During addiction recovery, there is a strong emphasis put on the process of making amends. Making amends is more than just offering apologies, it is restoring justice for the wrongs you have done to others.
This could be mean fixing something you’ve broken, paying back the money you owe or volunteering your time towards a good deed. Some amends may only require one act, while others may require more time, in order to prove how serious an addict is about fixing the relationships they’ve broken.
Recovering addicts should always be sure to take part in this step of their process, since it helps to repair damage to themselves, as well as to those they’ve hurt. The benefits of making amends during recovery are critical to a full and healthy recovery.
Allows for Closure
Depending on the individual, there may be a lot of people who have been hurt by the negative decisions of an addict. During recovery, most people experience a clearer head and a greater resolve, which demands that they go back and fix what they have broken.
Making amends can help recovering addicts resolve their guilt and shame for previous behaviour; it may also help them to avoid relapse, had they kept those negative feelings bottled inside.
It is also important to make amends, so that those who have been affected by an addict’s choices can also find their own closure.
Creates Positive Self-Esteem
Addicts who can admit to their mistakes and make amends for them, may experience feelings of confidence and increased self-esteem as a result of their mature actions.
Following through with actions that are scary but rewarding can help addicts to appreciate those rewarding feelings of making good decisions that will benefit others.
Restoration of Trust
Individuals who struggle with substance abuse often lie to friends and family about many things. They may lie about how much they’ve had, where they’ve been or how they’ve spent their money.
It is common for addicts to be untrustworthy, and for friends and family to stop relying on them to maintain their responsibilities. One of the benefits of making amends during recovery, is being able to reach out to those whose trust has been broken, and proving to them that they can rely on you the way they used to.
This step often takes longer than others; some people will need more time to witness your determination and sobriety before they can trust you fully.
Stress and anxiety are two of the main culprits for relapse. When an addict feels overwhelmed or anxious during recovery, they may try to calm their nerves by turning to substances that make them feel relaxed or euphoric.
Getting rid of triggers can help to fight relapse, and this includes removing things that cause stress. For those addicts who feel anxiety about their previous actions towards others, making amends can help to ease these feelings and keep them focused on their recovery.
There are many benefits of making amends during recovery, and one of the best results is that an addict’s support system grows as they repair those old relationships. If you or someone you know is nervous about making amends, remind them of these benefits; in the long-run, these moments of humility will go a long way.