Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Step Nine.

"Made directs amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."

When I was doing this Step for the first time, my ego was telling me that almost everyone on my list was covered by the second part of the Step, so I didn't need to make amends to that person, or that person, or that person, or...anyone much, really!

I was very entertaining for my first sponsor. She was British, and didn't mince words. When I was finished my little recital, she looked me directly in the eye, smiled sweetly, and replied:

Considerably chagrined, I started again at the top of my list, and we picked out those I felt I could make an amend to immediately. That was followed by those I was afraid might reject my amend, so for those people, I needed to prepare myself - pray, and work to let go of the outcome.

That left a few (a small few) with whom I'd lost touch through one of us moving, or had been estranged from for so many years that the idea of contacting them filled me with dread.

The latter I set aside, and began making my amends. I was amazed at how many were accepted either with astonished laughter - I'd been worrying for years over that? Or a gracious thankyou for my having the courage to make the amend - that response invariably made tears spring to my eyes.

I always made it very clear at the start of the amend that I was not doing this in an effort to resurrect the relationship if the other person was not so inclined. I'd made my peace with that possibility, and in some cases, that's how it went. Others were willing to be friends again.

One met my amend with anger as fresh as the day I'd wronged them. That was excruciating, since I felt it necessary to sit and listen, without defending or rationalising or justifying. My amend was summarily rejected. I had to accept that I'd made my amend in good faith, and I needed to let go of the outcome; that's always in God's hands, not mine.

A few amends, I made with my sponsor standing in for the person I had wronged.

My amends to myself, I made sitting quietly at my kitchen table, during a time when I was home alone.

When I finished doing Step Nine, I was emotionally exhausted, and at the same time, strangely exhilarated - my guilt was gone. (I promptly began manufacturing some more, since I have that type of personality, and that's why I'm still in Al-Anon.)


  1. I love the way you describe doing step 9. I think this will be helpful for many who have not taken this step yet.

    Also, love the picture of the flower at the beginning of this blog.


  2. This step was much harder to think about than to actually do. I think that I worried more about it and then found out that once I just trusted in my HP, I could accept what came from the other person when I made the amends.