Step 9: Do I Have Any Rights When I Make Amends?

Helping hands, care for the elderly concept

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

For many individuals recovering from addiction, the twelve step process of recovery offers a practical guide for working through the many different issues that have resulted from addiction.

lady making clay potFor those following the twelve steps towards addiction recovery, it is essential to work through each aspect of this journey to find healing within and with others.

Step nine of the twelve step process read: “Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others”.

Damaged relationships

This is definitely a step that takes considerable time, effort, clarity and judgment, as the damage that has often incurred in relationships as a result of addiction can be extensive and complex.

When working through this important step for addiction recovery, it is crucial to understand that there may be some individuals with whom you can only make partial restitution, and yet others whom which you will never be able to make direct contact with at all.

Having realistic expectations about the possible scenarios you may encounter can help you better adjust your expectations when beginning this process.

As a person who is attempting to make amends with others, you need to be prepared for a wide range of responses – from acceptance and praise to skeptical reception to anger and more.

The process is necessary

Embrace a loving couple outdoorsUltimately, the process in itself is helpful and necessary for healing and achieving a sense of relief from your past. These are the “rights” that you might come to expect throughout the process of making amends with others.

As a human being, we all have rights in terms of being nurtured, respected, and loved.

If you have encountered an individual who is belligerent or angry towards you as you seek to make amends, know that you do not need to tolerate abusive behavior or remain in a situation that may be potentially dangerous to your well being.

Maintaining your integrity is crucial while also having an open mind towards the various reactions that may be involved with the process of making amends with others.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you been in a situation where someone reacted angrily towards you when attempting to make amends? If so, how did you work through this situation?

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 24, 2015
Published on

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.