Sober living

What To Say When Making Amends

AlcoholicsAnonymous.com is a referrer service that provides information about addiction treatment practitioners and facilities. AlcoholicsAnonymous.com is not a medical provider or treatment facility and does not provide medical advice. AlcoholicsAnonymous.com is not owned or operated by any treatment facility. AlcoholicsAnonymous.com does not endorse any treatment facility or guarantee the quality of care provided, or the results to be achieved, by any treatment facility. The information provided by AlcoholicsAnonymous.com is not a substitute for professional treatment advice. We can help you find addiction treatment services that meet your needs. Begin the process of making amends after you have a sustained period of sobriety and both parties are in a calm, clear mental state.

Remember that step nine defines the only exception to making direct amends is if doing so would cause further harm or injury. An example to this would be making amends to someone who previously severed ties with you.

Did you know that addiction is the top healthcare problem for the U.S? Over 22 million people suffer from the effects of alcohol abuse and 8 million from drug abuse. When a chemically dependent person gets sober, shame and guilt set in almost immediately. It is usually guilt, however; that becomes the more bothersome of the two. In the beginning, reconciling our own shame doesn’t seem nearly as important as finding relief from the all-consuming, agonizing and excruciating pangs of guilt. By the time we hit rock bottom, we have become well acquainted with shame.

Living amends bridges the gap between living in shame and regret and finding forgiveness. Repairing the damage done by addiction is a difficult process and it may not always be possible. Even still, making amends in recovery is an important part of the self-growth process and it will provide gradual healing and restoration where it is needed most.

  • In fact, your family’s healing process will look different from yours.
  • While some people are excited about this process and want to dive right in, others hesitate and even struggle to admit what they’ve done.
  • I have made many amends for my past while living as an alcoholic.
  • On the other hand, making amends with someone is more than just words.

We do this not just for ourselves, but also because we are now aware of how our actions have affected others. An awareness of others replaces our selfishness and self-centeredness. What’s more, instead of being apathetic, we start to really care about them and want to make amends. Since it is impossible to travel back in time to undo the wrongs you caused your family and friends, the best thing you can do is to take ownership of those wrongs through amends.

An apology consists of words but it doesn’t always include a change in behavior. For example, when you were addicted, you likely apologized to family and friends quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean you changed your behavior. In many cases, addicted individuals continue to break promises. Recovery Connection is the ultimate addiction recovery resource portal for information on the latest treatments, centers, and programs.

When Is The Best Time To Make Amends?

Living amends touches deep parts of our lives and souls if we allow them. Our addiction specialists Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery are always ready to answer your questions and help you access the care you need.

  • This form of conciliatory behavior allows the spirit of kindness, transformation, and renewed emotional generosity to shine through and gives you the opportunity to grow.
  • It is also just as important to avoid putting off making amends.
  • You will need to demonstrate that you are committed to rebuilding trust and repairing your relationship with them.
  • Here are some tips on how to make the process smoother for you.

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. Never force someone to allow you to offer an amends and apologize. It would be nice if the above outcomes were universal—but they aren’t . Making amends won’t necessarily play out like the ending of a Hallmark movie. Sometimes, the outcome can be uglier and downright disappointing.

Is My Apology Too Late?

Specifically name your fault or faults, it will show that you are taking full responsibility for what you have done. Don’t force a relationship if the other person isn’t ready. If you are unsure of how you should make amends in a certain situation, you can consult with your sponsor or counselor about it. He or she will have helpful advice and wisdom that may help you make the right decision on how to proceed. If you stole money from a friend or family member who is now deceased or unreachable, you can donate to a charitable organization in his or her honor. I am not proud of that, but it is the reality of how I used to behave. I also made countless promises to her that I did not keep.

It ranged from promising to fix something around the house to going to a family gathering. For more information about our application process, availability, cost or the program overall, please complete this form and one of our directors will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Join Recovery Connection in celebrating your recovery with our sobriety calculator. It is a clear and purposeful act designed to clear up a problem from the past. I tend to hide the memory of past transgressions under the ever-handy umbrella of “Didn’t do it if I don’t remember”. Since I spent years in a boozy haze all sorts of hurts were ignored.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

For many recovering addicts, there can be a lot of guilt, embarrassment, and shame that goes with making amends. Let’s take a closer look at a few different tips you can use to rebuild these relationships. At New Found Life, we provide an evidence-based continuum of care for men and women in recovery from substance use disorders. To learn more about our services and treatment philosophy, reach out to us today. Despite all the communications advancements that have happened since then, the wisdom of making amends in person still holds true. While it might be tempting to write a letter or make a phone call to apologize to someone you have hurt, always try to meet with that person face to face if it is possible and safe to do so.

Why Is Making Amends Important?

Avoid the temptation to shirk responsibility by casting blame or justifying your actions. 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. The goal in making amends is “to freely admit the damage we’ve done and make our apologies,” according to The Big Book. In some cases, making amends may mean paying or promising to pay “whatever obligations, financial or otherwise, we owe,” the Big Book also states.

