A Guide to Making Amends

The path to addiction includes saying and doing things that harm others. Many times, addiction leaves loved ones hurt and disappointed. Although much of the damage cannot be reversed or undone, successful recovery includes reaching out to these hurt individuals and trying to heal the relationship, a step known as making amends.

Residents at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation support and encourage one another to reach their goals of a sober, productive, and fulfilling life. Contact us to learn more about our proven track record of helping people in their journey to recovery.

What is Making Amends in Recovery?

Steps eight and nine in the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12-Step program suggest making a list of the people harmed by addiction and being willing to make things right. However, AA recognizes that taking this step, in some cases, would cause more injury to that person or others. Making amends is more than saying sorry for hurting the other person. It includes an acknowledgment of the wrong you committed. However, it goes beyond this, to include doing everything that you reasonably can to right the wrong. All of this needs to take place face-to-face with the other person.

Making Amends vs. Apologizing

Since nobody is perfect, making mistakes is a part of everyone’s life. While these mistakes occasionally hurt another person, an apology typically restores the fractured relationship. In the case of addiction though, the wrongs are more serious, cause deeper pain, and often severely damage the relationship—damage that a simple apology cannot repair.

An addict usually loses the goodwill that holds most relationships together. This can include many areas of life, such as financial, emotional, and occupational. For example, making amends may require returning a few dollars or repairing an automobile. However, sometimes, it might take more time if the issue involves broken trust or fidelity.

How to Make Amends

There are different ways to make amends, such as:

  • Direct amends. These amends require you to courageously meet with the person to discuss your hurtful actions honestly. You then work with the other person to find a way to right your wrong or compensate the other person. If you damaged property in someone’s home, you would have it repaired or replaced in the best way possible.
  • Indirect amends. Some damage cannot be repaired or replaced. If you caused irreversible physical damage while driving under the influence, you must face this fact squarely. You can make indirect amends by volunteering in a hospital or other facility that shows that you recognize your harm. This can genuinely demonstrate your regret by helping people who have been similarly hurt.
  • Living amends. Actions speak louder than words, and some people need to see through your actions that you have turned your life around. You need to demonstrate that your destructive and hurtful behavior is in the past and that you now live a productive lifestyle.

Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

Our caring professionals can help you overcome your addiction and take the necessary steps toward sobriety. In addition, we offer a safe, clean, and supportive living environment that encourages our residents to participate in activities that foster confidence and success.

Contact us for more information on the Sanctuary Recovery Foundation located in Charleston, SC.

Habit vs. Addiction to Alcohol

Many people identify good habits as essential to living a successful life. Exercising, reading, and meditating are examples of those things practiced regularly that can improve a person’s life. However, bad habits can potentially hinder our success and even cause harm. For example, habitually overeating and smoking can have serious, even life-threatening consequences. Some people who drink alcohol daily may think of this as a bad habit. It might be, but it also may be something more serious—addiction to alcohol. Read more to find out about habit vs addiction to alcohol.

If you or a loved one need an environment to help from alcohol addiction, consider the sober living homes offered at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation. Contact us to learn more about our proven track record of helping people find a sober and fulfilling life.

What is a Habit?

A habit is something you do routinely. Experts disagree on how long it takes to form a habit, and it probably depends on the habit you are trying to form. Some may take as little as a couple of weeks, while others may take a year or longer. However, once you develop a habit, whether good or bad, it becomes increasingly difficult to break. For example, someone who smoked for one year will find it much easier to break the habit than someone who has smoked for twenty years.

Although breaking a bad habit may be difficult, it is typically very doable with some relatively simple steps. For example, some experts believe that if you identify the cue or triggering factor and the reward you receive from the habit, it can be easier to break free.

What is Addiction to Alcohol?

Addiction is much more complicated than just being a habit. While habits involve willingly choosing a behavior, addiction can involve genetics, brain chemistry, and other complex factors. By the time addiction has occurred, a desire has evolved into an intense craving, a loss of control over choices, and changes in behavior. The habit of a drink after work turns into an obsession. This constant focus engulfs almost every aspect of a person’s life.

A person addicted to alcohol is trapped in a reward circuit that includes powerful chemicals released by the brain, such as dopamine. The pleasure brought by dopamine becomes a physical necessity for the addict to function daily.

Signs of Alcohol Habit vs Addiction

Alcohol addiction, unlike a habit, interferes with the ability to function daily due to problems in mental, physical, and social health. Compounding these problems are the changes created in the brain that can have serious long-term effects.

Signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Strong cravings or urges to drink alcohol.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Irritability and mood swings.
  • Insomnia.
  • Drinking alone.
  • Changes in physical appearance.
  • Loss of interest in other activities.
  • Eating an unhealthy diet.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Short-term memory loss.
  • Diminished coordination.
  • Financial difficulties.
  • Struggles with relationships.
  • Ignoring school or occupational responsibilities.

Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We help people find freedom from alcohol to pursue a life of self-confidence, happiness, and wellness. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

How To Set Boundaries With An Alcoholic

Setting healthy boundaries is essential to the health of all relationships, especially with someone addicted to alcohol. Unfortunately, most addicts become skilled at violating the boundaries that usually exist unspoken between people. This can lead to lying, manipulation, and resentment. However, knowing how to set boundaries with an alcoholic you love can foster a healthy relationship and be a significant factor in your loved one’s recovery.

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4 Best Books on Sobriety

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” –Frederick Douglass.

Although reading books alone may not have the power to free someone from addiction, it can play a vital role in the path to sobriety. Many resources are available to help overcome substance abuse, including helplines, treatment facilities, support groups, blogs, and websites. Additionally, many helpful books written from different perspectives give insights into the various aspects of addiction and sobriety. Below are four of the best books on sobriety.

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