August 15

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 15: “You need to have faith in yourself. Be brave and take risks. You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”― Roy T. Bennett

Because this is ALL about Step 8, I really want to write about how courageous we must be to do this step with thoroughness and honesty. There are always people we know we did things to harm, and yet, we are VERY reluctant to approach them with Step 9.

Doing a thorough and courageous job on Step 8 is not about Step 9. It is all about the courage it takes to be honorable about what assholes we have been.

When I had so much money to pay back to the IRS and SO many warrants out for my arrest, I felt VERY reluctant to put those on my list. However, it was impossible to hide these things and feel good about how I was doing with these steps the first time through. My sponsor insisted that I do these thoroughly, so on the list they went.

Then it took a while for me to get my cases all into the court system at one time. I had many opportunities to be helped and held by lovely people who stepped forward seemingly by miraculous intervention. And finally, I get a court date, knowing full well I was going to go to prison for at least 3-5 years. At least. So, I had to move out of my apartment that I loved and quit my job, although they told me they would hire me back when it was over, and all that stuff. I ended up in court on my 1-year sobriety birthday…too early to even get to a meeting to take a cake and a chip…dammit!

And then the judge started dismissing cases, one right after another, based on the letters of support and rehabilitation he got from so many people. I had a stack of them! And I got to walk out of there that day and go to lunch with the women who had driven all that way with me that morning to show support. It was amazing!

And my adopted daughter and her friend sang to me and had a cake at my lunch! It was so cool. The other birthdays in the last 35 years will never feel like THAT. They are important, but that one was the BEST!

The IRS took 19 years to pay off…a month at a time. I did it though and today my life is funded by the federal government in so many ways. Could not have happened if I had cheated on that list and not done the things that were there to do. I would not have it any other way. Recovery takes more courage than I once had, but I have a great deal today because I have shown up and stepped up and moved forward, even when I knew it was going to be horrible. It never has been. That is all my head, Ego tells a lot of BS stories, for sure.

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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