The Twelve Steps Alcoholics Anonymous

The relative success of the AA program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for “reaching” and helping an uncontrolled drinker. Book Jason for speaking engagements, events or appearances and let him bring the message of recovery & hope. It gives me chills every time I read that, because after that moment, Bill never took another drink. For most of us, the “aha” moments, that may not be a white light, are regular events and part of the spiritual awakening that happens over time in a subtle and gradual way. I also realized that in my childhood, that I had blamed my Dad for things my Mom actually caused by trying to get him to stop drinking.

Make sure that you are comfortable with your progress during recovery and that both you and the other person are ready to engage in the process. While many people are receptive and supportive to attempts to make amends, some are not. And some people in your life may not be receptive on your timeline. Communicating about the way you harmed others can evoke strong emotions. Some people will be easier than others to approach due to the relationship you have with them, how close you live to them, or other factors. In some situations, attempting to make amends may cause more harm than good.

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You also have to be willing to make amends, which shows that you truly care for the people on your list. Humility is one of the simplest principles to understand because it’s straightforward. When you’re humble, you’re cognizant of the fact that you’re not a major part of the bigger picture. Humility in daily practice means never seeing yourself as more living amends important than you are. The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. If one of our articles is marked with a ‘reviewed for accuracy and expertise’ badge, it indicates that one or more members of our team of doctors and clinicians have reviewed the article further to ensure accuracy.

  • In recovery, not every moment will be positive, but if you keep that hope and faith alive, you’ll come back out on the other side.
  • In addition to apologizing and asking for their forgiveness regarding the incident in question, you might offer to repay them in full for the money you stole.
  • While making amends is apologizing, living amends means living a completely new, sober lifestyle, and being committed to that lifestyle for both yourself and those you’ve harmed in the past.
  • Making amends won’t necessarily play out like the ending of a Hallmark movie.

They may be dealing with their own mental health issues or the effects of past trauma and not be ready to move forward. Even though this may be painful, you need to accept that you cannot control how others respond to this part of your recovery journey. A 12-step program is designed to encourage long-term sobriety, by fostering a spirituality for recovery.

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Making indirect amends means acknowledging your faults and resolving to live well in the future. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Basically, this last step instructs its members to carry the message to others and put the principles of the program into practice in every area of their lives. For those in recovery programs, practicing Step 12 is simply “how it works,” as the founders of the fellowship discovered for themselves in those early days. Remember, this is a Twelve Step process that can provide a platform for healing, but the person we are reaching out to may not be at the same place in healing as we are. We are only in control of our part—making and living the amends.

Along with reinforcing new behaviors and outlooks, making amends can also reduce stress. Many who lived with addiction have past behaviors they’re not proud of. By proactively correcting previous mistakes, those in recovery may be able to prevent future conflicts that could trigger a relapse. For many who lived in addiction, apologizing was a regular habit.