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Living Our Amends Condado 12 & 12 Alcoholics Anonymous in San Juan, Puerto Rico

If possible, schedule a time to speak with them in advance to prepare for the conversation. That is, you can’t push it to the side or avoid it because of embarrassment. The problem living amends is there, and that person is in front of you right now. The goal in making amends is “to freely admit the damage we’ve done and make our apologies,” according to The Big Book.

alcoholics anonymous living amends

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. 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.


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. Of all the 12 steps, Step 9 is often referred to as particularly challenging. Understanding why will require taking a closer look at what Step 9 is, its goals, and its possible outcomes.

The ninth step is very action-oriented and provides a sense of relief. Although step nine can be difficult, participants should remember that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It takes willingness and courage to reflect on and find a resolution to your mistakes. If the recovering alcoholic is able to do this, then it demonstrates that they are progressing positively and ready for the tenth step.

If You’re Struggling to Make Amends

So much so, in fact, that there are two steps dedicated to it. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines amends as “compensation for a loss or injury”. As relates to your addiction, this means compensating those that your addiction has hurt. In order to truly understand this concept, it is important to really understand the steps involved, and how it helps to complete them.

When you make amends, you acknowledge and align your values to your actions by admitting wrongdoing and then living by your principles. Many treatment programs will include some kind of discussion on the impacts of your addiction on others and the ways we can repair that damage. 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. Making amends is one of the most important parts of 12 step programs.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ASL – The Long Form

There are three main types of amends, and it’s important to recognize which one is appropriate in a given situation. Understanding some making amends examples can help the individual correct past behaviors. At this time, you can offer whatever restitution you have deemed appropriate. If you are behind on child support payments, for example, you can give the other person a payment (rather than just having the conversation about missing payments).

  • Avoid initiating a conversation if the other person is distracted or upset by something unrelated.
  • We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Your AA sponsor, therapist, or another trusted person can help you determine how best to address making amends.
  • There are three main types of amends, and it’s important to recognize which one is appropriate in a given situation.

And those words ring hollow when we repeatedly break our promises. So, to truly make amends, we have to offer more than words. On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology for your treatment of others, but there’s more to this cornerstone Twelve Step practice. Your family will need to invest in the recovery process, too, because addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There may be many people in your life you’ve hurt and who have hurt you.

Making amends is more than just saying “I’m sorry.” It’s going the extra mile to make things right. 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.

alcoholics anonymous living amends

A qualified behavioral therapist can help you identify the areas of your life that need attention. 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. Other individuals who have completed Step 9, such as your sponsor, may be able to help you choose a meaningful way to make indirect amends. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses.