Shortly after I wrote the title of this post I had to go back and find the date of when I actually completed my Step 8. It was the 17th of December. It took me close to 3 weeks before I made my first amends on the 5th of January. My first was my sister. My sister and I are friends and she made it so easy for me. She was really cute about it.
Those of you who read my “first challenge” post know how worried I was about making amends to my wife. Anyway two days ago was her birthday. Since we started dating and her birthday has been a multi-step surprise with a wow factor. She almost always left blown away about how I planned her birthday. This year, I just couldn’t plan anything. I was in an utter state of confusion about my feelings, emotions and about her and us as a couple. So I couldn’t put on a show. It would have been just more of the old me. I also considered making amends to her on her birthday but I wasn’t sure that is the right thing to do. So I spent the whole day of her birthday reflecting on it.
The only thing I prepared for her birthday is a card with the palm print of my kids on it. Then I took the card and drove to her work place to surprise her while my mom looked after the kids. I picked her up and we drove to a nice area and we started walking around. Up until the moment I opened my mouth I wasn’t sure if I’m going to make amends or not. I started by stating that I didn’t get her anything for her birthday but this (pointing to myself) and stating that it is not all that to brag about. She knows I am working the steps so I refreshed her memories of what step 8 and step 9 talk about. I told her that she was on top of the list of people to make amends to. Then I went on sharing my character defects and specific scenarios where these character defects have caused her harm. I apologised and cried as I saw her cry. It was such an intimate loving conversation beyond my wildest imagination. I asked her, what I can do to make it up. She said, “You are already doing it”, “I can see a change in you as you work your recovery, it is not always a good change but it makes you real and makes you more human, so keep doing that, and I am proud of you”. To hear that just made me realize how fortunate, how lucky and how blessed I am to have her in my life. (Please remind me I said that when I come complaining about her in the future).
I did tell her about step 10 and that if she sticks around this won’t be the last time I am going to say sorry but I am willing to keep making progress. We hugged each other in tears and she told me that this was her best birthday ever. We had a nice dinner afterwards (it was a difficult task in NZ, not many places open late) then got home to watch a movie. Guess which movie? “Thanks for Sharing“!! I was scared to death but it went alright.
I would like to confirm that I didn’t share too many details about my acting out. I just talked about the character defects caused by my addiction (or causing my addiction) and how that caused her harm. She didn’t ask and I didn’t feel a need to volunteer information. At this point it felt like the truth might set me free and send someone else to hell and that falls under “injure them or others” in my current understanding. I might gain a different understanding as I progress through recovery, but for the time being I feel aided by my Higher Power to do what I need to do and I follow that guidance.
Thanks for reading. Please share your thoughts.