August 29

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 29: “It is better to find your courage to make changes when you can choose to rather than being forced to. If you do not make change, change will make you.”― Roy T. Bennett

I don’t know what could or would force us to work Step 8. Divorce? Death? Gunpoint? Court? Faced with life in prison?

I know addicts who have faced all of these things and not done it. And the changes we make in Step 8 are simply to acknowledge that we harmed others. There is no real action that must be taken. There is only the list to make.

What is interesting to me is this; I spent a life time with all the wrongs I had done. I knew them all in my heart. I never forgot any of them. And yet, I have worked this step with so many people who genuinely believe they can conveniently tell me that they “forgot” someone or something they had done wrong. I am stunned by that.

It was with me every waking moment, which is the reason, I believe, that alcohol could no longer take away the things I did not want to think about. Liquid courage gave me no shelter any longer. If it had, I would never have quit!

My drinking was not the source of my shame and regret when I got sober. It was the thing that helped me believe I could forget my shame. An ugly way to live. And the worse I felt, the more damage and harm I did to myself and others.

I really understand this thing, and there are so many who do not want to become totally free of their demons. Their fear of facing these people (Ego again!)  is greater than their need to be set free. It always surprises me, and makes me incredibly sad. We are so blessed, and yet so arrogant!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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