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How To Make Amends While In Recovery

However, it’s these moments and mistakes in our lives that are what wind up molding us. Character is built out of both the good and bad experiences and there should be no shame in admitting our wrongs while working to move past them.

That self-centeredness is replaced by an awareness of other people, and instead of being indifferent, we begin to care. 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. Addiction is, or substance disorder can be somewhat tricky to define.

  • If you shut out your friends when using alcohol, commit to rebuilding those relationships and being open to honest conversations.
  • Work with your sponsor, treatment center, and 12-Step group to determine which parts of this are right for you.
  • Although face-to-face amends are always better, that may not always be possible or, it may cause more harm to do so in-person.
  • If you are not working a 12-step program of recovery, take this time to identify all the people who you have hurt.
  • If you’re on the fence about Step 9, remember that making amends can help you and the other person.
  • Before long, you realize that you’re are clean and sober and now have with seven steps under your belt.

In that case, you would move forward with an indirect amend. Indirect amends refers more to the thoughts and attitudes behind the behavior. Indirect amends focus on the mentality that must change for the better. The amends I made to her was admitting my wrongs and shortcomings due to my addiction. My living amends is being the son she deserves–someone who will do for her as she has always done for me.

Be Ready For Any Response

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. You may feel guilty, stressed out, anxious, or fearful that you’ll be flat-out rejected. But there is a lot of good that can come from making amends that outweigh the potential bad.

  • But what does making amends mean, and how is it different from a simple apology?
  • 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.
  • It isn’t helpful to make them feel wrong for how they feel.
  • If you can, try and think about all the people who might have been negatively affected by your choices or lifestyle.
  • So, speaking with your friend or family member face-to-face is important.

Step Nine states that we make amends “except when to do so would injure them or others.” We don’t want our actions to cause further damage, harm or stress. In those cases, we can make amends in a broader sense by taking actions like donating money, volunteering our time or providing care. In addiction, our actions and intentions aren’t aligned. For example, we mightintendto go to a friend’s birthday party, but in actuality, we fail to show up for the event.

The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care. 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. You care more about them, value the relationship more highly – and may have done more damage over a longer duration of time. If you make amends and they keep needing more, making you feel as if you’re indebted to them for life, take a beat.

Making Amends: How To Rebuild Relationships After Battling Addiction

Here are some examples of how to start making amends, based on behavior/event type. By making an effort to mitigate the damage you have done, it can help you to gain forgiveness from others and to finally forgive yourself. Making amends, in terms of recovery, means acknowledging the hurt or damage that has been done, showing repentance, expressing genuine remorse, and then doing everything that you can to make it right. Willingness to engage in trust-building behaviors, such as keeping your loved ones informed about your whereabouts and activities, and consistently fulfilling your obligations and commitments. If, for example, you emptied your child’s college fund to pay for your addiction, you will need to tell your spouse what you did.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery is not owned or operated by any treatment facility. 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 is not a Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery substitute for professional treatment advice. We offer a wide variety of rehab programs that cater to every situation. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, we strive to make your addiction treatment experience as comfortable as possible. As you’re making amends, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

What Is Addiction?

Seek out a support system and new, positive, relationships. Let them know that, while you can never change what happened, you would like nothing more than the chance to make things right. Let them know that you plan to make amends for the event, and if they are receptive, be sure that you follow through. If your apology is said but not meant, it serves no purpose. Show that you are genuinely repentant for the event, how seriously you take the situation, that you care deeply about making it right, and that you genuinely plan to do so.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

We offer unique treatment programs for any set of needs. If you haven’t made it to this stage yet but are still ready to beat your addiction, you deserve a fresh start. Don’t hesitate to look into this excellent rehab program to provide that extra assistance you need. Don’t wait to be called out for your past behaviors before apologizing for them. Complete honesty is crucial during every step of this process. From medically-assisted detoxification to outpatient programs, it all starts with caring for you in your time of need.

Lead With An Apology

The person may ask why you hurt them, which will lead to an educating discussion on addiction. Beyond this, there are many benefits when it comes to making amends. Making amends is somewhat of a threshold; it shows that you are trying to leave behind the life you used to live and move into a new way of life. However, if you have not helped people to heal from what happened during your struggle with addiction, then that part of you still exists to that person.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for making amends to people you’ve harmed. Talk with your sponsor or friends you’ve made in your 12-step recovery group for advice about what has worked for them.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

Avoid the temptation to shirk responsibility by casting blame or justifying your actions. 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. Let go of old resentments, and get to know them all over again. Show genuine interest in their life, and be a friend that they can count on, and that you can count on in return. You can’t undo the past, but you can live each day going forward with sincerity and purpose.

Making Amends: Acquaintances

Giving back to the community and helping others is a common way to make an indirect amend when you are in recovery. Apologizing to someone means you recognize something you did was wrong and you verbally say you’re sorry. 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.

  • This gives us the habit of feeling like a “late” apology is no longer valid.
  • When we do this this we gain a new perspective and the promises of the Ninth Step come true in our lives.
  • This will show that you are taking full responsibility for your actions.
  • Then, though in some cases a heartfelt apology may be all that is called for, an apology is also not all that amends could or should be.

In simple terms, it means taking responsibility for the person you used to be and how you caused harm to the people in your life who care about you. Making amends in addiction recovery is a vital part of repairing the relationships in your life. During addiction treatment at Royal Life Centers, each guest is able to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and gain insight from their past and present. Guests are provided with intensive therapies to gain this insight in order to use it to make positive changes in their lives. Recovery from addiction holds many changes, it is a transformative experience that changes your life for the better. Work with your sponsor or counselor to create a list of the individuals you have harmed in the course of your addiction.

Addiction Recovery Missteps: When Making Amends Goes Awry

To prepare for this step it’s a good idea to let go of all our expectations about how our amends will or should turn out. You’ve probably already discovered that by staying clean and sober and by working the Twelve Steps of AA that things are getting better. Becoming a ”better person” means that we are less willing to engage in destructive behaviors, mostly because we are aware of how much they cost us in human misery.

His attempt at reconciliation exposed the affair that had until then been unknown, ruining the relationship between the woman and her former partner, who had remained friends. There may be times when approaching another person directly or seeking to provide restitution could be painful or harmful for that person. For example, there may be a situation where the person we’ve harmed are not aware of what we did, and learning about it might possibly harm them even more. Or there could be situations that were complicated by other addicts, or accusations of stealing more than just money. There are so many kinds of situations and they all need to be taken into consideration on an individual basis. If you apologize for a behavior, people want to see that you’ve stopped engaging in it. You can live by this, even if you haven’t apologized to anyone specifically.

The Importance Of Making Amends

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 or making living amends. “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.

If you have devoted the necessary time and energy to the first 8 steps, you should have a solid foundation from which to approach making amends in Step 9. Your relationship with a higher power—no matter how you define it—can help you to remain open and willing, even as you acknowledge hard truths about pain you have caused to others. Once you make amends with someone, they may or may not want to forgive you.

One characteristic of drug and alcohol addiction is that it causes you to pull away from people you care about. As a result, you might do or say things you later regret. 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. In Step 8, people in recovery look back on their actions and identify where they are at fault and what can be done moving forward. In the 9th Step, they then begin to make direct amends whenever possible.

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