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I’m an isolator. I isolate. The list of people I harmed was kept short on purpose. The less people I interact with, the less people I hurt. I was doing you a favor.

What arrogant horseshit.

Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Not the short list part; that’s legit. It’s the pride of my forethought to leave others alone. Nobody wants any part of this mess, alright? I’m damaged goods over here, so beware, okay? This a warning, right now, up front: I have zero control over my drinking and often do stupid, ignorant, scary, disparaging, awkward, mean, fearful things. Whatever you were thinking of starting, well, let’s just nip that in the bud. Happy handshake. You’re welcome.
That’s Problem 1.

Here’s Problem 2:
Guess who got the surplus of harm? Those closest to me, naturally. There’s confrontation anticipation anxiety in all cases, all for different reasons. And I’m well aware that the wounded bird dance only works so often. But no need for concern yet – it’s only Step Eight. So I do today to the best of my ability, then stop.

As for the list itself. A balance between a leather-bound novella and “sorry about all that” needs to be struck. This is when I go talk to my sponsor, and others in the know. A simple, “am I doing this right?” can easily clear up days of assignment distortion and paralysis. There’s no grading, no red ink: only stickers and smiley faces at the tops of my sheets of woe.

It reminds my new-found sanity just how young it is.

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