Step Nine

Made Direct Amends

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

Ideas found in the chapter on Step Nine are:

  • Need for good judgment, timing, courage, and prudence
  • Some amends can be made soon, others never by direct contact
  • You may need to wait several weeks or even longer
  • Maintain proper attitudes to avoid getting off track
  • Don’t talk prudence while practicing evasion
  • Avoid full disclosure only when they or others would be seriously harmed
  • Suggestions for whether and how to make amends


Step Nine is a real freedom step. Although it is often hard to swallow your pride and apologize, it is almost always accompanied by a feeling of a burden being lifted from your shoulders. Other amends may require paying back money or some hard work to do whatever is necessary to make the amends. These, too, bring a feeling of self-confidence and self-esteem when you know that you are clearing the baggage of your past behavior.

Making arrangements Actually, you don’t have to complete the amends before realizing considerable benefit from it. A debt, for example, does not have to be paid off before Step Nine does its magic. Most of your Ninth Step happens when you own up to the debt and arrange to pay it. Even if that repayment takes years, you can go on with your recovery in the meantime.

Again, you don’t have to do this step alone. You have your Higher Power or Program and others to help. It is foolish, in fact, to think that you can or should do it by yourself.

Step Nine, see also: Amends, Delusion, Fear, Forgiveness, Guilt & shame, Incest, Program, Relationships, Resentments, Step Eight, Step Ten.

Updated 11 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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