This is Step 9 in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step recovery fellowships. These amends are carried out based on the list constructed while doing Step 8. This step is fairly self-explanatory, however there are a few things to consider.
  • Even if the other party was also somehow at fault, the one making the amends has no business addressing the other party's wrong(s).
  • There will simply be some situations in which it is unsafe or impossible to make direct ammends. In cases such as these alternative methods can be taken.
  • Do not place expectations upon the making of amends: some will not be recieved as graciously as others.
  • Some times the best amends one can make is to simply stay away from those who he/she has seriously harmed, and to not inflict those same harms upon others.


This nodeshell was rescued independently from the NRT

Step 9 of the Twelve Step program. It is heavily advised in the program that Step 9 not be carried out without the consultation of one’s sponsor or spiritual advisor because this step requires a good amount of work, nuance, and possible risk.   For the same reasons, Step 9 is often considered one of the most intimidating steps. The logic behind Step 9 is that if an individual does not make direct amends to the people they have harmed in their past, then such unhandled psychological burdens may later push a person to drink or relapse. Step 9 can undoubtedly be a huge, cathartic step in a person’s recovery, but it also seems to be a product of a boiled down philosophy at the core of the 12-step program, which assumes an individual’s problematic past can somehow be “righted” in a way not dissimilar to balancing out a spreadsheet.

As a perfect example of a Step 9 performed incorrectly, in the latest season of the IFC show Maron, Marc returns to a former drug dealer’s place to apologize for a missing sum of money. The scene ends with Marc’s dad robbing the drug dealer—as the dealer and the father argue over whether or not Marc was an addict before making the dealer’s acquaintance. 

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