What was/is your hardest step?

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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What was/is your hardest step?

Postby sunlight » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:18 pm

I have worked the steps twice & am currently on my third time.

I always seem to get bogged down at step 10.

The first time I just figured my sponsor didn't know how to do 10 or she'd never done it. What do sponsor's know? :lol:
The 2nd time my life was in such turmoil I just did the best I could & when we were done my sponsor said she doesn't keep in contact with sponsees. So much for that.

But now, to feel bogged down again at 10 with an amazing sponsor & some clarity, had me puzzled. I talked to my sponsor & said that in my nightly inventory I have trouble seeing where I've been selfish. She said maybe I'm not selfish every day. OK, it's possible. I'm still stuck tho.

I was taught that if you're having trouble with a step to go back to the previous step.
Did I miss an amends?

On my 1st 4th step was my 1st love, & I saw my part & there was relief. But did I owe him an amends? No way! I'd found out he was engaged to someone else while he was with me.
Still, throughout the years I wondered. That should have been a clue :roll:

When my mom passed away in March I went to NY & he was there at the wake. We exchanged e-mail addresses & have been chit chatting now & then. I noticed a sharpness to the words. Did I owe an amends?

So I'm sitting flat as a pancake on that 10th step & know that something isn't right. Hard to explain - just not that growth & momentum of the other steps. I took Dallas's ACTION call to heart & have enrolled for training to bring meetings & sponsorship to the women's prison, so I'm not resting on those laurels.

Two days ago I get an e-mail from him. There's hurt in the words. GOOD MORNING SUNLIGHT - YOU OWE AN AMENDS! :shock: :shock: :shock:

I whip the e-mail out: "I harmed you, I'm sorry, what can I do?" (details deleted)

Response: "It was years ago, it's ok, no worries. But I owe YOU an amends as well. How can I make it right?"

And I replied: "Love your wife. Pay attention to her. Buy her candy & flowers. Tell her she's beautiful & that you appreciate her..."

I hit that send button & the rocket took off for the 4th dimension. I cried to think what I had wrote. I wished for her everything I wanted for myself & I meant it! :shock:

I'm not sure what happened here, but I feel like the Grinch whose heart was 3 sizes too small. Or like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning. :D

Last night my 10th step sparkled!

I still break out in tears & I don't know what that's about, but I think it's growing pains.

I'm here today to say - DON'T QUIT THE WORK!

More IS revealed when I'm ready& paying attention! It's such an amazing journey.

Just needed to share . Thank you.

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Postby ccs » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:29 pm

you bring tears to my eyes too !!!!! :wink:
mine were& are 4-11 I was full speed ahead when I first came in the first year 1/2 I was little miss A.A. then at year 2 I started to slack off rest on those laurels year 3
I was questioning if I did the steps right (I mean did I give it enough ,ya know, put enough in to it) asked a friend to take me through them again but then I stopped calling her at step 4
started going to church trusting more in GOD I know HE is keeping me sober now
stopped going to meetings
so here I am year 4 1/2 now I found this site and I cant stay away I`m on here every day !!!! I`ve started going back to some meetings I`m trying to get back on track somedays I am so on the beam others I`m hangin off I`m not thinking about a drink (not an option at all!!!) I have become somewhat of a hermit the past 2 years and found out its depression now that I know this I feel I can work on my self again

I know that with GOD and the 12 steps I can do it



it felt really good to get that out I NEEDED THAT :wink:
luv ya girl cessie

garden variety
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:04 pm

Wow Sunlight,

Totally Awesome!

Man that is good stuff. Made me cry too.

I'm very proud of you Sunlight. That took courage and heart. What an example of a transformed alcoholic. Thanks for making my today better!

Now about the "hardest step"...

The hardest step for me was the first one. Hands down hardest THEE hardest. I had to let alcohol beat me into a state of reasonableness. After that, there was nothing left for me BUT to pick up that simple kit of spiritual tools known as the 12 Steps - the first of which is step 1.

But the "pre-requisite", the thing you gotta do before taking the first step is also pretty hard. That's the "step that nobody calls a step" and it goes like this on page 58:

"If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps."

God bless always,

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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:12 am

Thanks for all the great sharing.

For me, Step One took the longest time for me to take. Second to that, it was Step Nine. Then, the dicipline to do Steps 10, 11, daily, was the most difficult to achieve and it's something that I have to work on daily. Now, with Step 12, it's easier than it used to be. And, it's always a "more will be revealed" Step.

I used to suffer from severe depression, also. I had numerous offers and opportunities to find an easier softer way to deal with it -- and it was revealed to me at a time of great pain and crisis in "the more will be revealed" part of Step 12, how I could use the 12 Steps and a spiritual tool-kit to deal with it.

The quality of my life is the result of the thoughts that I think and the things that I say to my self. Self talk. Since I can't stop talking to myself I have to take actions to add to and to change what I'm saying to myself. It takes a program of action, discipline and effort. And, the results are almost euphoric.

To daily get my head "rocketed into a fourth diminsion" and to keep there more often than it isn't there -- is the solution for me. And, it does work.

