Why Admitting Your Wrongs to Another Person is Important in AA

Admitting your wrongs during AA is not the easiest part of the process, but it is essential. Many people do not understand, however, why these wrongs must be admitted out loud to another individual. This step is necessary to ensure that your recovery goes beyond you and continues out into the world.

To Whom Must I Admit My Wrongs?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the fifth step of Alcoholics Anonymous reads, “We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” This is a part of the program because it is necessary for members to confess they have committed wrongs in order to understand why they must make a change. It is easy to continue denying the need for a change or the reason behind a journey toward recovery; it is difficult admit that need and to consider exactly why it exists before admitting this truth.

Why Must I Admit My Wrongs Three Times?

admitting wrongs

Confessing your wrongs to another person helps you move forward in your recovery.

Many individuals feel comfortable, after they have found their higher power, to admit their “searching and fearless moral inventory” to that power, whether it is a god, the universe, or another driving force that is helping them begin to change. Because this power is greater than themselves and usually spiritual in nature, it can be easier to discuss these feelings in this way first.

Admitting the problem to yourself can be harder, but this is important as well. Being honest with both yourself and your higher power is the only way you can find your way to recovery through AA and begin to make a difference in your life.

However, admitting these truths to another person, out loud, can sometimes be very difficult. It is what many people struggle with during this step. But admitting your wrongs these three times cements your commitment to the program, keeps you from going back to a stage of denial, and allows you to take a positive step in working through the issues addiction has caused in your life.

Why Must I Admit My Wrongs to Another Person?

It isn’t enough to admit these wrongs to yourself and to your higher power. Though it may bring you peace and you can begin to accept the changes you need to make in your life afterward, admitting these truths to someone else compels you to say them out loud, which allows you to reflect on them more deeply. If these are things you are ashamed to admit out loud, you can begin to see how and why you must start to change and make amends for your past.

This act will also help you begin to open up to others, especially if this is a difficult process for you. But participation with others, individual and “community-level social support,” and attending meetings are all major parts of the 12-step process (National Institute on Drug Abuse). For these reasons, admitting your past to someone else and opening up, perhaps for the first time, is a necessary stepping stone on your journey through AA. If you have more questions about the program, call 800-839-1686Who Answers?. We can also help you find meetings in your area.

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For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

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For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.