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mikeupnorth
October 24th, 2006, 09:33 AM
Good morning Absland (Is that the name we finally settled on for this community?)

Here is a question that's been percolating in my pickled brain for some time. Do you feel a need to make up in recovery for the bad things you did during your drinking days? In other words, do you plan to "make amends?"

Two of AA's 12 steps have to deal with making amends for things we did wrong to others during our drinking past I'm sure we can all think of people we have hurt, neglected, let down, etc. when we were on the bottle. And, if you're like me, there is a certain amount of guilt you feel about that. Maybe guilt isn't even the right word. It's just this feeling that you want to make things right somehow. It can be a powerful part of the recovery process.

Now there are some people that are better left alone. That's why AA puts a caveat in its amends steps -- you make amends to people as long as doing so is not going to do them more harm. It is selfish to relieve a guilty conscience for oneself and open up old wounds for another person.

There's a second caveat: "wherever possible." There are some wrongs that can never be made right. There are some things in my past that fall into this category. Sometimes the person harmed is no longer living -- what do you do then?

It's also important to recognize that the other person may not respond the way you want them to. They may still be upset or angry or hurt, and rightfully so (perhaps). The important part is that you've tried.

I think that the person we have done the most harm to is ourself. We owe our inner self the most amends of anyone, if you ask me. After all, we deprived that inner child of safety, security, love and growth. We owe it to ourselves to give those things and more in recovery.

What are your thoughts?

dilayne
October 24th, 2006, 09:47 AM
Good Morning Mike,
A very good topic. I'm in the middle of a deadline so need to be brief but wanted to comment on how I think I went overboard with this years ago when I first got sober...I spent many years focusing on a few big mistakes that I made as a mother. I felt so guilty about very small window of time in my life that I wasn't able to see the 90% of good that was also there. It's only been recently that I've been able to put it all in perspective..what I learned from that is that we can get sucked into the remorse and let it take us over..maybe because it has a similar feeling as the negative feelings that come along with treating ourselves so badly. I don't know if this makes sense, but the important thing I think I'm wanting to say is that we need to make sure we see the things for what they were..mistakes that we made then, make ammense and clean it up as quickly as possible, otherwise we'll just carry it with us thinking that our mistakes are who we are and we'll never really be free of it, which could lead us right back to the bottle..which, may be stating the obvious..is the whole purpose of the step.

dilayne
October 24th, 2006, 09:48 AM
good Lord..I really need to check my typos..I re-read what I write and geez..I actually can spell better than this! :0)

Guest
October 24th, 2006, 09:55 AM
amends

I do plan on making amends. As far as who and how--I will be discussing that with my sponsor this week. Regardless whether you have this disease or not--so many times I hear "I should have said......". I think that most normal people, when they do something wrong they apologize and move on. I owe the apology to them and for myself. After I did step 5--I felt like I had finally forgiven myself. I have to be able to forgive myself first, before I can ask for forgiveness from others. This is one of the icky things that I just never wanted to do. But I know it is the right thing to do--and most likely with it will come new found freedom.

xtexan
October 24th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Bonny Ante Meridian!

Hello Mike.

On your topic line. I have found that those closest to me, that I may have hurt while drinking, were my family. All of my local friends are still hard drinkers, and I have distanced myself from them. I can tell my ex-drinking buddies that I feel better, and that my health is better, but more often than not, they don't give a rats posterior. My boss is still heavily dependent on the drink. Even a couple of days AF for him, and he is fit for a staightjacket. Maybe my example would be an indicator that it can be done, but so far, he has shown no desire to free himself from its clutches.

I have found, that simply being sober is bringing a great deal of relief to my immediate family members. I can tell my parents, or sister of my experiences with gaining strength through exercise and how my health is improving day after day. This, in and of itself, makes amends I believe.

I once asked my parents and sister if it bothered them if I called and talked while a bit intoxicated, and they said it was not a problem, unless I called at 3 or 4 A.M., which I had done a few times. I corrected that behaviour immediately years ago, but still I wondered.

The best thing we can do to make amends I believe, is to live a sober life, and to let those close to us know that we are determined to grow and excel, and finally try to become happy. My family often wondered if I drank because I was over-stressed or miserable in my life. Well, yes to a certain degree. Now, when I tell them that my blood pressure is coming down, or my weight is coming down, or that my general health is improving, then that is one of the best things to offer a loved one that there is. That in itself makes amends.

On a side note, even though it may seem minor, I think I posted about forgetting to feed my dogs a few times while on a several day binge bender. I wrote how, now that I abstain, that I keep up with their feeding properly now. How does one make amends to a pet, when they just love you unconditionally no matter what? The dogs never cared if I drank, I thought. I was never a mean drunk, but I was an irresponsible drunk. So I guess, to make amends with myself, I spent a little extra on my pets. Better food, better vet care, and more frequent brushings and treats.

Posting here of my experiences, pratfalls, and struggles is making amends to a degree.

We don't have to go up to someone and say, "Uh, sorry I was a stupid drunk", just being sober is its own amends.

Be well.

Neil

MonaCat
October 24th, 2006, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the thought provoking post Mike. Wow, I guess I have hurt mostly myself, by robbing myself of time and peace of mind. I am sure I have short changed my children. I was never a falling down drunk, but probably crashed way to early on evenings that I should have spent with them.

Dilayne, I know what you mean about spelling. Does this program have a speller checker I am missing? I could sure use one, when I am on roll typing.

