My name is Natasha and I’m an alcoholic and an addict. When I came into the program I was willing to do anything my sponsor told me. Until I got to the Ninth Step. Make amends to people? Seriously!????!!!!!!
My sponsor must have been crazy if she thought I was going to make amends to my father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was never going to make amends to that asshole! He abused my mom and ruined our family.
I knew amends would be necessary so I focused on all the recent ones.
I had done some pretty terrible things in my first 90 days. Yup, even sober I stole from my employer at the time. I knew I had to make amends.
People warned me that I would go to jail, lose my job, and never be trustworthy again. I remembered that I was willing to go to any lengths to recover so I did what I thought was best.
I replaced the money and made amends to my boss and I didn’t get fired. I was shocked.
The one amend I knew was going to be hard was my mother. I had lied, stolen, cheated, and the likes to her for years; How could I make this up to her? I made amends to my mother and we had a beautiful cry session. Today I do a living amends to her. I show up, participate in life and of course I don’t pick up.
When I was in treatment in July 2012 I started having vivid dreams about sexual abuse and my father was very present in the dreams.
I spoke to the counselors and they told me I had to do inventory on this with my sponsor and learn to forgive and let go. I realized that I totally had stuffed this traumatic event for 25 years. I never remembered it. Looking back now, I see where my behaviours and impulsivity around men came from.
So I did what my sponsor told me to do, I prayed. I prayed for the willingness to make amends…
Seriously though, what part did I even have? I was a victim of child abuse and dammit he should say sorry to me.
The more I worked my program the more I realized I did have a part. I was holding onto this for 25 years.
I was reading the Big Book on page 66/67, “This is our course: realize at once that the people who wrong you are spiritually sick. Though you don’t like their symptoms and the way these disturb you, they, like yourself, are sick, too. Ask God to help you show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that you would cheerfully grant a friend who has cancer. When a person next offends, say to yourself This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”
Then it hit me, my heart became awakened and boom! I realized my father was sick. How could I be angry at someone who is sick?
I went to church that Sunday, even though it had been years since I went to church and the Pastor said “If anyone needs a healing, please come to the front”. So I went to the front of the alter and cried my eyes out (people who know me, know that I cry a lot, imagine that times 1000). After church was finished, I called my dad and made amends. Even though my sponsor suggested I do it in person, I knew God gave me this opportunity to do it.
My father has forgiven me and even though he is not part of my life today I am totally 100% okay with that, because my side of the street is clean!!!!!
Making amends doesn’t mean everything will be all cheerio and roses; it’s making sure that if I die tomorrow I know that I did the best to right my wrongs.
I now make amends quickly if I have harmed someone, and it’s way easier than holding onto anger and resentment. I try to always do the next right thing, but I have to remember, I am a work in progress and for that I’m grateful