12-Step programs use the number of the 12-Step to correlate with the number of the month to pinpoint their capability. September promotes the ninth step in daily 12-Step literature devotions while providing relevance to how others have worked this step.
“Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Many people that want to stay sober fear this action step because they do not want to allow themselves to admit that they were wrong to someone who also wronged them. In fact, many people relapse because they cannot fathom having to put their differences aside for the sake of their serenity. By picking up where you left off on Step 8, you will be making the effort to find your part by writing letters that entail your harms, paying back any financial debts you have incurred, and making amends that will, in turn, give you more freedom than you could have ever imagined.
The misconception of this step is that you will be humiliating yourself so that the other person can be right. What really happens is that you can finally clear your conscience of all the misgivings that you mentally and subconsciously beat yourself up over time and again. Alcoholic thinking can keep you sick by relieving your demoralization over and over. You can make the choice to end the insanity in your brain by taking this step to healing.
To amend means “to change”. What better way to show others that you have changed than to take the blame off them and own up to your part in past situations. The ninth step is instrumental in removing extraordinary amounts of guilt, shame, remorse, anger, and defensiveness. Having the right attitude when you approach this step can give you the ability to forgive yourself as well as the people you are making amends to. You may fear their retaliation of hurtful words but let them have the reaction they need to process the information you are relaying to them. Your goal is to bridge the gap for healthier relationships going forward.
Use the guidance of your sponsor to compose a letter that will emphasize the transformation that you are implementing into your life. You need not tell them how sorry you are in the letter as this may not prove to be an effective tactic. The people in your past have probably heard endless amounts of apologies from you already. Use this step to solely admit your harms and show your contrition so that you can continue to keep moving onward with your head held high.
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