4 Ways to Make Amends in Recovery

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. When those we’ve hurt are not able or willing to accept our amends, we can still move in a positive general direction by taking intentional steps to be of service to others or making living amends. It’s also important to take great care when making amends to someone who is in active addiction 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. 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. While many people are receptive and supportive to attempts to make amends, some are not.

What about the late nights that we kept our parents up worrying? What about the relationships we ruined, the emotional wreckage we created? Sometimes direct amends are not possible, and this is where living amends come into play.

What are “Living Amends?”

Addiction takes over your life, stealing both your joy and your time, and making it impossible for you to give back to others and live a generous life. Instead, as you pursue a life in recovery, focus on being generous with your time and giving back to others. In this way, you can take the focus off of yourself and choose to live a life of greater meaning.

How Do You Make Amends?

One of the most important words within Step 9 is the word “direct.” In some programs, you’re encouraged to forgive others or to work through the guilt and shame you feel towards others on your own, without the involvement of the other party. Yet, to be truly successful at forgiving and releasing past wrongs, you need to go directly to the individual you’ve hurt. When you go directly to the person, real spiritual transformation is more likely to occur.

You also face the problem head-on. That is, you can’t push it to the side or avoid it because of embarrassment. The problem is there, and that person is in front of you right now. You cannot (and should not) avoid the pain.

Different Types of Amends

There are three main types of amends, and it’s important to recognize which one is appropriate in a given situation. Understanding some making amends examples can help the individual correct past behaviors.

Direct amends refers to going directly to the wronged individual, apologizing…  Ещё

There may be times when approaching another person directly or seeking to provide restitution could be painful or harmful for that person. For example, there may be a situation where the person we’ve harmed are not aware of what we did, and learning about it might possibly harm them even more. Or there could be situations that were complicated by other addicts, or accusations of stealing more than just money. There are so many kinds of situations and they all need to be taken into consideration on an individual basis. To work the 12 steps effectively, specifically step nine, you should have a sponsor or someone that has already worked the steps to help you and more importantly be there to support you. Do not try to attempt to work step nine without a sponsor, therapist, or spiritual advisor.

Ways to Make Amends in Recovery

This year, I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars keeping The Marginalian going. For sixteen years, it has remained free and ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers. I have no staff, no interns, not even an assistant — a thoroughly one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. If this labor has made your own life more livable in the past year , please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. As a sex addict, you may feel as though you will never get out from under the painful feelings of shame and remorse over your past behaviors.

  • As with alcohol and other drugs, we are also powerless over other people.
  • And then you must avoid making the same or similar mistakes in the future.
  • If you were a bad friend while you were addicted, make a conscious effort to rebuild those relationships by being the best friend you can be.
  • And I trust that He knows what my loved ones need to know or no longer have any need of knowing.

Apologizing in this way may open the door to continued healing, growth, and restored relationships in recovery. Do some digging and soul-searching and think through those who might have been deeply affected by your actions. Apologizing is recognizing what you’ve done wrong, saying you’re sorry, and moving on. It is not uncommon for people diagnosed with other mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or ADHD to experience addiction as well or have a genetic component. Addiction can be diagnosed by a mental health professional such as a phycologist or counselor who specialized in addiction.

Making Living Amends in 12 Step Recovery

If you miss an appointment or event due to circumstances out of your control, provide a specific apology that includes why it happened without excuses. You may also have the opportunity in the future to make more direct amends with certain people in time. However, this future possibility should not keep you from working your steps. If https://ecosoberhouse.com/ you have devoted the necessary time and energy to the first 8 steps, you should have a solid foundation from which to approach making amends in Step 9. Your relationship with a higher power—no matter how you define it—can help you to remain open and willing, even as you acknowledge hard truths about pain you have caused to others.

  • Though we would certainly suggest she read some of our other posts on seems like regret and self-forgiveness, we also deeply appreciate the option of a ‘living amends’.
  • Some may notice the change over time and become willing to hear us out, but we have to be okay with the reality that the day when that happens may never come.
  • Positive reinforcement is a great motivator to practice the spiritual principle of forgiveness as much as possible.
  • For a person wrestling with addiction, they are willing to go to any lengths necessary (even if it means putting themselves or others in harm’s way), gaining the substance.
  • Step eight says “Made a list of all the people we have harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” You cannot work the 9th step effectively without doing step eight first.
  • I think if we can move beyond the anxiety and dread and despair, there is a promise of something shifting not just culturally, but spiritually, too.

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