How Do You Craft Step 9 Amends in Writing?

Understanding Step 9 is crucial in the process of recovery in programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), reinforcing the core principle of acknowledging the harm caused by past actions and making amends. Making Step 9 amends is about repairing relationships and restoring self. It involves reaching out to individuals who have been harmed, expressing genuine regret and willingness to make things right.

This guide will offer a step-by-step assistance on how to navigate this path.

The Essence of Step 9

Step 9 is about making direct amends to those harmed, unless doing so would cause additional injury to them or others. It’s essential to carefully list out all the wrongs done, express remorse for those actions, and actively seek ways to rectify the wrongs. This means that you cannot avoid the pain but should confront the issues directly and seek a resolution.

Taking responsibility for past mistakes is vital in this step.

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Reaching Out

Amends should ideally start with you reaching out to the concerned individual. This outreach can take a myriad of forms and could either be one-on-one conversation or through letters. The simple act of reaching out, understanding their feelings and expressing genuine regret for your actions sets the process in motion.

The outreach process:

    • Write an introductory message expressing an apology for past actions.
    • Keep the message simple.
    • Give them the opportunity to accept the apology, express their feelings, or decline the outreach.
    • If there’s silence or negative response, respect it and do not pester them.

Making Direct Amends

Upon a favorable response, making direct amends should ideally be in person unless it’s unsafe or not preferred. Phone calls, video calls, or letters might work if situation demands. Conversations should be respectful and understanding, focusing on the wrong done, your genuine remorse and your commitment to making things right.

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The Process of Making Amends

This process, though tough, is essential for healing. Primarily, there are certain steps involved in this process.

    • List out the wrongs done.
    • Express remorse saying, “It was wrong of me to do those things.”
    • Ask, “Is there anything I can do to begin to make this right?”
    • Listen to their response without arguing.
    • Agree to do whatever they propose, within reason.
    • Ask if you’ve overlooked anything, and repeat these steps if you have.

Types of Amends

Amends can typically be Direct, Indirect, or Living. Direct amends are those made to the person you have harmed, whereas Indirect Amends refer to situations where direct approach isn’t feasible or suitable. Indirect amends could be acts of kindness to others.

Finally, Living Amends are simply embodying sobriety and being a better person.

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Understanding Reactions

Those you’re seeking to make amends with might react in unexpected ways. Some may appreciate your effort, while others might be dismissive. It’s important to focus on your path of recovery and peace, regardless of their reaction.


Making Step 9 amends is a courageous and meaningful action towards recovery. It strengthens relationships while restoring individual peace and self-worth. Despite its challenges, the step symbolizes personal growth, representing a tangible shift from past negative actions towards a future of sobriety and rectitude. Bear in mind that you may not be able to perfectly reconcile every past wrong, but your honest initiative to make things right is a monumental step in your journey towards recovery. Your willingness to make amends signifies your commitment to changing the course of your life.

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