Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of recovering alcoholics who have chosen to help one another stay sober. AA is based upon 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. Step 8 is regarded as one of the most challenging steps by many members. This step requires you to make a list of people you have harmed and be willing to apologize and right your wrongs. This step is so challenging because it requires you to take an honest look at just how much your alcoholism has impacted the people around you. People who suffer from alcoholism often behave in ways they would never behave if they were not under the influence of alcohol. The essence of Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8 is to come to terms with the actions your alcoholism encouraged and take personal responsibility for any harm you have caused another human being.
Step 8: Apologize and Right Wrongs
As you approach the 8th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous it is important for you take a moment to recognize just how far you have come since your very first AA meeting. Completing seven Alcoholics Anonymous steps is an impressive accomplishment. Take comfort in knowing that the first seven steps of the program have prepared you for this step. If you find yourself struggling with Step 8, remember that you have the help and support of your sponsor and the AA fellowship. Your sponsor was once in the same exact position you are in now. It is likely that your sponsor felt similar to the way you feel now when he or she was approaching Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8.
Some people find that the 8th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous increases their self-destructive thoughts and they begin to crave alcohol. This is a normal response, especially since Step 8 requires you to face some negative thoughts and emotions that may have led you to drink in the first place. If you find these thoughts and cravings too difficult to resist, you may want to consider some additional treatment options. Seeking out additional treatment options does not mean that you failed AA. Just the opposite is true. It means that you worked the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and realized that you had more to work through than you initially thought. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength.
The level of care and type of treatment you need will be based upon the current severity of your alcoholism and treatment needs. Levels of care range from intensive residential treatment to weekly hour-long meetings with a therapist. When considering what level of care you need, think about what you believe you need to stay sober. Completing all of the steps leading up to Alcoholics Anonymous Step 8 have likely taught you a lot about yourself, your addiction, and what you need to do to take care of yourself and stay on the road of recovery. Honor this knowledge and don't second guess yourself.
Treatment Option: Residential Alcohol Rehab
Many people choose to start treatment at the residential level. Residential addiction treatment allows you to focus entirely on your recovery and sobriety while being surrounded by a supportive community and caring staff at all times. This level of security helps many people in feeling comfortable enough to battle their alcoholism.