I never destroy my Fourth Step work, so I can quickly make an Eighth Step amends list using the folks I mentioned in Step Four. But my Eighth Step list often includes more names than I’d written before. There are always more people I have harmed, even people toward whom I hold no negative feelings whatsoever, not even resentment.

I have been snappy with folks just because they were in the vicinity while I was focused elsewhere (“sideways anger,” we might call it). I have also added amends to folks who were interacting with me when I was out of focus, overwhelmed by life. When that happens, I cannot tune in to those around me very well at all. Talk about self-centered—I much prefer being spiritually centered: fewer amends!

Then there is the part about becoming willing to make direct amends to them all. Though I become willing almost immediately with some of the people on the list, with others, it takes more time. Those others become topics of lengthy and repeated talks with my sponsor, and often with my therapist. By the time I have done a thorough Fourth Step, I usually see my part pretty clearly. But if I am still harboring ill will toward anyone, I really, really need to get my metaphorical ducks in a row before I even attempt an amends. Getting to the point where residual ill will is not interfering with my amends is the vast majority of what happens with me during the Eighth Step.

Steps Six and Seven are transformative for me. I genuinely learn a new way of thinking. I begin a new way of acting as well. By the time I am doing my Eighth, I really do want to clean up the wreckage of my past and mend the harms I have done wherever possible. And the Eighth Step is the springboard for creating genuinely healthy relationships, based on honesty, humility, balance, appreciation, and objectivity. My isolation begins to dissipate. I continue my journey toward healthy interactions with the human race, rather than using food and control and obsession and manipulation and denial and the many other unhealthy ways I’d tried to live. Now, new ways arrive in my mind and show up in my actions.

Slowly but surely, as I am relieved of my compulsive relationship to food, I become able to clean up my relationships and leave my desire for isolation behind!

— Edited and reprinted from Focus on Recovery newsletter, Triad OA Intergroup, August 2011

  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More Related Articles
  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More By admin
  • Low-Tech Outreach

    I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…
  • Available to Everyone

    Here are a few ways I carry the message to other compulsive overeaters. I print out OA’s C…
  • Radio-Active

    I was listening to a commentary about obesity on our local radio station. The commentator …
Load More In Steps
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Low-Tech Outreach

I am on my intergroup’s public information committee. We make flyers with a tear-off porti…