“An attitude of humility and sincere regret for the harms we have done will carry us far.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 49
In Step Nine, my toughest amends went to my family, who suffered mightily when I was arrested for acting out. In our small community, my business was destroyed, my income went to zero in thirty days, and my children bore the brunt of our loss. They suffered a lower standard of living, and their mother had to go back to work to support the family.
In anger, my wife left me, and I did not see my children for six years. The separation hurt badly, and I missed the teenage years of my two sons. My desire to reunite with my family provided added incentive to stop my acting out behaviors. My sponsor guided me through the Twelve Steps, which changed my life. However, in my first Ninth Step, I could only make indirect amends to my family members. I remembered them in my prayers, and their memory motivated me in my new way of life.
Over the course of those years, my new life gradually and visibly showed that my work in SAA was sincere and had taken hold. When they saw my living amends, my children slowly reentered my life. I had become accountable for my behavior and had become a better person—the kind of father they wanted to claim!
God, thank you for showing me how to make living amends to my family, to my friends, and to myself.