Thursday, June 10, 2010

Step Nine "Made direct amends ...

to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."

My sponsor (bless his heart) crossed off most of the people on my Step 8 list. He left me with just 3 people to whom I needed to make a direct amends. These were both of my parents and my life-partner. Two would have to be in writing and the amends to my mom would be fact-to-face. As I said, yesterday, I was ready.

He (my sponsor) insisted that he see my written amends before I sent them in case they needed some editing. They did. He reminded me to keep it simple and to the point.

We talked about what I would say to mom. As it turned out, I had a lifetime of neglect and short-tempered outbursts to make amends for. The best I could offer her would be as a living amends to change those behaviors. But I still had to ask her how I could make things right. What would be her suggestions?

When all was said and done, the results were magnificent. My amends were well received by those I loved. Now, a few years down the road, this step changed my life. And made the lives better for those I loved. I was able to be the primary caretaker for my mother during her last 3 years on this planet as she slowly died from a major stroke. I was her attentive son, at her eside when I could be. I never missed seeing her because I was sitting an a bar - drunk.
I am still with my partner. His request to me to not treat him abusively any more is always on my mind. Sometimes, I relapse to my old ways, but those times are a little less each year. I have Step 10 at my disposal when necessary. Next week, we celebrate our 8th year together.

I love Step 9 (in case you couldn't tell).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for commitment to my recovery design for living

that my friend Marcos shared his story of experience, strength and hope yesterday

that I had the honor to listen to another fifth step yesterday; I'll get to hear another one next week, I think

Then give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.
- Madeline Bridges


Mary Christine said...

Dave, you made me cry!

These few paragraphs could sum up what real recovery looks like in a life. It affects so many others, not just ourselves.

God bless you. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Such an astute sponsor too. And I like the way those living amends have worked out --

Syd said...

I am so glad that this step brought such a change in your life. It helped me to see that I needed to change my behavior and set things right with the people who I loved, yet still wronged. I am grateful to have made those amends. And that Step 10 is there for me when my character defects cloud my actions.