To Apologize Or Not To Apologize

Resolve to work at making things better between you and keeping your promises. Give each other space to figure out any new roles within your relationship and take things slowly. Don’t expect immediate forgiveness, and also, don’t pressure yourself to fix every broken relationship immediately.

  • You should also make sure to express how much you value your relationship with that person, and that you want to make sure you do not lose them.
  • Making amends shows that you are putting effort into improving your character.
  • Only make amends that will not cause more harm than good.
  • Part of taking a moral inventory involves making a list of any and all people you need to make amends with now that you’re in recovery.

You may have even been rushed into apologies without actually feeling ready. This gives us the habit of feeling like a “late” apology is no longer valid. However, taking the time to truly think through an apology is far more valuable than a rushed one. There may be a situation when the person has an outlandish or manipulative request that you cannot fulfill. In this case, thank them for the opportunity of letting you take responsibility for your mistake.

It’s best to wait until you and the other party are emotionally ready to have a heart-to-heart conversation. Practice with your sponsor or therapist to ensure you are comfortable with what you plan to say. It’s a form of resolution.Learning how to change your attitudes and behaviors while in treatment can conjure up feelings of guilt or anxiety about the way you treated people in the past. By making amends with someone, you’re resolving conflict not only with that person but with yourself too. Making amends is a crucial component of growth and healing, not just for you, but for the people you’ve hurt.

Step Series

If you don’t remember exact details due to your substance use, it’s okay to say that. In at least one apology, I was clear that I’d blacked out a lot of the details of why the person was mad. The people who do not wish to make amends at the time may need time to think as well, and you’ll have to accept the fact that they may never come around to forgiveness. Allowing people their space and being patient with them is a significant indicator to them that you’ve changed.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

For example, if you got drunk and punched a hole in your mom’s wall, a direct amend would require going to your mom, admitting that you were wrong, and then repairing the hole in the wall for her. Drug and alcohol addiction has the potential to severely damage relationships between the addict and their loved ones, leaving behind only a shell of the relationship that used to be. Steps eight and nine of the 12-Step Program clearly reference making amends, highlighting the importance of repairing those relationships, if possible. You can suggest ways in which you can repair the relationship by preparing ideas beforehand. It will take time, effort, and trust on their end, but hopefully your amends will help to restore faith and goodwill in you.

Rehab & Treatment

It’s difficult to gauge our actions without taking into account the perceptions of those around us. To truly understand the extent of your wrongdoings you’ll need to step outside of your usual zone of perception and see things from the angle of the person or persons you have affected. Develop empathy for their situation and you will come to better understand how you wronged them, why it hurt, and ways you could possibly make it better. Living amends are a holistic approach to amends that are a great way to show the world and the people you hurt that you have changed for the better. Living amends means making genuine lifestyle changes and committing to a life-long promise to yourself and those around you that have discarded your destructive behaviors. Taking action and changing the behaviors you had while in active addiction is key to being able to live a good life in sobriety. It’s not just about you and the changes you’re making, but also those around you.

  • The disease of addiction often results in damaged and strained relationships due to careless and harmful behavior.
  • If you’ve psychologically wounded them or torn them down verbally, you’ll want to let them know how you really feel about them (if it’s positive).
  • Did you insult any family members with your words or actions?
  • They need to know that they can count on you and trust you again.

A crucial part of AA and NA is being a judgment-free area. Do not worry about feeling judged there, because everyone is united around recovery. At the Discovery Institute, we want you to know everything about addiction. First, we will cover the importance of making amends and setting boundaries, then we will talk about the steps this process will normally take. Unfortunately, there’s also a harsh truth awaiting on the other side of that journey.

What To Say When Making Amends With Someone

However, the process of making amends is very important. You can’t predict someone else’s reaction, but you can control yours. The purpose of making amends is not to receive the “right reaction” from the other person. If the person you’ve just made amends with does not accept them, don’t let that take away from the purpose. If making amends doesn’t play out the way you wished it would, let it go. You took the initiative and made an effort by taking responsibility for your actions.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

When a person has died, you can still make amends for your actions. 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. If you are wondering what does “making amends” mean, you are not alone. 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.

Whats The Best Way To Make Amends?

