On the other hand, if you take the indirect approach, you focus on changing your behaviors and allow these changes to demonstrate your efforts. A 12-step program is designed to encourage long-term sobriety, by fostering a spirituality for recovery. Each step signifies a new challenge to reflect and/or act in a way that changes old mindsets and behaviors that once fed addiction. Through mutual support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, members learn and practice these spiritual steps and principles, with a view to staying sober and helping others do the same.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

Living amends is a third option for those in the ninth step of recovery. With this option, the individual in recovery takes steps to improve their relationships and demonstrate their lifestyle change. 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. Indirect amends are necessary when you can’t meet with a person face-to-face. For example, someone you’ve hurt in the past may not be willing to see you.

Come Up With Ways To Mend The Relationship

It also requires open communication and a desire on the part of the alcoholic to understand the other person’s feelings on the matter fully. The amends process either directly or indirectly, it reinforces positive behaviors, your willingness to take ownership of your actions, and any resulting consequences. You stole property or money from a family member or friend who does not want any contact with you.

  • The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing.
  • You can’t erase the things you did, but you can actively work toward repairing trust and reaching an understanding.
  • Before long, you realize that you’re are clean and sober and now have with seven steps under your belt.
  • The other person may hear the same statement as exasperation with them or a minimizing of the ways you’ve hurt them.

Paying someone back or replacing an item may right a wrong in the physical sense, but it doesn’t always address the emotional damage that resulted from your behavior. Sometimes it’s not possible to reverse the emotional damage. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. Try to avoid falling into the same behavioral patterns and actions that lead to you hurting others. Continually examine the ways in which you act and look back on past mistakes to uncover the reasons that you made them.

For example, if you stole money from someone you should not expect that person to loan you money again. Or if you do need to borrow money, make a repayment plan to show that you are reliable.

Learn How To Make Amends In Recovery In Atlanta

If you’re just apologizing for the sake of doing so, then that isn’t truly making amends. Just because you make a direct amend doesn’t mean the responsibility https://ecosoberhouse.com/ stops there. You must show you mean it by not making the same mistake again. Continue to show sincerity by being respectful, honest, and empathetic.

  • For example, it would be best to set a time you can talk or catch the person when they’re not busy.
  • I always thought that I had been making direct amends whenever I had injured others.
  • We invite you to share your journey of recovery and be featured on Recovery Connection!
  • Financial amends, which are made by repaying stolen money or paying for financial damages caused during active addiction.
  • If you’re new to recovery and you’ve never made amends with loved ones before, you might be nervous or uncomfortable.

This will guide you in determining the best type of amend to begin rebuilding trust with those you have harmed. Financial amends, which are made by repaying stolen money or paying for financial damages caused during active addiction. Making living amends can take on many different forms depending on the relationship to those affected by the wrongdoing. In most cases, the offender owes apologies to the people closest to them, like their friends, parents, and children. Another example would be of a person who’s been a taker all their lives suddenly decides they no longer want to be self-centered and selfish. They may choose to make living amends by promising to change their ways and become more helpful to others. Ways of accepting their death, making living amends can help bereaved individuals find forgiveness and closure, especially when reconciliation is no longer an option.

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In that case, indirect amends can be made by actively working to modify your behavior, writing them a letter and never sending it, or volunteering for a worthwhile cause. It takes an especially strong person to reconcile all the wrongs they might have inflicted while under the influence of substances. Sometimes, it takes more than a simple sorry to recover from wounds that are that deep.

Be prepared to listen to the other person’s side of the story and to validate their feelings of hurt and betrayal, and own up fully to your wrongdoings rather than becoming defensive or emotional. Direct amends involve meeting the individual in person to correct your wrongdoings. Your goal is to show you reflected on your mistakes, are truly sorry for the pain caused, and are ready to translate words into actions. Avoid general statements like, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done.” Be specific with your apology and include concrete plans to restore the relationship. The other person will better appreciate your sincerity, feel more understood, and thus be more receptive to the apology. • Living Amends— a living amends is when you live out new behavior, committing to yourself and the other person not to make the same mistakes with another person.

