Amends Beyond “I’m Sorry”

Of course every amend must go beyond “I’m sorry.”  Without a change, which is the definition of amend, “I’m sorry” may be just useless or, even, rather sad.

One of the first gifts of sobriety that I received was a reprieve from causing harm left, right, and sideways.  So much less to apologize for, and that can still be a relief to me if I take a minute to remember to havoc I caused.

I was at a meeting once where we were reading either “To the Employer” or maybe something about the Ninth Step.   I remember someone commenting that he would not, if it meant losing his job or going to jail, admit to some crime that wouldn’t be found out otherwise.  This man is something of what I would call a Big Book Thumper, and he actually said that this is where he parts ways with the Big Book.  He thinks the instructions about this are wrong.

I think it’s easy for those of us who are, for this moment only, of course, some years away from our last drink to say we would or wouldn’t do something to stay sober.  I also think that times have changed drastically from when the books were written, and that families, employers, and the world in general is not so forgiving of drunken behavior as it used to be.

Drastic circumstances aside, the change, the apology, the restitution – they are freeing concepts today, while the alcohol remains outside of my body and my mind.


2 thoughts on “Amends Beyond “I’m Sorry”

  1. The person at the meeting wasn’t necessarily wrong. Should he go to jail or get fired and leave his family unsupported? Not if it would harm others.(?)
    One should discuss it with his sponsor or spiritual adviser, and then do the right thing, cost what it may.
    My sponsor had a saying: “You can’t keep the money”. If I can’t pay the people I owe, I still can’t “keep the money” I have to give it away somehow else.
    I stole from random people I could never find again 20+ years before I quit drinking. My way of “Not keeping the money” is to give away big books and 12 and 12s at meetings.

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