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Post Info TOPIC: STEP NINE - Al-Anon


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Step Nine - Made direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

From: Paths to Recovery pg. 90-91 (copyright 1997, by Al-Anon Family Headquarters, Inc. Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

In making amends, we need to understand that we are not necessarity making an apology. There are differences between amends and apologies. In making an apology we usually say "I'm sorry" expecting a response of acceptace, pardon or forgiveness. In making our amends, we may state our errors, our role in the incident and that we will correct our behavior for the future. We may or ma not ask for forgiveness, and we may or may not experience a positive response. In many cases our changed behavior indcated stronger amends than words could ever be. If we have any expectations of the response to amends, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Thank you all for the great shares on this board ad thank you John for posting this for me. Love - Dot


When I came to this Step, some of my amends had already been made in my changed behavior. However, I needed to verbalize about my actions to the people closest to me who were affected. By doing this I let them know that I realized just what actions of mine had been unacceptable. This Step made a tremendous difference in the way I felt inside. I had faced some very difficult truths and like what happened with my sponsor when I shared my Fifth Step, I was still loved and accepted.

Hugs - Dot



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  Step 9, I will be on a long, long, time.  Why?  
Because to make an amend to one person may hurt others.    I also am not ready.....even 5 years have passed and things are still coming to my awareness and realizatin of how I was behaving, acting, acting out, and how distorted my thinking had been.
    It's like I am still waking up from a bad dream yet.  I didn't think I was hurting anyone, but 'helping' myself  and perhaps I could "help" someone else see the light.   Instead I ended up hurting some others, and probably myself the worst.   Everything backfired, and I fell flat on my face.  My actions took a toll on my self respect, self esteem, and self worth.
   My thinking can still resort back in time to that very moment in time----where my distorted views reined and ruled.   weirdface If I make an amend, I have to be sure I am sincere and ready (have let it all go!  [resentment])  

If God has a hand in it, then that's love.

Senior Member

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Step Nine AA and Al-Anon

Made direct ammends whenever necessary except when to do so would injure them or others.

If I followed my program. I have already gotten my list of the names from Step 4. Then again listing them onto Step 8, on my Resentment list, my harms sheet, sex list and fears.

My lists tell me which way I am to go. Do I make a direct ammends, do I make a partial ammends, a Defered ammends, never making one so I won't injure that person, or What should I do.

I have a meeting with my Sponsor, We go over the list carefully praying for GOD's will and his devine intervention. (Following the Big Book on page 82 and 83)
When I made my first ammends years back it was face to face with my family. They were receptive but not understanding the full weight of what I was trying to do. That if I was going to stay Sober live a new life and change from the old one I had to be honest, sincere, cleaning up my side of the street. Never once criticising them for there part in anything.

I hadn't really spoken to my genetic family for a year. My Sponsors suggestion! Because of the dysfunction in my family. So it wasn't easy for them to understand my changed attitude of complete honesty, turning everything over to GOD and this new life I had. They accepted me with hesitation and forgiveness.

Letters went to some people and then some were held back and never mailed. All were prayed over. By the time I was through. I felt like I weighed 1000 lbs lighter. God was doing for me what I couldn't do for myself.

I am grateful for this program and the REcovery that I have.




Veteran Member

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Step Nine - Made direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

From: Paths to Recovery pg. 90-91 (copyright 1997, by Al-Anon Family Headquarters, Inc. Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

Hello all,

Dear Dott,

Thank you for the time and energy
you put into help here at
this site.

  Amends, all that is asked is for
is a willingness to do so, plus the
freeing idea of to have the insight
to not do so if a chance of harm
or injure may come to them or others
( to include to the self then in turn
of or under the 'other' classification /
heading in these scripts ).

  Part of the healing process is that
of drawing lines that can not be crossed,
due to whatever reason. In cases these
lines are predetermined by culture, one's
new conditioning and / or courts of law.

  And often, amends need to be made to the
self due to any of the above settings as
well, as well as the noted anticipations
due to amends Dott so clearly points out
of events that never may transpire due to
the effects of my amends. A song I love to
dance to is the gambler, 'to know when to
hold them -- know when to fold them' k. rogers.

oceans of love,

getoverit, whatever tool/s it takes


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I came to this one ready to go, and I ended up waiting, and waiting, and waiting. The reason is because personal integrity is a goal for me, and I could not do this step until I had, in my heart, not needed anything from the people who were the subject. Letting go of the outcome is a simple thing to say and maybe the most difficult thing I have ever tried to accomplish. There is no will power or concept or any form of words that helped me.

This step established concretely for me the concept of placing my behavior above the result. This step has absolutely nothing to do, in my opinion, with the other person. This step has everything to do with turning directly to my heart. What I did with the most difficult situations was to say a prayer every night wishing for the peace and serenity of the one whom I had the greatest resentment. I did it with clenched teeth for probabaly over a year (I'm stubborn) and I kept doing it even when it seemed absurd.

