Will Saying I’m Sorry Do Any Good?

Before you got clean or sober, you may have done or said things you now regret. You may have deep feelings of remorse and guilt. While you put down the drink or substance, you are at a loss for how to live your life. You may feel there’s no hope for future relationships. You could feel self pity, too, and what was the point of getting sober—I’m still a bad person.

Digesting all of your feelings takes time and careful consideration. Having a therapist is a good idea because he or she can help you sort through your questions and feelings, and guide you towards acceptance. Going to group therapy or meetings is very beneficial as well. Hearing others struggling with the same self doubts and shame can make you feel less alone, or better—not alone.

Should you apologize to everyone you’ve hurt? Yes and no. There’s more to consider. Not that you wouldn’t mean what you said, but an apology is sort of a perfunctory gesture. Making amends is not only saying you’re sorry, but taking action that demonstrates you’ve changed. Make a list of every harm you caused people (Step 8 in AA’s 12-Steps). Make a plan to sit down with each person and go through the list with them (Step 9 in AA’s 12-Steps). You want to show your intention to repair the damage, not just to say you’re sorry. If you stole money, make a plan to pay it back. If you wrecked someone’s property, hire a professional to make the repairs. Your willingness and courage to face those you’ve harmed, creates the potential to repair and heal relationships.

There are times when making amends can cause someone harm. In these cases you need to leave the person alone and not attempt to make amends. They have a right to their feelings towards you, and it is your responsibility to respect their boundary. Also, be prepared for those who listen to your amends, but react with hostility or anger towards you. Making amends isn’t something you want to rush. Signing up for community service projects is a way to make amends when situations are unrepairable. Community service will not only help others, it will fuel your self-esteem.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act: the rest is merely tenacity.” Amelia Earhart

Infinity Malibu offers an environment for thoughtful contemplation and healing. Our sophisticated, experiential, holistic and empirically proven approach to recovery will leave you with methods for infinite recovery. Take your first step and call today: 855-544-0611

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