-making, lest it injure them or others. A good example
would be to apologize to the spouse of someone you have had an affair
with. It might also be dangerous! My sponsor told me to stop bragging; he
was right again.
Now before anyone takes offense of my humor, allow me to state that without
that humor my life would have surely ended long ago. My understanding of making amends is that it is something done to make up for things I inflicted on other
people, places, things or situations. If my words caused pain, then I need
to erase them with praise; money should be replaced; and nastiness turned
into acceptance. The way to make amends is as varied as our sins are. One
of the things my sponsor warned me about was to be ready for people to
reject my amends as either feeble or unnecessary, as they could not care
less, as we were not important enough to think of. OUCH!!! Well some will
do that, others will say they had long since forgiven and forgotten, and
the precious few will love you all the more for being honest and
Here we are, food no longer an option to salve our bruised ego and all
these feelings of shame and guilt over our past.
Well like the man says, no pain no gain. Most amends at some point
require us to say I'm sorry for what I've done and this is the way I
would like to make good. What, after all, do we stand to lose besides an obsession or two, some extra pounds, fear, self-centered negative behavior - well, you get the message. Pride is usually the largest stumbling block we face, and fear is the companion of
pride. Yes, without a doubt these are difficult propositions we face. However, the rewards are so tremendous that the difficulties are but sand on a white beach that stretches for miles.
If at this moment there is anything to hold you back, then go to the AA
BB and read pages 83 and 84. I'm living proof that a man may be living
in his car and still feel the love of his God make him whole again.
In the same way, grace can save us from compulsive eating. That same grace
will remove all barriers, in healing all the misunderstandings and bad
feelings towards ourselves. Remember we do this for our salvation and to
feel the promises come true. The elation of a day's worth of abstinence
are so small, when the grace of God comes to us, even as we start this 9th
step. Keep your sponsor and Higher Power with you, examine your motives
and then, do the next right thing. Surely we are all with you as we
trudge this road of happy destiny.
If you have come this far, now is the time to consider giving this to
those who still suffer. Give this away to the next guy by becoming a
sponsor. This is one of those absolute statements: sooner or later what
you have will erode and disappear, if not shared freely with another. So many are confused and have so many questions that can be answered by people who are reading this message. AND WHY NOT.......Danny