47: Step Nine – Made Direct Amends to Such People Wherever Possible, Except When to Do So Would Injure Them or Others (Sort Of)

9/6/20 We talk step 9 and everything we know about the amends process.  The 9th step involves lots of creative thinking about how to repair the harm we have done in the world.  We look at the 3 R’s of amends: restoration, restitution, and resolution.  These are the goals of amends, to try to make whole again what we have had a hand in harming.  Also, the continued amends of living differently because we don’t like the person we were when we harmed people.   We explore what is the sponsor’s responsibility or influence in this process.

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welcome back it’s recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy in long term recovery i’m billy i’m also a person in long term recovery and we’re here this week if you pay any attention it is the ninth month of the year which means that eight months have gone by no it means we’re on step nine uh and so that’s what we are going to get to um it’s been an awesome week billy got to celebrate his 20 years officially by sharing it at a meeting uh and of course i you know scooped in and recorded that and posted that so that people could listen to it not on this podcast but it’s it’s up and if you follow us anywhere you’ll see the links i posted it because it’s it’s a good share it’s fun to listen to so congrats again to billy awesome accomplishment man 20 years uh i will get there one day thank you and i don’t know if you so after i left the meeting we all hung out we had cake i don’t know if you heard this part and when i was leaving i crashed into somebody’s car and put a big old dent in the side of my truck and really smashed up the front corner of their car oh my god so i was like wow what a terrible way to end what seemed to be like a pretty good night was i it’s like so when things go well it’s like the cherry on top this is like the cat turd on top or something

that’s uh yeah was it there i mean and it was a reminder that you know life is life and i am not all good or all bad you know and mistakes happen it was an honest mistake and i wanted to be angry and blame it was everyone else’s fault it wasn’t my fault you know everything else oh i’m good at that you know at the end it’s just like you know what stuff happened and it it was an accident you know and the guy’s car i hit was you know he was super chill about it he wasn’t being a jerk or anything it’s somebody in my own group that i know pretty well and right you know we’re just like he’s like we don’t have to turn it into insurance if you don’t want i’m like nah i mean i’m not gonna have the money to fix it and then you’re gonna need a rental car whatever you know so oh my god so maybe don’t listen to billy’s message because it might crash i don’t know um i thought it was interesting after after the message of like how much i struggle with like my beating myself up and holding myself to all these high standards and needing to be perfect all the time and then feeling like it went really well and getting a couple of compliments about how good the share was and then to go crash into somebody’s car just like ah then god said show me dose of humility show me how you live that [ _ ] billy uh one of the things we didn’t get a uh uh the sound quality just to apologize for last week’s uh audio quality well we’re still learning so you know we’ll probably make that mistake again anyway but that’s just who we are as people uh but we’re recording in a different location and uh learned that it makes a humongous difference yeah it made a huge difference it sounded like we recorded in a bathroom doing each other’s makeup or something um but we did uh jenny did say that you know one of the things and i don’t know how we didn’t say this and this is funny because jenny’s not even really from our program even though she’s heard it i’m sure somewhere along the way but if you hang out in the barber shop long enough you’ll get a haircut we didn’t even mention this we were talking about relapse and that’s just one of the old cliches that i think is very very relevant to that topic and probably very true if i put myself in situations long enough i tend to want to do those things that people are doing i i’m not going to hang around the pool hall all night not want to get it in a game of pool yeah and and i’ve always thought you know i don’t know how people can you know have jobs where they work around that stuff you know whether it’s like a waiter or waitress at a bar or someone who’s a bartender i mean i’ve heard of those people i’ve met them in recovery from time to time and uh just wow i think me personally would probably have to get a new job right and i don’t know if you know much about the the service industry but generally waiters and waitresses even if they’re not around alcohol that is the environment of waiter and waitressing is alcohol drugs it seems to be very prevalent in that society so extra tough to be in that environment i would agree i don’t know how people do it either um we did get a message from sarah which i’m not gonna get to right this second uh she’s on instagram and she she did appreciate your ayahuasca talk last week because she had had some similar thoughts or whatever but she got into a message with us that talked about her amends going south and not going well and what to do then and so i do want to address that but we’re going to get into that as we talk so you know with that out of the way let’s let’s jump into it man step nine we’ve made it this far in recovery we are now in step nine made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others very interesting wording they have on that uh and you know we we often hear that we could be part of the others um and that wherever possible not whenever possible is an interesting word too and it could have just been that they wanted to sound profound i don’t know maybe old bill was sitting somewhere and wanted to you know like hey let’s make it wherever maybe maybe his [ _ ] handwriting sucked maybe he wrote whenever and they just he didn’t finish the end and it just looked like an r like maybe who the [ _ ] i would credit it to being written in the 1930s that’s probably it too um so how would we explain this for for the the normal average non-addict person we try to do that sometimes i think with steps we sort of forget to do that but we intend to do that usually and i was thinking about this on the way here do people do this do people make amends in their life i think we’re a society of i’m sorry right but from our understanding of the amends process the sorry is not the entire amends the sorry is like the half of it or at least the first part of it yeah i i can’t specifically say there’s an area in people’s lives you know where i think normal people would do this um i know just in saying that though like the way i would think about it for to explain it to people that aren’t in recovery is that this is the time where we really take ownership of the harm that we’ve caused to our families to our loved ones to society and try to you know correct those wrongs um it’s not a time where we just run around and say a bunch of i’m sorry and saying i’m sorry isn’t the point of an amends you know and if someone does that and says they’re making amends they’re not being straightforward or truthful you know they’re feeding you some [ _ ] you know the amends process is really taking ownership and responsibility for the things that we’ve done i know for me as an addict that was a struggle you know it was never my fault it was always somebody else’s fault you know it was the judge’s fault the cops fault the lawyer’s fault my parents fault you know whoever’s fault it was um and taking ownership and taking responsibility for that you know i i didn’t have that ability when i was getting high well that’s like the old saying that people don’t get fired for using drugs they get fired for dirty urines right like it’s not the [ _ ] drugs fault they were fine with that it’s the dirty urine that caused the problem um i found it interesting how judgmental i was trying to figure out if normal people did this in my head i kept going back and forth with like normal people don’t do nothing like that they suck right they don’t even care and and then i would realize well they do but i think it’s more of like they do this during childhood and and the teenage adolescent years like this is almost a step about change and growth right we’re evaluating how we’ve affected other people with our self-centeredness and after we evaluate it we kind of say oh i don’t like the way that feels you know i don’t like the way it feels when i left my friend out and lied to them about a party we had i should probably invite them next time and like we amend our behavior and learn who we’re going to be to guide us into adulthood i think that’s when regular people do this or the earthlings and then we’re just late to the [ _ ] party because we’re [ _ ] up for so long i guess well and i would think most healthy adult you know quote-unquote normal people like are going to take responsibility and do these things as they happen you know if you’re out cutting grass and you throw a rock through the neighbor’s window i mean like nowadays i would think i would walk over and knock on the neighbor’s door and say hey look you know i was out mowing i broke the window i’m sorry you know what can we do to fix it if i got to pay for the window or whatever it’s fine and you just handle your business like an adult as addicts you know i didn’t do that i was like oh [ _ ] i broke the window i look around to see who saw and if nobody was looking i didn’t do nothing i don’t know nothing about it and i’m out of there right right so i think healthy people tend to deal with things in the here and now they’re not running from problems and then they don’t have to necessarily go back over their history to see how many people they’ve scammed or taken advantage of yeah i i would kind of agree but i mean just judging by the the whole side-eye little uh muppet meme or whatever it is where the guy kind of like glances off to the right and then glances forward again whenever somebody mentions something that you know sounds like something he would do but he doesn’t want to own it i would say quite a few people will probably if nobody’s looking if they’d if they’d hit the car with your truck right and nobody saw it maybe half the people would drive away maybe a little less than half even if it’s less than half i’m saying it’s still 20 or 30 percent which is still a lot of [ _ ] times like that’s a frequent right that’s still one in five times that that people