What Are Living Amends? And How Do You Make Them? Cake Blog Cake: Create a Free End of Life Plan

Undoubtedly, you, too, have a list of ways in which you want to live out your living amends, and that’s great! The more personalized your lifestyle changes are, the more they’re going to resonate and stick with you. When first writing your list, don’t worry about including everyone you living amends have wronged. Over time, as you strengthen and deepen your recovery from addiction, you will undoubtedly revisit Steps 8 and 9 many times. Eventually you will find you are making amends day by day through the positive actions you routinely take in living by Twelve Step principles.

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We’ve written about how common guilt is in grief (you wouldn’t believe how many people get the “coulda woulda shouldas”). We wrote an article about the difference between guilt and regret. We talked about the complicated processes of self-forgiveness and self-compassion.

Strategies to Implement Living Amends

Apologizing in this way may open the door to continued healing, growth, and restored relationships in recovery. For example, someone living with an addiction may make amends by apologizing for stealing property https://ecosoberhouse.com/ and then make it right by returning what they’d taken. When choosing to make amends, exercise careful consideration of yourself and others to ensure you avoid causing further harm in your recovery efforts.

  • Making amends is the best way to reconnect with the people who have been deeply hurt as a result of your actions.
  • We can also make amends by living very purposefully within the bounds of our principles.
  • It’s important to have a plan in place before we reach out.
  • It may be difficult to accept that you’re not always going to be able to make amends to people who you’ve wronged in some way.

We’ve filled you in on things that can exacerbate guilt, like hindsight bias and survivors’ guilt. We’ve given you journaling exercises around coping with regret. If you promised your father to help him mow the lawn on Sundays, but years have passed, and you’ve never once shown up, start now. If you promised your son or daughter to be there to see them off to college, clean yourself up and show up.

Making Amends in Addiction Recovery

For example, let’s say a mother didn’t make an effort to escort her children to the school bus stop. One of her children is killed crossing the street on their own even after telling their mother that they were afraid to cross the busy street alone. A living amend might include a posthumous promise to the deceased child to, from now on, make it a point to walk their surviving siblings to the bus stop each day. In a Psychology Today article, Winch also explained that guilt and shame play a large part in the struggle to apologize.

Families and communities have responsibilities to provide support and opportunities for health, wellness and social inclusion. We offer same day phone screenings for no cost to determine if our services are right for your recovery. The first step is to know that your questions and feelings are normal. Recovery support groups and individual therapy can help you if you are struggling to make amends or accept the responses of others. A sponsor or therapist can help you talk through your choices, determine the best course of action for making amends, and consider how your actions may affect others as you seek to make amends. Once you enter into sobriety, there isn’t a set timeline for working Steps 8 and 9, so you might want to ask your sponsor and recovery support network for their insights about whether you’re ready.


They don’t always see my hands off approach as sincere kindness, but my motives are pure. We believe that the only path to forgiveness is asking it of the person we love, the person we believe we hurt, and making amends for what we did wrong. That might not be so tricky if the person were still alive. You’re left with a mountain of guilt and no one to apologize to, no one from whom you can ask forgiveness or make amends. No matter how much we feel the need to make things right, forcing another to meet with us or hear from us is not part of the Steps.

When you make amends, the way you look and feel about situations changes. You can gain clarity about what happened and what should have happened. On the opposite side of the street are those individuals who simply say, “All of my amends would hurt people.

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