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Holding on to Sobriety by Letting Go of Resentments

Buddha once said, “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Holding onto feelings of anger and resentment only serves to continually hurt us. In sobriety, there is great danger in holding onto our feelings of resentment toward others. If we can learn to let these feelings go, we are much less likely to fall victim to the negative emotions that used to drive us deeper into addiction.

Holding onto our resentments keep us from being able to move forward. Nancy Colier, in a 2015 Psychology Today article entitled Why We Hold Grudges, and How to Let Them Go, explains, “The problem with grudges, besides the fact that they are a drag to carry around (like a bag of sedimentized toxic waste that keeps us stuck in anger) is that they don’t serve the purpose that they are there to serve. They don’t make us feel better or heal our hurt. At the end of the day, we end up as proud owners of our grudges but still without the experience of comfort that we ultimately crave, that we have craved since the original wounding.” Carrying around the weight of our resentments not only serves no purpose, but can get in the way of our ability to properly engage in a program of spiritual healing and growth.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offended. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stems all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” Holding onto resentments only hurts us by getting in the way of our ability to live the kind of spiritual life suggested by our program of recovery. The Big Book further explains that resentment can be fatal for a person in recovery, “For when harboring such feelings, we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.” Fortunately, overcoming and dealing with resentment in a healthy way is but one of the many useful skills we pick up in recovery. Soon, we will discover that we can live a happy, joyous, and free life undeterred by the weight of resentment.

Your life can become one of serenity and peace of mind in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future on the journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, is staffed with knowledgeable and compassionate professionals who understand how addiction and alcoholism can wreak havoc in the life of the individual as well as family and friends. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call today: (833) 242-6431