aren’t owning that and okay so i i don’t know i buy into what you’re saying like if you throw a rock through somebody’s window by accident yeah you’re probably owning this you might be doing the amends but i think after our adolescent years and maybe even our young adult years we still grow a little and change a little but a lot of people get to an adult stage and get really set we call it set in their ways i guess close-minded to other ideas and i don’t see a lot of people later in life changing a whole lot in this kind of way uh in a way we would say talk about like within a men’s process like i i would say you know 50 and 60 year old people and god i am really stereotyping and being judgmental here i’m sure right but a lot of times unless they’re really working on something or they’re in therapy or they have some kind of insight that their average person doesn’t have they’re probably not changing their behavior with how they treat their wife or kids like they’re probably pretty set in that behavior pattern i think we have a process of steps where we are constantly reminded that we’re dicks honestly like i i when i don’t do anything for my life to try to get better i’m like oh my god i’m a douche bag right i need to start doing things again i don’t know that other people have that maybe they just have better escapes like maybe they drink instead of working on themselves well again i as a so i believe most of my problem is that i’m an addict and so i don’t tend to believe like i tend to look at the i would call it the good in people um and of course when you look at if you’re looking at all of society i mean obviously there’s a percentage of people that are dicks or not good people or or whatever um the truth is i don’t really aspire or want to look at them as my standard you know what i mean like like i don’t want to look at the lowest possible option and say well that’s a good standard to shoot for it’s like no i want to shoot for people that are living like good moral spiritual um lives of value and meaning and purpose um so those are the people that i want to look to as an example of of what i hope our society is right um the other thing and this gets a little off topic but i think we have a society now at least in the united states it’s kind of or at least in our local community specifically that there’s a lot of sick hurting damaged people in our society it’s evident in the amount of addiction and domestic violence and neglect and abuse and the things that we see like those are all signs of trauma in your community of people that aren’t being raised in healthy good environments and that aren’t getting the morals and values and things that they believe they may not manifest in addiction in these people’s lives but that also doesn’t make them healthy normal people either they’re just damaged in other ways and it comes out in other areas of their life um so back to the ninth step and and what i would say like a normal people like i always look at it as i’m the one that’s behind the eight ball i’m the one that’s messed up like normal people don’t necessarily i mean it’s always good for everybody to be a little self-reflective in their lives but i tend to believe that you know normal healthy people they’re doing these things on a regular basis naturally they’re already they’ve developed this skill in their normal growth and upbringing through whatever spiritual practices or conditionings that they’re doing and that they’re somewhat living this way on a day-to-day basis without having to do all this extra work that i have to do to catch up to them hmm i just i so disagree with that i’m picturing these these people out here who are like staunch whatever they are and their beliefs are right and everybody else is wrong and and they don’t mind hurting feelings to tell you about it and they’re not trying to amend any of that they just keep pressing on thinking they you know hold the right flag and it’s their right to be self-righteous which i’m not trying to judge or put them down too much because i frequently walk around with my self-righteous flag and tell everybody how [ _ ] wrong they are right like i’m i get it i’m not saying that i don’t suffer from that as well i just uh i don’t know i don’t see the amends process going on in a lot of adult lives and i’m sure we will catch flack about this from our non-addict listeners one side or the other either they’ll say you are way off or they’ll say i am way off or maybe both well i would definitely say if you’re listening to you know what i would call the news or social media or just seeing the the public image um more specifically in like politics and stuff nowadays like that’s the way that they present this stuff my personal experiences i i tend to be pretty liberal i work with some people that are pretty conservative christians you know go to church you know trump loving americans whatever but this is the thing we can sit down i can sit down with them and have a conversation that’s social or that’s uh amicable and respectful and i can listen to their opinions and i can give them my opinions try to give them some views on like a compassionate point of view and most of the time when you’re having a you know conversation not an argument but just a conversation about these things people are way closer on some of this stuff than you think now if you listen to the news and social media and you know twitter and facebook and all that it feels like you’re you have to pick one of two sides that there’s this side and there’s that side and you got to get on whichever side of the line that there is and start arguing that point of view and i think all that is terrible for all of us like that is causing a divide in people that i personally think is not it’s it’s being artificially highlighted and pushed and and so it’s causing people to live their worst selves and uh no doubt i don’t deny that at all i would just say that i just don’t see many people outside of people like you having those open honest conversations and being willing to be vulnerable and being willing to hear people talk about stuff that they don’t really believe in or think is right like i i don’t most people you know age old thing you don’t talk about religion or politics why because people don’t know how to [ _ ] talk and have discourse and be civil and and you know let somebody else have a different opinion so i mean this has been going on this is like a saying from the 1950s at least as far as i know so i just don’t see normal adults having those conversations which means that they all just don’t have the conversation then they go home and then they judge everybody else at work who they know believes different but they aren’t willing to have an open conversation with so i don’t i don’t know but i don’t want to get too hung up on that i just i guess the immense process for for an earthling is uh start thinking about things you’ve never said you’re sorry for or or you know tried to make right uh you know one of the things the the three r’s of the amends process is resolution restoration and restitution and that’s something i heard along the way back down in baltimore i don’t know if they’ve ever said that up here i don’t hear it all the time but i think it just encompasses the the point of what we’re trying to do we’re trying to resolve any old situation we’re trying to pay back whatever it is we owe um and we’re just trying to move forward and like you always say do no more harm and this is kind of the step where we’re trying to fix some of the old harms if we can right put the band-aids where we can do the best we can to to rectify the actual situations and then the other half of the amends is changing ourselves to not cause those situations again and uh i i don’t know i guess i think it’s hard because in our program it’s very specific to us to like hey dude stop listening to your brain tell you how wrong this other person was to you and how justified you are and what you did and just handle what you did right and i don’t know that anybody in the in the earthling realm does that like do i think i it’s hard for i don’t ever really want to do it i want to hold on to whatever somebody did to me i am ready to crucify them and they deserved it they earned it right like so yeah i would say my experience with church those are lessons that you learn in at least christian churches that i’ve been to i went to catholic church for a long time growing up and and then some non-denominational churches as an adult and in some of those religious teachings that’s it’s explained a little differently but i think the concepts the same it’s that kind of uh in the bible they talk about you know stop pointing out the splinter in the other person’s eye when there’s a log in your eye and people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones you know that sort of thing it’s like hey you need to be focusing on yourself and your responsibilities and what you do wrong and stop looking at what everyone else does wrong so i’ve heard it kind of explained that way through religious context but i haven’t i can’t think of specifically i believe in recovery we take it a step further where we say not just don’t look at the splinter in someone else’s eye but now you know do the work that it takes to fix the wrongs that you’ve caused like i think that’s a that’s an extra piece on that that you know recovery emphasizes that’s a big emphasis of recovery as a disclaimer my my talks of earthlings is very limited i tend to pick one specific type of earthling when i’m thinking about it and that might be the guy who’s like not giving a [ _ ] at all about anything and just being self-centered or on any other given day it might be the guy who you know is really heavily involved in his spiritual growth somehow i don’t know why i don’t know why i can’t encompass that like there’s a full spectrum of people out here right when you say people who go to church and there’s lessons in church i’m like there are lessons in church i’m like but nobody [ _ ] goes to church right what is there like so like 10 people in a church service each sunday and you know 10 000 people sitting home not in church like i don’t to me it just seems like nobody goes to church i don’t know maybe i do some of these new like these new non-denominational churches yeah acoustic guitars yeah there’s two services and there’s a couple hundred in each one or like when we were in especially when we were in south carolina they have those i mean we saw a couple of those mega churches and when i say mega church it’s a church that holds 10 000 people and there will be i mean on any given sunday when you ride by it almost looks like a small football stadium full of cars it’s full