Made direct amends to such people whenever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
By the time you reach Step Nine, you’re almost 75% done with the life-changing process of doing the steps. But for some people in recovery, this moment can feel like the finish line.
Yes, there are three more, equally important, steps after this one. Step Nine, however, is probably the last step that sparks fear in the heart of the recovering addict or alcoholic.
Step Nine can feel intimidating, overwhelming, and absolutely excruciating. As you probably know by now, though, there’s an incredible amount of relief waiting for you on the other side of all that pain.
How to begin?
If you’ve reached this point, you’ve hopefully completed Step Eight, which means making a list of people you’ve harmed and becoming willing to make amends to them.
Do NOT proceed from there without a LENGTHY discussion with your sponsor.
Working Step Nine thoughtfully is extremely important, because not every amend should be made face to face with the person you’ve harmed, if at all.
Indeed, the last few words of Step Nine is absolutely vital to keep in mind as you start planning your amends: except when to do so would injure them or others.
For example, you might not want to confess all of your misdeeds to your boss if it would mean losing your job and putting your family out on the street.
Your sponsor will help guide you, but some amends should be made as living amends; i.e., you vow to be a dependable employee moving forward.
In the cases where a direct amends is appropriate, though, consult your sponsor before, during, and after the big face-off.
Remember that it might not go quite as you’ve imagined. Instead of loving acceptance and gratitude, you might be met with outright anger and hostility. If that happens, like anything else in recovery, you’ll get through it with the help of your sponsor, your meetings, and your 12-Step fellowship.
No matter what, you’ll feel relieved knowing your side of the street is clean.
But there’s a really good chance that it might go just as well as you’d dreamed, helping you make the first step towards healing a relationship – not to mention your own heart and soul. Working Step Nine and making amends is an incredible, life-changing experience and one of the most valuable aspects of a program of recovery.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
And it works, if you work it.
Call us today to find out how to start healing your relationships and living a life in recovery.