Amends allow me to also right the wrongs I may continue to make. It is freedom from behaviors that do not live up to the new life in sobriety I am choosing to live.

What are examples of amends?

For example, let's say you punched a hole in a friend's wall while under the influence of alcohol. Making direct amends might mean meeting with your friend face-to-face and admitting that you were wrong. Then, you would take action by repairing the hole in the wall. Direct amends are also defined by consistency.

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. It is living amends not a time to make excuses for our behavior instead, it’s an open door for the wronged person to express themselves. They get the opportunity to express how my actions affected them.

Making Amends in Addiction Recovery

At this point in our step work we may be trudging the road to happy destiny, but we’ve reached the point where we must repair what we left behind us on a path of shattered relationships. As active addicts and alcoholics, we likely lied, cheated, or stole in order to get, use our drug of choice… because addiction creates absolute moral wreckage. Your donation will provide a scholarship to someone in recovery, supporting them through the first few months of sober living in one of our partner organizations. To learn how your gift supports our scholarship, click below. When first writing your list, don’t worry about including everyone you have wronged. Over time, as you strengthen and deepen your recovery from addiction, you will undoubtedly revisit Steps 8 and 9 many times. Eventually you will find you are making amends day by day through the positive actions you routinely take in living by Twelve Step principles.

  • Making these types of life improvements typically requires that you work with a counselor or therapist who can provide an outsider’s perspective and objective view of your life.
  • Anyway, what DOES help me with regrets/guilt is that I talk to God.
  • This data is only available if this charity has at least one year of electronically-filed Form 990 data filed within the last six years.
  • It seems to sum up the relief from guilt and shame, the lessening of our obsession with “self”, and the increased ability to appreciate what’s really going on all around us.
  • We believe that the only path to forgiveness is asking it of the person we love, the person we believe we hurt, and making amends for what we did wrong.
  • That might not be so tricky if the person were still alive.

With these kinds of promises, there may not be enough genuine intention of changing their hurtful patterns and behaviors. When the person you owe reparations to has died, you can still make living amends by changing things about you and how you live your life. These changes can positively impact the people you love and care about. Working Step 9 is challenging and you’ll likely need support and assistance as you work through it.

Graduate School of Addiction Studies

When you cannot directly make up for something to the person you hurt, a living amends is a decision to change your ongoing behavior in a way that is informed by the wrongdoing. Your ‘living amends’ is living in a way that that acknowledges the previous mistake by consistently living in a way that doesn’t repeat it or compensates for it. Living amends is a certain type of amends you make in addiction recovery. Essentially, it means making a radical shift in the way you live and sticking to that.

If you damaged someone’s property while under the influence of alcohol, meet with the person face-to-face and offer to repair the damage or reimburse them for repairs already completed. Alcoholics and addicts are masters of the false apology. Naturally, our friends and loved ones become jaded with the constant promises of change that never occur. We play the boy who cried wolf, and we suffer the same consequences.

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