of people in that church now i can’t swear that they’re all getting great things out of it because i tend to think the people that run those mega churches are egomaniac narcissist money grubbers but but they’re using the bible to say a bunch of good stuff so hopefully some people can sort through the shifty shady snake oil salesman and hear the good lessons that might be there so so hopefully we’ve not offended everyone too many right hopefully we didn’t defend everybody uh so the point of step nine uh made direct amends you know we we become willing in step eight we see these wrongs and i think the real goal in nine is that we become ready because we’re we’re so tired of hurting people and we’re so sick and tired of the way we feel about the harms we’ve done and so now we’re ready and and then it says we you know we go out and make these amends um i did write down quite a bit of the the readings i thought were nice one we want to be free of our guilt but we don’t wish to do so at the expense of anyone else and so that always pops up in my head because the first thing i want to do immediately when i’ve done something wrong is just go confess because that feels good right confession um but i have definitely done this in my life and caused more harm because it wasn’t really for that person to know i was definitely relieving my guilt and feeling free and then they felt worse after i did it and you know of course it was times i didn’t talk with anybody about it first i just ran and did it because i felt bad i wanted to feel good because that’s how my addiction works i feel bad now i want to feel good yeah and i think we all have at least heard if not had our own experience with that you know we get into recovery we start recognizing some harms that we’ve caused we run into an old person that we haven’t seen for a while before we’re in position for a ninth step and we try to make some amends that doesn’t go well you know i had an experience like that even after hearing that story a bunch of times and knowing that you know all the cliche the steps are written in order for a reason and you know we need to learn all these other things before we get to that step and recognizing you know what’s going to cause harm and i still did the same thing you know ran into a old girlfriend at a thing and said well i’m probably never going to see this person again so i might as well say this stuff and it went weird it wasn’t bad i didn’t i don’t believe i caused any more harm but it definitely did not go as i had thought it would in my head like i thought i’m gonna say these nice things it’s gonna relieve some pain that i had caused and all this and it was just weird and awkward and it was weird for her and you know it’s like it just was like oh gosh how did i do this like i know better and yet i did it anyway all right same here i worked the steps out of order uh my first time through and i had like six months and and right before i had you know gotten myself together or gotten together through the program or through a higher power or however you want to say it i don’t like to take too much credit for it um but i had i had stolen some stuff from my father and i had like six months and i was like man i can’t i’m just gonna tell them about it i feel bad about it and i got six months now i felt like i was like you know you know they talk about the pink cloud i was riding high i was like god he’s so his pride of me having six months clean and having his son back will totally outweigh his missing [ _ ] and uh that is not the case he was still upset about it and i was not ready to face that upsetness and i think that’s another part of working these in order it’s not just that we’re prepared to do it in the right way and coming from the right place like hopefully when i’m making an amends in step nine it’s not out of a place of relieving my guilt only it’s out of a place of i want to do the right thing because i’ve caused harm i wasn’t trying to do the right thing i wasn’t trying to repay him for the stuff i took or buy it again i was just trying to get it off my chest and uh but also the other part of step nine is that i’m ready to deal with those kind of consequences when people aren’t ready to hear my amends or don’t care right they don’t feel bad about it at all or sorry for me or want to continue any kind of relationship i’m not ready for that when i haven’t worked the steps up until then yet right and the real harm and for me and my disease isn’t i mean yes there’s harm in the actions that i do the using and the lying and manipulating but i think that the true harm comes from just my self-centeredness my lack of being able to see or take responsibility for how the things that i do cause harm to other people and it’s like in that case you know when once i work through the steps i start to realize like oh [ _ ] i have a responsibility for how the things that i do affect the people around me more so than just the missing like say more so than just the missing stuff but is this gonna cause more harm to go and admit that i took this stuff right especially before i’m willing to do anything about it like i didn’t want to do the actual amends part of replacing it or any of that yeah it’s uh i would have to 100 agree with you at that point in time i was not still looking at how i affected other people i was just looking at i don’t feel good i want to feel better it’s very caveman-ish like very me feel good now well in the realm of self-centeredness like it you understand what all those cons like you understand oh yeah i’m gonna you know well you think you understand what make amends means really you think it just means saying you’re sorry and admitting what you did was wrong and yeah i did this it was wrong and i’m sorry right you know good i’m good now i’m not gonna do that anymore and probably in all sincerity as many times as i probably said that in my life um i probably meant it most of the time i don’t think i ever said it with no sincerity but i didn’t have the ability to follow through until i got into recovery and and learned some more principles yeah absolutely another thing out of the book that i thought was just you know good to mention we recommend turning our legal problems over to lawyers and our financial or medical problems to professionals part of learning how to live successfully is learning when we need help i think that’s crucial uh often we turn excuse me before recovery at least i know uh and not everyone is gonna have this experience but if you’ve ever gotten arrested and you end up in you know any sort of jail or or you know detainment for any sort of time there’s people in there telling you what’s going to happen at court with your charges well this is how much you’re going to get well if you see this specific judge you might get double that well if you tell them this you’ll get half of that like you know they call them jail house lawyers and and these guys do have a lot of experience with the legal system not denying them that um and they might be onto something but i think a lot of times we tend to not seek out the professional uh you know suggestions for these areas we’ve talked about this when we talked about mental health and people in our program can give mental health advice about whether people should be on medicine or not like that’s none of their [ _ ] business right but frequently and i’m probably guilty of this too i’m not trying to put anybody in a box people in our program or in any program we do tend to have answers even when we don’t or shouldn’t have answers right uh i it’s possible i’ve given people legal advice or or medical advice when i had no business doing that i’m not a legal or medical professional um and so i just think it’s a good reminder to all of us sponsors don’t listen to any [ __ ] legal or medical advice from non-professionals and sponsors remind yourself don’t give that advice because it’s none of your business yeah if you don’t know you know maybe make a suggestion that they talk to a professional i always tend to think i know that’s the problem i think i know too um well and there’s so i mean there’s some reasons for that so obviously lawyers aren’t cheap you know what i mean and for a lot of us you know it’s like well do i want to spend this hundreds maybe thousands of dollars to try to get this cleared up or do i want to just think i can handle it on my own i can go read a couple google articles i can you know talk to a couple people and and get get it taken care of and whatever i mean at least my experience in the legal uh world it’s like unfortunately uh sometimes just paying the lawyer and the connections that they have and they know the prosecutor or the judge or the probation officer and they can go work some deal when they’re having lunch one day that you could never get on your own i mean that’s the way the world works there at least in my experience yeah no it definitely does it definitely does um we try to remember that when we make amends we are doing it for ourselves i think this is a key point and we kind of brought this up in step eight that this was really about us and it almost blew my mind when we had that revelation last month i guess it’s not as much of a revelation this month since it already happened once but it’s still it’s something i forget when i’m doing this step right i think step eight and nine are about other people it’s about fixing the harm i’ve caused in their life but while my attempt is to fix the harm i caused the outcome

