Applying the 9th Step of AA in Everyday Life
Thinking and talking about the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is easy when you are in a meeting, surrounded by like-minded, recovering addicts. However, the real challenge begins when you leave the meeting and enter the real world.
In the real world, not everyone will be as supportive or understanding. In fact, some people might be downright aggressive and annoyed at your attempts to start a new life. This is especially true when you reach step 9 of the recovery process.
However, with a bit of hard work and determination, you can easily work step 9 into your everyday life.
Understanding Step 9
To first learn how to use step 9 in real life, it’s important to understand what it means.
In full, step 9 requires you to make “direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Basically, step 9 is your chance to apologize for your mistakes and try to make things right again. Unlike other steps, which involve self-reflection and mindset changes, this is an action step.
This means that the time of thinking about and reflecting on your mistakes is over. Now, it’s time to take responsibility for what you have done and try to let it go.
How to Make Amends
Making amends is just as hard as it sounds. It can be hard to find the right things to say and do in order to take full responsibility for your actions.
That’s why it can be good to follow a strict plan when acting this out in real life. One way to do this is to use the follow steps to guide you:
- I’m Sorry – First, begin by apologizing to the person you’ve wronged. Take full responsibility for what you’ve done and don’t place blame on others. This might be painful for you, but it’s the right thing to do.
- Ask for Forgiveness – In order to truly feel you’ve made amends, being forgiven helps a lot. By asking, it shows the person that you are ready to change for good.
- I Love You – Let the person know that you love them for their forgiveness and for who they are. Healing as a former drug addict means accepting others and enjoying life.
- Thank You – Thank the for forgiving you and for sticking with you through the chaos that is drug addiction.
In addition to these steps, it can be a good idea to do something to make it up to the person. This might mean paying compensation for borrowed or stolen money, buying them a small gift, or even offering to help them with a project.
If you need more help on how to make amends, give us a call at 800-839-1686 for some more ideas.
Avoid Hurting People
Many of the people you have hurt through your years of drug use probably have had enough of your behavior. They may not want to even speak with you.
In these cases, it might be best to avoid bringing up the situation again so you don’t cause any more pain. For example, if you were involved in a situation that led to a death of a loved one, then bringing up those painful memories might be too much for the afflicted person to bear.
Sometimes, you can’t fix all of the problems you’ve created through your drug use.
Remember, just because you want to apologize, doesn’t mean you have automatically earned forgiveness. You can’t control how other people react. However, because you are sincerely sorry, that should be enough to enable you to move on with your life.
Step 9 is definitely a hard thing to accomplish in real life. However, with the help and support of our experts, you can make amends with everyone you have hurt. Just call us at 800-839-1686 for more help to get you started.