What Does It Mean to Make Amends?

Living amends is a certain type of amends you make in addiction recovery. Essentially, it means making a radical shift in the way you live and sticking to that. When you make living amends, you make genuine changes to support your emotional and physical sobriety.

  • Again, in recovery, your words may not mean as much to some people as you wish they would.
  • Making these types of life improvements typically requires that you work with a counselor or therapist who can provide an outsider’s perspective and objective view of your life.
  • I am very sorry for stealing money out of your desk in order to fund my drug habit last year.

David Kessler discusses a living amends in his latest book, Finding Meaning. In his book he shares the situation of a woman who has a fight with her brother. Though he calls her following the argument, she doesn’t answer. Though we would certainly suggest she read some of our other posts on seems like regret and self-forgiveness, we also deeply appreciate the option of a ‘living amends’.

Making Amends Means Becoming A Healthy Person

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. Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

An essential part of addiction treatment and recovery is learning how to offer amends for your actions and behaviors while you were under the influence of various substances. The only action that a woman can take to assist her partner or ex-partner in changing is to set firm boundaries that separate herself and her children from abusive behavior. Beyond that, it is 100% the abuser’s prerogative and responsibility to initiate and continue working toward living amends. If you’re familiar with substance use recovery and 12-step programs, the idea of “living amends” might ring a bell.

The Experience Blog

It was the moment when she came to a decision that, “I’m going to move on with my life and you can either change or you can go away,” and she kicked me out. That’s part of me owning the fact that I gave up my right to say, “Well, that’s just unfair,” or, “Do you realize how this hurts me? If I want to make amends for the crap that I put my wife through, I have to be willing to drudge through the trenches. I’m the guy that’s bleeding and dying on the ground, and I have to have God. What victims of abuse need to recognize is, ‘I am worth being treated well and I am going to set boundaries around this abuse.’ Your safety is your top priority, but only you can help you. We get to define that for ourselves and that’s how we make our way to safety.

Each person’s experience of addiction and recovery is unique. Just like each person needs an individualized approach to alcohol addiction treatment, your approach to making amends in AA may look completely different from someone else’s. Some people will be easier than others to approach due to the relationship you have with them, living amends how close you live to them, or other factors. In some situations, attempting to make amends may cause more harm than good. And in some cases, you may not be able to make direct amends at all. However, you can still take action in all of these situations to satisfy the spirit and the intent of Step 9 and progress in your step work.

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