The disease of addiction makes sufferers act in careless and hurtful ways to others. Though there’s no way to undo their actions, a person in recovery can seek to make amends with those they’ve wronged. When is the best time for addicts to apologize to people they’ve hurt?
Everyone’s recovery process is different, so there’s no definitive answer to this question. However, you can benefit from considering where you are in your recovery and how equipped you are to make things right.
Before we look at making amends as part of a 12-step program and the potential best time for addicts to apologize, let’s look at why apologies are necessary and who people in recovery should reach out to.
Why You Should Make Amends
Recognizing the ways in which your words and actions have caused others suffering is an essential part of recovery. Knowing how you’ve wronged people helps you avoid making the same mistakes going forward. It also helps you come to terms with the fact that you are not your disease. Addiction might have led you to act in hurtful ways, but it doesn’t need to define who you are.
Making amends is about doing right by the people you’ve let down. It’s both a practical way to balance the scales of your past actions and a spiritual pursuit to lessen the burden you carry in recovery. When you accept the implications of your hurtful behavior, you are doing more than just apologizing. Making amends is for your benefit and the benefit of the people you’ve wronged.
Who Should Addicts Apologize To?
Before someone in recovery seeks to make things right, they must first determine who they’ve wronged through their words and actions. This requires contemplation and reflection. Step eight of the 12 steps is all about figuring out who you’ve hurt, so you can then begin the process of making amends.
It’s important to note that the 12 steps often require revisiting steps you’ve taken. You might make amends with certain people you’ve wronged, only to later realize others you caused harm while your disease controlled your life. In other words, it’s an ongoing process that you will undertake as you grow in your recovery.
Step Nine: Making Amends
The ninth step of the 12-step program is all about doing your best to address your past actions. The timing of this step is different for everyone. It’s very likely that you will talk at length with sponsors, counselors or spiritual advisers to determine the best time to begin this step.
A 12-step program is not the only available path to recovery, but making amends is still a critical part of the process even for those who are on a different path. If you aren’t in a 12-step program, but you still want to apologize to the people you’ve hurt, you can rely on several resources for guidance on the timing of your apologies. You’ll likely find guidance in the advice of others and your own intuitions.
When is the Best Time for Addicts to Apologize?
There’s no single best time for addicts to apologize. It’s likely that you will arrive at this part of the recovery process in your own time. Making amends is not an easy process, so you must find a balance between your own state of mind and the need to address your past mistakes.
You don’t need to begin making amends if you’ve just started the process of recovery. However, you also don’t want to delay the process by using the excuse that you’re not ready. A person in recovery could tell themselves that the time isn’t right to justify their procrastination in making amends.
Speak to your counselors and sponsors about the right time to start making amends. They’ll be able to provide insight that you would not be able to achieve on your own.
When Should You Not Apologize to Those You’ve Wronged?
An important caveat of Step Nine is not causing someone further injury simply to make yourself feel better. You might have certain situations where attempting to apologize or right a previous wrong would only cause someone more suffering. You never want to use this as an excuse not to make amends where one is necessary, but you should be mindful of how your attempts might affect others.
In cases where a direct apology isn’t possible, you can still take other actions to make amends. For example, you might consider donating time or money to a charity related to your past actions. Again, rely on your counselors and conscience to figure out the wisest path. The best time for addicts to apologize is when they’re ready, so be deliberate in your decision.
If You’re Ready to Start Your Journey, Contact BRC Recovery Today
At BRC Recovery, we know how difficult the process of recovery might seem. We help people that believe they are treatment resistant. We know that no one is beyond help. If you’d like to learn more about our services, we encourage you to contact our team today by calling 1-866-905-4550.