Pat Schneeweis, better known as Pat the Bunny of the band Ramshackle Glory, sings in the song Never Coming Home (Song for the Guilty): “Forgiveness from those that we hurt in this world never was guaranteed.” Schneeweis, whose struggles with heroin and sobriety are well documented in his songs, touches on an important note about the problems of forgiveness in regards to addiction. We can go through a process of making amends for our past behavior, but we have to be ready to face a situation in which we are not forgiven for the harms we have caused. Amends often go better than we anticipate. We may feel that we have caused such a horrible offense to someone that they will never forgive us. However, we tend to find that most people are supportive of our decision to clean up the wreckage of our past and live a life of sobriety. Other time, this is not the case. The point is that we go to them in a helpful and forgiving spirit and do what we can to make up for the harms we have caused. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Our former enemies sometimes praise what we are doing and wish us well. Occasionally, they will offer assistance. It should not matter, however, if someone does throw us out of his office. We have made our demonstration, done our part. It’s water over the dam.” We must do our best to understand that we may not be able to fully right the wrongs we have caused in the past. The other person may, and justifiably, remain upset with us and not be willing to forgive. We cannot continue to harbor resentment toward them, nor can we allow it to become an impediment to our recovery. The Big Book explains, “Our behavior will convince them more than our words. We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone.” We must remember that our recovery is, in part, about divorcing ourselves from selfishness. It would be selfish for us to expect or demand forgiveness for a harm we have caused. Instead, we continue to live a life of spiritual principles and show, through our actions, that we are not longer the person we once were.
Your story can become one of strength and redemption in sobriety. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin the rewarding journey of recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in the heart of Laguna Beach, offers an innovative and fluid approach to Residential Treatment that incorporates a variety of treatment methodologies and a well-rounded balance of individual and group therapy sessions, inside and outside 12-step meetings, nutritious meals, social events, monitored exercise, as well as sufficient time for rest, relaxation and reflection. For information about Residential Treatment and other individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777