isn’t any of my business uh and that’s just interesting to me like i go into eight and nine thinking oh man i gotta write the world right i gotta go fix all these people and it’s not even about that right it’s just about doing my best to try to be a good guy basically yeah and that’s i mean for me the the there’s an indirect benefit to living spiritual principles you know there’s an indirect benefit to the rest of the world i get some immediate benefits because of how i feel and you know living by these morals and values and the the peace that comes over my spirit being you know a person living with some morals and values but then there’s a direct or indirect benefit to my kids my wife you know people that i interact with people on my job um the guy that you know like say like the guy that i might have caused harm to that didn’t even know that then i took ownership of and and took responsibility for like those people benefit indirectly and it’s just so weird to hear it that way because i always look at it the opposite way completely i’m always like oh my god my higher power is going to use me as this [ _ ] savior to directly help all these other people and then indirectly i’ll feel better and it’s not how it works at all it’s it’s the complete [ _ ] opposite it’s it’s actually i directly can you know i’m able to change some things in me and do better in me and you’re right all these other people around me indirectly benefit from that because i’m not terrorizing their lives anymore and it’s just i don’t it’s funny how i look at it backwards well yeah and it’s the flip side of looking at you know i am responsible for keeping my side of the street clean you know what i mean like it’s easy to say that in an argument but that also applies in the rest of my life too like i’m still i’m responsible for keeping my side of the street clean i’m i’m responsible for the way i’m living and what i’m doing and being the best version of myself and i mean there might be some people that don’t like that you know there might be some people that that don’t care that you’re a person that lives by morals and values anymore you know i can tell you how that works right now if you don’t believe that people will not like you for living morals and values we got here today and billy said man i listened to my share just to see how it sounded and i i really think all of a sudden out of nowhere i felt like i cussed too much and i want to cuss less and me who does not want to cuss less did not want him getting better i was like no you can’t get better then i’ll feel bad about myself so that’s how that works um so yeah and what we’re talking about the next line um or maybe not the next line in the book but the next line i have was we are achieving freedom from the wreckage of our past and and i think that’s kind of the goal um we don’t want to carry around this guilt we don’t want to live with the the thoughts at night you know there’s all kind of memes about you know 3 a.m in the morning and your brain’s talking about the thing you did wrong in third grade and blah blah and that is a i think a very earthling thing that we do is we relive these you know what we call it as resentment right when we’re reliving a past experience over and over again and we don’t want to do that and this can give us the freedom to that right this can give me the freedom to not only not have to think about the times that i didn’t show up for my family and the family reunions and this that and the other but also the freedom to go to the next family reunion because i went to the one last year finally like i didn’t just keep avoiding it right now i’ve went i’ve made my amends and i’m still in the process of doing that by continuing to show up even though it might not be the funnest or most convenient thing on my list every holiday season yeah so before we go any further let’s go ahead i don’t even know how long we’ve been but let’s go ahead and take our break we’ll do our voices at and then we’ll be right back okay getting back to it and i think one of the things we definitely need to address is the cliffhanger we left everyone with uh after step eight and so basically there was no real i didn’t quote the question here we we listened to it again this morning to see what it meant basically billy comes across to me and this is a judgment of course i’m not trying to box him in but he comes across as more of a hands-off sponsor in the sense that he doesn’t like giving direct advice or guidance a lot of times at least that’s how i get when you talk about sponsorship that’s how it feels to me i could be off but this step i’ve always heard of is your sponsor really needs to be involved in the ways you make amends and if you are supposed to make amends in any given situation so if you write down these 50 harms you’ve caused and you’re ready to make amends it’s almost like your sponsor is really supposed to go through and like hey cross those 15 out and then these 10 you’re not going to do it the way you said it we need to do it this other way because it looks like you’re probably going to cause harm that way and it’s interesting because i mean every sponsor is going to look at that in a different way and see different things in it some are gonna say one is not okay to make amends that way so i’m gonna say it’s fine but what is your take on that are you more hands-off on the step nine or do you have more input here is this the one step where you say yeah i need to you know stop this guy from harming people and himself um i’m definitely the more hands i don’t say hands off but i’m definitely the less my opinion more their opinion um and i tend to approach all sponsorship in that way and i don’t i you can box me into that i myself take it as kind of a compliment like and i’ll say to people a lot of times when i sponsor them like look my job isn’t to like get you to think like me or be my protege or any of that stuff like you’re going down a road you’re going down a path and my only job is to make sure you don’t veer off in the left field off of your path down some dangerous path but it’s your path and it’s your journey and what you get out of this process of the steps and recovery is going to be a direct result of the work that you put into it um i’m not trying to give you what i have i’ll share with you my opinions and beliefs and values but it’s up to you to figure out your own values beliefs opinions you know what i mean all those things you’re your own person um and i think that’s true for how we apply spiritual principles in our lives um the couple of times so i’ve sponsored a couple guys through the 12 steps who’ve done ninth eighth and ninth steps i’ve done eighth and ninth step um twice so all my experience has been i kind of let the individual you know figure out obviously at that point we figured out what all the amends that need to be made are and then i let them figure out okay what kind of amends do you want to make why do you think that and then unless it’s way off somewhere unless it’s you know really crazy i pretty much let them go with that i mean we talk about why we talk about if there’s harms there what those harms could be maybe some harms that they didn’t think of or didn’t see from outside perspective it is sometimes too easier to kind of look at some of that um but i wouldn’t feel like it was my place to either talk someone into making a certain kinds of amends or talk them out of making a certain kinds of events interesting super interesting because i’ve just heard so many different things over time um one of the things i i found interesting i remember talking to somebody about you know if you have stepped outside of your your marriage or your relationship at one point right and we were having a discussion and i said well you you can’t go tell the person if they don’t know about it already because that’s causing more harm and their take on that was and this was a totally independent take and it was my friend bobby and i love her to death right so i i don’t say it’s wrong or right or indifferent but her take was if you’re going to stay with the person they have the right to know they need to know if you’re not staying with them you’re right you know if you’re broken up yet you probably don’t go back and cause more harm but if you are going to be there you need to tell them my take you don’t [ _ ] tell them like and i don’t know right i don’t know which one of those is right or wrong or but i i think everybody’s got their own take on that kind of idea and so it’s interesting to to think that you know i don’t know i’ve always thought sponsors needed more say i will say a situation i ran into at one point uh this was probably i don’t know two years ago a year ago i felt really bad about something i did i don’t know maybe eight years ago or so i i interacted with a lady i kind of had an affair i even at one point my wife and i were split and i still just wasn’t proud of the way i had treated this woman right and for whatever reason a couple years ago it seemed like enough distance had passed and i was just i was really feeling this this process of recovery and the step and i was like man i i really would like to try to make an amends to this person right i would like to try to repair some of this harm i’ve caused because i know i did harm and i just don’t feel good about it seemed like it was from the most spiritual place i have in me right and i talked with a guy a buddy of mine and i and we talked a little bit about it and he’s like it’s a really dangerous proposition when we’re talking about the relationship aspects and people we’ve been intimate with because we never know if we’re going to cause more harm he’s like are you prepared to not cause more harm if you go in there you make this amends and then she makes you an offer right to be intimate again are you prepared to not do more harm in that situation and i had to really think about that and my first reaction was i would never do that right this is really coming from my heart and it was it was truly from my heart it was from the best place i have in me to do the right thing and when i sat on it for like three or four more days i realized i would have done more harm if she’d offered right now could i have gone in the situation and and her not been interested in me anymore and done the right thing yeah i believe so but that wasn’t the point the point he was making was you’re setting yourself up for a situation that you can’t get out of without hurting people more right without reopening wounds and i just thought i don’t know it’s things like that i need i think guidance from outside of me i can’t really just be left alone to my own my own thinking said that was the right thing to do and had i done it i don’t think it would have been the right thing to do or at least not the right time right so i would say in in those two situations the harm being the the key thing to think about there um first you talked about you know the person in the marriage your friend you know and if you would divulge an affair to someone in a marriage or outside of marriage and whether i don’t know whether that’s right or wrong either what i would say is that depends on your what you believe in honesty and how much you think honesty is important in your relationship and you know where do you put honestly you know honesty in your value chart if you want to call it your chart and uh you know that would be a personal decision that you would have to make because let’s just say that i say oh no you need to be honest in your relationship you owe it to that person to be honest then you go tell your spouse and they [ _ ] leave you you know what i mean then it’s like yeah i would turn around in my smiles and go dude you told me to [ _ ] be honest and now my wife’s leaving me like what the [ _ ] because you just convinced me to do something that was outside of my values and beliefs the flip side of that of what you’re talking about with