My brain whirled. I might have done terrible things, and I wouldn’t even know it.
~ pg. 223 Big Book, 3rd Edition
Perhaps one of the most frightening aspects of drinking for me and countless others was the “black out” drinking. I would awaken to strangers, in scary places I would never go to sober, with no car, no money, and no memory of how I got there, and what had occurred. This makes making amends particularly difficult, and that is why I say amends may never be completed. Every now and then, I will recall an instance from the past. It will come in a dream, or when I am ill and feverish. I guess that is because I am more vulnerable and susceptible to such thoughts. Some folks experience “using” dreams. That happened more frequently when I was first sober.
When I do have the clarity of mind and do remember some harm I have done to myself and others, then I can act on the amends immediately. I find it wise to walk through the memory with a sponsor, write about it, and pray for the right words and actions to take. I need to forgive my younger self for putting me in harm’s way and doing things that I would never in sobriety even consider. Step 9 is a healing component in sobriety, and not one to take lightly. Be kind and gentle with yourself, heed those dreams, and continue to live each moment doing the best you can with what you have. New things will be revealed. This I promise.