One of the telltale symptoms of alcohol or drug addiction is behaving in ways that go against your personal values and standards. That's why the Twelve Step recovery process includes the practice of recognizing how your behavior has harmed others and seeking to repair the mistakes and damage caused during your active addiction. Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Making Amends in Addiction Recovery
A Letter of Amends
An alcoholic amends letter is based on step nine of the Alcoholics Anonymous step program. Grounded in faith and personal responsibility, the program helps alcoholics learn to achieve and maintain sobriety. If you currently have a sponsor and membership in an AA group, consider working together to write your amends letters. In step eight, you make a list of the people you harmed and become willing to make amends. In step nine, you make direct amends to those people, unless it would be more harmful to do so. When you stopped drinking, you stopped the behaviors that caused harm.
A Letter of Amends
Today I read the completed amends letter to my ex-husband that I started in front of the group in April at The School. I feel profoundly grateful and at peace. I wrote and read the letter with peace as my only motive. Eight months ago I could only feel resentment, bitterness and rage. I had been having daily thoughts of suicide for over two years from the hopelessness and despair.
I am writing this letter of amends in hopes that it will give you strength and encouragement. It is what I had intended to give to you all along but I failed miserably. It is a shame that you had to seek it elsewhere because I did not give it to you. I hope this helps to heal your soul to know that I understand how I affected you. I behaved in a self centered, manipulative, selfish, and unkind manner.