Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Most recently I have been thinking about a friendship I developed in sobriety, with a fellow, another addict, that I met in a room of Alcoholics Anonymous.
To make a long story short, a disagreement occurred, and I did what I often did best all my life, particularly while in active addiction, I walked away.
As many of you know from some of my writing, I was once a particularly sensitive person, just like many other grateful recovering addicts and alcoholics. I use the past tense because I no longer want to embrace that particular character flaw, as I am actively working the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
My character is evolving and I am changing, for the better, on a daily basis.
With that said, at times I miss spending time with my former friend and fellow addict. We have a lot in common, including some of our character defects which perhaps resulted in the demise of our friendship.
Regarding my side of the street, perhaps I was just too judgmental and I focused too much on her character defects instead of all the beautiful things about her.
Ever since I was a child, I have had a tendency to be so self-absorbed that rather than look at the whole person, I focus more on what that particular person did to me…..how she/he hurt me…..unable to forget it, even if I can forgive.
In the situation with my friend, I focused more on how she often yelled at me unexpectedly and how temperamental she could be, rather than how loving she was, kind, loyal, fun and creative.
My part was that I did not see that her behavior was not really about me. It had nothing to do with me, but I took it personal. Maybe she did not know any better, and perhaps it was how she was once treated.
I could have been more patient and tolerant, and less superficial, vapid, judgmental and sensitive.
With this newfound awareness I recognize how often I have played the victim and then subsequently walked away from friendships.
Due to Alcoholics Anonymous, I am learning about balance and to look beneath the surface.
In fact, I am learning to not judge a person based on a few character defects. Today I focus more on the beauty of the person, rather than the negativity.
As a result, I made a coffee-date with my friend so that I can make amends for not recognizing enough of her beauty to maintain our friendship. Perhaps you have a situation in which you can do the same.
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