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Step 8: Making a List, Checking it Twice

man writing step 8 list

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Some people use the list they generated from Step 4 to get a ballpark idea of the people they will make amends to in Step 8. Some sponsors will help you prioritize the list into classes – amends that are easy and attainable, amends that will take a little more time because they’re more emotionally invested, and amends you feel you can never make. The more secure you are in your program and connected to your Higher Power, the further you will work down your list – the most important thing is making sure you’re not jeopardizing your sobriety. The goal is healing, not hurting yourself or others more, but more on that in Step 9.

Writing Your List Sounds Easy

Making the physical list is the easy part. The most difficult part of Step 8 is becoming truly and genuinely willing to make amends. The resentments you have should fall away by now so you can recognize the role you played and are honestly willing to make the amends, which cannot happen if you’re still holding onto the anger you have towards that person.

I did Step 8 a little differently because I made a new list, which included a good number of individuals from Step 4, then went over the list with my sponsor. Next came a lot of interpersonal work and the willingness to go to ANY lengths to fix things without putting yourself in harm’s way. The best thing you can do is consult with your sponsor on everything and figure out if an alternative method has to be used. I know it’s a tall order, and the thing to remember is this step is never really completed because it comes back later on in the “maintenance step” (Step 10) of the 12 Step Program.

  • Ryan Teague

    Ryan Teague, CRC is an Alumni Coordinator for Lakeview Health. His own personal journey through addiction allows for a unique and personal approach to helping people recover. For Ryan, being able to give back to the recovery community is very gratifying. He considers helping the newcomer find the path to long-term recovery a privilege and necessary for his own recovery. Born in St. Louis, he moved to the Jacksonville Beach area in 1986 and has been there ever since. When he is not at work or in an AA meeting he enjoys golfing and taking his boat out.

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