your situation is you know oh and and back to that one for a minute like that’s not my responsibility as a sponsor at least i don’t believe my responsibility as a sponsor is to tell you what your values and beliefs should be it’s up to you to figure out we can talk about that either way and and if that came up with a sponsor or a sponsee the conversation would probably go very much like that well where do you rank honesty in your marriage where do you where do you want to put that do you put that up at the top of the list then you need to come clean with it and be honest about it and figure out what you can do to stay out of that situation you know do you think the harm that it’s going to cause is going to outweigh the value of that honesty then maybe not you know i don’t know but there’s going to be there may be repercussions that come with that later too what if she finds out without you telling her what if it comes up what if this person reaches back out to you in some way you know lots of things to think about but ultimately it’s your decision um and i think it’s the same thing with the relationship you just talked about as a sponsor it’s important for me to address like hey there’s some potential harms here you know but ultimately it’s your decision on whether you know you want to weigh out those harms you know maybe they could have said that and and you could have came up with some really tactful respectful ways to turn down an offer or or whatever i mean doesn’t mean you wouldn’t necessarily have done it it just means you would have put more consideration into that decision to make sure that you weren’t causing more harm right so one of the things that said in our literature and this is a little bit of a longer reading it says we realize we not only robbed ourselves of the chance for meaningful relationships we also cause deep emotional wounds in our partners our fears of intimacy or commitment may have led us to use be unfaithful to or abandon the people who loved us we were generally unavailable to these people while there are times when we need to approach such people with our amends there are other times when it is best to leave them alone so as not to reopen old wounds knowing the difference requires complete honesty on our part and open communication with our sponsor whether or not we make direct amends to the people we’ve harmed in relationships we definitely need to change the way we behave in our relationships today if we’ve ran from intimacy before we need to sit down and learn to communicate with our partners we must become more considerate sensitive and attentive to the needs of others and so i you know i don’t know there were a couple points and it’s funny every time i i feel like i found some literature when i’m reading i’m like oh yeah that’s gonna prove my point to billy tomorrow right and then like when i do read it or we talk more about it it’s like well it doesn’t really say anything specific all our literature kind of shop for interpretation right um i don’t know i i guess for me i i would say i am definitely not as guidance free i don’t give any sponsees or anybody direct well no it’s not true i give my kids directions like they need to [ __ ] listen for sure my kids that’s a little different even though it shouldn’t be but i’m not there yet um but i don’t give my sponsees any like oh you have to do it this way or you must do it that way but i i would say i probably lean in a little stronger one way or the other when i see something that that needs to be that i think is really out of the way right um and not so much

i don’t know i can’t think of any specific situation where that would apply right but i definitely just feel like i would have a little more emphasis and for me i always with sponsorship in any area and this is just another one it’s like i i even though i have some experience and some knowledge or you know some lived experience with the steps i’m not the all-seeing eye either like i may miss a harm that’s going to be caused or uh you know another way to make an amends it might be better like i don’t have all the answers i don’t i don’t even know all the questions so how am i supposed to have all the answers right another thing it says in our book we accept that it was our actions that caused our negative attitude step nine helps us with our guilt and helps others with their anger sometimes the only amend we can make is to stay clean and so i think you know that’s useful for people especially i guess maybe the reason i made that that amends at six months or attempted to make that i’m sorry apology at six months was because i was just i wanted to do something i wanted to fix things and maybe if i just knew hey just doing what the [ _ ] you’re doing every day is already starting this process right you’re gonna feel a lot freer by the time you even get to nine yeah there’ll be some more specific ways that you go about you know actually paying these people back or trying to repair harm but right now you’re doing immense you can feel good about that and maybe like somebody needed to tell me that or i needed to hear it or learn it or so i didn’t rush out there to try to make an amends the another way right and there’s all these indirect harms that come from our using to our community to the you know let’s just say to the all the times that i had to interact with law enforcement and waste society’s tax money dealing with my you know bull crap of running around you know using and petty crime and all that other stuff you know and so the best thing i can do there is stay clean you know have a job and pay taxes right right so i guess if i’m working under the table i’m still a burden society that’s funny though because look if paying taxes is an amends i would still run around and complain about the amends all the time they take too much of this money like no they probably deserve all of that money i probably wasted so much of their resources but i can’t even do an amends without complaining about it and and this is part of the reason why this next thing this desire to make amends should be the primary motive for working the ninth step making amends isn’t something we do simply because our program of recovery suggested and i will tell you as a matter of fact my first time through the 12 it was completely because that’s what i was supposed to do it had nothing to do with really wanting to make amends to people yeah and i thought that earlier when you said that uh there was a and i forget how you said it but it was like yeah we want this genuine freedom from these you know feelings and all of a sudden i thought no way like i didn’t want any of that if if i could have if i felt like i could have successfully done this without ever making amends i would have hung on to the guilt and shame and embarrassment to avoid the uncomfortableness for me of going out and being intimate and vulnerable and taking responsibility for some of the [ _ ] that i had done it would have been way easier to just live with the guilt super awkward it is even with people that we’re intimate with already it’s still awkward to like uh so hey i uh i need to make some moments like it’s just weird to [ _ ] bring up this is how i’d like to do it is that acceptable to you so here i think might be where we get to sarah’s question uh this says we must let go of any expectations we have on how our amends will turn out and leave the results to the god of our understanding it is very important that we do our absolute best to make amends once we have done that however our part is finished and i think uh you know what she talked about she didn’t get into the the very specific specifics of it she did mention that the person she was making the amends to was a an ex-partner which you know we kind of already established that like the relationship and intimacy wounds are a little trickier um and and also i believe she mentioned that they were still in active addiction which i don’t know how that amends like i’m never going to accept anybody’s apology if you come to me while i’m still using you still like i’m just going to think about how you owe me still well no that’s great that you’re sorry but you got 20 bucks right yeah i’m gonna actually kind of manipulate that can you take me back and let me move in because i don’t have anywhere to stay really like you should really just pay for all my drugs yeah that’s if you feel bad enough so i i don’t i guess those factors already lead me to believe that that’s probably not going to go too well and maybe even as a sponsor if she if she would have approached me with this um that’s somewhere i might say hey wherever possible probably means wait till that person’s in a place where they can really accept it like we kind of separate ourselves from the world when we’re using right that’s our shut off mechanism for coping like we don’t feel and so if we’re really trying to amend harm people need to be able to feel that so if they’re still using i might suggest hey that’s probably not a place you need to try to make an amends wherever possible means if they get clean or or you know just don’t do that to other people whatever it is that you did so again i don’t have the specifics but what would you say about a men’s that goes south i think for me it’s like a lot of that going south is the preparation we do we prepare for like this could go great or this could go terrible and it’s it’s not up to me like i don’t really need to do anything if it goes south i’ve done my part i i really love that it says once we’ve done our absolute best to make the amends that’s that’s it like we don’t do anymore yeah that’s all i mean that says the best that’s all we can do is take responsibility for my part own it and you know give that to the other person and whatever they do with it is up to them they might cuss me out tell me i’m terrible tell me they don’t care you know never want to talk to me again and uh i’m sure i may still feel bad obviously i think most of us go into this at this point if if you’ve worked the steps and gotten to a point where you recognize that you cause people harm and how bad it feels to hurt others um you certainly hope that what you’re gonna do is gonna be healing to those other people as well so obviously it’s not gonna feel great and i don’t think i wouldn’t say that it’s okay to just be like well i did my part and screw them and it doesn’t matter like i think you still may feel bad like this isn’t about feeling good it’s it’s not about you know oh i get to get rid of my guilt and now i can feel this elation because i’ve done this great thing and look at me you know now i’m a martyr and all that it’s like no you you still cause some harm and it should still there should