Step 8 of Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12 Steps is the premier methodology of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an organization that had helped individuals struggling with alcohol addiction achieve and maintain recovery for nearly a century. Step 8 of Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the most proactive steps in the process, and encourages people to make “a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” As such, Step 8 will see one begin to actively repair relationships damaged in the midst of their addiction, and to confront positive and negative behaviors and thoughts in the process.
What Is the 8th Step in Alcoholics Anonymous?
Step 8 of AA is regarded as one of the most challenging steps by many members. This step requires you to make a list of people you have harmed and be willing to apologize and right your wrongs. This step is so challenging because it requires you to take an honest look at just how much your alcoholism has impacted the people around you. People who suffer from alcoholism often behave in ways they would never behave if they were not under the influence of alcohol. The essence of Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8 is to come to terms with the actions your alcohol addiction encouraged and take personal responsibility for any harm you have caused another human being.
As you approach the 8th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous it is important for you take a moment to recognize just how far you have come since your very first AA meeting. Completing seven Alcoholics Anonymous steps is an impressive accomplishment. Take comfort in knowing that the first seven steps of the program have prepared you for this step. If you find yourself struggling with Step 8, remember that you have the help and support of your sponsor and the AA fellowship. Your sponsor was once in the same exact position you are in now. It is likely that your sponsor felt similar to the way you feel now when he or she was approaching Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8.
Step 8 of AA: Apologize and Right Wrongs
Of course, righting one’s wrongs always seems easier than it actually is. It can take a great deal of humility to be able to face those who you wronged and apologize. The daunting nature of this Step can appear insurmountable to many. Some may wonder if a simple apology can alleviate the harm they caused. In short, everybody’s situation is different, but approaching somebody, offering a sincere apology, and showing commitment to repairing one’s relationship can be an important first step. As the 12 Steps shows, healing is a process, and one cannot expect everything to be well after completing Step 8. Instead, think of Step 8 as the beginning of a new journey, one in which you will work to repair and rekindle connections with those that you harmed during your pursuit of alcohol.
Risks of Relapse During Step 8 of AA
Some people find that the 8th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous increases their self-destructive thoughts and they begin to crave alcohol. This is a normal response, especially since Step 8 requires you to face some negative thoughts and emotions that may have led you to drink in the first place. If you find these thoughts and cravings too difficult to resist, you may want to consider some additional treatment options. Seeking out additional treatment options does not mean that you failed AA. Just the opposite is true. It means that you worked the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and realized that you had more to work through than you initially thought. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength.
Finding Help for Alcohol Addiction
Help for alcohol addiction is easy to find, but it is not always easy to ask for. Overcoming an addiction to or a dependency on alcohol can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but if you’ve made the decision to stop drinking you’ve crossed the most important hurdle in your recovery.
However, if you or a loved one need detox support or addiction treatment, you may benefit from attending treatment at a dedicated rehab facility. American Addiction Centers (AAC) operates treatment facilities nationwide, with navigators standing by 24/7 to help you get admitted into treatment. Our addiction helpline may also be able to help connect you with rehabs near you. To speak to an admissions navigator, call .