For years of my sobriety, I thought I was doing something wrong because I wasn’t able to put all the pieces back together perfectly as quickly as I thought they needed to. I thought maybe I was doing recovery wrong. I even thought that may have put my sobriety in jeopardy by not being able to complete amends I wanted to.

While I was coming from a place of genuine desire to right my wrongs, I was ultimately falling into the trap that I needed to make things look good for myself. There is no failing at amends unless you are unwilling to make them. There are certain situations where people are unable to be found, people may still rightfully resent us or people may just want to move on without discussion. Actions speak louder than words in all situations. I can have a tearful conversation with someone but if I go into the world and repeat my behavior, I’m just going to further the harm I’ve done.

This is why a thorough 4th-7th step is required to recognize the harm I’m doing, why and what I gain from it. If I don’t know why I’m holding onto a belief or behavior, I’m not going to be able to recognize in my daily life how to live without it. I won’t be able to take it to God because I can’t even see it.

In my experience, amends are one of the trickiest parts of living the steps and the most rewarding. My alcoholism took the biggest toll on my relationships so being given the chance to repair or create new ones is one of the biggests gifts of my sobriety. I’m finally able to be eye-to-eye with the world.

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