Used 201301-23 Don't Miss A Step  (Al K Hall Anonymous recovery alcoholism sobriety)

Don’t Misstep

i realize i’m one of the few Alcoholics Anonymous supporters in our community here. In my defense, i can state as fact that i would never have been able to reach two years of sobriety if it weren’t for the AA program.

i’m not saying AA is THE way to sobriety, i’m saying it’s my way. i’ve always said the best program is the one that works for you.

Anyway here’s something i noticed about how AAmazing the steps are.

i’ve just concluded steps 6 & 7.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

As i’ve mentioned before, some of what i learned taking these steps was to be “right-sized“.

Now, i embark on Steps 8 & 9.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

As i compile the lengthy list of people i have ‘harmed’ (and after 30 years of drinking, it’s a pretty extensive list), i’m tempted to get angry at myself, to berate myself for having been such an asshole to so many for so long. But as soon as those negative thoughts arise…i remember what i learned about being right-sized and i’m sorted once again.

The beauty with which each step flows into the next, the foundation that each lays for the next, the synergy that exists to create such overall harmony in the 12 Steps is truly divine. LiterAAlly.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on January 23, 2013, in AA Step Work, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Wow, awesome stuff matey. Well done you. And try not to get too glum looking back on all the shit that your drinking may have left in its wake. For look where you are now! You could still be at the bottom of a bottle, but no… you are brave and strong and amazing. xxx

  2. I love what Mrs D writes up there. True stuff. Ditto.


    i’ve always said the best program is the one that works for you.


    There may come a day when AA will not be right-sized for you or a good fit. It’s possible. It has happened to some for various reasons.

    But you have identified the important part. It’s working for right now, and right now is what you (and everyone, really) needs to be concerned with the most.

    I really do admire it as an organization overall, knowing what it is trying to do for people and the methods by which it does it. I can also see where people might have a beef with it. It is, after all, an organization full of people and full of recovering alcoholics, all of whom have had “alcoholic thinking” dominate their pasts (and present, at times). Sure, there will be kinks when it comes to the “human factor.” Nothing is perfect.

    But I believe it works, and the reason I do is that I have seen you transformed.

    Congratulations on working it through to begin on Steps 8 & 9. That is progress, and I am happy for you that you have dedicated yourself to doing the work so far.

    Keep going, and keep growing.

    Also, a little on the private side, but public enough because I think others will benefit, although feel free to edit this if it bothers you or anything.

    From the standpoint of a wife, of someone who lived with you as not only an active alcoholic but also in the first year of recovery, it actually feels really good to have you acknowledge this:

    … i’m tempted to get angry at myself, to berate myself for having been such an asshole to so many for so long

    I don’t in any way mean this to berate you nor do I want you to berate yourself. All people who are alcoholics and actively using and drunk are assholes. I have been a total asshole when drunk, myself. It is a part of the disease and a part of the mechanism of alcohol working on the brain. It is without exception, so it *is* really important for you not to berate yourself about it.

    But also, it is really good to read that you know now that you were an asshole on alcohol. One of the things about active alcoholics is the denial that they *are* being an asshole when drinking — it is everyone else who is the asshole for not being more accepting of the alcohol abuse.

    It’s a tough one. I know for a long time, I felt like I was being an asshole for not being more accepting of your drinking. Sometimes you made me feel like I was being an asshole if I did not accept you and your drinking more.

    I’ve had to “untwist” my own brain and thinking about that and put things in a right perspective.

    To read your acknowledgement at last feels better. I thought maybe I was just being a jerk if I didn’t love you because of the alcohol and because of who you were on the alcohol.

    So to read that you understand now that you could be a jerk on alcohol, and have twisted thinking or actions about it helps a lot.

    AND, I think that brings us to exactly what Steps 8 and 9 are about, and why they are necessary. There is a lot of healing, understanding, and repair that can happen by openly acknowledging the things that went wrong.

    Finally (I know this is long), the reason you do not have to beat yourself up about it is that you are RIGHT-SIZED RIGHT NOW, and that is the thing that matters most! Bring up the past so that it can heal, but recognize it is PASSED — why it is called “the past.” And give others the chance to air their grievances, too. I think that is part of what the amends is all about.

    Sorry if this gets too into the “nitty gritty” of things, and like I wrote, edit if you want. But I hope what I wrote will help others, too.


    • Hi Babe,

      Concerning “outgrowing AA”, while it’s possible and few of the truths i’ve learned in my life will last a lifetime, many of the people i admire most in my life now are those who have been in AA for decades. i guess i’m saying that if i don’t leave the program, it wouldn’t be a bad thing! (How’s that for a slew of negatives.)

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  3. Hi. Yes, the whatever works route is the way to go…or seems like it. So not the expert and if AA works for you, more the higher power to it. 😉

  4. I’m with 1jaded1. And hey-where is 1jaded1’s blog?!

  1. Pingback: Love, Attachment, and Other Stuff (like Denial) | now what?

  2. Pingback: Love, Attachment, and Other Stuff (like Denial) | now what?

please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: