Step 9 AA: When to Make Amends and When Not to

Your sponsor can help walk you through this by asking you about your goals in making amends, how you plan to do it, and when. The spiritual purpose of making amends is to find inner peace, freedom, release, and rebirth. While this step involves a direct exchange with another person, its goal has everything to do with healing and addiction recovery on the part of the person making the amends. Say, for example, you’re preparing to make amends to a former coworker, whom you once stole from to pay for drugs.

When the person you owe reparations to has died, you can still make living amends by changing things about you and how you live your life. These changes can positively impact the people you love and care about. Whether or not you’re intimately familiar with the Twelve Steps of AA, you’ve probably heard of Step Nine. Making Amends with Others has positioned itself in the public eye to a degree that many of the other eleven steps haven’t. That’s because it attempts to rectify the outward consequences of the disease.

  1. New Life House has helped young men stay sober for over 35 years.
  2. Say, for example, you’re preparing to make amends to a former coworker, whom you once stole from to pay for drugs.
  3. Volunteering for a worthwhile cause or supporting a charity can be a valuable way to make amends.
  4. If you promised your son or daughter to be there to see them off to college, clean yourself up and show up.
  5. No doubt you will experience challenges and setbacks along the way.

This website does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. When you make amends, the way you look and feel about situations changes. You can gain clarity about what happened and what should have happened. If you’re on the fence about Step 9, remember that making amends can help you and the other person.

After all, years of drug or alcohol abuse will not be undone with an apology or a few simple words. We need to prove to our children that we how to help an alcoholic parent are seriously addressing our addiction, not just offering cheap words. In many cases, making direct amends to them is simply not possible.

The Application Process

After years of being bossy and overbearing, my basic apologies meant little. They don’t always see my hands off approach as sincere kindness, but my motives are pure. I don’t call him to see how his meeting went this week or what step he’s on. Nor do I play the peacemaker between him and our Mother. If he specifically asks for my opinion, which he doesn’t, I will give it.

What Should Be the Goal with Making Amends?

We come to understand that we are good people with a bad disease. Steps 8 and 9 help us to move out of the shame we have lived in, shame that feeds the cycle of substance use and addiction. We strengthen and reinforce healthy recovery whenever we do our part to repair relationships or reach out to others with support and understanding.

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For example, we might intend to go to a friend’s birthday party, but in actuality, we fail to show up for the event. While we might apologize later for missing the party, our apology consists of words rather than actions or changed behavior. And those words ring hollow when we repeatedly break our promises. So, to truly make amends, we have to offer more than words. On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology for your treatment of others, but there’s more to this cornerstone Twelve Step practice. We believe that the only path to forgiveness is asking it of the person we love, the person we believe we hurt, and making amends for what we did wrong.

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You might go to that person and take responsibility for what you have done wrong, express you deep remorse, and ask what you can do to make it up to them. You may couple that making of amends with a request for forgiveness. We can go to them directly and work through it (or at least try).

The other person may hear the same statement as exasperation with them or a minimizing of the ways you’ve hurt them. Instead, try to reference specific times when you hurt the other person and/or let them down. Being specific also makes the amends that you offer more achievable.

Making these types of life improvements typically requires that you work with a counselor or therapist who can provide an outsider’s perspective and objective view of your life. Making these types of life changes is difficult and requires lots of hard, emotionally-complex work, but it’s worth all the effort in the end. Children don’t need to hear about the disease of alcoholism or the Twelve Steps. So we can skip the long-winded speeches and just be mom or dad. In Twelve Step terminology, another word for “amend” is “fix.” Not the fix we might have chased back in the day, but a fix to a broken relationship. We don’t need to delve into the past and apologize for every birthday party we missed, every fight we picked or the years we were absent— either physically or emotionally.

The American Rescue Plan sent $39 billion to states, with the aim of stabilizing child care centers. After some of that funding expired in September, the honest truth about being sober that no one talks about medium the problems typical of our country’s child care shortage re-emerged. Depending on where one lives, child care centers’ capacity may not have returned to prepandemic levels, producing a lot of anxiety and wait lists for families. Living amends represent the long-term actions you will take to remain committed to recovery. Sometimes, you may not have the opportunity to make direct amends to the person you harmed. Perhaps the person is no longer living, or you no longer have contact with them and reestablishing contact would cause more harm.

Making amends requires the individual to correct their mistake. This action can demonstrate the person’s new way of life in recovery. It goes beyond simply apologizing to taking steps to right a wrong. Whenever possible, those in recovery are encouraged to make direct amends face-to-face with those they’d harmed while living in addiction. how to avoid another alcohol relapse means taking on a new lifestyle with honest, responsible actions and staying sober.

Even though they have similarities, living amends are different than making amends. While making amends is apologizing, living amends means living a completely new, sober lifestyle, and being committed to that lifestyle for both yourself and those you’ve harmed in the past. It means that you’re not just using your words to show a change, your actions are proving this change as well. This person should have already worked on step nine, so they understand what it takes and can help guide you through it.

Some of these same things can happen to the other person in the process. They may find resolution and understanding about the past. Or, they may gain greater insights about addiction and commit to being a more supportive person in your recovery. On the opposite side of the street are those individuals who simply say, “All of my amends would hurt people.

If they receive that scholarship, they’ll pay 75% of that month’s rent. We believe that having the recipient help pay the bills empowers them and gives them a stake in their sobriety. So, as you commit yourself to good actions, you should also commit to good relationships. One easy way to do this is to stay in touch with friends you made during recovery. They can support and encourage you as you make amends, providing support and encouragement for your amends. So, they hurt themselves as well as the people around them.

We are not tied to the old behaviors of our disease, or to our character defects. Although it sounds lofty, there are realistic, achievable ways to implement examples of making amends. Although recovery in general must be done selfishly (i.e. you must put yourself before others in order to get well), Step Nine is the most selfless of all steps.

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