The Alcoholic Addict and Step Nine

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

“Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past we attempt to sweep away the debris, which has accumulated out of our own effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves.  If we haven’t the will to do this we ask until it comes.  Remember we agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.” -pg 76 Into Action from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

In step nine we get the opportunity to right what was once wrong and clean up our side of the street thanks to the help of places such as a Los Angeles rehab, AA or 30 day rehab programs.  We set out to clean up our wreckage, we go to people we have harmed and being careful not to cause more harm, we laid out and address our wrongdoings as well as ask how we can make it better.  This can definitely be a scary process.  No one wants to go to people and admit their faults let alone try to clean it up.  Sometimes it might seem easier to just brush it all under the rug.  After all, what if they are still angry, how will they react?  Many of us don’t want to feel bad, it’s the alcoholic’s mission to seek elevated moods and search for happiness so why would we want to rehash the past and feel guilty? For starters, this is not about them or their reactions, it is about us staying sober and being willing to go to any lengths.  Secondly, there is a freedom that comes from owning our parts and amending our behaviors.  It’s not only something that we need to do but get to do in order to be an example, so that if someone else is struggling with this disease they might know there is a place available or someone to go to for alcohol addiction help.

As it says in our responsibility statement: “When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there and for that I am responsible.”  Responsibility is not only owning our part but also going to any lengths to work the steps to the best of our ability.

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