While I did these things in active addiction, that does not take away from how wrong they were, and the pain and sense of betrayal you must have felt as a result of my actions. It can be tempting to say things like “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you,” but try to avoid these blanket statements. They miss the opportunity to be truly reflective about how your wrongdoings have impacted the other person and Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery can be misread. The other person may hear the same statement as exasperation with them or a minimizing of the ways you’ve hurt them. Instead, try to reference specific times when you hurt the other person and/or let them down. Being specific also makes the amends that you offer more achievable. You may not be able to rectify “everything” you’ve done to the other person, but you can repair specific wrongs.

  • Develop empathy for their situation and you will come to better understand how you wronged them, why it hurt, and ways you could possibly make it better.
  • Unfortunately, there’s also a harsh truth awaiting on the other side of that journey.
  • Let them know what you were going through, what made you say/feel those things, and that they were in no way a reflection of the other person.
  • Indirect amends are made when you attempt to build back goodwill due to an action that cannot be repaired or reversed by your actions.

Those who attend our treatment programs will work all 12 Steps while in our care. They will also have access to robust family programming which provides ample opportunity to make amends, learn about the disease of addiction, and begin repairing relationships. Making living amends primarily benefits you and not the people you’ve wronged in the past. It’s about making positive changes within yourself so that you don’t repeat old patterns of behavior that led to your broken relationships in the first place. The changes that occur due to your efforts positively affect your commitment to becoming a better friend, child, parent, or person all around.

About Discovery

When it comes to making amends to others, there are usually a lot of fears and expectations involved. We may be afraid about making financial amends, or afraid of rejection, retaliation and a host of other doubtful outcomes. However, making amends doesn’t always have to be a nerve-racking, dreadful or joyless experience. There is freedom that is gained by cleaning up the past, a freedom to live peacefully in the present.

Making Living Amends During Addiction Recovery

If you need help with making amends, or with any other step in the process, we’re here and available 24/7. People get tired of broken promises, of forgiving over and over and giving second and third, fourth, or fifth chances only to get hurt again. When you’re looking to change both your behavior and your broken relationships, stop making excuses to fulfill your promises.

The Right Amends

Do some digging and soul-searching and think through those who might have been deeply affected by your actions. To rebuild trust with people is not easy, but if they see that you’re willing to do the grunt work required to establish greater confidence, they might be willing to learn to trust you again.

The important piece is the knowledge that you have done what you can to repair the pain you have caused, and that you have taken responsibility for your actions. The insight that you gain through the recovery process and the changes you make to move towards a stable, sober life fortify you and increase your ability to live with integrity and grace. Honesty and humility are vital factors when working to make amends. Yes, addiction has taken a toll on you, but it’s also affected those you love. When you choose the right step towards reconciliation with family members, you’re setting yourself up for a bright future surrounded by loved ones. We’re here to help in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. Contact our recovery center today to see how we can help you.

It’s not enough to say to someone that you apologize and feel badly for how you acted in the past. It takes a certain maturity and level of respect for yourself and the person you’re hoping to reconnect with to get past any past issues. Being helpful toward others can mean lending a hand to friends and family who need help moving, checking in on elderly parents, or offering to babysit their nieces and nephews for a parent’s night out. These changes in behavior help toward the goal of reestablishing relationships or making them stronger.

It is important to ask the question “will this bring hurt to the person or to me? ” Sometimes, it is just too painful for the other person to have you back in their life. Even if you have the best intentions, it may be too hard to see you. Having you back in their lives, at least for right now, may be too painful for their well-being. On the other hand, you may not be able to handle seeing this person. These memories could be traumatic, or they could be a toxic person in your life. Make amends with the person in your own way, but keep your needs and theirs in mind.

Preparing For Making Amends In Aa

I have made many amends for my past while living as an alcoholic. Amends allow me to also right the wrongs I may continue to make. It is freedom from behaviors that do not live up to the new life in sobriety I am choosing to live. It is not a time to make excuses for our behavior instead, it’s an open door for the wronged person to express themselves. They get the opportunity to express how my actions affected them. In some cases, it may be impossible to make direct amends because you can’t locate someone or they have passed away. An indirect, symbolic amend could be a great way to honor that individual.

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