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. A direct amend entails going to the person you have wronged and taking ownership of the harm you caused. It can’t just be an “I’m sorry, let’s forget about this” kind of deal. 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.

Show them that you’re willing to work towards regaining their trust again. If you are not willing to ask how you can right the wrong, you are not ready to truly make amends. The practice of being honest with yourself regarding your behavior is crucial. Recognizing how your behavior has harmed others is the first step. Once you become more self-aware, you can take steps to apologize and repair what may have become broken. If you repeatedly missed appointments or broke plans with loved ones, don’t simply apologize.

When making direct contact would be harmful, or if your amends have been met with negativity, you can still find reconciliation in the larger experience of living amends. Living amends is making the commitment to a new, sober lifestyle lived with generosity, honesty, and empathy for others. Through genuine personal change, you can find serenity and make positive contributions to your community as you devote yourself to breaking the destructive patterns of addiction. You can also take specific actions to right wrongs in indirect but powerful ways. For example, if someone refuses to let you repay a debt, you can take that money and make a charitable donation to allow something positive to come out of a difficult situation. This form of conciliatory behavior allows the spirit of kindness, transformation, and renewed emotional generosity to shine through and gives you the opportunity to grow. During our active addiction, we left a trail of destruction and hurt along the way.

Promises To Do Things Differently

Recovering from addiction and working through the 12-Step Program is a highly individualized process so receiving one-on-one professional support is not only helpful, but necessary. You’ll often hear about it during Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as well as similar groups. “MGA Crisis Intervention” is a fictitious business name, a subsidiary of Premier Health Group, a California limited liability company. Premier Health Group’s wholly owned and fully licensed drug addiction, mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities are located in Southern California. Step 9 AA is the ideal time to let go of our past mistakes and to actively repair troubled relationships.

The guilt may have been real, but the apology didn’t come with lasting change. When you decide to make amends, it’s important to prepare what your approach will be and to also be prepared in the case that the person you hurt does not want to accept your amends. No matter how much you feel the need to make things right, forcing another to meet with your or hear from you 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. The purpose of making amends is not to receive the “right reaction” from the other person.

What To Say When Making Amends With Someone

Before approaching Step 9, you need to complete the inventory in Step 8. This is a list of all of the people in your life whom you believe you have harmed. It can be a challenging list to write, even for those who want to embrace forgiveness and inner peace—but the list is important. It represents many of the feelings and struggles you’ve had. By working through the list in Step 9 and making amends to each person named there, you will restore a piece of yourself with each conversation. It’s a form of resolution.Learning how to change your attitudes and behaviors while in treatment can conjure up feelings of guilt or anxiety about the way you treated people in the past.

Just as the process can help you gain a sense of closure and start fresh, it can also help others do the same. They face their fears, failures, and difficulties from substance use behavior. The times they hurt people, were absent, or caused pain to loved ones is not easy to face. The fault is squarely on them, whether they like it or not. The person may not even remember the incidents in question from memory, but others may remember them quite well. What comes up may be feelings of guilt, shame, or something else entirely. The theme of making amends is forgiveness, and although it is one of the steps people may not like, it comes at this point in the AA journey for a reason.

After learning the answer to the question, “What are amends? ”, you may wonder how amends are different from apologies. Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, is an international fellowship of people who have a drinking problem. AA is self-supporting, nonprofessional, multiracial, apolitical https://ecosoberhouse.com/ and can be found almost anywhere. Making amends does not necessarily depend on your ability to connect with a person or how they respond to you. The first step is to know that your questions and feelings are normal. Tara Treatment Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501 organization.

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Making amends can sometimes require us to step back an examine how our revelations could adversely affect others. Making amends should never lead to further harm being inflicted upon others. There may be situations in which contacting another person directly could be painful or cause harm to that person in some way. You must realize, however, that making amends doesn’t always have to be a nerve-racking, stressful experience. It’s possible to be excited and hopeful about healing a relationship and finding relief from the emotional damage it has caused.

However, when faced with the responsibility of confronting others, a person working this step may experience an enormous level of fear and expectation. There is often the fear of rejection or retaliation, or, as noted, having to deal with the emotional impact of making direct amends. When you’re in the fog of drug abuse addiction, it’s not uncommon to burn bridges and hurt people who care about you. Whether you isolated yourself from relationships, lashed out at friends and family, or chose drugs over those relationships, it takes a toll on everyone involved. 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. Being of service to others is the most genuine way to make amends.

Whether you’re looking for treatment or for aftercare options, we can point you in the right direction. Making the amends take time – it will not be done overnight. You may wait to see a person and decide then it is the perfect time to make amends. You will change your lifestyle and live each day caring for others and being selfless instead of selfish. First, you must acknowledge what you have done, then take responsibility for it. It will bring you humility, forgiveness, self- empowerment, and self-love. Make a list of people you hurt in the days of your active addiction.

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