• Reprinted from The Forum, April 1986, Al-Anon Family Groups.

 

As part of my eight step work. I decided to put myself on the top of my amends list. To become willing to make amends to myself, I wrote myself this letter.

 

Dear (_____):

 

I am sorry that I have consistently ignored your needs and wants. I have put other peoples’ needs before yours and as a consequence, you have developed resentments.

 

I am sorry that I have blamed you for your divorce, not realizing that you were doing the best you could. I know now that your husband could have done something about the divorce but he choose not to and therefore, was not the poor deserted martyr I thought he was. I know that you were very confused and hurt and didn’t know what to do. I am sorry that I kept up the relationship even though it was emotionally very hard for you. I did not realize that it was my unnecessary guilt that kept you from completely separating from him. I let him use you until he found someone else to take care of him. I will try not to let people use you ever again.

 

I am sorry that I have labeled you lazy when you were depressed. I will try to do something good for you when you are depressed now. I will take the time to think of the good things about you and I will try to remember you are a good person, despite the fact that you mess up sometimes.

 

I am sorry that I judge you continually and watch for your every fault. I know that you do not claim to be perfect, or even close, but I still have been disappointed in you every time you do not perform perfectly. I have called you stupid and lazy when you were tired and depressed. I have called you ignorant and unprepared when you were inexperienced. When you were afraid to meet people, I called you antisocial and when people were put off by your shyness, I called you unlikable. And if you stood up for yourself, I called you selfish. My perfectionist tendencies have made you anxious and tense much of the time.

 

You don’t have to be right all the time. You dont’ have to me Miss/Mrs. Efficient, or neat, or super athlete, or miss Al-Alanon goddy two shoes all the time. I will try to love you and accept your faults as much as I can do so. In this atmosphere of acceptance, you will probably be able to relax and enjoy your life. I will make your needs my most important priority. I will let you accept praise and complilments with grace. You deserve them. I wil lmake sure that you get all the help I find for your continued growth of body, mind and spirit. I will make time for exrercise, continued education, meditation and prayer. Your happiness will be my first priority.

 

Most importantly, I will seek the help of my Higher Power in loving you as you are. I have not been able to do it in the past, but my Higher Power will show me His will for me and give me the strength to carry it out.

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