To Apologize or Not to Apologize: Making Amends in Recovery

Call us or fill out our online contact form today to get started. 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. Other individuals who have completed Step 9, such as your sponsor, may be able to help you choose a meaningful way to make indirect amends. While many people are receptive and supportive to attempts to make amends, some are not.

making living amends during addiction recovery

For example, if you stole money you should write down from whom and how much. If you wrecked a friend’s car, you should total the damage to see what you owe them to repair it. If you cheated with a friend’s spouse, add that to your list and you can figure out how to make amends later. Even if you are unsure of the victim of the crime, such as stealing money from a tip jar or embezzling money from your company, write it down. When someone who is dependent on substances finally makes the decision to get sober, shame and guilt usually set in almost immediately. For the majority of people, the feelings of guilt are usually what cause the most pain, as many addicts have grown used to drowning out these feelings using substances.

Tips for Making Living Amends

Coming up with answers and solutions and laying old problems to rest. Restoration – bringing something back to its former state, usually something that has been damaged. This can mean restoring your reputation or trust in a relationship. If you or someone you know needs help on the road to recovery, please get in touch. This causes those who have become addicted to do and say things that they wouldn’t normally do, which inevitably leads to strained and broken relationships.

There is no denying that taking step nine takes tremendous courage. You should also keep in mind that you are only in control of your words and actions when making amends. The other parties might not respond the way you expect, regardless of how earnestly you demonstrate your commitment to change. Ultimately, you are seeking personal accountability – not necessarily total forgiveness. While a heartfelt “I’m sorry” is hardly ever misplaced, making amends also involves demonstrating how you have changed in your commitment to your new, healthy lifestyle. Back in the 1930s, when the original edition of the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous came out, making amends in person was the only practical way for most people to do so.

How Will Making Amends Help My Recovery?

You can respect their wishes and still make the desired progress in your recovery by paying it forward and volunteering in your community. One characteristic of drug and alcohol addiction is that it causes you to pull away from people you care about. Once you are working on your sobriety, you will need to apologize for your behavior, and the 12 steps of AA refer to this as making amends. Upon completion of your drug and alcohol rehab program, you may feel like a completely different person but you’ll still need to work to regain the trust of your friends and family members. Making amends is a very important part of addiction recovery. The recovering person must acknowledge that actions they took during active addiction caused harm to others, especially those who are closest to them.

For example, if you injured someone while intoxicated and cannot afford their hospital bill, you could volunteer at a handicapped school, become an organ donor, or contribute to their charity of choice. Living amends is a third option for those in the ninth step of recovery. With this option, the individual in recovery takes steps to improve their relationships and demonstrate their lifestyle living amends change. 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. A 12-step program is designed to encourage long-term sobriety, by fostering a spirituality for recovery. Each step signifies a new challenge to reflect and/or act in a way that changes old mindsets and behaviors that once fed addiction.

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This step may be one of the most challenging, but it is also one of the most important. Remember to be honest, sincere, and humble during your apology. In sum, when recovering alcoholics reach step nine, they are completely connected to their Higher Power. The steps ensure that those in recovery feel supported, safe, and secure in making the next step to freedom from addiction. Some friends and family members may be hesitant to forgive you and move forward with the relationship, despite your sincerity. Be patient and give them time to process, understanding that every person heals in their own way and at their own pace. Once you make amends with someone, they may or may not want to forgive you.

  • Living Amends – showing others as well as yourself that you have made a genuine lifestyle change.
  • You should also make sure to express how much you value your relationship with that person, and that you want to make sure you do not lose them.
  • Having the support of family and friends can help you deal with everyday challenges and fight cravings.
  • There, she learned marketing from top leaders specializing in global PR and endorsement campaigns, in both the Latin and English markets.
  • If friends, family members or former work colleagues have explicitly told you it would be hurtful to hear from you, don’t force the issue.
  • When I was about four years sober, I reached out to apologize to—and forgive—someone who I still believe wronged me in many ways.

Many recovering alcoholics have relapsed when they allowed their fears to block them from completing step nine. For example, Dr. Bob, one of the original founders of the AA program, could not stay sober until he went around town and made amends to all those he had hurt.

Preparing for Making Amends in AA

Make amends when you are confident in your sobriety and ready to face the reality that is the impact your bad behaviors have caused. The amends process can be an emotional one, as you are having to admit your fault to various people you have harmed in the past. Despite being difficult, the amends process is exceptionally powerful, rewarding, and a truly moving experience. If you have lived, there is no doubt that you have amends to make. We have all made mistakes, making amends is your way of taking responsibility for the mistakes you’ve made and the hurt you have caused— whether it was intentional or unintentional. The disease of addiction often results in damaged and strained relationships due to careless and harmful behavior.

Normal Life Stress, They Say… – Psychiatric Times

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Posted: Fri, 13 May 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]


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