Why Anonymous? Alcoholics Anonymous

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Sometimes, making direct amends with someone may lead to further harm. For example, if you are estranged from a loved one and they will not see you, your indirect amends may involve reflecting on and modifying the behaviors that led to the estrangement. How you start these conversations depends on your https://ecosoberhouse.com/ relationship with the person you harmed and the circumstances in which you plan to make direct amends. When making direct amends, it is usually best to do so after a sustained period of sobriety and while in a calm state of mind. For many who lived in addiction, apologizing was a regular habit.

  • When you start to embody the guiding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), you’ll embark on a journey to convince the people you’ve hurt that you’re changing for the better.
  • These situations can all lead to the development of addiction.
  • And those words ring hollow when we repeatedly break our promises.
  • While I did these things in active addiction, that does not take away from how wrong they were, and the pain and sense of betrayal you must have felt as a result of my actions.
  • This pamphlet describes who A.A.s are and what we have learned about alcoholism.
  • For example, if you neglected or mistreated your children while you were using alcohol, a simple apology may not repair the damage.

In some cases, making amends may mean paying or promising to pay “whatever obligations, financial or otherwise, we owe,” the Big Book also states.

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No matter how much we feel the need to make things right, forcing another to meet with us or hear from us 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 or making living amends. It’s also important to take great care when making amends to someone living amends who is in active addiction because our primary responsibility is to safeguard our own health and recovery from substance abuse. If making an amends means exposing ourselves to triggering environments, we ought to reconsider and discuss healthy alternatives with a sponsor or addiction counselor. Living amends represent the long-term actions you will take to remain committed to recovery.

  • Plus, the benefits of completing Step 9 of AA are numerous.
  • Each of these steps requires members to make big decisions.

A sponsor or therapist can help you talk through your choices, determine the best course of action for making amends, and consider how your actions may affect others as you seek to make amends. 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.

Understanding AA Step 9 and Its Purpose for Your Sobriety

The purpose of Step Nine is to acknowledge the harm caused during active addiction and to make it right with the people involved, as much as possible. Even though they have similarities, living amends are different than making amends. While making amends is apologizing, living amends means living a completely new, sober lifestyle, and being committed to that lifestyle for both yourself and those you’ve harmed in the past. It means that you’re not just using your words to show a change, your actions are proving this change as well. Whenever possible, a direct amend is made face-to-face rather than over the phone or by asking someone else to apologize on your behalf. Taking these actions helps us to separate ourselves from the disease of addiction.

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