I can't change my thinking by thinking about changing my thinking -- but I can take actions that will change my thoughts -- and the contually changing thoughts results in changed thinking. And, when my thinking is changed -- I'm no longer saying depressing things to myself.


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Postby ccs » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:40 pm

thanks for those words DALLAS :wink:

and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! everyone
MMMMMMMM chocolate!!!! :D


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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:54 am

"In the Spirit of the sunlight..."

Thanks for sharing your experience of growth...isn't it awesome when we ourselves recognize that growth? And...that relief when we have finally let something go--even when we 'thought' it was something that we let go of a long time ago. To hang on to hurt, and hope, means to hang on to resentment...and that's a number 1 killer for us. I read something on a road sign a couple of months back..said: the longer you carry a grudge, the heavier it becomes. I had a couple of amends that were the most difficult to face, however, they had to be the first on my list to be rid of if I were to remain sober...they were tough, because, mainly...I didn't know what to expect/the outcome. The one, I did not want to exchange many words...as, what's done is done, so...a short note with one very important word: Amends. I said a prayer as I dropped it in the mail box, and the relief that I experienced was amazing. The second major amends also included an "own up" to something I'd kept to myself. I did not expect any kind of response, which was okay. The relief I felt with that one was also overwhelming, but not as much as when I did receive a response, and one of surprise...and that was the other person asking me if I?? was okay??? His genuine and heartfelt concern nearly dropped me to my knees. I felt that I was undeserving of such kindness, given the issue that had been between us. To make amends to others?? That I thought would be the toughest of steps...but with these 2 cappers scratched off the list...and, knowing the feeling afterwords gives me encouragement, and the willingness to move on to the other steps...after all...the reward following step 12 is a spiritual awakening as a result--and that "rush" is precisely the rush I chased when drinking.

Peace and Love kids,

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Postby sunlight » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Sorry to be so late in thanking you for your post! It was an eye-opener to see that hanging on to hope is a resentment too! :x

Funny, with the old boyfriend that I made amends to - the correspondence went sideways so fast that I had to tell him I didn't think it was appropriate to be e-mailing anymore.

Don't know which was better, that or the amends! :D

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Postby Victor » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:00 pm

For Sunlight...

Finding fault
From within
How to start
Admitting them

Changes reluctant
Work is hard
Seek the sustenance
Resentments for discard

A daily must
Spiritual cleansing
In Higher Power do trust
Amends for the making...

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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:55 pm

Postby GeoffS » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:20 pm

Great share Sunlight,

Step 10 always sounds a lot easier than it often turns out to be.

I guess thats why the BB has really precise instructions on page 84, from "Continue to watch.." to "...resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help." This little procedure helps me initially by getting me out of self. When I am in self it is difficult for me to work out the precise nature of whats wrong. When I follow the instructions on page 84 I can usually see things clearly and its usually not what my "self-bound" thoughts first seemed.

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Postby MikeM1968 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:46 pm

I remember I was in the process of writing my first 4th step (I'm grateful there are still some trees left in the world!!) Something I was doing prompted my sponsor to question my readiness to go ahead. He told me I had to go back and do step three again. This wasn't the first time we went through this.

I definitely struggled with step three. At least one or two times he even told me I had to go back to two again!! I got frustrated. I was in that "I'm going to graduate from this program" mode of thinking. Self will still running riot in my early recovery. I believe I struggled so much now because my mind was still filled with so much garbage and stinking thinking. That took a while to really settle down. I was still "running the show" in my head. I was getting into trouble by doing what I wanted to do and not running it by him first, or telling him (after the fact). I wasn't used to telling anyone else what my plans were. I wasn't used to letting people in. After-all, wasn't I always independent and self reliant? Apparently I wasn't too good at those either! My sponsor would say "your best thinking is what got you here" about my struggles with step three. I even started to think my sponsor was trying to "control" me. LOL

That was a tough one for me. Finally I heard someone "explain" the third step at a meeting with this; "Three frogs sat on a log, two decided to jump off, how many are left?" The answer is THREE FROGS. Two only DECIDED to jump off, they didn't actually jump yet. Somehow that's what helped me to understand and internalize step three. That kept it simple (stupid). I should start telling people what my plans are before I act on them. Strangely enough, it's what's also kept my thinking in check. My former crazy schemes and ideas lost something for me when I knew I'd have to share them with others first. I actually just stopped thinking those thoughts after a while.

I finally did do a 5th step, after I had to add even more material to my 4th (including a resentment I now had against my sponsor!!) By now I had some real good recent dirt on myself just from acting like a fool in recovery!

Step 8 was a cutting down to size process. My sponsor really let me see how hard I was being on myself. He told me to remove many names and incidents from my list. He also told me to put my name at the top AND again at the bottom.

Some of my 9th I still haven't done. I've done what I could so far.

I stopped struggling with the steps when I began to see how they applied to my life. I began to make them a working part of my mind. I'm not even so sure how and when it happened, it just did.

10,11 and 12 have been the continuous maintenance steps. I'm not always sure if I'm doing my 12th the best I can sometimes. Sometimes it seems that the life that God and AA has blessed me with gets in the way. I have to always remember that even going to a meeting to carry the message is 12th step work.


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