Another example would be of a person who’s been a taker all their lives suddenly decides they no longer want to be self-centered and selfish. They may choose to make living amends by promising to change their ways and become more helpful to others. Living amends, in this event, can include making changes to the behaviors contributing to the falling out between the survivor and the person they owed an apology to. For example, let’s say a mother didn’t make an effort to escort her children to the school bus stop. One of her children is killed crossing the street on their own even after telling their mother that they were afraid to cross the busy street alone. A living amend might include a posthumous promise to the deceased child to, from now on, make it a point to walk their surviving siblings to the bus stop each day. One of the greatest regrets some people endure is not apologizing to a loved one for past wrongs before they die.
Perhaps the person is no longer living, or you no longer have contact with them and reestablishing contact would cause more harm. However, even if you feel extremely motivated to make direct amends, it is advisable to take your time with this step. 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.
If You’re Struggling to Make Amends
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 andTwelve Steps and Twelve Traditions(the 12 & 12) for guidance specific to Step 8. Think of amends as actions taken that demonstrate your new way of life in recovery. You don’t have to take our word for the success of sober living in preventing relapse. Please read our success stories below, or contact our team today to talk to some of our experts. AlcoholicsAnonymous.com is a referrer service that provides information about addiction treatment practitioners and facilities.
- And then you must avoid making the same or similar mistakes in the future.
- Making amends won’t necessarily play out like the ending of a Hallmark movie.
- I had guilt with my mother when she died, but it was nothing like I have with the guilt I have with my husband.
- Positive reinforcement is a great motivator to practice the spiritual principle of forgiveness as much as possible.
- Understanding the havoc I created and trying to repair the destruction, will be a lifelong endeavor.
When it comes to making amends to others, there are usually a lot of fears and expectations involved. We may be afraid about making financial amends, or afraid of rejection, retaliation and a host of other doubtful outcomes. However, making amends doesn’t always have to be a nerve-racking, dreadful or joyless experience. There is freedom that is gained by cleaning up the past, a freedom to live peacefully in the present. It’s possible that the other person is unaware of the harm you have caused them, and making direct amends would make them aware and hurt them badly. You need to find the approach that works best for you.
Changes in personal behaviors
It is another rewarding part of our recovery journey and brings us closer to the gift offreedom. Life is complicated and not always straightforward or black living amends and white. Therefore some Step Nine amends may take a little creativity and patience. Working this stepshould never lead to the further harm of others.
What Does Step 9 (Making Amends) Have To Do With Sobriety?
After acknowledging how actions tied to their addictions had a negative impact on people in their lives, those in 12-step recovery programs commit to making direct amends whenever possible.
For many who lived in addiction, apologizing was a regular habit. Whether it was apologizing for being late for work, missing an event, misusing property or stealing money to support an addiction, expressing remorse was likely a daily occurrence. The guilt may have been real, but the apology didn’t come with lasting change.
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.
For example, someone living with an addiction may make amends by apologizing for stealing property and then make it right by returning… Ещё