Breaking Down Step Nine of AA Alcoholics Anonymous Jason Wahler :: Living Life With Purpose & Passion :: Celebrity, Wellness, Family & Recovery

So that even when someone has overcome their addiction, they stay within the fellowship and help others overcome their addiction, and this also keeps them from relapsing. When you make your thorough list, be sure to stay objective and detached as possible so at avoid personal bias from affecting your ability to identify victims. I just won’t do it.” It’s highly doubtful that that’s the case. Use good judgment and don’t mistake your discomfort for their discomfort. Begin the process of making amends after you have a sustained period of sobriety and both parties are in a calm, clear mental state. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Mountainside can help.

  • I don’t know if anyone else will find some comfort with this, but here goes – I am a believer in Jesus Christ.
  • Indirect Amends– finding ways to repair damage that cannot be reversed or undone by doing things like volunteering and helping others.
  • While it can be a disappointing and painful rejection, it’s important to remember that you cannot control other people’s reactions and others are not obligated to accept your amends.
  • When you make amends, the way you look and feel about situations changes.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
  • And so we arrived at a method of making amends – to acknowledge our harmful behavior and the other person’s feelings in the matter and to follow that with a change in our own behavior.

Remorseful words like “I’m sorry,” and an 8th & 9th step amends process (in 12-step recovery) can go a long way toward making things right, but neither of these comes close to a living amends. • Indirect Amends— made only when contact with the living amends person is harmful to your sobriety, or direct contact with a person cannot be made face to face. You may make indirect amends by writing a letter, send an email, etc. You should still follow the guideline above when making indirect amends.

tips for living amends

When you make amends, you acknowledge and align your values to your actions by admitting wrongdoing and then living by your principles. Again, in recovery, your words may not mean as much to some people as you wish they would. Understandably, some people may just need more time to learn how to trust you again. In these instances, the best thing you can do is to focus on your behavior and remain faithful to your commitment to live an honest, sober life. 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 examples

We may need to start by writing a list of all the people who have harmed us who we are still holding resentment towards. We need to let go of the other person’s part and be responsible for our part only. Making amends in this way gives us the experience of freedom from the burden of shame, guilt and over responsibility.

What Is a Direct Amend?

Still to have full human contact would be more effective. I dealt with guilt issues myself not only after my daughter died but a year later when my mother died. Mainly it was that I didn’t protect them enough, I didn’t keep them alive. I resolved those issues finally knowing that I did my best.

What are examples of direct amends in AA?

In those cases, we can make amends in a broader sense by taking actions like donating money, volunteering our time or providing care. We can also make amends by living very purposefully within the bounds of our principles. This is known as making living amends.

If making an amends means exposing ourselves to triggering environments, we ought to reconsider and discuss healthy alternatives with a sponsor or addiction counselor. Step Nine states that we make amends « except when to do so would injure them or others. » We don’t want our actions to cause further damage, harm or stress. In those cases, we can make amends in a broader sense by taking actions like donating money, volunteering our time or providing care.

What are “Living Amends?”

On the flipside of the same AA coin, it is equally important that you don’t procrastinate making amends. Because, based on experience, many recovering individuals have relapsed when they allowed their fears to keep them from doing Step Nine. Dr. Bob, one of our original founders could not stay sober until he went around town and made amends to all those he had hurt.

And be prepared for the possibility that they won’t and that this relationship is now a thing of the past. We are placing trust in our Higher Power and the program, along with our fellows, that this can do more to bring us inner-peace, happiness, and intimacy than any negative reaction could hurt us. I’m sure you’ve heard that the steps are written in a specific order for a reason. That reason is that each step provides the spiritual preparation we’ll need for the following steps. Never in a million years would we ever have imagined during our using days that we would one day be able to sit down with the people we’ve harmed and make direct amends! This would not be possible without the spiritual preparation we received from the previous steps.

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