I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, but if not, I understand. It can be tempting to say things like “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you,” but try to avoid these blanket statements. They miss the opportunity to be truly reflective about how your wrongdoings have impacted the other person and can be misread. The other person may hear the same statement as exasperation with them or a minimizing of the ways you’ve hurt them.
It means that you’re not just using your words to show a change, your actions are proving this change as well. The beauty of this process for newcomers and those unsure of where to go next is that their recovery from alcoholism is outlined in twelve in-depth action steps. Many alcoholics are guided through the steps by a sponsor, but some individuals complete the steps on what is a living amends their own. AA’s step work has been adjusted for use in other addiction recovery programs, such as sex addiction or drug addiction. It is important to note that just because you have made amends does not mean that your relationships will be completely healed or return back to normal. In many 12-step recovery programs, making amends is an important part of the process.
It means mending, or (quite literally) fixing, the relationship. Your efforts to make amends may not always go as well as you hope. Try not to respond with anger or defensiveness if others aren’t responsive to your efforts.
- Whenever possible, those in recovery are encouraged to make direct amends face-to-face with those they’d harmed while living in addiction.
- Maybe you reached an impasse in your communication with each other.
- A sponsor can offer guidance, expert input, and information from their own experience working these steps.
Making amends is more than just saying “I’m sorry.” It’s going the extra mile to make things right. By making amends, you are clearly demonstrating the difference between how you acted before and how you will behave from now on. Apologies don’t address the undercurrents of our choices in addiction, nor do they illustrate our intentions for the future. 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.
How Do You Complete Step 9 of AA?
They may refuse to meet at all or refuse to listen to what you have to say. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to say when preparing to make amends. There may be so many times we feel we let someone down that it can be hard to know where to begin. We want to convey our heartfelt remorse but worry that our words will fall short. 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.
I let him decide if he wants to do laundry at midnight or wear dirty clothes. I no longer interrogate him about his day at school, so I can give my wise advice on how to handle difficult peers. I’m not his teacher, and I’m sure she’s skilled at handling that type of problem. “Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.” It’s not one we use too frequently in our everyday language, but it still holds significant meaning. To make amends means to apologize for something you have done or for wronging someone in some way.
What Do You Say When Making Amends? – The Step 9 Amends Letter
We can’t know for certain how another person will respond—or even how the interaction might affect us emotionally. So be sure to talk with your sponsor and/or support group about your plan in the event that you need support. On the opposite side of the street are those individuals who simply say, “All of my amends would hurt people.