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Making Your Amends: Why Im Sorry Isnt Enough Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT ITR

Before you decide who to approach and how you intend to make amends, reflect on your efforts at recovery and the intent behind making amends. We go back to a moment in time and we fixate on the things we wish we had done differently. It makes it hard to remember things that happened before or after. We blame ourselves for certain things that happened – sometimes rightfully, and sometimes not. Resolve to work at making things better between you and keeping your promises.

  • Unlike fixing an object you broke, repairing the damage won’t come from a one-time act.
  • You can start making amends by showing up, even if it’s years later, to do the things you said you’d do.
  • As a result, the opportunity is lost to make things right if that person dies before they can apologize.

Step Nine is that biggie step, the one we likely have created some anxiety over because it involves making amends. Nicola is our Blog and Article Editor at InTheRooms.com. Her work has been published internationally in many publications. She is a qualified Reflexologist, Masseuse and Life Coach.

Addiction and Mental Health Resources

The 12 Steps help people with a substance use disorder create lasting change in recovery and reconnect with family to help cement that change. But as we quickly learn, simple instructions aren’t necessarily easy to execute. Below, learn some of the best practices for righting the wrongs caused by active addiction.

  • Self-forgiveness is indeed the most potent antidote to cynicism I know.
  • If you promised your father to help him mow the lawn on Sundays, but years have passed, and you’ve never once shown up, start now.
  • In fact, when victims take responsibility for their abuser’s recovery (or lack thereof), they are often in danger of further abuse.
  • To amend something is to make it better or improve it somehow.
  • We have already begun making amends to ourselves by changing some of our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs.

If we have any men listening who want to help make restitution to the women they have harmed, please consider making a recurring donation to support this podcast. I know
their wives, but I don’t know them personally. I just want to put a disclaimer
out there that they may or may not be the model of recovery. I’m so grateful
that you came on to share and thank you for spending some time with us.

Don’t Make 12-Step Amends or Promises You Cannot Keep

Listen to the free BTR podcast and read the full transcript below for more. Betrayal Trauma Recovery advocates for the safety of women and children. By interviewing three abusive men who recognize their abuse and want to change, BTR hopes to offer insight and information that will help women get to safety, not try to rescue their abusers. Sometimes we may feel emotionally unsafe in making 12-Step amends. If this is the case, seek the advice of a qualified treatment professional or licensed therapist.

how to deal with peer pressure

A loss of trust can be hard to rebuild unless the person comes back and admits what they did, then seeks amends as a result. The outcome of making amends doesn’t always end in relationships picking up where they left off, but the process is cathartic and necessary to move on. A big part of working the 12-Step Program is making amends. Unfortunately, after you get sober, all the hurt and destruction you caused in the wake of your addiction doesn’t just go away.

Navigating Step Nine: Living Amends

We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. Our sponsors can help us explore each of these concepts so that we gain perspective on the nature of our specific amends and stay focused on what we’re supposed to be doing. The key is that we https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/making-living-amends-during-addiction-recovery/ keep the focus on ourselves and our “side of the street,” so to speak. Indirect Amends – finding ways to repair damage that cannot be reversed or undone by doing things like volunteering and helping others. What does gaslighting actually look like in a marriage?

  • One conversation might not be enough to repair the damage.
  • Sometimes, the list of people who you’ve wronged can seem endless and be overwhelming to even start tackling.
  • The other person has every right to feel the way they do about a previous conflict.
  • This process, however, involves a lot more than saying “I’m sorry.” You must also make reparations and compensation as appropriate, and you must live differently as you move forward.
  • Maybe they are guarding their heart because they are afraid we might relapse or say something hurtful.
  • If we have any men listening who want to help make restitution to the women they have harmed, please consider making a recurring donation to support this podcast.

Scholarships are granted to those individuals who have completed an in-patient treatment and are looking to continue their recovery journey in sober living. Living Amends partners with sober living facilities to closely monitor each scholarship and intervene if obstacles arise to long-term sobriety. A few months back, she was traveling for an extended period of time.

Well, the time came to continue my living amends to her and redo her entire master suite, including her bathroom. She came home to what she described as “a completely different house”. My living amends to my mother is to be fully present in my life so I can be fully present in hers. It’s not one we use too frequently in our everyday language, but it still holds significant meaning. To make amends means to apologize for something you have done or for wronging someone in some way.

What are living amends for a spouse?

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 steps in recovery with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are 8 and 9. They include making a list of persons harmed and making direct amends where possible to those people. Outside of harming themselves or others, making amends is set as a goal because it helps people recognize how they hurt others and seeks to create space for healing for themselves and those they wronged. When someone harms others, they often lose a relationship with that person or at least that person’s trust.

Although, you’ll have to find a different way to do so and in a way that makes a lasting impact on you and the people you love who are still here. When held in the bonds of an addiction, it’s not uncommon for many relationships to feel strain, or to fall apart together. One of the best ways you can make long-lasting changes to your relationships is by being true to your word.

living amends

There are some general strategies to keep in mind as you make your list of people to see and what to say to each one of them. If making an amend doesn’t pan out exactly how you had hoped it would, let it go. You made the amend to clean up your side of the street, acknowledging your wrongdoing and taking responsibility for your actions.


Get rid of that guilt; apologize, make your amends and let go of them. While doing our amends and experiencing being forgiven, we begin to see the value in extending it to others. It feels good to practice forgiveness and just let go of resentment! Positive reinforcement is a great motivator to practice the spiritual principle of forgiveness as much as possible. By forgiving others we start to recognize our own humanness, and it gives us the capacity to be less judgmental than we were in the past.

living amends


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