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Working Step Eight Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. From step four onward, the twelve steps are primarily concerned with interpersonal relations—how you interact in and with the wider world. In a nutshell, you are asked to: Look back on your life and see where you have caused problems for yourself and others. Do what you can to repair the damage you have done. Live differently in the future. Steps eight and nine are the middle portion of this procedure—doing what you can to repair the damage you have done. To start, you compile a list of the people you have harmed, not forgetting to include yourself on the list. Reviewing your step four inventory is generally helpful when compiling this list. Most of the names on your step four list should also appear on your step eight list, but a… Continue reading

Does Step Seven Require Belief in a Higher Power? – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

  Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. In steps four, five, and six we identified our characters defects and became willing to live without them. Step seven is the logical continuation of that effort, where we begin the process of actually ridding ourselves of these shortcomings. If you believe in a Higher Power, step seven is a relatively straightforward endeavor. You simply incorporate into your daily routine (prayer, affirmations, and whatever else it is that seems to work for you in your recovery) a request that your Higher Power remove your character defects. If there are shortcomings that are particularly irksome or problematic, it is helpful to specifically mention them. When you do this, your character defects tend to become less burdensome over time. If, however, you struggle with the concepts of God and Higher Power, step seven, like step three, might seem a bit daunting. You… Continue reading

Step Six: Are You Really Ready? – Robert Weiss LCSW CSAT-S

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. The Alcoholics Anonymous authored book, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, famously calls step six “the step that separates the men from the boys.” What the AA folks mean by this is that compiling a list of one’s character defects and then becoming completely, absolutely, and totally willing to let go of those defects requires a lot of fortitude, especially when some of those defects can be, in moderation, necessary, healthy, and/or enjoyable elements of life. The trick here is to realize that our life-sustaining natural instincts (for sexual congress, eating, security, and the like) are good things until they spiral out of control. In other words, it is only when these naturally instilled survival instincts begin to drive us blindly into regrettable behaviors that they become character defects. So if lust is ruining your marriage (because you… Continue reading

Psyche. The totality of the mind; conscious and unconscious – Nicola O’Hanlon

  It’s been a tricky week. A week where I’ve been evaluating the triggers of a deep depression I’ve experienced for a month or two. Perhaps a bit longer. Gladly I seem to be out the other side of it, but boy was it brutal. It rendered me breathless, thoughtless and bottomless. It felt like a roller-coaster that was plummeting really fast, but I didn’t know when it would stop. However, I knew that it would. Stop. I don’t really get to the point of hopelessness anymore. Experience has taught me that it eventually ends. I’ve had bouts of serious depression which lasted years. I stopped questioning when it would end, because I’d forgotten what it was like to be depression free. I’d forgotten that there was a place where I could breathe, think and be grounded. The breathless, thoughtless, bottomless existence was normal then. I’d stopped looking for relief.… Continue reading

Are You Ready For Step 5 – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.  After completing your fourth step, you suddenly find yourself staring at step five. Step five is one of the simplest steps to work. However, many recovering addicts approach it with dread. And that is a perfectly understandable feeling to have, given the nature of what they’re about to do – admitting to God, to themselves, and to another human being the exact nature of their wrongs. With your step four work, you’ve already compiled an inventory of these wrongs – the ways you’ve avoided taking responsibility, misused your anger, been paralyzed by fear, and the things you’re most ashamed of. More importantly, you’ve examined your role in all of these problematic behaviors. As such, your vision of yourself as a victim and your ability to use that as justification for your addiction has been… Continue reading