My redemption, which began in Steps 4 and 5 by identifying the sources of my mental anguish, and continued in Steps 6 and 7 to becoming willing and humble to have my mental anguish removed, was now on the brink of release; the beginning of the end and a return to society. Up to then I had denied any conscious feeling of sin or devoutness even after I had admitted my wrongs, and not yet achieved redemption or even understood what amends could offer me. But I had begun on the path toward recognition of the wrongs I had committed and sources of my guilt and shame … I began to examine many of His questions about existence with respect to my life of addiction. I was living in hell occupied by myself (who I could not stand), as divided into three people in my id, superego, and ego. The id drove my addictive use of alcohol drugs, the superego condemned its use, and ego kept failing to find a way to control the chaos and confusion. I examined such issues as freedom, self-deception, and the nature of time in my pursuit of listing and making amends.
Throughout my whole story and recovery, I looked back to the past and to the present, trying to make peace with myself about the evil things I had done to loved ones and not so loved ones. Guilt and shame ruled my life for many years during my addiction, now I painstakingly faced my anguish head on. I had made a decision to live, and had to find a way out of my living hell or die. I had to learn to live in the here and now. I had to forgive the past, and face the future, the two most dangerous places for me. I had to accept the present without fear and trembling or drink or drug, which for me was to die. Living in the present was my exit from my hell.
As I was making amends, I realized I was carrying the message for recovery in AA as explained by my purpose and recovery…I started to feel God was doing for me what I could not do for myself, and I felt a great uplift and euphoria. I had my spiritual experience and communion with a force greater than myself.
—Chapter 10 “Mission from God” Bohunk’s Redemption, From Blacking Out to Showing Up: A Doctor’s Adventures