If the recovering alcoholic is able to do this, then it demonstrates that they are progressing positively and ready for the tenth step. The guilt for your wrongdoings will eventually dissipate and by making an apology and amends, you will be able to let go and live. A big part of working the 12-Step Program is making amends. Unfortunately, after you get sober, all the hurt and destruction you caused in the wake of your addiction doesn’t just go away.
It asked us to take that particular action ourselves… this was truly the time to seek spiritual guidance. Today, I know my words have value whether they pay attention or not. If they didn’t pay attention, I do my best to let them suffer the consequence. If they take my words for granted, sometimes, I take a break from talking. I don’t punish them with silence (although I did do that in the past).
Get help for recovery and the 12-Step Program
By making an effort to mitigate the damage you have done, it can help you to gain forgiveness from others and to finally forgive yourself. An apology is expressing the fact that your regret the decisions you made, whereas making amends is where you try to right a previous wrong. For example, if you were driving under the influence, crashed your car, and injured your friend, your friend may have severed all ties with you and refuse to meet and relive the trauma. To repent, volunteer your time to educate teens on the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. New Life House has helped young men stay sober for over 35 years.
You may have setbacks with them as you work to rebuild. If you do, it’s important to remember why the relationship, and your recovery, are important. Keep yourself on track and check-in with yourself regularly.
Resolve to work at making things better between you and keeping your promises. Give each other space to figure out any new roles within your relationship and take things slowly. Don’t expect immediate forgiveness, and also, don’t pressure yourself to fix every broken relationship immediately. This place is very cool not like other places at all. Your dignity and pride are intact and not stripped from you .
- We are only in control of our part—making and living the amends.
- However, they may suddenly feel guilty and decide to change their ways.
- The goal of this step is to find freedom by cleaning up the past to live peacefully in the present.
- Essentially, don’t make promises that you can’t keep and do everything you can to live up to the promises you do make.
- In particular, he discusses how to heal when the person we need to make amends with is no longer living.
It represents many of the feelings and struggles you’ve had. By working through the list in Step 9 and making amends to each person named there, you will restore a piece of yourself with each conversation. A 12-step program is designed to encourage long-term sobriety, by fostering a spirituality for recovery.
You have to put in the work to repair the damage and heal those relationships. To make amends, you must do more than just make apologies for your past behavior. Instead, making amends means you apologize for what you’ve done and make it right. Similarly, making living amends means you completely change living amends the way you live and remain committed to that lifestyle. The purpose of Step Nine is to acknowledge the harm caused during active addiction and to make it right with the people involved, as much as possible. Even though they have similarities, living amends are different than making amends.
It requires ongoing and conscious effort to change. 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. 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.
Renewal Center for Ongoing Recovery
Once we have done this we are ready to forgive, but not until then. Forgiveness done too soon will be ineffective and will require re-doing. When I first came to recovery, I was certain steps 8 and 9 would be a breeze. After all, I hadn’t hurt anyone (Step 8), so I didn’t need to make any amends (Step 9).
Make a direct, financial amend by setting up recurring payments until you have repaid everything you owe. If money is tight, discuss with your sponsor other possible methods of compensation and how to better manage your finances in recovery. One example could be to help the person with errands and chores around their house. The 12-step program instills honesty and integrity in members. If making amends requires the recovering alcoholic to report a past crime, they must be willing to go to jail to complete this step on their road to a complete and limitless recovery. From the steps leading up to nine, recovering alcoholics begin to develop tools to handle stressful situations without liquor and believe in a Higher Power greater than themselves.