Step Nine: Proceed with Caution

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A word, once uttered, cannot be whistled back in.

Step 9 says that as part of our recovery we should make direct amends to people we have harmed whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. The last portion of that statement, urging caution with this step, is incredibly important. It may be that the harm you have done to someone is so severe that simply seeing you again would cause that person great consternation. It may be that the person you have harmed is unaware of your behavior, and making them aware will cause them significant pain. It is also possible that approaching someone and admitting your behavior could stir up the proverbial hornets’ nest, putting your job, your family, or your freedom in jeopardy. In such cases, direct amends should only be undertaken after much careful consideration by you and your sponsor, plus consultation with anyone else (especially family members) who might be affected.

Task for Today
Think about the people you have harmed and how making amends might affect them, your family, yourself, and others.