One of the most important and crucial steps to getting well during ones recovery process is step 9 in the 12 step process. This confusing and frightening step is where we tend to see people shy away from the path they are on or hit a roadblock during their process because of the “unknown” of what is going to happen. Making amends to a significant other, family member, friend, or even a stranger can be a daunting task for someone trying to recover from alcoholism and drug addiction. The 9th step requires us to repair the damage of our past while not causing any more harm to others. The most important thing I have learned while on this journey is that if I truly want to be freed from this insanity that I must be fearless and thorough with everything that I do. Recovery is about learning to be honest in all my affairs and being the best version of me that I can be each and everyday.
What does making amends look like?
Depending on who the amends is being made to and what for, each amends is going to look slightly different for each individual and situation. In my own experience, making amends was a chance for me to sit the person down that I had caused physical, emotional, or financial damage to and tell them during a conversation the things that I had done to them and that I was willing to do whatever it took to make that right. This opportunity allows me to be as honest as possible with that individual in order to give them the closure they need and to tell me how I had affected them. There is something about being completely vulnerable and trusting in my higher power that helps me to build a stronger foundation while cleaning my side of the street.
We don’t say sorry during an amends
While making amends I never say sorry for the things that I have done. Sorry is an overused word that has no real weight and depth to it coming from an alcoholic/addict. My whole life I was always saying sorry to people and then never changing my behavior. Amends is about action! What action am I going to take when I look someone in the eyes and ask them, ‘How can I possibly make this right with you?’ People want to see the change in me by keeping to my word, showing up in life, being present with my family, paying a monetary debt back. Those are the actions that will allow me to act my way into a right state of mind to have a complete psychic change and emotional rearrangement.