You can still be true to that by making an honest apology and not making excuses for why you didn’t follow through. Then, the next time around, make sure to make good on your word. In this case, instead of offering a direct amend or direct apology, you can make indirect amends by doing something like volunteering your time to help others or donating money to a charitable cause. This is where Step 9 may dovetail nicely with Step 12, which suggests that recovered addicts try to carry on the steps’ message to other addicts who are currently struggling.
- That action can and probably should have two parts to it.
- Living amends is a concept linked to addiction recovery and part of the twelve-step program for sober living.
- Sometimes, the outcome can be uglier and downright disappointing.
- Addiction has the ability to irrevocably sever the most intimate bonds of family and friendship.
- Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.
If you’re on the fence about Step 9, remember that making amends can help you and the other person. 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. But, as difficult as it is, completing this step can provide an immense living amends sense of relief and newfound hope for the future. At the heart of this step is the need for forgiveness and restoration—forgiving yourself, forgiving others, and making amends. For every time you said you’d be there or that you’d help someone do something and didn’t show up, you’ve left an impression upon that person that they can’t rely on you to keep your word.
What are some examples of living amends?
For example, someone living with an addiction may make amends by apologizing for stealing property and then make it right by returning what they’d taken. Of all the 12 steps, Step 9 is often referred to as particularly challenging. Understanding why will require taking a closer look at what Step 9 is, its goals, and its possible outcomes. We’ll also include a Step 9 amends letter for anyone who wants to implement this step but isn’t sure how to. Resolve to work at making things better between you and keeping your promises.
This includes making changes in your attitude and behavior and doing things differently. The program and this step made me see that it was their own doing; they made the choice. This was after they both had died and I am sorry that I couldn’t take this issue up with them personally. But I know they will know, we had settled everything made our amends to each other and enjoyed the rest of their lives. This makes me realize more and more how much this program is a lifetime program. During my drinking “career” I lived far away from my family, therefore, no amends were required.
Be generous with your time.
In order for apologies to be effective, they need to focus on the other person’s needs and feelings, not your own. Practice accepting other’s responses to your efforts and remember that you have done all you can. Sometimes other people need more time to accept an apology. When appropriate, remind others that you are here if they change their mind or wish to talk.
Making amends may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but for those serious about recovery, it can be good medicine for the spirit and the soul. Add amends to one of your lists below, or create a new one. We all have samskaras, or patterns, that lead us to behave in certain ways.
You can start making amends by showing up, even if it’s years later, to do the things you said you’d do. 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.