still be i don’t know what you want to call it like a negative attachment to that behavior a negative attachment to that arm yeah i know you’ve said on here before that like actually not feeling good about the way we acted is part of why we don’t do it the next time right it’s part of the immense process is knowing oh man i definitely feel like [ _ ] after i i do those kind of things let me not do that this next time or the humility and embarrassment or any of that that comes with that making that immense right like that’s powerful feelings of like wow you know i and and we should like say i i try to recognize like i should feel shame over those things that i’ve done i mean i shouldn’t beat myself up about it or you know keep myself up at night feeling all this shame and guilt but i shouldn’t just be like well it’s water under the bridge it doesn’t matter anymore it means nothing now like no i caused i still caused that harm yeah i i so i in this day and age like if i make an amends now not to say that it wouldn’t affect me if somebody uh reacts negatively to it like i think it still does it just affects me a little different i i kind of internalize it a little differently still doesn’t sit well with me it doesn’t feel good when somebody reacts shittily like bro i just approached you [ _ ] kindly and humbly and asked for your you know acceptance or amends process and you’re [ _ ] all over me right like but i i remember early on i guess trying to make some of these amends and i think you know i was making them everywhere at that point it was like oh man the cashier at royal farms when i stole a pack like just all kind of [ _ ] and i remember having some that weren’t accepted so well and just that uh feeling like that punch to the gut for days like well now what the [ _ ] i’ll never heal but i think even after that like it does kind of pass and you’re like okay well it felt shitty that they didn’t take you know accept my apology but i do feel better for having tried like right i feel that was the goal for me to feel better and i do so yeah and you know it gets back to one of the things i’ve learned meditating in the last couple of years it’s it’s that old like when i was using i thought every day was supposed to feel i thought i was supposed to feel good all the time you know i thought i needed to feel good all the time and life isn’t always about feeling good you know there’s sadness and pain and loss and you know these all these other feelings that are encompassed in life and i don’t need to run from them you know i don’t need to avoid them i don’t need to to you know think that they’re bad or put this label on them that there’s something wrong if i’m sad like sometimes i’m just sad sometimes this is not a great day i mean obviously we don’t want to stay there for days and weeks at a time but you know what i mean if my dog dies and i’m sad for a couple of days over that that’s okay you know like if i hurt someone that i love you know even by an accident like it’s it’s normal it’s okay to be like man that sucks you know i don’t like when i do that i don’t like being that way and to kind of to to take ownership of those feelings and to recognize like yeah not every day is going to be great i know you sound like my therapist it gets my nerves she’s like man you got to accept that some days are blah and you’re going to feel a little down and a little dysthymia and all that and i’m like ah [ __ ] all that i want to feel better like tell me something good so sometimes we’re going to go make these amends and it’s maybe not even going to go the way that we want it or it’s not going to come out the way that we want it or and i’m sure i don’t know i’ve had the experience like you think about something and you write it out and you think it’s going to be great and then when you say it out loud it’s like huh didn’t kind of come out the way that i thought it should you know it wasn’t so emotional and impact we’re both going to be crying and it’s going to be this big thing and then it happens and it’s like a weird awkwardness to it that’s like our podcast every week like this is going to be great and then we talk and it’s like yeah it’s all right and uh you know like that’s that’s life you know yeah that’s life and so thankfully i i kind of prepped sarah that there was not going to be any great answer for this i had a feeling there was and i was excited that she like preemptively knew it was step nine um but i was like there’s no great answer we probably won’t help you a whole lot so what to do when the men’s go south nothing right that’s what i say and i think where it helps again this is work that we do for the ongoing parts of our life so you know right before the break i kind of had a brain failure there and we were talking about um that reliving of past experiences again and again in our life and i had a similar you know experience to that you know coming up to my anniversary and thinking all the things i’m going to say or want to say and then starts down that road of you know thinking of the harms and the person that i was before i got clean and then i’m thinking of like individual instances of times where i’ve you know either you know not been happy with myself or hated myself or hated the person i was or acted a certain way and uh as a result of recovery like i’ve dealt with i think almost all of those i think there was one thing i’m like oh i need to add that to an immense list like that’s something i never really thought about needing to own amends for and i do need to add that to a men’s list but the difference was there was points in my life where i would have been stuck with those thoughts and not known what to do with them or how to deal with them and i’d have laid there and rolled them around in my head for hours just feeling guilt shame embarrassment isolation and you know it would have left me in like a really depressive state and you know now i can say well most of these things like look you’ve you’ve addressed this you’ve dealt with this you’ve done the best that you could to make peace with this stop doing this to yourself like and that’s the freedom that comes with that it’s not that i’ll never think about it again or i’ll never feel guilt from it again or don’t ever come up with a bad feeling in my heart it’s that when that comes up i can say to myself no wait a minute you’ve taken responsibility for that you’ve owned that and you’ve done the best that you can to make that better interestingly that you frame it in that way i think sarah’s first uh interaction with us was right after the freedom episode and her response was she had just written her first amends to an ex and seeing the freedom from those patterns in her behaviors with you know romantic partners felt a whole lot like freedom to her at that point in time and so i would say her own uh response right there is probably her answer right like don’t do anything when the outcome of this amends is that it went south or maybe it didn’t work out so well when you did it don’t really do anything to change this but learn from it learn the things about it like were you not prepared enough for it to go bad and you could stay detached from it did you get too emotionally involved and then you got caught up in an argument whatever it was but through that learning process you won’t have to relive this experience in your amends process ever again right you’ll have the freedom the next time you make an amends to not get caught up in it and go south and so i think just working this recovery program and doing what you’re doing right now which is continuing the process and learning as you go is the answer right i think you’re gonna find the ways to not have to get caught up in those kind of amends going south and find that freedom yeah or if you can break some of these patterns and change some of your behaviors like maybe it’s in a men’s that just goes beyond this individual and carries over into future relationships or future boyfriends and things like that it doesn’t need to be narrowly focused on this one person right and the freedom she’s experiencing from the relationship patterns is already part of that amends right when you’re not caught up you’re not going to be uh treating other people that same way either right bringing a better version of yourself into future relationships absolutely oh here’s another section that proved me right billy uh whenever possible we discuss each of our amends with our sponsor before we set out to make it we tell our sponsor what we are making amends for what we are planning to say and what we intend to offer to set the situation right what we intend to offer as amends should be appropriate to the harm we caused for instance if we borrowed money from someone and never paid it back we don’t merely apologize we pay the money back we talk directly to the person we harmed and amend exactly what we did wrong how do you unfuck other people

no and so i i mean i guess it just says we run it by our sponsor right it doesn’t really say that our sponsor needs to tell right right maybe it’s just like we as sponsors need to really be aware that that even with the best intentions sometimes these aren’t seen very clearly from being inside of it oh for sure and that’s where like and and with that i have i mean every guy that i’ve sponsored we’ve went over each amends they’ve told me the person what they want to do you know whatever but again i just look at myself as more of like guide posts like there’s a broad range of things that you could do to make an amends for a harm you know and i’m just sort of some guideposts to make sure that we’re staying within what’s going to be a men’s and what’s you know either what’s either too little you know like you’re not really doing enough there maybe we need to kind of look at you know is that really all you want to do or are we going into some harm area where we’re now we’re causing more harm than any potential good see i don’t think that our styles of sponsorship are too different i guess maybe i just the one underlying belief that i have that i think does separate us slightly is that i think people chose me for a reason and that’s because they want me right and so i don’t feel any kind of problem about putting me into the sponsorship right i don’t have any problem leaving my opinion not about what they need to do in their life but like hey this is how i feel about that kind of situation this is the way i would live this is the experience i have with trying to live that and how it worked out well or didn’t and i think you might try to tend to be more even and and like not put yourself in it so much and i’m like nah [ _ ] that they picked me they wanted me to [ _ ] be here so and and this is