"We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them and others."

This is quite simple when we approach with an attitude of positive expectancy. This is the last of the cleansing and releasing step. Many doors in our recovery will begin to open for us after we complete this step. Our growth will astound us. Knowing this alone can give us an attitude of positive expectancy.

We do exactly as this step says, we make direct amends to such people wherever possible. But what about those people we no longer know where they are or those we never knew who they were, all those faceless people.

Remember the first name we put on our list, our Higher Power. We can make amends through our Higher Power to all those faceless people and those we, cannot locate. The second name on our list, ourselves. A question we may ask is how do we make amends to ourselves. We must realize we started to make amends to ourselves the day we walked into N.A. We continue to make amends to ourselves as we live the steps and carry the message of N.A. to other addicts. We can never give away more than we have, because as soon as we give it away our Higher Power gives us twice as much as we gave.

The next part of the step "except when to do so would injure them or others." We must remember sometime in trying to make amends the amends themselves may injure the person you are trying to make amends to. Let me explain for instance someone you injured in your addiction by stealing from. They trusted you and never knew you stole from them. In verbally making the amends you may injure them by shocking them and causing them to have a resentment. You may want to handle this amend by anonomously reimbursing them and make your amends through your Higher Power. It is important to go over each of your amends with your Sponsor to get direction on how to make each of your amends so you don't injure them. Also, when the step refers to them and others, you are part of others. You must make sure that amends do not injure you. That would be pure irresponsibility. Again, I must stress that you go over your list one by one with your Sponsor.

One last word on your Ninth Step. Many addicts would like to justify why not to make amends. It is our disease. The step does not say others are to make amends to us. No matter what they did to us, this step tells us we are to make direct amends.

Write the answers on a separate piece of paper and return to your Sponsor.

  1. What type of attitude must we have when we do this step and why?
  2. How do we make amends to people we can't locate?
  3. Under certain circumstances can amends injure someone?
  4. Why is it important to go over your list with your Sponsor?