How To Apply Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8 in REAL Life

If you’re on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program, congratulations.

You’re on a path to a better life.

While you probably feel uplifted and live during your meetings, things might change once you leave the comfort of the group.

The real world is much less forgiving than your fellow alcoholics.

Yes, following the Alcoholics Anonymous steps in real life can be difficult, especially when other people have no idea what you are doing.

However, staying on track is essential to completing the program. In particular, step eight is crucial to your healing process.

Understand Step Eight

Step eight of the Alcoholics Anonymous program wants people to have “made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Compiling this list of people can take a lot of time and effort. This is probably why one study found that only 23.5 percent of people in the program participated in step eight.

However, there’s a reason it’s a part of the program – because it’s an important tool in leaving the past behind and moving forward. You need step eight to help you on your way.

If you feel lost during this step and your sponsor isn’t available, you can always call 800-839-1686Who Answers? for guidance.

Separate Your Life Into Categories

Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8

Step 8 involves compiling a list of all the people you’ve wronged.

On paper, your life might seem narrow and easy to organize. However, you know this isn’t the case.

You’ve probably wronged a lot of people throughout the years, and simply listing them all in one huge bullet point list will make it too hard to manage.

Instead, separate the list into different categories, such as work, school, and family.

Not only will this make it easier to make amends in the next step, but it will also help you be more comprehensive.

You’ll be able to remember more, which will help you feel so much better in the end.

Keep the List With You at All Times

Chances are, you won’t be able to compile an accurate list of people you have wronged while sitting there with your sponsor.

For one, you might feel awkward. Secondly, it might just be hard to actually remember everyone and everything you’ve done.

That’s why it’s important to carry a pocket list with you at all times. As you go about your day, being in certain places or with certain people might trigger memories of bad times you sought to block out.

For example, a trip to the grocery store might help you remember how you stole your parents grocery money for booze.

Write these things down as soon as you think of them so that you can get everything off of your chest.

How Do I Make Amends While in Residential Care?

Become Willing to Make Amends

Perhaps the hardest part of this step is actually becoming willing to make amends.

In many cases, you may feel like the situation isn’t entirely your fault. Maybe the injured party was also an alcoholic who provoked you.

Regardless of where the fault actually lies, it’s important to let it all go.

You can practice this in real life by taking more accountability for your mistakes, no matter how small they are.

For example, if you cut someone in line at the bank, own up to it. Apologize to their face, and offer to move to the back of the line.

This behavior will help you become accustomed to the difficulty of apologizing for much bigger mistakes in step nine.

With a little creativity, step eight should be easy to enact in real life. However, if you need more help, just give our hotline a call at 800-839-1686Who Answers?.

References:

https://www.ivcc.edu/uploadedFiles/_faculty/_mangold/12%20Steps%20of%20AA.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3707937/

How the helpline works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC), a paid advertiser on AlcoholicsAnonymous.com.

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For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit AmericanAddictionCenters.org. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.