kind of a general explanation of that so i would say like when you look at life you know we look at life and for most people they grow up and they get older it’s funny i just shared about this in my anniversary and it’s similar here it’s like we we grow up and we get older and we get into high school or you know whatever go to college we think oh what am i supposed to do i’m supposed to get a career and get a wife and buy a house and have some kids and you know get a couple cars maybe a vacation place out in you know the beach and then you know then i’m arrived that’s life that’s what i’m supposed to do that’s what we all do that’s that’s living in america uh the american dream so to speak and then you do all those things and get all those things and that’s why i believe so many people at 45 50 year old have [ _ ] mid-life crisis because they realize wait a minute this isn’t really what i wanted to do this isn’t really what i envisioned for my dream life i wanted to own a boat and live down in the caribbean and sail around all the time maybe work at some bars or work at a marina and that sounds way more fun why did i sell myself this idea that what everyone else was telling me to do was the right way to go well that isn’t what i wanted to do at all and that’s kind of how i look at sponsorship my job isn’t to give you what i think is good and what i think is right and what i think these values should be um i have them if you want to hear them i have no problem talking about them or telling them to obviously we sit here for hours and do a podcast and i never run out of [ _ ] to talk about but you know i feel like as a sponsor my job is to help you figure out what those things are for you you know we did the sold all our stuff and traveled around the country in an rv and i loved it but i understand that’s not for everybody you know that’s not there’s a lot of people that would not find comfort in that and would find that difficult and just not what they want to do with their life and it doesn’t make them right or me right or you know it’s not about being right it’s about i want to live a life that makes me happy you know that that hits my heartstrings it hits my you know spirit um and so you know my job as a sponsor is to help people figure what those things are for them yeah the american dream is definitely the the dream of the pockets of the bankers and mortgage lenders not the uh not the people themselves but i would say there’s a certain amount of people that find so after traveling and coming back like i can see now there is a comfort there’s a something to that like we’ve made the decision to get back into this you know buying a house and having a career and all that stuff and i don’t regret it but i go into it with a different understanding now like these are choices now that i feel like i’m making based off of certain other values that i have for example you know we have these kids and there is some stability that comes with you know our kids being in a stable environment connected with school connected with certain people emotionally it was difficult for them i imagine it’s something like military kids because we would go to an area they would meet some people make some friends we’d be there for three or four months and then we would leave and then they would have to re-establish you know make new friends build those relationships again and then we would leave and that was difficult on our kids um so being in an environment where they’re connected with people on a regular basis and you know so there’s just we start to look at what are our values how does this one sort of weigh in with that one and yes i like traveling a lot more probably than they did but for right now you know i feel like i have a responsibility to my kids to give them some of that stability that i think is better for them i mean similar similar thing happened in my marriage like i felt like it was what the american dream was you grew up married got kids blah blah and then i was miserable in it and you know thought it was a joke and why do people bother to do this and then i left but in leaving and some time apart realized that like ultimately when i came back it was what i really wanted and so it’s a whole different thing to me now and so it’s not that marriage was the problem but it was everybody selling me that it was the solution that was the [ _ ] problem right and i think that’s where my issue with the american dream is not that there’s anything wrong with owning a house or any of that stuff it’s just that we’re sold that that’s the way to go and that bothers me like pick your own [ _ ] root and i agree where i disagree is that i say i still think i’m special right i’m like anybody could give the guideposts of do whatever’s good for you right like yeah and i agree do what’s good for you but these people sought me out for a reason right like they were guided to me from this higher power in the universe to hear my specific version of that for some reason whether that’s to hear it and be like that guy’s [ _ ] crazy i’m doing the opposite or yeah that’s what i want too that sounds really cool they could go get a generic version of that from anywhere you know and i don’t know i still hold on to my uniqueness i guess yeah and i don’t see anything wrong with that like i think that’s part of the great thing of autonomy in our fellowship this is i have known some sponsors that are i’m gonna call it control i mean to me it’s controlling i don’t know another way to say it but and i don’t mean that in a negative but i know some sponsors that do the you know call me every day and you got to go into a recovery house and you got to work this step by this time or i’m not going to sponsor you anymore and you know there’s there’s all different ways of sponsorship and i don’t necessarily think mine is better or worse i just know that you know what what works best for me is what i try to give to other people and that i mean i can tell you i connect with a certain kind of what i’d call spirit or a certain kind of person there are certain people that i’ve sponsored that i mean you’ve probably had this experience too you start to know pretty quick oh this isn’t we don’t jive like we don’t we don’t connect in a good way and it’s nothing wrong with that person it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not trying or i’m not trying it just we’re not at the same right place you know we’re just we’re not the same i’m gonna copy and paste this next time we do a sponsorship episode too this goes back to step nine uh i totally agree with what you’re saying um just to get back into the step in our experience making amends is a two-stage process not only do we make amends to the person we’ve harmed we follow up on those amends with a serious change in our behavior i think that’s pretty self-explanatory almost really a three-step process if you consider the fact that i’m sorry is a part of it right like i know we we mention a lot and i’ve heard over the years in meetings it’s not just saying i’m sorry right that’s like what everybody seems to say but i i have a weird experience of the opposite still an act of addiction i kept doing the same things like you said meant i’m sorry felt truly bad but didn’t have the capacity to change my behaviors whatsoever and so there was this one particular time where i said i just stood there feeling like the piece of [ _ ] that i really was living as at that moment um being caught by somebody stealing their stuff and didn’t say i’m sorry because the rationale in my head was i i just feel like [ _ ] and i can’t change it and so why am i going to keep saying i’m sorry i’m obviously not if i keep doing it right even though i want to i feel terrible about what my behavior but i just can’t change it so why i say i’m sorry and i was called out on that right it was like well my father said uh you’re not even going to say you’re sorry and i told them i’m like i i just feel like i can’t change it like and so why keep saying i’m sorry about it and he said yeah but at least then i feel like you’re human and i was like ooh that that [ _ ] hurt right and so we do say this thing about you know it’s not just the i’m sorry but it’s also not just the amends either right it’s it’s also the the meaningful apology to let people know that we do have a soul and we do care that we harm them yeah and so i think saying i’m sorry is okay and i just started to look up i’m like i don’t even know what the definition of i’m sorry or sorry apologies yeah well and the way it’s always been explained to me is that’s the difference you know between just saying you’re sorry there or there is a difference between just saying you’re sorry and making amends yeah i mean most of the time my life i didn’t want to hurt people i wasn’t my intention wasn’t to hurt people my intention was to steal from you without you knowing me you know it wasn’t going to hurt anybody so i didn’t intend to hurt anyone so i was sorry that i was hurting them i mean and that was genuine that was that was real um but i wasn’t making an amends you know what i mean i was just saying i was sorry because once again i didn’t mean to hurt you i know i’ve done it again but i’m sorry i hurt you so yeah if you would just give me ten dollars every day i wouldn’t have to hurt you well and the other thing in there is we do say it’s not just saying i’m sorry which means saying a sorry is a part of it it you know making an apology should be in there somewhere you know it’s just it’s not all that we’re doing we’re not just making an apology we’re making an apology and then following that up with a change in behavior a taking of responsibility you know whatever it is that needs to happen to finish out that amends yeah to be fair i have never heard anyone say don’t apologize as part of your amends like that that’s never happened i just always hear the emphasis put on the immense part and and i get that like we do need to hear that it’s just i guess that one unique experience i had has led me to to know that you know both pieces are equally important in that amendment process um another nice little thing that i read living error men’s is a process rather than a once and for all occurrence like this is not a i don’t think we ever get to check off that we made these amends right like we get to make the restitution and the repayment for the harm we’ve done and try to repair it the best we can but the immense process of not causing that harm again is lifelong we don’t ever get to like say we we’re finished right we kind of sort of finished that piece of it where we you know helped that one person uh or the one particular situation but we continue to live it for the rest of our lives yeah so