September 5: Step Nine

Hello ladies of GROW. Welcome again to newcomers and/or those who are returning. This week’s meeting is focusing on Step 9.

Step 9 –“Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

The prior steps to me help get me “ready” for making amends (step 9). In my experience step 4 helped me identify the people that I caused harm to and showed me the harm or wrongs that I created in my drinking days. Step 8 helped me to become willing. I would like to share that when I first came to the rooms of AA I thought my list of amends would be very short because I thought and felt that I did not cause harm-I thought that the harm was done to me. Well, that view changed as I came to meetings, sought outside help, and talked with people in recovery. As time passed and wounds started to heal, I saw what I did, to whom I did things too and it was and sometimes is still hard to look at but a necessary task to keep growing in my recovery.

The Big Book and 12 by 12 teaches us that the purpose of Step 9 is to take action and make amends to those that we have harmed with our drinking. This step will provide us with peace of mind, relief and liberation from the chains of regret. In addition, I also learned that an amends is not an apology.  An amends is a clear and purposeful act designed to clear up a problem from the past. Finally, I learned that there are three types of amends (direct amends, indirect amends and living amends) to talk out each amends before I take action as well as decide which way the amends will be made. By talking out my amends and praying about each amends, it allows me to gain perspective on the nature of the amends as well as stay focused on what I am supposed to be doing. I have to keep that focus on what I have done, not what the other person may have done or said, which is not always easy to do. It is so easy for me to flip and say look at what he or she did or say, meaning I am pointing my finger at that person or situation. I was once told if I am pointing my finger out at someone or something else, I have three pointing in my direction which helps me slow down, take a step back and use the tools of the program to keep me in my lane and live the life in the light of my HP.

I can share that today in my recovery I am open to making amends and a few years ago I ran into my assistant principal who I did not have on my list but the moment I saw this person I knew I needed to meet so I could address my past actions. We did meet and had a positive interaction. My point in sharing this was that today I can see when the opportunity presented itself several years ago I cannot say with confidence that I would have recognized the gift my HP presented me with.

Each day I pray and want to stay open and willing to trudge the road of recovery which allows me to not regret the past, which I do not today and I have no desire to shut the door on the past because these experiences make me who I am today.

Thank you for listening to my share and please share how you work step nine in your recovery and/or share what is on your heart.

Wish you all another 24 hours of sobriety,


Mary O