Forgiving myself for hurting others

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Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby BrendaChenowyth » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:25 pm

Without getting in to much detail, I like most alcoholics have burned a lot of bridges along with my reputation, and with a month of sobriety am just starting to build my self-esteem back up. Plan to go to a meeting later tonight, usually in my weekly women's meetings I hear the very thing I need to hear.. I hope to get a sponsor and start steps.. in the mean time, what do you guys do when shame, remorse, and fear of facing people you've burned resurfaces?

Happy New Year. May this be a better one for all of us.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby Blue Moon » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm

As we get to Steps 7, 8 and 9, we start to address these things. If something is urgent, it might be resolved sooner, but beware of trying to do too much too soon. People have gone back to drinking as the result of trying to take Step 9 before they were ready (having not removed expectations, ego, having little empathy, etc.)

Meanwhile, just stop doing what causes hurt today, and focus on what you need to do instead for today.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby Brock » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:33 pm

I agree that when we go through the steps and get to 8 & 9, is when we should think of these things, but I do know from experience that it is something which ‘worries’ us early in sobriety. What I also learned, judging by the ‘surprise’ of some at my apology for the harms I believed I did, some even forgetting I did anything, that I was a person who exaggerated these harms in my mind. I have heard other alcoholics relate similar experience, and feel it’s something common to us, yes we did bad things but we tend to blow them out of proportion. In the book they say - “We alcoholics are sensitive people” - and we seem that way not just about what others do us, but also are extra sensitive about what we did others.

If we run into someone we hurt before we reach step 9, there is no harm in using the opportunity to apologize, but we should really try to put our bad actions in perspective, we may be guilty of overthinking, and blowing some trivial things out of proportion.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby positrac » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:32 am

First of all keep going to meetings, next get a sponsor and ensure that person has a regularly used sponsor, and don't get the cart in front of the horse. Of course you have a lot of remorse and yes you want a quick fix to your mistakes and this is a human feeling and all us drunks like instant gratification. Sadly we have to deal with our past in ways that even torture might be a better sentence! More will be revealed to you as you grow and become aware of things in a different light. Examples might be that your actions will reflect what your words haven't and so healing is a time deal because we are cunning and baffling as we used and people stay clear of strife whenever possible.

Listen to your sponsors suggestions as our survival in sobriety works if we work the suggestions and find how to become a better person. See I mentioned torture earlier and well making amends sometimes doesn't have the outcomes we hope and or expect and so time, growth and healing is necessary. Asking for forgiveness for our short comings and also forgiving ourselves is a great start and again your actions from hear on out will reflect a new you and I say just go with it and I can promise that your concerns being valid will become answered in time.

Just don't hinder progress, and stay out of your way------> More will be revealed on that subject as you work the steps.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:00 am

The 4th and mainly the 5th is where you disconnect from your mind. We see how the mind/ego operates, We see how we established roles for every body and if they or ourselves didnt follow the script (in our own mind) we got perturbed. Many in the fellowship think we had a choice in out drinking, when we realize that we didn't have a choice then and even now and that the only choice we have is to go spiritually fit, we recover we no longer carry guilt. But because we could have hurt others we make amends and try to fix the relationship.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby BrendaChenowyth » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:14 pm

I hope the situation is one where I am overestimating the pain I caused. The reactions to what I did probably range between disgust and exasperation... I may never know and it might be better that way.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:30 pm

The reactions to what I did probably range between disgust and exasperation... I may never know and it might be better that way.

We give them the opportunity to share their pain when we make amends. And with close ones, it may not be a one time deal. There could be several times, they bring it up on other occasions. At those times we sit and allow them to rant.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby clouds » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:47 am

I found that, even making amends to the best of my ability, that there were some in my family that never were able to accept them and weren't able to forgive me. Even after many years of sobriety there was still that grudge of unrsolved hatred. I got sober at age 24 and been sober ever since. I'm 68 years old now. Last summer, when my mother died, nothing I ever did was able to mend that relationship. Most all other amends I made were accepted and the relationships were healed.

Its maybe good to reflect that I am still sober because I did the steps 4,5,6,7,8, and 9 to the best of my ability and even though not everyone was able to accept me, sobriety depends on our spiritual condition, not on human power.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby positrac » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:59 am

clouds wrote:I found that, even making amends to the best of my ability, that there were some in my family that never were able to accept them and weren't able to forgive me. Even after many years of sobriety there was still that grudge of unrsolved hatred. I got sober at age 24 and been sober ever since. I'm 68 years old now. Last summer, when my mother died, nothing I ever did was able to mend that relationship. Most all other amends I made were accepted and the relationships were healed.

Its maybe good to reflect that I am still sober because I did the steps 4,5,6,7,8, and 9 to the best of my ability and even though not everyone was able to accept me, sobriety depends on our spiritual condition, not on human power.


