Step 9-Amends Are Changes Not Apologies

“Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Step 9

Many people find this step… challenging. Fortunately, in CoDA, we have a method for making amends.

  • Acknowledge our harmful behavior.
  • Acknowledge the other person’s feelings in the matter.
  • Follow that with a change in our own behavior.

It helped me to hear someone say at a meeting, “you don’t apologize to the Constitution, you amend it”. That illustrated that the amends I make are not just simply the “I’m sorry” kind. Although an apology might happen, the critical part is the change I’m making in my behavior.

The previous Steps and CoDA’s Recovery Patterns of Codependence help me get ready for change because change is hard for me. Sometimes the amends come as changes in how I show up with others but a lot of my amends involve changes in how I show up for myself. Can I turn self-judgement into self-compassion? Can self-blame become self-forgiveness? Can my old behaviors transform into new, healthier ones? With my Higher Power’s help the answer can be yes! It is with my Higher Power’s help, because I could not do this by my own will alone.

One change I’ve noticed recently is that I am considering my interests and feelings when asked to participate in another’s plans. The act of listening to and valuing myself in this way is an amend to me. In the past, I would drop what I was doing or wanted because in my codependence, the other person was more important to please than myself. If you are happy, then I am safe. People pleasing was a survival mechanism growing up and it no longer serves me in relationships. In fact, it hurts me. This amend is a long time in coming. Through the power of the program and my own inner healing work, I am now free.

In this moment, I trust my Higher Power to guide me in making sincere
and honest amends. In this moment, I experience my gratitude for
Co-Dependents Anonymous and the Twelve Steps of recovery, knowing
that as I am willing to live this program, share the fellowship,
and walk with God, I am free.

Step 9 Prayer

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