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Overcoming Resentments in Sobriety

Resentment can become a major threat to our sobriety if left unchecked. We allow our anger at others to build until we feel overwhelmed and make our own lives much worse. One of the greatest gifts of sobriety is the ability to live with serenity and peace of mind. When we become resentful, we lose our peace and serenity to such an extent that we may find ourselves turning to a drink or a drug as a way to cope with our negative feelings.

The main text of Alcoholics Anonymous, referred to as the “Big Book”, explains, “It is plain to see that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness.” This statement holds true no matter what recovery program we choose to follow. Holding onto resentment is a way of giving up our own power to others. We are allowing another person to affect our spiritual and emotional health in a way that could interfere with our ability to grow and develop in our sobriety.

It is often said that resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. We often internalize our anger and let it grow inside of us until we are deeply unhappy. Caroline Rushforth, in a 2012 Mind Body Green article entitled How to Let Go of Resentment, explains, “by carrying around this negative feeling, you are hurting yourself, because this drains your resources. Ultimately, you add more stress and anxiety to your mindset and physical body.” This stress can easily push us back into the uncomfortable feelings that contributed to our addiction and alcoholism.

There are a few effective steps we can take to let go of resentment. We should always be on the lookout for when resentment crops up in our lives. We will never be entirely free of resentment and it will inevitably happen. First we can ask our higher power to remove our feelings of resentment. This can help us re-establish our spiritual connection. Next, we should immediately discuss our feelings with someone else. Other members of the recovery community can often give us a new perspective on the situation that may help alleviate our uncomfortable feelings. We may find that we were are fault in some way or that we lashed out in anger. If this is the case, we can apologize for our part in the situation that caused us to feel resentful. Finally, and most importantly, we turn our attention to helping another person. This can help us get out of our own heads and stop brooding over the situation. These steps are simple, but quite effective. Resentment is toxic, and the longer we keep it in our bodies the more likely it will be to harm us.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to reach out for help today and begin building a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in sobriety. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to helping clients rebuild their confidence and relationships so they can live a life of peace and serenity without the need for drugs and alcohol. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431