Member: jjs
Location: pa
Date: 02 May 1999
Time: 09:52:02


Step nine was the step that I really needed my sponsor for. I just wanted to charge out nad cross people off the list I had made, not thinking much about the part where it sid except when to do so would injure them or others. Thank God she "whoa'd me up" , and made me run everything past her first. The marvelous sense of freedom that comes from making these amends, and the healed relationships are just another miracle that has happened for me by working these steps. I love my life today because of the changes wrought by these 12 steps, and the marvelous people I've had put in my life to guide me. Thanks to you all for being here, and to my Higher Power for keeping me sober again today. s mad

Member: Avril G
Location: Driffield UK
Date: 02 May 1999
Time: 17:29:43


Thanks for opening the sharing on step 9 JJS, especially for mentioning the importance of using your sponsor.

My amends list had the name of everyone I had ever known on it, since I believed that I was personally responsible for everything which ever happened in everyone else's life!! I had become a latter-day Uriah Heep, not daring to talk to anyone in case what I said upset or offended them in any way. Thanks to good sponsorship, it was pointed out that I had been victim of other people's unkind acts towards ME, and there were a number of names needing crossing off my list!! So I left my sponsors house with a much shorter list than I went in with.

What a wonderful thing hindsight is!! And I can say that with ONE exception, all of my amends have been made, and I do have the willingness to make the final amend, but the last time I was in this guys company (He is still drinking, and always violent)He had me pinned to the floor with a knife to my throat!! So not too wise of me to approach him yet! BUT, I know that if ever I was to discover that he has found recovery, which I regularly pray for, I will make the amends to him then, and I can live with that today. The amends part of our programme has wonderful spin-offs, and I never made an amend to anyone who told me to Foxtrot Oscar, and most people actually respect me for it today. I was frightened to take on this step initially, for fear of 'their reaction/retribution', but my sponsor told me "Avril, God has not saved you from drowning to allow you to be kicked to death on the beach" and guess what - She was right. I have a loving God in my life today, who I believe works through people like you, and through all the little 'coincidences' which seem to occur with increasing regularity these days.

There are so many lovely people on this Staying Cyber site, and though the chances of me meeting any of you I imagins are pretty slim, I feel as if I know you all personally, and I thank you all for being here for me.

Love You all ICQ# 36201819

Member: Joe A.   2/19/71
Location: Portland, OR
Date: 02 May 1999
Time: 21:05:35


Hi, all. Joe A. here from Portland, OR, a very grateful recovering alcoholic whose sobriety date is 2/19/71. What that means to me is that for more than 28 years now, I have been making amends to the one person who was hurt by my disease--me!

A recently-acquired insight into makind amends goes like this: to the average alcoholic, the words "I'm sorry are about as automatic and as meaningless as a burp after chug-a-lugging a bottle of beer. If that is the best you can do, why waste your time or that of the one you approach? If you have changed enough to be able to go to someone and say, "I'm sorry that happened, and with God's help it won't happen again," THAT is the real amends needed.

With God's help, I no longer abuse myself the way I used to and no longer abuse others the way that I habitually abused them.

Why do I need God's help? I can not fix my sick mind if all I have to work with is my sick mind! I need input from other minds that are not as sick as mine, and this is what I have found here in AA.

Enough for now. Until next time, I hope you will keep it in mind that God loves you and wants for you nothing but good. I can do no better than to agree with Him, so I do! Lots of love. Joe A.

Member: PattiK
Location: Woodstock
Date: 02 May 1999
Time: 22:28:25


Hi PattiK here, recovering alcoholic, very grateful. Step 9 looked like a mountain to climb until my new sponser remimded me of a couple of things, one of them Rule 62, don't take yourself so seriously, then that I needed to make amends to myself first as Joe said, and if I've forgiven myself, my shame and doubt would be resolved. She was and is right about that. She also told me not to worry about frantically running around, like a drunk, apologizing to people, that God would give me the oppurtunities to make my amends in good time. She was right about that too. The people I had most to make amends to are those I love, my family and my boyfriend of 10 years. To make amends to them is to show them that I'm not he crazy unreasonable person I was when active, and God has given me ample oppurtunity to do that. It says it in the promises--our whole attitude and outlook on life will change--mine has. I'm no longer impatient and demanding of my way, I try my best to Let go and let God. Little by little the people I love are seeing this change in me and my relationships are improving.

