Making Amends Re-Entering Society after Prison

Making Amends Re-Entering Society After Prison

I’m a 12-step program girl in recovery from my addiction.

The best thing I can think of to help her is to share 12-step work info.

My sweet precious daughter is about to get released after three years in Federal Prison.
She is a short-timer now, with less than a month to go.

We have been through this in the past.
My daughter has been in prison before.

She has had release dates in the past.

As of yet, it hasn’t worked out.
The sentence ending date was delayed due to some new infraction.
She made it into a halfway house for a short amount of time but had to return, not yet to get to live on her own out of the halfway houses.

The 8th Step

The 8th step is about making a list of the people we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all.

We make direct amends when we get to the 9th step, but at the 8th step juncture,
we just make a list. We tell ourselves – one step at a time, numbered for a reason.

My effort is to write to her every day at this point.
I attend my AA meetings regularly; they keep me straight.
Yesterday at my meeting I heard, “Expectations are resentments under construction.”
Profound, I want to share this wisdom.
We get sober, then work the steps, to get in the position to ask ourselves philosophical questions. “Are my words kind?  Are my actions honest?”

Making Amends

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed
and became willing to make amends to them all.”
AA Big Book pg 76.

I kept a notebook by my bed to write names of people to whom I owed amends.

The goal is to repair the damage done in the past.
The persons you have harmed (emotionally, physically, sexually, relationally, etc).  Explain the side-effects that resulted from the harm you caused. Example: “My son doesn’t trust me now”.         What harm affected the person?

Who Have You Harmed?

From the list, write down the person’s names whom you are willing to make direct amends.

Now, write the person’s name whom you are NOT willing to make direct amends.
Person Harmed Briefly explain why you are NOT willing to make amends.


Clean up the past

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pg 77-78

The greatest peace, partnership, and brotherhood with all men
and women, of whatever description, is a moving and fascinating adventure.
Every A.A. has found that he can make little headway in this new adventure of living
of the human wreckage, he has left in his wake.
To a degree, he has already done this when taking the 4th step moral inventory, but now at the 8th Step, the time has come when he ought to redouble his efforts to see how many people he has hurt, and in what ways.
This reopening of emotional wounds, some old, some perhaps forgotten, and some still painfully festering, will at first look like a purposeless and pointless piece of surgery. But then the great advantages of doing this will so quickly reveal
themselves that the pain will be lessened as one obstacle after another melts away.”


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