Working the Steps – Step 9
In Step Eight you constructed a list of the individuals you need to make amends with. While constructing that list you also considered how much damage had to be repaired and why you need each of these individuals in your new life in recovery.
In completing Step Eight you must also become ready and willing to make amends with the listed individuals. Once willing to make amends you can successfully work Step Nine.
Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them.”
Step Nine is the actual act of making amends with the people you may have harmed in your active addiction. This step is a very delicate process that should not be taken on alone.
Once you are ready to start Step Nine, consult with your sponsor, therapist, spiritual advisor, etc. This is because making amends with damaged relationships can be dangerous to you or the other person involved. Having someone that has worked this step before can help mediate the process.
Working Step Nine
Once you have gotten in touch with your sponsor, therapist or spiritual advisor, it’s time to start working Step Nine. The following questions will give you a better idea of the progress you have already made and what still needs to be accomplished. By answering honestly and discussing the following topics with the individual helping you in this process, you can make great strides in fixing the broken relationships damaged while addicted.
- List the amends you have already made. These can include any apologies you have given to another person, being helpful to those you have previously hurt, or any situations where you have changed attitudes for the better.
- From your Eighth Step list of amends, write down the individuals you need to apologize to first. Also, write down how you plan to apologize.
- Practice your apologies with your sponsor or a friend to get their reaction on whether you sound sincere or could be misunderstood. Takes notes to improve as you continue to practice.
- Role-play with your sponsor or friend for all the other amends you plan to undertake. Take notes to improve as you practice.
- Put your practice in action and try to make amends with someone. After your first encounter, write down what happened. How do you feel about it? How did the other person respond or feel about it? What did you learn and what could you change to be better in the future
- Continue through your list of amends and record how each situation played out. What is your overall impression? Was there anything common? Did anything take you by surprise? Has anything disappointed you?
- What amends are the most difficult for you to make? What are some things you could do to make these amends easier?
- How has making amends affected your relationship with others?
- How are you feeling overall? Have you gotten any good feedback from others that you can build off of?
- Take a look back at your Step Nine process. Are there any other amends you should add to the list? Start the amends process with these new additions.
Step Nine is one of the more difficult steps to undertake in the 12 Step process. Be sure to incorporate a sponsor, therapist, spiritual advisor or trustworthy friend to help you throughout the process. Remember, making amends doesn’t always go as planned and could further harm you or the other individual involved. It’s very important to practice and prepare yourself for many outcomes.
For more information on working the 12 Steps to addiction recovery, refer back to our blog series. Our drug rehab programs also incorporate the 12 Steps into the recovery process. For more information on starting a treatment program, don’t hesitate to call our trained addiction specialists.
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