You and I got sober at around the same ages and after all these years I found that the amends I made were easy because I moved away from home at age 11 and joined the Navy at 18 and so my parents and others in our clan weren't affected/effected? by my actions and insanity of the drinking. When my mother died I asked for forgiveness and she was as cold as she ever was up the very end no feelings of it is ok as I am outta here, nothing! Mothers are our most I believe beloved souls due to the maternal stuff..... I guess? I haven't much memories of her and I rarely think of her and that bothers me because I feel left out of some man made idear that I am supposed to love me mum.

I liked what you said and it touched a soft area in my heart and it is not about me, although I know I am not alone on this and so it feels better. I had to eat crow and just accept that those things are part of life and keep on moving forward and I have except when I think of her and or see other people enjoying their mother and the unconditional ways.

Thank you.

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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby Roberth » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:01 pm

Hello Brenda, and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. When I got to AA I was suffering from a mixture of low self-esteem and delusions of grandeur. At 30 days I thought I was a loser because I wasn’t a circuit speaker yet. I had trouble with the fact that I was right where I was supposed to be.
I wish when I could tell you when thing will change but it different for everyone. Some people get relief doing a 4th step. Some find it by doing a 5th, and so on and so on along the steps. For me it was when I stopped worrying about the other steps and stared doing the foot work. My sponsor told me that he put himself on the bottom of his amend list so I did the same. A funny thing happened when I got to the bottom of the list……the amend I thought I needed had already being done without me even knowing the I was making it to myself all along.
As far low self-esteem and delusions of grandeur, 26 years later I still not a circuit speaker and I am still right where I was supposed to be.........the difference is I grateful about it today.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby clouds » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:12 am

@positrac. I'm so glad my experience was good for you. Sometimes even these so called negative experences can turn out to be useful in AA. Thanks for letting me know that.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby Mike O » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:57 am

BrendaChenowyth wrote: ...in the mean time, what do you guys do when shame, remorse, and fear of facing people you've burned resurfaces?



My experience was that, by the time I reached this stage in the programme (7,8 & 9), the previous steps had prepared me well for dealing with the wrongs I had done to others. Working the programme in my life, applying the principles in my life on a daily basis, helps me to remain able to deal with these emotions when they arise.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby PaigeB » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:20 pm

I try to live in the solution... Opposite of harming others, I do service... to my family (the dishes) to my community (volunteer & donate) AND in Gratitude to AA, who I can never fully repay - any and all that is asked of me to help the meeting open & close, greet others, speak at my turn and take a service position in my Home Group.
https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/search/ ... e-aa-group

Living amends... Anything you see that might help (without getting into other people's business LOL)

Ask in your morning meditation what you can do for the alcoholic who still suffers.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby BrendaChenowyth » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:36 pm

Thank you Paige. That makes sense.

I have my sponsor-to-be's number and I keep procrastinating, I was hoping to see her last night, but she missed the meeting.. I'll have to call her tomorrow.. or Thursday :)

On New Years day the topic was a great one but it was nothing that I had anything ground-breaking to add to (which I like), so I took my turn to say just that, and also mention that I had 30 days and was ready to get a sponsor if anyone was interested. Big step for me, because I have this inadequacy and this fear that I would be a bother to someone else.. but the woman that approached me and gave me her number might be the perfect person because I believe she might need me as much as I need her. She is currently unemployed and we all know that's rough, and one of her sons is going through something big that I won't get in to but I can just imagine the storm of emotions that she's grappling with.. I think that she needs to get out of herself a little bit and maybe that's what made her reach out to me.

The topic of this week's meeting was just that - what keeps you coming back to meetings. A common thread was "service" and "getting out of myself". As usual I had nothing to add and was super content to just listen to all these amazing women talk about how they've gotten what I would like to have.

One of the things I need to do is get off of social media because I find myself checking on the people that I hurt, and finding out that they have experienced more turmoil in their lives that I feel guilt if I have contributed to it in any way.. I believe that energies attract like energies, and that my attitudes and behaviors attract more of the same, so that seeds can be planted and the thing that I'm experiencing and focusing about grows and multiplies, and by injecting negativity in to their lives I produced the same effect.

So I am working every day to get outside of myself, focus on positive things, not be too hard on myself, work toward my goals and stay sober.

I do find past experiences good motivators for forward progress, I just try not to dwell on them too much.

Thanks for letting me vent, in a vague way, about the issues I've had going on. I can't talk to anyone about it.
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Re: Forgiving myself for hurting others

Postby PaigeB » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:59 am

BrendaChenowyth wrote:I have my sponsor-to-be's number and I keep procrastinating, I was hoping to see her last night, but she missed the meeting.. I'll have to call her tomorrow.. or Thursday :)

So I am working every day to get outside of myself, focus on positive things, not be too hard on myself, work toward my goals and stay sober.

I do find past experiences good motivators for forward progress, I just try not to dwell on them too much.

Thanks for letting me vent, in a vague way, about the issues I've had going on. I can't talk to anyone about it.

I know the phone can weigh a ton, but call her BEFORE the crazy sets in and it will be easier to call when you need to.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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