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As long-term recovery continues, our step work also continues. Many of the things we did in step-work become life habits. Making amends is in that category. I talk about this in my book “Out of the Woods”.
Over the last few years as I worked the steps again with my sponsor I found I had a whole new list of amends. And yes, this is humbling, all for things that occurred in recovery—in “good” recovering time. Yes, it is ever true: “progress not perfection”.
One step that I have taken this time is looking through my list again and –with the help of good recovering women pals–distilled it down to some dominant themes or central ideas. (Yes, keep in mind the good advice I borrowed and shared in Chapter 7 about having your own recovery softball team.)
My distilling process led me to create my own very personalized character defect prevention plan. My notes to me include:

  • Mind my own business. (MMOB)
  • If it doesn’t have your name on it don’t pick it up. This is a variation of MMOB but it also includes feelings and concerns that belong to someone else.
  • Believe that God loves me. I act out of fear so often. Many of my behaviors that lead to new amends come right from old fears.
  • Believe I am loveable as I am. Again fear, fear, fear and therefore wanting to make myself bigger, more important, more special.
  • Change my thinking. This is the biggie. I think myself into fear, loss, abandonment, deprivation. I scare myself to death all by myself. It’s true what they say: I came for the drinking but stay for the thinking.

Today as I try to hold these concepts in mind as I continue to work through my ongoing amends list. But what keeps me going and what also makes me laugh is this favorite bit of advice from my very first sponsor:
“Diane, Just try not to do anything else that you’ll have to make amends for.”

This blog was written by Diane Cameron, author of OUT OF THE WOODS

This blog was written by Diane Cameron, author of OUT OF THE WOODS