There was a message I got the other day. It was from someone from so far back in the day that I had to close the message, focus really hard to even vaguely remember who this person was. I did remember, after some considerable effort and email searching, find that this person was from the Bad Old Days. We weren’t friends, we were business associates. Let’s leave it at that.

The message had nothing to do with that, well, at least not the part you might be thinking.

Unlike myself, he took the 12 step approach to getting off the things he had been on when we knew one another and he was on my least favorite step of all.

Step 8

The following is from Recovery Times:

Step 8 of NA is the process of forgiveness that we desire from our guilt-ridden past. We now make every effort to heal past embarrassment, dishonor, and humiliation from the people in our lives. All the people that we have harmed or ill-treated in the past are now given an open invitation to provide us their forgiveness, or basic acknowledgment. In Step 8 of NA, we organize a list of all the people that we’ve harmed, and we equip ourselves to make direct amends, which occurs in Step 9.

Yes, the ever popular Forgive Me list.

I have no problem asking for forgiveness, I do it often, especially or the things I have done in my past. I have a problem with making it a mandatory part of anything. Seeking forgiveness, and in fact giving it, are intimately personal things that should not be thrown together and done like this. I understand the theory, I do. You make a list here, and you fix it there.

Just No.

Of course this is just what my brain has to say about it. I haven’t apologized to some people yet and there were some people I apologized to before I even was actually clean. It needs to be done when it is right to do, not because it is the next thing on a checklist.

Now, I am not a fan of the Anonymous organizations as a whole because the first step is to admit that you admit your powerlessness over your addiction.

Wrong. Fuck You kind of wrong.

We are the ONLY people who have power over our addiction. I quit by will, strength, pain, humiliation. I DID THAT, I am not going to discredit myself and alleviate myself of all responsibility because I was powerless to overcome it.

I feel…strongly…about this.

If you read this and you happen to be deep in the Pit, let me tell you things. Not teach, not preach, not “share”. Let me tell you things.

You can stop the addition because it is yours.
You will stop the addiction when you are ready to.
You are not the mistakes of your addiction.
You always have strength, Even when you are at your worst.

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