Step Eight

Made a list of all persons we had harmed,
and became willing to make amends to them all.

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Good morning, friends. My name is Penny, and I am a compulsive eater and your leader for this quarter of WTS.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 8 is where we start to repair and clean up the chaos and wrecks we created in the past.

The Big Book says, "We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we havenít the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over (food)."

It sounds daunting and not a little unnerving, mostly because many of us assume that we're going to go back and tell people something either that they don't already know (opening a can of worms needlessly) OR that they hate us for doing to them because in our minds, they've been obsessing about our atrocious behavior all this time. But Step 8 is absolutely essential to our recovery. It truly is the start of a new relationship with our past and our true selves.

For right now, however, all we are asked to do is similar to Steps 2 and 6, become ready to do something. In this case. Step 6 asks us to become willing to make amends, so itís worth exploring what an amend actually is.

Amends are different from apologies. In an apology, you say, "I'm sorry" and move on. There are 3 sub-steps to making an amend:

  1. Admitting you did something wrong,
  2. Apologizing to the person you harmed,
  3. Atone: the next time you're in a similar position, you decide to do something different.

The question of course is how to start and what to do.

Using your 4th and 5th steps, you'll make a list.

  1. Who did you harm?
  2. What was the EXACT nature of the harm? (I stole from Bob, I gossiped about Joan, I behaved miserably towards Fred, etc.). Keep it short and simple.
  3. Decide if you are ready to make an amend to each person. It is not a terrible thing if you're not ready yet; the point is to "become willing" to make an amend.

Questions for journaling:

  1. What do you see as the difference between an apology and an amend?
  2. Why is Step 8 is essential to your recovery?
  3. If you are hesitant about Step 8, whatís holding you back?
  4. If you have worked a Step 8, can you help others understand what it felt like to make that list and become willing?
  5. What do you think you'll feel/think as you make your amend list?
  6. Please make your list and share it with your sponsor or a trusted confidante.

Thank you for letting me share Ö

Penny K

Step One
Step Two
Step Three
Step Four
Step Five
Step Six
Step Seven
Step Eight

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