Step 9

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

In the ninth step, we are actually going through the essential process of making our amends to those we have harmed in the past. We’ll pay back debts, present our apologies, and admit our wrongs to the people we have hurt as a result of our poor choices. Sometimes, people will be glad to see our maturity. However, sometimes they won’t, so we have to be ready for whatever the response may be… but we cannot delay our amends because of fear, embarrassment, or anticipation of the person’s reaction.

The most common form of amends is the old-fashioned, sincere apology.

Amends should not trigger new hurts, so it is important to make amends with sincerity, honesty, patience, and directness. This step also warns us to use some discretion in making amends to people if bringing up the injury would cause additional harms. In these cases, indirect amends may be needed or perhaps apologizing to “the empty chair” will be a good substitute. A sponsor can help you decide how to best approach amends in questionable situations.

Spiritual Connection

Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.
Romans 13:8