I am truly grateful to be a recovering alcoholic, otherwise I would never have this program or the people in it to teach me the right way to live. //and most certainly I wouldn't have God so strongly in my life to show me the right way to go. Thanks for letting me share and thank you all for being out there.

Member: BOB T
Location: St. Louis, MO
Date: 03 May 1999
Time: 16:39:41


Step 9 was where I looked into their eyes and at the same time both they and I became human beings.

Member: Geri W
Location: Va
Date: 03 May 1999
Time: 19:32:12


Geri, a very grateful alcoholic here.

Step 9 was not one that I could "finish" in the first ninety days of the program. While I doubt that I was much worse than the worst of us, there was alot of wreckage to clean up. Some of it was financial and it took several years to get all the debts paid.

My wonderful sponsor emphasied that it was the willingness that matters. That it was the starting of the actions that counted. That the amends had to be sencere and backed by actions, not just words. Lady was right.

She also told me that it was now my job to stay legal. So taxes on time, car tags, drivers license, etc in good standing. Bills paid on time or conversations with debtors with arrangements made. Heavy stuff for this alkie.

Personal amends, I had to be willing to make them as the opportunities arose. Seek out those that I could and wait for those that I couldn't find.

I didn't make any amends to me. I didn't deserve any. I had "low self esteem" because I was not worthy of more. My behavior was unacceptable and there are no excuses. Alcohol didn't do those things - I did.

I did make amends to my HP whom I chose to call God. It was His child that I hurt and humiliated. It was the perfectly human being that I was treating like a piece of dung. I had no right to do that and I asked His forgiveness and grace and He gave it to me. And because I was willing to ask for His help, I have a daily reprieve from being that awful person that I was.

Now, I have self esteem - I am a productive member of society. I contribute to my fellow human beings. And I credit God and the fellowship of AA for not having to live that life anymore.

Thanks for letting me share.

Member: Miki B
Location: Minnesota
Date: 04 May 1999
Time: 10:32:13


hey, I'm the first person on today, so I must be doing something right. 20 years ago I made a list of persons I needed to make amends to. I think that I have done that a couple times, but not lately. I wish I could say that because I am sober, I am no longer hurting other people or myself, but that's not true. I don't however do it with the wholehearted joy that I did it with when I was useing. So today I'll make a new list and see how much mopping up I have to do of the messes I have made. Meanwhile at least today I can do somethings that will keep me from haveing to make ammends tommorrow. And truly, it is still a difficult step for me.

Member: Angel R.
Location: Ossining, New York
Date: 04 May 1999
Time: 16:44:56


When I started on the 9th Step, my amends list was pretty simple. It included all of those people who were closet to me - friends, family, colleagues at work, and financial institutions. Each one of these areas were affected by my alcoholism. I cannot say with honesty that I was looking forward to making these amends because an amends means a lot more than saying "sorry." It literally means that I have to fix what I had destroyed via my alcoholism. Through my experience, I had discovered that there are just some things that cannot be fixed, like relationships for example. Wounds on both sides still haven't had enough time to heal and some egos, including my own, are still a little too swollen to let go and let God heal them. In cases like these, my sponsor suggested that I make alternative amends since making direct ones will harm both parties. That suggestion have saved my sanity and sobriety on many an occasion. I hope that this helps. Thank you for letting me share.

Member: Kris
Location: Parkersburg, WV.
Date: 04 May 1999
Time: 17:53:38


Step nine was a major step for me. After I first started to AA, I was scared of this step in particular. I think the main reason was because I didn't want to get honest with those I had hurt much less take responsibility for my actions. Boy was I relieved to find out that the steps were taken in order and I was only on Step one! I remember my sponsor telling me that when the time came to do step nine I would be willing to go to any length. Of course she was right. Step nine opened up a door for me that helped me get to know myself and also helped me change things that I knew but didn't like. I am a true believer in applying the Twelve Steps to my daily living, but I also believe they must be applied in order (GOD= Good Orderly Direction) and my Higher Power usually puts things in my path to remind me to follow the order. Hang in there everybody!


