The Ninth Step


Every one has probably seen scenes in movies where an alcoholic in AA is making “amends” to those harmed while drinking. Making amends has a very skewed definition in the normal world. Most people think it means to grovel on the ground and say “I’m sorry” and spend the rest of your days making up for your mistake.

We learn in AA, it is not always the best thing to spill all our apologies and become some one’s quintessential guilt slave for the rest of our lives. This kind of amends only creates more dysfunction and saying “I’m sorry” only makes you feel better. What good has that done the person you have harmed if you don’t change your behavior? Apologies can be empty words.

The definition of amends is change. 

The 9th step says,

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

So, we don’t go to a department store and say, “Hey, I’m sorry I stole a bunch of things from your store ten years ago.”

You’ll probably end up in jail. But we can go to that store and buy some thing for the same amount stolen and donate it to a homeless shelter.

If we gossiped about some one we can change our behavior by stopping gossip and maybe say some thing nice about that person we talked harshly about or wish for that person all the happiness in the world. Or perhaps you lied to someone. Maybe stopping lying is a good solution. Never lying again may work. Telling the truth may harm them more than simply changing your behavior.

Of course it is better to tell the truth in some situations. It all depends on the situation and how good of a liar and thief you are. LOL

This is something to be discussed with a sponsor or a friend or some one who can help you decide the best way to change every thing for the better. Behavior is hard to change, but it is the only way to really get sober. We act out of fear, control, greed, guilt and shame and that can really be harmful, but making ourselves feel better by saying I”m sorry and not changing is the biggest joke.

That is the cool thing about AA is there are no right or wrong ways to do it. The steps are suggestions, not rules.

The main thing is if ya got a problem with drinking, DON”T DRINK.

It does get better.

There is so much hope in AA and so many miracles!

Keep Coming back Y’all

There are a lot of creative ways to make amends.

The amends can be simple. It doesn’t have to be a grovel act.

All Apologies

Unplugged Nirvana 1993



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