I did not take my initial Step Nine well. I was in a hurry to get past the discomfort I felt, recognizing that my drinking harmed others. I did not ask for help from my sponsor, before I took it. Zipping through, I was not owning how much damage I did to others by the things I did and left undone. I wanted my own peace of mind – but it was at the expense of others. (The Twelve and Twelve, page 84)
Refresher: An AA member in a meeting I attend developed a way to start working the Twelve Steps with AA literature. Again, on this step, I have added my suggestions, too. Remember we are making progress – not aiming for perfection
STEP NINE: MADE DIRECT AMENDS TO SUCH PEOPLE WHEREVER POSSIBLE, EXCEPT WHEN TO DO SO WOULD INJURE THEM OR OTHERS.
- Read in the Big Book again from page 76 to 84 and study the promises on page 83 and 84.
- Go out and make your amends this week.
- Get at peace with all people in your life.
- Ask yourself “is there anyone that I would not feel comfortable with if they walked in this room right now.”
- Know that God is going with you all the time.
Words to study: Apology, Amends
DO NOT TAKE YOUR NINTH STEP like I took mine the first time! Ask for help and listen to counsel.
In some ways the little picture of steps* looks like what taking the ninth step feels like: We may not see exactly where we are going, or what we will find when we take this step. But taking it is evidence I realized my drinking was never just my business; I have become willing to take responsibility for the well-being of others, by owning what me drinking may have cost them. (See Matthew 5:23-24)
AA members suggest that:
- I have no demands or expectations of the person(s) to whom I speak.
- I am as willing to listen as I am speak.
- I will not assume other people will get what I am trying to do – or care.
- I was born sorry – never use that word again; try I was wrong when I describe what I am willing to own.
Thanks for reading – hope you working with your sponsor to make a plan – and that you will work the plan.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
*photographed in 2012 in West Virginia
One thought on “Taking the Ninth Step: Owning What I Cost Others”
Working Step Nine enables us to close the door on the room in our heart that we thoroughly cleaned working Steps Four through Eight. It wasn’t easy for me because some amends I can’t make — but I got a laugh from an entry in AA’s STEP-by-STEP book that captured some of my amorphous fears, regrets, and failures:
I had a really good reason for working Step Nine and making amends to my family and friends: I didn’t want a parade of people at my funeral singing, “Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead!” (Heard at Meetings, page 100)
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~Yiddish Proverb
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