What Does it Mean to Make Amends?

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And we don’t mean just in terms of you making amends and living a life of recovery. There’s a reason why addiction is called a family disease. Its effects ripple through our family and close relationships. And making amends in recovery to repair those relationships is a crucial step. 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.

alcoholics anonymous living amends

Perhaps, the amends that you wanted to make might not seem right after discussing with a sponsor. This is your chance to apologize and make amends, so they don’t hurt you later down the line. Being able to accept responsibility for your actions will go a long way in the remaining three steps of the program. Plus, the benefits of completing Step 9 of AA are numerous. You’ll be able to fully embrace the principles of humility, forgiveness, and love.

Guide to Step 9 and Making Amends

Understanding the havoc I created and trying to repair the destruction, will be a lifelong endeavor. The example of my sobriety may give others hope, and faith to help themselves. No matter how much we feel the need to make things right, forcing another to meet with us or hear from us is not part of the Steps. It’s also important to take great care when making amends to someone who is in active addiction https://ecosoberhouse.com/ because our primary responsibility is to safeguard our own health and recovery from substance abuse. If making an amends means exposing ourselves to triggering environments, we ought to reconsider and discuss healthy alternatives with a sponsor or addiction counselor. Think of amends as actions taken that demonstrate your new way of life in recovery, whereas apologies are basically words.

Sometimes other people need more time to accept an apology. When appropriate, remind others that you are here if they change their mind or wish to talk. When choosing to make amends, exercise careful consideration of yourself living amends and others to ensure you avoid causing further harm in your recovery efforts. Before you decide who to approach and how you intend to make amends, reflect on your efforts at recovery and the intent behind making amends.

When Should You Approach a Person to Make Amends?

It can be difficult to personalize those who were victims of our shortcomings, but doing so prepares us for the next step when we will approach them to make our sincere amends. A willingness to be absolutely honest and sincere lies at the very heart of success in the 12 Step program. There may be people to whom you already know you will not be able to make amends.

  • Sometimes, trying to make things right can cause others distress.
  • For instance, there are individuals you may need to confront as soon as you’re serious about maintaining your sobriety.
  • The 12-step program instills honesty and integrity in members.
  • Make sure that you are comfortable with your progress during recovery and that both you and the other person are ready to engage in the process.
  • This part is perhaps the most daunting, but it is also the most important.

Generally speaking, people work through the Steps of Alcohol Anonymous with an addiction treatment counselor and/or sponsor. You can also turn to AA’s Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (the 12 & 12) for guidance specific to Step 8. It’s important to note that making amends is for the person we hurt. Yes, we partake in the process to “clean up our side of the street,” but we do not make amends to clear our conscience or undo our feelings of guilt.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ASL – Tradition Eight

Before completing step nine, the recovering alcoholic needs to be ready to deliver their message with the best intentions, not motivated by false expectations. The reason why it is better to make amends earlier rather than later is based on experience and case studies. Many recovering alcoholics have relapsed when they allowed their fears to block them from completing step nine.

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