“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Whenever people think of Twelve Steps, they mostly think of Steps Eight and Nine. That's because entertainment media has mostly referenced them when it discusses addiction recovery. As a result of Steps Eight and Nine being the most famous of the Steps, they can also act as a barrier for people bravely beginning their journey at Step One. Step Eight is where you make a list of everyone that you’ve hurt as a result of your sex addiction or porn addiction.
Now, before I write anything else, do you know why the Steps are in the order they’re in? It’s not random! Step Eight comes after One through Seven because unless you work those Steps first, you won’t be ready or able to do a true Step Eight!
For so many addicts, the hurt that they have caused others and that they have been unwilling to face acts as fuel for the addiction.
They feel great shame and guilt about what they’ve done, so they reach for sex or lust to numb those feelings. For the non-addict, running from past hurts you’ve caused others can be the same. You don’t want to face the shame and guilt, so you cut off or isolate. Step Eight is all about beginning the process of freeing yourself from past mistakes.
Another barrier to completing Step Eight is that, as you make a list of the wrongs you have done others, you may be tempted to perceive them as having done real or imagined wrongs to you. Because of this, resentment settles in and becomes our enemy. As you make your list, with your sponsor’s help, you may find that you need to forgive the very people you’ve wronged for the sake of your own heart’s freedom. Once again, you will surrender. Only, this time, it will be your right to resent.