Making amends can make an important step in recovery, one will bring about great change in the recovering addict.
An important action in recovery for recovering addicts is making amends to individuals who were harmed by their self-centered behavior.

The amends process is humbling, liberating and powerful and is one that continues throughout their entire life. Making amends is beneficial to everyone, not just recovering addicts. It is a critical process for families to rebuild mutual trust so their love can grow.

Why It’s Important

Individuals need one another. We are meant to have interpersonal relationships, some of which are more close and intimate, such as the family. In relationships, harmful things can be for everyone involved. Resentments that go unresolved may overtime mean the loss of the relationship and life-long emotional and spiritual wounds appear as a result. The best way to heal from such hurt is to make amends.

What It Means to Make an Amends

A usual misunderstanding about making an amends is what it means to make an amends. It is not saying you are sorry – they have heard that before, probably countless times. It is not saying you will never do it again – they have heard that one too.

Making an amends means an individual has reviewed the incident where their behavior has resulted in a resentment and now understands their part in the incident, and, has true realization of their wrongdoing.

It is the realization of their wrong doing in a situation that is important; however, it is just as important to admit to the person they have harmed that they are wrong. That is why making an amends is a humbling process in comparison to a basic apology.

Offering to correct the wrong is also part of the process. It is not enough to admit to the wrongdoing, when it is possible for one to offer restitution. If it is a debt that is owed, there needs to be an offer to pay it back. If there was emotional harm caused, the offender offer to make it right. Doing this is powerful and liberating.

Making amends can make an important step in recovery, one will bring about great change in the recovering addict. It is important to remember that the amends process is for oneself, not the individual who one is making amends to. It is about keeping one’s side on the street clean, and learning to be responsible for one’s actions. In taking responsibility for one’s actions they are practicing accountability, which is an important principle in recovery.

The amends process is never really completed; there are living amends that last a lifetime. A living amends is a vow to correct the pain one has caused by changing their lifestyle and behaviors. Making a living amends to individuals an addict has harmed by staying clean and sober each day is a powerful way to make amends.

Distributed by Client Initiatives

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