Shiloh’s Perspective: Step 8

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

By: Shiloh, Renascent Alumni

I did Step Eight during my recovery within the first 60 days of sobriety. I’ve always been advised with my steps to be very thorough, honest, and whole-hearted way, but get in and get out. 

Step work can be very painful to some but it also has a reverse effect for others. My experience was painful in the beginning. For those that experience very painful step work as it brings up a lot of our past, we’re to get in and get our step work done fast but effective.

The only approach was to start at Step One and work your way through. If you’re unclear about what to do, stuck on something, or just don’t understand it, ask all the questions you need to.

Step 8 was a difficult step for me. It caused a lot of mixed emotions, fears, emotional and mental pain, and raised anxiety for me and others. However, after that step was completed whole heartedly, truthfully, and how it is suggested and designed to be, my life became even better and much more manageable.

I finally was able to experience freedom from the emotional and mental anguish that I had experienced for so long and others did too. There was a weight that was removed, and a very dark cloud that hovered over me that had passed. 

Those who I had harmed also gained closure and freedom from their suffering due to my actions. They deserved to be free. I strongly believe that none of this would’ve been possible without God, my Higher Power.

As far as my advice for Step 8, I suggest you really take the time to reflect on your past and present, and who you have harmed, this includes yourself. Then go over your list and reflect again to ensure you have all the information you need to successfully complete Step Eight.

 If you forget someone you have harmed in completing Step Eight, that will surface at some point leaving you the only option to make amends to that person later on in your recovery. This can take away from other step work you are completing and also bring up unwanted thoughts and emotions that were supposed to be dealt with when completing Step Eight.

I don’t revisit Step Eight unless necessary. I like to revisit Step Ten ‘continue to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it’. This keeps me accountable and up-to-date on my daily interactions with myself and others. 

The only other advice I would offer to someone is, step work is not supposed to be extremely hard. Don’t overthink it. We tend to overthink over stress and overcomplicate many things. Step work has been known to be one of those things. When we overcomplicate it, we are putting additional work and strain on ourselves, mentally emotionally and physically, while we are trying to heal and recover. 

Step work can be a very intimidating and scary thing for people. There’s a lot of fear associated with step work. Here is how fear should work to our advantage. Fear has two meanings, leaving us two choices.


 1. Forget Everything And Run

 2. Face Everything And Recover

Most of us have been running our whole lives, avoiding fears and pain, missing out on the enjoyment of recovery. So, we should try to face these things and recover. 

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email