I felt no great relief or sense of lightening the load. I felt nothing great at all. In fact I felt downright lousy because this step, more than the others, forced me to accept and look directly at my own version of suffering. I like the phrase 'if you want to keep getting what you have always got, keep doing what you have always done.' I sort of paraphrase it to a question, 'what am I getting out of it?'

I wish all seekers of recovery patience with themselves in getting through this step and encouragement for getting to this point. It was my experience some problems I thought were behind came forward again. But I know now, in hindsight, the problems are the vehicle itself as long as I don't run from them. This step does not allow running, and if your a runner like me this step might be filled with anxiety. That's normal and can be funny if you have the inclination.

This step I feel has the greatest potential reward. It is time to regain power. Not the type displayed in moveis. Rather the power that comes from not allowing the behavior of others to determine how I am going to feel. Namaste



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Posts: 4

Step Nine: Made direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would harm them or others.

Well after reading all of the post thus far I have found pretty much the same things I have been finding out for myself that is needed to do this step.

The lists
That I needed to make amends not only to others, but VERY IMPOETANTLY to myself as well
That my family members are who they are and that may never change.

When I first started working my program I was both gung ho and full of resentments. So willingness was there, but a bit colored. I had been in and out therapy had concluded that I was carrying the weight of my family both family of origin and my own family. Again willingness faded in and out even as I continued going to meetings. So to say I had a few resentments goes without saying. When making my lists I often found myself staring off into space thinking about family members and how much they would benefit from the process I was going through. (chuckling) Boundaries? As an incest survivor all I knew where enmeshment or walls. I didn't have a clue. I read and read, I listened in meetings and still my ability to embrace this concept eluded me. To me love equaled enmeshment.

Then I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing Pia Melodey's description of a boundary being like a screen door, information and sharing is still able to pass through and we still have protection from what is wanted and unwanted and gave space in order to evaluate and deceied what to take in and what not to take in, and a solid door was of course is a wall nothing can get through. The light bulb came on big time. It was a moment when all I had read and heard just fell into place. Now practice was in order.

Sometime had elapsed before I got to making amends, my old friend resentment still a hold on me as I struggled with my amends. Then I came to the awareness that not only did I owe other's amends, I owed myself amends big time. I worked all twelve steps from that vantage point. With that and two of my children also coming into recovery the playing field finally seemed to be leveled and for the first time a TRUE willingness emmerged I could accept me and my frailties and my family and their frailties and see what a true amends is. Up until then I was apolgizing and expecting things would change and often they did not.....My friend resentment, oh he still comes around, but he doesn't have the same kind of influence on me as he did in fact sometimes he fades in and out to where I hardly remember how much we were joined at the hip.

Trisha Thierce-Madera


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Just wanted to express how very much I appreciate your dedication and the wisdom you provide to MIP.  Hope you are having a wonderful day!

I have made my amends, all those that I have become aware of, except for my sil.  This one is difficult for me as she is a person who works behind the scenes trying to tear my family apart.  It is my personal belief that she has a "bitter root," is very sick from having lived with an A earlier on in her life and she has never attended any recovery program.  I have prayed for my HP (God) to bless her as this is the right thing for me to do.  She is 76 years old and has been this way for most of the time I have known her. 
I am glad this is the step we are reviewing at this time.  It is time I do some serious praying and asking for guidance on this.  I am a person who likes to live at peace with all people. 

Thanks, Dot, Step 9 on this issue is deserving of my attention!hmm



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Making amends by changing my attitudes and behavior is part of my Step 9. My attitude of "people pleasing" didn't do much more than enable, and my compulsion to "fix everything" that was ruined by drinker/users occupied a lot of my time and drained my energy. I also realized that sometimes it's better to step back and not do a thing, rather than run around frantically, upset by someone. I have corrected my errors in those ways.

A major amends for me is to concentrate on helping others instead of obsessing over my own problems.

As far as my resentments, I practice an "attitude of gratitude" now and concentrate on the many positive things in life.

The wheels of change are slowly turning as far as looking at what I contributed to difficult situations. I can own up to my mistakes. My expectations of people were very unrealistic and caused me to resent some family members so much that I stopped having anything to do with them. I forgave other people who never will have anything to do with me or accept me because I set limits they didn't like.

Thank you everyone for sharing your insights and experience.


Senior Member

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Posts: 177

From: Paths to Recovery pg. 91 (copyright 1997, by Al-Anon Family Headquarters, Inc. Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

' Step Nine calls for direct amends except when to do so might cause further injury . We want to be careful that we aren't trying to achieve our personal serenity at the expense of someone else. Reviewing our intended amends with a sponsor or another Al-Anon freind helps us consider our motivation and the consequences of our indended actions '

Hi everyone thanks for all the insightful shares. I chose this reading because it illustrates something I have to watch for - doing amends/good deeds in order to be liked or seen as a 'caring person' . A hard lesson for those of us that used to base all our self worth on this way . Working through my lists , I feel this a useful addition to these explorations . I find this board very helpful and look forward to reading you all again soon ,

llol Vickyr x


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