Not everyone can make amends by being in the same space as a person they harmed. The wounds may be very deep and not close to being healed, even years later. In this case, making what some people refer to as a “living amends” is an alternative option.
Instead, making amends means you apologize for what you’ve done and make it right. Similarly, making living amends means you completely change the way you live and remain committed to that lifestyle. Living amends is a concept linked to addiction recovery and part of the twelve-step program for sober living. 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. 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.
Avoid initiating a conversation if the other person is distracted or upset by something unrelated. If possible, schedule a time to speak with them in advance to prepare for the conversation. I know I said it once, but I’ll say it again – if you are dealing with guilt and you haven’t read the articles above, now is the time.
You can still be true to that by making an honest apology and not making excuses for why you didn’t follow through. Then, the next time around, make sure to make good on your word. Often, people with substance use disorders cause harm to others, either intentionally or inadvertently. Step 9 of AA’s 12-step program directs people in recovery to take accountability for actions that may have harmed others and to make amends when possible. In Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), making amends is considered a crucial component of long-term recovery. Making amends is a great intention that doesn’t always pay off with a positive experience.
I am not proud of that, but it is the reality of how I used to behave. I also made countless promises to her that I did not keep. It ranged from promising to fix something living amends around the house to going to a family gathering. Prove to those who love you that you are a person of your word, and they can rely on you when things get tough.
Once you’re ready to begin, you should be aware that speaking with someone face-to-face, known as direct amends, is the preferred way of doing things. Making amends is a very important part of addiction recovery. The recovering person must acknowledge that actions they took during active addiction caused harm to others, especially those who are closest to them. They must take ownership of those actions and begin to take new actions that show the commitment they have made to their recovery.
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. Living Amends Wellness Center is a comprehensive and compassionate addiction treatment center that offers telehealth services and is working hard to open an in person location in Pottstown, PA. Our goal is to empower you to overcome your addiction and re-engage in a meaningful life.
Making any type of amends can be challenging, but in this article, we’ll focus on living amends and tips for how to make them. If you or a loved one is struggling to stay sober or needs help maintaining sobriety while working the 12 Steps, Eudaimonia Recovery Homes can help. Call us or fill out our online contact form today to get started.
For example, say that you stole $20 from your brother while you were using. In the midst of your ninth step, you say to him “I’m so sorry that I stole that money from you and used it for drugs”. A true amend would be giving him $20 back along with the apology. Unfortunately, there are many things that we do in our using that we can not rectify with tangible goods or direct amends.