Sometimes, you may not have the opportunity to make direct amends to the person you harmed. Perhaps the person is no longer living, or you no longer have contact with them and reestablishing contact would cause more harm. However, even if you feel extremely motivated to make direct amends, living amends it is advisable to take your time with this step. Make sure that you are comfortable with your progress during recovery and that both you and the other person are ready to engage in the process. While many people are receptive and supportive to attempts to make amends, some are not.
What are examples of amends?
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. Along with reinforcing new behaviors and outlooks, making amends can also reduce stress.
It means the person has come to a point where they are ready to move forward through this step, but it takes some finesse to do it without causing more harm to loved ones. Making amends is about acknowledging and correcting the harm you have inflicted on your family or friends during active addiction. You must demonstrate with actions, not just words, your remorse, and how you aim to fix the broken relationships. The process can bring significant benefits such as freedom from guilt or shame, regained trust, and increased self-esteem. But making amends is not only about doing good for yourself; it’s also about doing good for others too.
Amends Are Not Apologies—They’re Expressions of Accountability
Notice the words “right to resentment” and “underserved qualities” in there? It is about what we do despite that wrongdoing, “abandoning right to resentment . Making amends does not undoing the wrongdoing, just as forgiveness doesn’t undo the wrongdoing. Instead, it is an action we take to compensate for what we have done. You don’t have to take our word for the success of sober living in preventing relapse. Please read our success stories below, or contact our team today to talk to some of our experts.
Now is your chance to apologize for that behavior and repay them. Make a direct, financial amend by setting up recurring payments until you have repaid everything you owe. If money is tight, discuss with your sponsor other possible methods of compensation and how to better manage your finances in recovery. One example could be to help the person with errands and chores around their house. It’s possible that the other person is unaware of the harm you have caused them, and making direct amends would make them aware and hurt them badly.
What are some examples of living amends?
The times they hurt people, were absent, or caused pain to loved ones is not easy to face. The fault is squarely on them, whether they like it or not. The person may not even remember the incidents in question from memory, but others may remember them quite well. What comes up may be feelings of guilt, shame, or something else entirely. The theme of making amends is forgiveness, and although it is one of the steps people may not like, it comes at this point in the AA journey for a reason.
If you damaged someone’s property while under the influence of alcohol, meet with the person face-to-face and offer to repair the damage or reimburse them for repairs already completed. When choosing to make amends, exercise careful consideration of yourself and others to ensure you avoid causing further harm in your recovery efforts. 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.