Member: Liz E.
Location: Southeast TN
Date: 05 May 1999
Time: 13:31:20


Hi, my name is Liz and I am an alcoholic! By the grace of God and a fellowship of people I do believe love me, I'm sober and for that I am grateful! I still have in my possession my list of amends. Made some and others I have been reluctant. What I found out was that "wherever" meant that God would prepare the place, all I needed was the willingness. I found that staying sober is an amends to myself and to others also. I found that a "demonstration of goodwill" is more than some lip service. I try not to sweat the small stuff and aimlessly rush out to "complete my list". I take it one day at a time, keep it simple, live and let live, one day at a time. Thanks for the topic!

Member: Joe A.   2/19/71
Location: Portland, OR
Date: 05 May 1999
Time: 21:18:05


Hi again, everyone. Joe A. back again.

How important do I consider the amends step? My entire approach to the AA program revolves around the Ninth Step. Why?

Some time ago, I read a "different" approach to this Step that made complete sense to me at the time, and still does. Here is how the argument goes:

To the average alcoholic, the words "I'm sorry" are about as automatic and as meaningless as a burp after chug-a-lugging a bottle of beer. If that is the best you can do, why waste your time or that of anyone else. If, however, you have changed enough through the first seven Steps that you can go to someone and say, "I'm sorry. I wish that hadn't happened, and with God's help it will not happen again," THAT is the really effective amends.

With God's help, I no longer abuse myself as I did habitually, and also, with God's help, I no longer abuse other people the way I did prior to coming to AA and learning a more productive way of life.

As I see it, when I go another day without a drink, I am being very good to me, and I have, by the Grace of God, made amends to myself more than 10,000 times. Every time that I have gone to an AA meeting, I have made amends to myself also (more than 11,000 times!). When I share my experience, strength and hope with others, I also make amends to myself, because I am a slow learner and a fast forgetter. When I share like this, I keep myself reminded of the principles that have worked so effectively in my life. This is like a tennis game--if you use my ideas, you do not add any stars to my crown. If you do not, it's no skin off my nose. These things still work for me!

What I consider the most important sentence in AA literature can be found in the Fifth Chapeter of the Big Book: "Some of us tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go ab-so-lute-ly." Here are some of the most destructive of these old ideas in my life:

I was lied to as a child (and I'll bet you were, too). Being a very small child without enough experience to tell the difference between the truth and B.S., I believed these lies and later told them thinking they were the truth. Here are some of the most destructive of those lies:

"You made me angry." "You hurt my feelings." You disappoint me." "You embarrass me." And so on and on and on ad infinitum.

The fact turns out to be that you do not have the CAPACITY to do any of these things to me! I do them to myself! These are all MY reactions! When I react in these ways, I abuse myself. With God's help, I have learned to stop abusing myself in these ways.

The most important and lasting lessons in life are learned early, starting even before we have language, laying in our cradles watching those marvelous big people who can sing and dance and turn on the lights and do all those wonderful things we cannot do. We learn "monkey-see, monkey-do." I grew up in an environment where people were reacting to life in very self- destructive ways, and, thinking that I was doing the correct things, I copied them. Once again, with God's help, I no longer react to people, places, things, events, occasions, etc. the way that I used to.

There is much more than this, but maybe you can get an idea of where my comments come from when I share.

Until next time, I hope you always remember that God loves you and wants for you nothing but good. I cannot improve on God, only agree with Him, and I most certainly do that!

Keep on making amends to yourselves, please!

Member: RichB.
Location: Pa.
Date: 06 May 1999
Time: 09:00:52


Rich B.Addict/Alcoholic,I'm on step8. I've been reluctant because in my addiction I robbed drugs from a place I was working as a nurse.I'm not even sure the place is still in business but if it is I know I need to make some type of amends. It scares me I don't want to go to jail in soberity! I'ts been 6 years but it still scares me.As always I welcome any feedback.

Member: Jean-Claude T.
Location: Belgium
Date: 06 May 1999
Time: 13:03:22


My name is JC and I'm an alcoholic. Making amends, OK by me. I didn't have much problem with it. Then I realised that, if I made an amend to my wife (why her? Just 'cos it's the best example I can find) for the nonsense I did while my drinkin' period, it was a bit silly of me to act the same way while being sober (or at least abstinent of alcohol). I have to work the Program the best I can, one day at a time, not to go back to my ancient ways of thinking and hurting people. It took me some time to become a more "human" being. I'm far from perfect, but, one day at a time, .... Thanks for letting me share.

