After years of trying medical approaches and the Oxford group approach, Dr. Bob was able to stop drinking after he traveled the town making his amends. This became the ninth step.”Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Step 9 is the heart of the program. The start of AA is not the day Ebby talked to Bill, the day Bill W stopped drinking, or the day Bill met Dr. Bob. It is the day that Dr. Bob did his ninth step amends. The purpose of the prior steps are to get us to step 9. All of the steps that come after are not effective without Step 9. The “AA Promises” come when we are “half-way” through the ninth step.

I needed the other steps so I could do more than just say I was sorry. I had apologized so many times before a simple apology would not have been well received. I had let people down so often; I had to demonstrate a change in character. I also needed to make sure my motives were correct. This required that I know what my defects of character are and were.

I needed a sponsor for the ninth step. I had to bounce ideas off of another person. I did not always have a clear picture of what harm I could cause to others without talking to someone with experience with the ninth step. I am responsible for my amends, but I am not responsible for how others react to my amends. . I cannot make someone accept my amends. I clean my side of the street. What they do with my amends is up to them.

I have to listen to the other person when I am making my amends. Not everything is about me.