Don't worry Neil, dogs in the wild don't eat everyday. But how lovely that you are taking better care of your buddies. I once read in the Jewish Bible, we should feed our animals before we feed ourselves. Talk about feeling guilty!

Since I am new to this thread, hope you won't mind me asking about the Supplements. I am sure you have discussed them before, but what do you all take?

Have a great day, and thanks for letting me hang out here.

dilayne
October 24th, 2006, 06:35 PM
Hey Mona, have you downloaded the book yet? Actually there is a link with the updated supplements that you can download easily on the home page..I'll have to get with you on the URL... it's 99% of the MWO so I highly recommend you read the book and download the updated supplement recommendations...gotta run..I'm in the middle of dinner but wanted to point you in that direction.

MonaCat
October 24th, 2006, 09:49 PM
Thanks Dilayne...may I call you Dee?
I have read the book, and have the recent update supp info.
I was just wondering if you all do supps?
I like the All in One.
What's for dinner?!

spacie
October 24th, 2006, 11:24 PM
Hey all,

About the supplements I'm on day 47 and taking the updated supplements except the calm forte, and I ran out of milk thistle but now that I'm cleaned up not sure if I need to continue it or not.

As for making amends I'm doing that by staying sober. Fortunately I didn't really hurt anyone but myself. I always knew I was a pain in the butt by blathering on and being a know it all. I stopped going out and drinking years ago and hid my drinking or so I thought. I recall a day when I would brag on how much I could drink, but actually became embarassed at how much I was putting down. But not any more!!

I'm doing my best be being a better person and making up for the time I've wasted.
spacie

xtexan
October 25th, 2006, 12:20 AM
spacie:

:yay:
47 DAYS!! That is good! You have a running start, and getting momentum now. Thats major in my eyes.

I didn't realize you were hanging in there so good. Very happy for you.

Be well.

Neil

mikeupnorth
October 25th, 2006, 01:46 AM
Good to hear everyone's thoughts on this subject - thanks.

Mona - I initially followed the books recommendation but now I take the following supplements:

High quality men's multivitamin capsule (morning)
Additional vitamin C (morning -- sometimes 3x daily)
L-Glutamine (1000 mg 3x daily)
Kudzu (600 mg 3x daily)
Magnesium (400 mg @ night)

Sometimes I get tired of swallowing all the pills but I remind myself this is good for me, and it's my maintenance for my recovery. It's definitely worth it. Really, it's the least I can do. I used to spend a lot more time and energy on getting drunk. This is a lot easier, cheaper, and has a lot more rewards! :)

dilayne
October 25th, 2006, 06:55 AM
Hi Mona,
Just call me 'Di' or Dianne. I wouldn't know 'Dee'.
I have continued to take the All One but am also (when I can remember now) the listed supplements because I still have some left and want to use them up. It's been harder to keep up with the pills since I'm not taking the topamax anymore..I really need to look at the supplements with the same light as I did the prescription!

lovecarps
October 25th, 2006, 08:50 AM
Making amends

Hi Mike and friends

It's been ages since I last posted, but Brigid reminded me of the long term abs board here.
She and I have been emailing each other tons in the last year and I'm so thankful for her friendship.
I'm rolling up on a year of abs and am quite certain that I will never go on the drink again. I've toyed with the idea of moderation, but I just know it would be a slippery slope back to the old drinking days. I just don't want that ever again.
I am so glad to see some old friends still here with lots of abs time in. And welcome to new friends who are just getting started. I remember clawing my way through the first month and then each day just gets so much easier until now drinking is a distant memory.
Mike, you mention making amends and I think the one thing that I have learned is that I really have needed to make amends to myself. The path of self destruction that I was on was definately a nuisance for my husband and son, but I hid it so well and was so damn functional that I think my problem was a small blip on anyone's radar. It was a huge missile looming over my head, though.
I agree with most everyone here that sobriety is the best way to make amends. It has also given me back my confidence and ability to grow and live each day to the fullest. My son now has a full time, engaged mom rather than a numb cow logging time on the couch in the evenings.
One thing that I do struggle with, however is still explaining to people why I'm not drinking. I still feel the need to make excuses and dodge around the fact that I don't have an off switch when it comes to drinking. There is still a social stigma and it pisses me off. Brigid and I have talked heaps on thiis subject and maybe it is still a form of denial on my part, but I still hate the labels and the stigma of "alcoholism."

I also wanted to touch on supplements for the newbies. Follow RJs instructions very closely. Milk thistle is so important for healthy liver function and we've done so much damage that I would recommend it for long term. All-One is like a magic pill. There is something in the formula that fills me up and energizes me for the day. I have it in a protein shake every morning and it's like a shot of adreniline in the arm for me.
I'm very active. I run 5 miles every morning and play tennis 5 days a week and this stuff gets me through. it might be a placebo effect, but when I miss a day I feel like slipping. It tastes like vomit, but hide it away in a chocolate shake or fruit smoothie and it works wonders. I tell you.

So, glad to be back on (the) board and will try to chat often.

Take care all,
Kel

mikeupnorth
October 25th, 2006, 09:01 AM
Kel ~

So good to see you!! It is great to see a familiar face from last year. And a success story at that!

I look forward to seeing you around here often. We just got the long term abs forum going fairly recently. We're just taking turns getting the daily post started, so jump in and start one whenever you feel the urge!

Mike

MonaCat
October 25th, 2006, 09:46 AM
Kel, thanks for your amazing story. It gives me courage and inspiration.