Guide to Making Amends in Addiction Recovery: Step 9 of AA

Just because this is true, it is still important not to leave these individuals off your list. You must still think about these people and do as much as you can to make amends for your past with them, even if it just means including them on your list. Otherwise, your list will feel incomplete and you may begin to feel like you did not do everything you should have in this step. It’s difficult to remain sober when you can’t forgive yourself for past mistakes.

  • Nor do I play the peacemaker between him and our Mother.
  • The main purpose and mission of Alcoholics Anonymous members is to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.
  • They may visit family members and friends more often, set aside time to spend with their partner or donate their time to a worthy cause.
  • Each of these steps requires members to make big decisions.
  • 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.

Your addiction could’ve prevented you from showing up in your family’s life like you wanted to. That’s why the recovery process doesn’t end when we leave rehab. Even if you think you’ve hidden your addiction well, there will inevitably be ways that it has impacted your relationships. Maybe you reached an impasse in your communication with each other. Practice accepting other’s responses to your efforts and remember that you have done all you can.

Preparing for Making Amends in AA

If so, then you should avoid approaching that individual. Remember that part of making amends is demonstrating changed behavior. Even concrete steps like repaying a debt aren’t done once you hand money over; you also have to avoid betraying that person in the future. For this reason, amends are an ongoing process without an end date. In Step 8, people in recovery look back on their actions and identify where they are at fault and what can be done moving forward. In the 9th Step, they then begin to make direct amends whenever possible.

Just like each person needs an individualized approach to alcohol addiction treatment, your approach to making amends in AA may look completely different from someone else’s. The recovery process builds upon each step in your sober journey. Thus, it only makes sense that step nine is a response to step eight, which living amends involves making a list of all the people that you have harmed and become willing to make amends to all of them. Step eight is preparation for the action of step nine, which involves putting your recovery into action. The spiritual purpose of making amends is to find inner peace, freedom, release, and rebirth.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ASL – Tradition Four

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. In many 12-step recovery programs, making https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/the-abstinence-violation-effect-meaning-when-recovering/ amends is an important part of the process. For example, Alcoholic Anonymous (AA)’s ninth step involves making amends to the individuals in your life who were affected by your addiction. The goal of the program is to improve yourself and make strides to be a better person for yourself and your loved ones alike while also remaining sober.

Direct amends are not always possible or practical, but that doesn’t mean the individual is unable to demonstrate changed behavior. Volunteering for a worthwhile cause or supporting a charity can be a valuable way to make amends. Yet, to be truly successful at forgiving and releasing past wrongs, you need to go directly to the individual you’ve hurt.


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