3 Types of Amends In Step 9 That Can Heal Past Wounds

Our common welfare depends on DA unity

Thought for today:

It’s embarrassing to have to admit when we are wrong.  It blows our image of ourselves.  But better to suffer a little embarrassment if it helps maintain our solvency and serenity in the long run.

DA Step 9:

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

A member shares:

“I went through my Eighth Step list with my Sponsor, who helped me rule out people who I didn’t owe an amend to, and who helped me plan when and how to make amends to those who were left.

“Of course there were financial amends to family and creditors that had to be planned.  But there were other amends I needed to consider – those of the emotional variety.

“All my relationships had suffered from past behavior and after discussing this with my sponsor, I realized that I had to be willing to apologize. I had been hyper-critical of one person without reason, and I went to that person and said I was sorry.  I had neglected my job and needed to redouble my effort to put in a full day’s work.   I had neglected my family and started planning quality time with them instead.

“I had to be willing to make amends to myself as well.  Too often I neglected sleep. I had lost the ability to have fun.  I had to start taking care of myself as much as anyone else.

“Sometimes, amends had to be made over time.  Other times, direct amends were not possible at all.  That’s why the step says ‘wherever possible’.

“The step also says ‘… except when to do so would injure…’  Sometimes old hurts needed to be left alone.  My sponsor helped me handle these through channeling my energies to heal.

Step Nine brought harmony and healing back into my life.”

Healing and harmony can return:

If we aren’t willing to make amends, we will repeat the mistakes of yesterday.  We need the help of our sponsor, for we need someone in DA who knows what we are trying to carry out.

When we are ready, we make direct amends:

  • First, we set out to correct our behavior wherever necessary.  After all, when they make an Amendment to the Constitution, it is primarily a correction to an older law.
  • Second, we apologize if an apology would help.  This can help heal the other person’s spirit, which is what we are trying to encourage.
  • Third, we express our willingness to make financial restitution if our harm was of a financial sort.  Neglected debts can be repaid over time payments if our situation doesn’t allow full payment right away.  This can be humbling – but that’s ok.  We do what we can when we can.


“Have I made amends with my DA sponsor‘s help?”

Meditation for today:

When we can reconcile an old grievance we heal ourselves as well as the other person.  We become freer as we build bridges to healing.

Affirmation for today:

“Just for this day, I will face my life with courage.  With the help of DA and my Higher Power, I have what I need to live through whatever this day brings.” *

* From DA’s “Just For This Day” bookmark – literature P-129.

Recommended reading:  

See our Fourth Step Template which helps us to take a fearless moral inventory.

Some members, with the help of their Pressure Relief Group, take a moratorium from debt payments in order to get their spending under control.  See this Debt Moratorium sample letter to creditors for one example.

For a detailed analysis of all the Twelve Steps, read Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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