Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step Nine utilizes all the positive character traits we have recovered and/or developed to this point in working through the Steps. This fact emphasizes why we work these Steps in order. Our spiritual process has helped provide the faith and trust we need to work this Step.
Preparing to make amends involves thorough discussions with our sponsor, clarity about our ability to forgive first, and an honest self-awareness throughout the amends process. Approaching certain people may be anticipated with excitement and hope for improving a situation, while for others we may have concern or fear. Whatever, in our anticipation, we feel will happen, may not be what, in fact, occurs. It may be wise to stay grounded in the present of what is evident. Prior to actually making amends, many experienced members have found it very helpful to discuss each amend with a trusted individual and/or sponsor.
Some people consider making amends to have three primary aspects, the 3 R’s: Resolution, Restoration, and Restitution. They want to find a way to lay an issue to rest, and/or return to how things once were, and / or return something due in order to rectify and heal a relationship or place. We want to awaken ourselves out of the self-centeredness of addiction, even experience transcendence by our actions. Spiritual benefits such as compassion and a deeper understanding of human nature are realized as we work this Step.
Direct amends with people still in our lives may be where some members start. Others may choose to begin with general, or indirect, amends to people we are unable to contact, or with whom it would be unwise or inappropriate to contact. Still others may simply start with places damaged, possibly from butt litter and ashes, or spit juice.
NicA members can find creative ways to make indirect amends. This might involve reading a letter at a graveside, offering a kindness toward another surviving family member, or through donations to a specific charity.
9-1: Am I clear about what a «direct amends» is?_Explain.
9-2: How have I prepared myself for making direct amends?
9-3: Am I in regular contact with my sponsor and my Higher Power?_________
9-4: How does working Step Nine require another level of surrender to the recovery process and the principles of the program?
9-5: Do I feel ready to make direct amends?_Why?
9-6: Which amends am I putting off or hesitating to act on, and why?
9-7: Have I made promises, even amends, in the past and then continued to do harm in the same manner?_______Explain.
9-8: When I make amends to someone who has also harmed me, how can I keep the focus only on my actions?
9-9: Am I able to forgive as I hope others will forgive me?___Explain.
9-10: Why is it important to be able to forgive (myself and/or another) first before offering amends?
9-11: Are there people on my Step Eight list who have harmed me in such a way that I am not ready or able to make any amends toward them?___________Explain.
9-12: As I make amends, how does it affect my commitment to a continuous process of change?
9-13: How am I able to rely on my Higher Power to reassure me that I will be alright after I offer an amends that required some sacrifice on my part?
9-14: Am I clear about the purpose of Step Nine?______Explain.
9-15: How has the lack of amends-making in my life hindered my recovery process?
9-16: What are my expectations for how the other person will react to my gesture?
9-17: With which persons do I expect this Step to go well, which challenging, which risky? Describe why for each person.
9-18: After a sincere amends is offered, but rejected, how can I handle it or decide what to do then?
9-19: In each situation, am I clear about what I am willing to do, and not do, in order to rectify the damage done?__________Explain.
9-20: As I make amends am I experiencing emotional burdens being lifted? Describe.
9-21: In what ways am I experiencing a new sense of freedom?
9-22: What am I doing to maintain my commitment to continue to make amends?
9-23: How will I change (amend) my behavior toward each person once I apologize and acknowledge my responsibility?
9-24: How will I make indirect, anonymous, or living amends to address those situations where direct amends are not possible or appropriate? Describe for each person, group, or place.
9-25: How will I go about making amends to myself?
Except when to do so would injure them or others is an important element to this Step. Our sponsors and Higher Power can be valuable guides as we make these judgments. As stated in Step Eight in preparation for Nine—this process is neither intended to be an emotional dumping to unburden ourselves at the expense of others, nor done with a brutal honesty that could cause further harm. In our humility, we know we could make mistakes. There can always be risks, so we must always be prepared to make further apologies and remain clear about our intentions.
9-26: What clarity do I have, person by person, that assesses my amends will not do further harm?
9-27: What are the risks of doing more harm to anyone involved in the amends I am about to make?
9-28: Have I reviewed my plans with my sponsor, my Higher Power, and/or another
person I trust regarding particular amends?_____What have I learned as a result of