Indirect amends are made when you attempt to build back goodwill due to an action that cannot be repaired or reversed by your actions. In some instances, the person you hurt may not be willing to accept your apology or it could be impossible to undo the damage you caused. For example, if you injured someone while intoxicated and cannot afford their hospital bill, you could volunteer at a handicapped school, become an organ donor, or contribute to their charity of choice. As humans, we are all bound to make mistakes in our lives. 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. Making amends is a part of life and for those who have struggled with addiction in the past, a necessary part of the addiction recovery process.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

It may be painful, but this is all part of taking responsibility for your actions. During your worst points of addiction, you may have created a Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery long list of people that you caused pain too. You may be wondering how you can make amends with your loved ones during your time of recovery?

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Even concrete steps like repaying a debt aren’t done once you hand money over; you also have to avoid betraying that person in the future. For this reason, amends are an ongoing process without an end date. While not everyone you wronged will be open to listening to your amends, you must still make an effort. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge how your actions and behaviors impacted those around you. For instance, step 8 requires you to make a list of everyone you hurt that you sincerely want to make amends with.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

Taking ownership of your actions and making things right with your loved ones makes you feel great and helps you rebuild your confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy in recovery. From medically-assisted detoxification to outpatient programs, it all starts with caring for you in your time of need. You need time to fully understand your behaviors and their impacts. 12-step fellowship isn’t the route you take, making amends can be an important part of recovery.

It is worth it to cross the bridge on the journey of healing towards making amends. It does not mean it will all go smoothly but at least being sincere and honest will go a long way towards reconciling those important family relationships. While apologies are about asking forgiveness for a mistake or wrongdoing, amends take things a step further, attempting to make reparations for that mistake wherever possible. For example, someone who stole money from their mother during their addiction can make amends by apologizing and then giving their mother the amount of money they stole. While the payment can’t totally make up for the past and the broken trust, it’s a goodwill gesture that shows the person in recovery is willing to repair the relationship.

What Does Step 9 Making Amends Have To Do With Sobriety?

John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health .

  • Drug and alcohol addiction has the potential to severely damage relationships between the addict and their loved ones, leaving behind only a shell of the relationship that used to be.
  • Each person’s experience of addiction and recovery is unique.
  • You will be surprised by how many people are simply happy to see you smiling and healthy, and that is enough for them.
  • I would apologize for my mistakes and pray about it to have the knowledge to not repeat my actions.

I have found that there is so much spiritual depth to them. The more I practiced this step the more I found out how much healing comes from it and not just for me. Our free, confidential telephone consultation will help you find the best treatment program for you. We can also guide you in approaching a loved one who needs treatment.

After you’ve taken these initial steps, know that making direct amends doesn’t have to be an excruciating process. Making living amends primarily benefits you and not the people you’ve wronged in the past. It’s about making positive changes within yourself so that you don’t repeat old patterns of behavior that led to your broken relationships in the first place. The changes that occur due to your efforts positively affect your commitment to becoming a better friend, child, parent, or person all around. You should make amends when you reach step 9, if you are working a program of recovery and going through the steps with a sponsor. If you are not working a 12-step program of recovery, we highly recommend it, however, you can make amends during your recovery process. As it says in step 9, make amends to someone only if it will not injure them or others.

How Making Amends Helps Both You And Them

The 12 Steps help people with a substance use disorder create lasting change in recovery and reconnect with family to help cement that change. If you or someone you love is trapped in alcohol or drug addiction, please call Intervention Drug Rehab Association today to learn about our luxury drug rehab facility, where every client’s needs are met. When clients leave treatment, they have the tools to handle stress and fight cravings with positive coping mechanisms.


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