Steps 8 and 9: The Follow-Up
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which use to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but they will always materialize if we work for them. –Alcoholics Anonymous
Okay, I feel much calmer today, as I usually do once I understand what I need to do, and why I have to do it. Here is what I learned: making amends is important, because it allows me to wipe the slate clean, once and for all, in terms of the wreckage of the past. Step 4 (the personal inventory), allowed me to “get right” with myself, Step 5 (admitting to God and another human being) allowed me to “get right” with God, and Step 9 will allow me to “get right” with the world. Once completed, the remaining steps are more or less a maintenance program for the rest of my life… pretty cool stuff.
A lot of the questions that I was frantic about yesterday got answered in the same way… trust the process, and give it to God. I believe trusting the process will be critical for me, as one who tends to intellectualize everything, and thus habitually believe I am falling short of my goal. I’ll tell you what, though, the minute I heard my sponsor say to me last night, “trust the process,” it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I simply have not been trusting this process enough, and when I do, I realize how effectively this process has been working for me. I get so obsessed about doing things perfectly, and all that anxiety gets me further away from my goal, rather than closer to it.
I will be honest about one thing, and I hope I am able to prove myself wrong on this. The quote I listed above is taken from the pages of the Big Book, and it is called “the 9th step promises.” This is supposed to be the way I feel once I start making amends. Truthfully, this seems a little far-fetched, but I have been known to be wrong before, and I am certainly hoping to be wrong this time. As always, stay tuned…
Posted on October 16, 2012, in Recovery and tagged Addiction, Alcohol, Alcoholic Anonymous, God, Health, Religion & Spirituality, steps, Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve Step, Twelve-Step Program, USMLE Step 1. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.