just not to but to jump back so i looked up the definition of sorry and i was like wow both of these you could say a million times and it doesn’t necessarily take away their definite you know the definition it says so feeling distressed especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune or feeling regret or penitence so i’m not sure what penitence means but feeling regret like oh yeah i regretted getting caught a lot of times you know yeah but were we sorry for getting caught or were we sorry for we were sorry for hurting people yeah but i guess that’s from the beginning we saw that as from getting caught the actual harm was just in doing it yeah well and that’s the justification rationalization for a lot of the behavior is if i can do something to you and you don’t know that i did it if you never even notice that it happened then fine like if i can if i can cheat in a relationship and you never know i cheated is there really any harm there you know and in my justification it was no it’s like if the tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it doesn’t make a sound right and then as i get into recovery i realize oh yeah wait a minute you know that is a harm there is a harm there there’s a disrespect there’s a lot of things like just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean there’s not harm right and so if you look up apology it says a regretful acknowledgement of an offense or failure and by that definition i could say that every time because i regretted it and you know i wanted to acknowledge it i just didn’t want to change it so apology really doesn’t have anything to do with changing your behavior so sorry or apology is an acceptable response when you cause harm to someone else we just hope we take that to the next level and follow that up with right with corrective action or you know taking responsibility yeah it does say you know we’ve mentioned this already most of us find making amends for the damage we did an intimate relationships is extremely uncomfortable once again the three r’s of the immense process in case anybody like that resolution restoration restitution so you’re trying to find a resolution for the situation so it doesn’t have to go on and on in your head or in the world uh you want to try to restore whatever harm was done restore it back to its previous form before the harm was caused to the best of your ability and restitution is usually how we you know pay things back that were done to people or taken from people um you know we do want to be careful not to make amends out of order we talked about that a little bit it’s the step nine for a reason do the other eight first uh work them with the sponsor because it’s scary to do them by yourself um it’s about really all i got there’s a couple more readings here i could give but they’re you know read the books yourself and you’ll hear all of them you got anything else you’re thinking about for step nine the only thing and we may have covered this but i feel like maybe covering it just a little bit more maybe for uh the earth people or people not in 12 steps is the idea of the direct and indirect amends um in because we seem to know what that means automatically right um in recovery we talk about you know making direct amends or indirect amends whereas the direct amends would be the going directly to the person you know taking ownership making you know an apology and then following that up with some action that you’re gonna follow through on you know based off what the harm is if i stole from you it might be repaying you for the value of what you had if you know something like that um whereas indirect amends is more of uh we don’t necessarily go to that person and say these things out loud we don’t go to them and rehash old wounds or bring up hey remember 20 years ago when you know this thing happened and i’m sorry um it’s more of a case where we might still try to take responsibility but we try to fix that through future actions through uh you know i don’t know as we talked about with the family thing it might be you know i was terrible to some of my family so now i make it a point to to go to family reunions to keep in contact with some family members to show up for birthday parties whatever you know where you’re not necessarily going to go to every single family member and say hey i’m really sorry i didn’t show up for these things or like i don’t know if we talked about it on here but i shared a story of me uh like i skipped out on i was graduating high school my family had a graduation party and i went and i got the gifts and then i left in the middle of my own graduation party you know two or three hours in once i got the money and the stuff i left and went and started getting high with all my friends and so i don’t necessarily need to go like i probably couldn’t even figure out the list of people that was actually there to go to each individual family member and say hey remember my graduation party and i cut out and what an [ _ ] and you know i’m sorry i didn’t mean to do that um i might not necessarily do that but what i do now is try to show up for these things try to show up yes somebody’s party i’m gonna show up might be a little inconvenient for me but i’m trying to uh be a better person to take responsibility for that harm and to show some respect to show some admiration for those people for showing up for me yeah and this is the immense process i mean there’s a billion blogs and podcasts and and people that talk about you know all the different ways we can do these amends and how to make them and and i think it’s really a time to let our creativity as humans and and i don’t know uh people who have dealt with addiction for whatever reason seem to be really creative and intelligent people and so this is the time we can let that shine right like did you seriously do harm to one of your grandparents and they you know passed before you got clean and were able to make amends well maybe this is the time you can write a heartfelt letter and then maybe volunteer your time at a you know senior community center in your neighborhood or you know at least donate money or something to some like there’s so many different ways to come up with you know creatively repairing the harm specifically that you caused in life and it’s uh just interesting it gives us an opportunity to to do this yeah and that’s i think back to the importance of a sponsor in this process like the importance of a sponsor in this process is to help us identify like what areas might cause some harm you know and are going to need more of an indirect amends which areas are going to be more of a direct demand you know helping helping us figure out you know the the best way to make amends in those process like that’s where i think a sponsor helps and then just like you said having some creative ways or some different ways or or different uh ideas on how to making some of these amends right so what else are you thinking about uh can you just live dirty up until you get to step nine because you’re not on the amends yet um well again back for me personally like after going through that first round i mean i probably did indirectly i think six helps a lot with some of that so once you get into six and seven hopefully a lot of the behavior started to be corrected obviously well i can’t say obviously for me personally certain things seem to just fix themselves when i got clean i tended to be a lot less of a liar i tended to be able to show up for things a little bit better i tended to stop stealing um at least as much you know so some things started to kind of fix themselves directly from getting out of that lifestyle and getting out of using but other behaviors still linger in my life you know i still have shortcomings and things that i i add to an amends list um or that will need to go on future a men’s list that it’s not a thing that we do at least for me it’s not a thing that i do once in my recovery it’s important that i go back through the steps work through these things again yeah i’ve heard people because uh spoiler alert for step 10 you know we’re supposed to kind of do this inventory daily of ourselves and where we’ve maybe gone wrong or done something we didn’t like and and kind of fix it as soon as possible rather than like waiting for the next time through the steps and so i’ve heard people say that they don’t really have to do a 9 again if they’re doing 10 again that’s not my goddamn experience i don’t know i don’t know that i do 10 well enough that i don’t ever do 9 again like i’m always going to be making amends somewhere along the way yeah i don’t know so i think that’s about what we got on step nine uh just thinking about next week get your crucifixes in holy water we got somebody from celebrate recovery coming on and i am probably gonna offend them somehow i hope not it’s our buddy that we talked to on on uh some of our social media and he’s got a podcast and we’ll talk to him and and find out more about the celebrate recovery program which i don’t know a whole lot about i think i do but i really don’t um and so that’ll be fun and and i’m gonna try to be on better behavior so i’m not offensive because i don’t want to offend him he’s a really nice guy it’s not my goal but it is possible he will be on a step 8 list and maybe just maybe my desire to stop cursing is god working in my life to make it more comfortable for the celebrate recovery guy i don’t know that he’s offended by cursing i’m gonna ask him i’m gonna ask him right on air as a celebrate recovery no um well mike i’ve been to some celebrate recovery meetings and at least the couple that i’ve been to language is an issue i would i would imagine yeah no i would imagine it is i just don’t know if he’s uncomfortable with others oh cursing but maybe he is maybe he’s offended highly i don’t think i’ve heard any on his podcast i’m trying to remember i don’t know i would imagine he doesn’t curse he may not i’m pretty sure he doesn’t feel a need to correct everyone else’s behavior don’t do that anyway uh thanks for joining us this week we’d love to hear any nine-step stories you have feel free to contact us you know all the ways the the instagram facebook twitter uh i think right through the anchor website you can even leave like a voice message for us nobody’s done that yet but i can’t wait to somebody’s gonna say some dumb [ _ ] on there one day i can’t wait i’m gonna put it right in the podcast we got this voice message um so yeah reach out with that and if you did have any real specific questions about celebrate recovery the plan is to talk to him next week so hopefully that goes through and we’ll see you again then


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