- Step 9

Step 9




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Step 9

Postby dutchmen » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:06 pm

I stole my aunts TV at her winter home 15 years ago.
She doesn't know I did it. Maybe.
1/2 measures availed us nothing. I am sober 13 years. I have not been able or willing to make this amends.

do I tell her and buy her a new TV?
do I make a large donation at her church?

I have done nothing and it is on my mind.

Thanks and God Bless

Rob
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Postby Dallas » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:17 pm

I wish you the best of luck Rob.

I can only share my experience with you on this one.

I believed it when I read it in our book, that I would have to make full and direct amends. I didn't want to do it but most of this deal for me, has seemed to involved doing things that I didn't want to do. And, it's kept me sober, returned me to sanity (most of the time), and given me a pretty happy and good life. If I discovered that I had cut a corner some where, (and I have made those discoveries)... I would take care of it. My sobriety and my sanity is too precious to risk it for anything.

It's interesting that you brought up this topic. This morning I was reflecting on the importance and the therapeutic value of Step 5.

My thoughts were along the lines of something I heard as a newly sober alcoholic, and that was "you're only as sick as your secrets."

I always hated hearing that because I didn't understand it and I thought it was crap and some idiots way to get us to tell things about ourselves that would put us in a vulnerable position in life -- so that they could come along later and hammer us with something and muscle us into doing something. You know... like blackmail us.

Now, I see it entirely different.

My greatest obstacle to life, including the roots and core of my drinking, and my difficulties in trying to get sober and stay sober and maintain healthy relationships... was honesty.

And, I don't mean it as the gross types of dishonesty such as cheating, lying, stealing, and the like... even though those are bad... it was just simple little everyday honesty.

Here is how it worked for me: My dishonesty was my Power greater than myself. It was my ability to hide... to hold back... and to deny... who I was and what I believed about myself. It was my Great Protector in life. Regardless if it was the "little white lies"... or the outright denials... at the core was always dishonesty.

I learned that the word "Honest" comes from "Hon" = "at one with" and "est" = "that which is."

I had spent my whole life trying to "not be" at one -- with "what was" or "what is." It was my efforts and attempts to escape my perceptions of reality.

And, it was not until I was pained and pressured enough... to get real -- in regards to getting honest, and being "at one with what is"... that I could ever move forward into getting better.

I didn't want to do it. I wasn't willing to do it. And, I would have never done it... and wouldn't do it today... if there was another option, that didn't risk my sobriety and the good life that I enjoy today.

I learned rapidly that my life and my sobriety is the results of the actions that I take. And, sometimes -- "not taking an action" -- is actually taking actions to not take the action. And, there will be results.

Honesty is a prerequisite of acceptance. Acceptance is not something I do -- acceptance is the results of the actions that I take.... and the first action is always to get honest.

The Five Emotions that are my greatest threats to the good life is Guilt, Remorse, Fear, Feelings of being different, and Loneliness.

Any one of those emotions... left unchecked, is enough to take me out. So, I have to become willing to do whatever I have to do -- to maintain emotional sobriety.

I was told a long time ago, and I believe it because I've experienced it, that many of the things that were wreckage in our past... will slip by us in our memories. But, when it comes to the forefront of my mind... when I become aware of it enough to start thinking about it... then, it's time that I have to do something about it.

That's how it works for me. I hope me sharing my experience will be helpful to you, in your decisions as to what you might want to consider. And, if it doesn't -- hopefully, I didn't harm anything! :wink:

Best regards,

Dallas
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Postby Susan » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:35 pm

I did have one question? What is your relationship with your Aunt today?Does she know you are sober today and trying to live a different life? You do need to make amends, the question is how and when.
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amends

Postby dutchmen » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:47 pm

Hello:

I don't have a relationship with my Aunt. My Mom does. I can justify alot
of reasons not to make direct amends. I know my Mom will hear it and take the brunt of my amends. If it would truely affect only me,I would make it,right now. I am willing. I know my side of the street isn't clean.
My sponsor suggested,after hearing about the amends,to make a donation
at the church across the street from her house. That sounds easy and
and I don't think it is the right thing to do. I dunno. I will pray about it.




Thanks for sharing Dallas,
Rob
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Postby Dallas » Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:54 pm

Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

(The underlines are mine... they're not in the book).

I think that says... "direct amends"... "to such people" and "wherever" possible. (I used to mis-read that as "when-ever" possible). :oops:

When I was fairly new in sobriety... and trying to get a jump start on Step 9, I brought a bunch of letters over to my sponsor for him to read... they were my "amends letters"... and I thought he would be real proud of my initiative! :lol:

He asked, "What are you going to do with those?" And, I said "Mail them to the people I harmed!"

He said, really? Then, he asked me... "Did you hurt all those people by mail with letters?"

And, I said... "Of course not!"

He said, "then you don't make direct amends to them by sending them letters!"

He asked, "do you owe people money?" I said, "yes"... He said "those people don't want letters for amends... they want their money that you owe them!"

That, for me... had been a prime example of "me" listening to things I heard... shared in meetings... thinking "it was the program." :lol: :lol:

It nearly killed me listening to stuff in meetings and mixing it up with the program... that's written down for us in the Big Book. Gees! What a difference!

I mentioned this in my reply to another post that you made regarding Steps 9, 10, 11, but I'll go ahead and mention it here, too....

I think the answer to your question in regards to the TV and your aunt... is to be found on page 83, of the Big Book... in the 3rd paragraph.

I hope that helps.

Dallas B.

BTW, did you take a TV from the church, too?
:wink:
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amends

Postby dutchmen » Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:36 pm

The answer was clear after I read Dallas's response and I replied. It came to me real clear. I stole my Aunts TV. I need to make direct amends to her. I am willing to do that. God is with me and was the day
I stole it.

Rob
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Postby eastcoastscott » Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:47 pm

Wow good stuff said here. I am actually at this step too and luckily don't have many people to make amends to. I expect one to not go too smoothly, may even result in being told to F off by the person. I am not concerned about that really, I am making the effort, explaining that I am in recovery and I am doing things required by my recovery program. I'm not so sure that the objective is to get anything in return from these people, just to go thru the humbling and cleansing process to clear our minds and rid of us any feelings of guilt, shame etc. People are actually impressed with the show of honesty, sincerity and courage it takes us to do this step, after all, these are good qualities we are showing them. Just my way of observing this step.
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Postby Susan » Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:50 am

Good work Rob, discussing step nine and preparing for an amends is very helpful. You will be able to do what is right. :D
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 9