Just because we want to make an amends and clear the air doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do or that the person we want to make the amends to wants to hear it.
Timing. Integrity. Boundaries – ours and theirs. Dignity. Consideration. These words deserve our attention.
I think a lot of us are in a rush to feel better emotionally and psychologically once we get sober, and one way we rationalize doing this is to rush around apologizing to everyone. While wanting to offer apologies is understandable, it’s not okay for us to shove our newfound sobriety, and how we feel about it, in other people’s faces and expect them to fall over with glee or welcome us with open arms back into their lives.
People can see our apology in action when our behavior changes from drunk to sober and productive and helpful. I think a lot of these people find a way to let us know when it’s okay to approach them. They comment on our new behavior. They express curiosity. They ask us questions. This takes time – and patience on our part – something many of us can stand to learn to become friends with.