Member: Roy S.
Date: 06 May 1999
Time: 20:58:38


Step 9 was truly a difficult step for me because it meant actually making an amends. I liked what I heard earlier about saying "I'm sorry" being commonplace, but not really FEELING it. That described me perfectly. I was always saying I'm sorry, but I did not feel it with my heart or try to change anything. Thank God AA gave me the opportunity to realize that. Thanks for letting me share.

Member: Rich R, slowly recovering compulsive person
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Date: 07 May 1999
Time: 14:04:34


Hi, my name is Rich and I am an alcoholic. I am having trouble with step 9. I think I need t go back to step 8. Thanks.

Member: Christine P.
Location: MN
Date: 07 May 1999
Time: 17:48:45


Christine, alcoholic/addict. The first time in the program I trully didn't have a clue about step 2-12. The second around I understood, but my only direct ammend was to myself and the people around me by staying sober. Half measures availed us nothing. I did alot of footwork on steps 1-3 and 10-12, so maybe, just maybe this will be my time to commit to those steps that I didn't make alot of effort towards. I'm willing to do whatever it takes.

I love this site!!!!

Peace to all, Christine

Member: pac man
Location: boston ma
Date: 07 May 1999
Time: 21:00:59


to, Rich R. the steps are in order for a reason. The slower the better, today's peacock is tomorrow's feather duster. One day at a time you're right on the money. everyone has some difficulty with step 9.

Member: john h
Location: abbotsford
Date: 08 May 1999
Time: 00:38:46


having been around our program long enough and having been sober since i woke up this morning, i have come to the conclusion that, for me it is best to follow this step as it is written and it just works. when the opportunity presents it's self i must do what is suggested and make my ammends and having rationalised to myself on afew occasions and suffering the consequences, i am reminded that if the opportunity is not taken up then it may be along time before comes around again and i do not need to live my life today with regreats of yesterday.

Member: John M
Location: Ventura
Date: 08 May 1999
Time: 08:35:04


My name is John and I am an alcoholic. When I was new and desperate for the AA program I looked forward to doing the steps but 9 has always been the most difficult for me. My relationship with god, myself and the fellowship is good but many old friends and family members have been neglected by me. Mostly I think I'm still a little embarrassed by my weakness to alcohol and did not look forward to telling some poeple face to face that I'm an alcoholic. Some of my amends went well as I simply asked the people if there was anything I could do for them to rectify the situation. But with a couple of old friends and my brother I have a mental block that prevents me from being straightforward with them. Clearly I have made enough progress to stay sober and live a good life but I look forward to gaining enough insight to make those remaining amends.

Member: Jack C wanderers 3
Location: Friendship Wi
Date: 08 May 1999
Time: 15:11:30


Hello everybody---Jack C from wanderers three here, and I am an alcoholic. Ihad to find out the hard way that I was not to injure them or others, which include myself. Yes, I injured myself by amends that should have remained quiet and only in the prayerful stages. Live and learn, so they say. I had to learn an aweful lot in the program and am very thankful for it. I also keep learning and keep praying, one day at a time.

Member: Mary J
Location: WA
Date: 08 May 1999
Time: 18:46:52


Hi, I'm Mary and an alcoholic. We discussed this step at a meeting I was at this week.. There were many different feelings and ideas about this step. I thinks it is a step that is probably one of the more difficult steps, since you have to actually acknowledge to the people that you have hurt them. I can empathize with all of you who say you have done some amends, but have more to go. The one amend I wish I could do is for my grandfather who is dead. I wasn't mean to him while I was drinking, it was the morning after that I was spiteful. But I think he knows how sorry I am.

Member: Tom A.
Location: Carlisle, AR
Date: 08 May 1999
Time: 21:35:06


Good Evening to everyone who has posted their comments dealing with this vital Step 9.

My name is Tom A. and I am sober today my the grace of a Power greater than myself and the teaching of this program, we have come to know as Alcoholic's Anonymous. We are told that this Step, like all the rest, is vital to daily sobriety. The key phrase for me is "except when to do so would injure them or others." I try to practice this Step on a daily basis through the use of a Prayer Journal, it allows me to be aware of the need to make amends. If I don't, I will soon find myself living in RESENTMENT and we know what that can do to us!

Thanks again for being here!

Enjoy Your Sobriety Today!

God Bless - Tom A.