In one of the myriad meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in metro areas, a lawyer, jobless because of his former boozing, beamed. He told the group that he was embarking on a 2,300 mile journey to "make amends." That phrase is shorthand for one of The Twelve Steps which recommend righting wrongs.
He didn't take the trip. Those in the AA who had seen this before sat him down. They went over his list of those he intended to "make amends" to. Most of the names were tossed.
The self-absorption of compulsive drinking frequently seeps into early recovery. This lawyer had no notion that those on whom he would foist his apology didn't want to see him, didn't want their daily routine interrpupted by his need to confess, probably didn't even remember the alleged transgression.
Sure, there are real amends to be accomplished. He ruined his daughter's teenage years because she could never have friends over for sleep-overs. That's a must-do.
Over the years this lawyer did restore important relationships in his life through the AA amends step. He also found a job in compliance in an insurance company which didn't drive him to drink like practing law did. He remarried and had a second family he cherishes. But the shame lingers over the trip he had planned decades before.