Addiction Recovery Blog

Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in 4th step

Posted by on in Other Addictions

In the days of my drinking and drugging, resentments were my trusty tool, my reliable excuse. Resentments were my fuel for going on a spree or a bender. In a state of self-pity, it was easy to justify my need for numbing my pains and sorrows. When I got sober my resentments did not automatically vanish, instead it required some dedicated and thorough work to remove them. In 12 step groups it is said that “resentments are our number one offender”, which means that resentments are one of the most common things that keep us miserable and cause us to relapse. It has been said that a resentment is like “drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Whether you are in a 12 step group or not, resentments are something that need to be addressed to maintain sobriety and serenity.

What exactly is a resentment?

Simply, a resentment is a feeling of angry displeasure at a real or imagined wrong, insult, or injury. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.” Resentments are most commonly against other people who we believe have screwed us over or hurt us. These commonly include family, ex’s, bosses, co-workers, policemen, etc. When drinking, I often took everything that other people did personally. Some of us hold on to resentments that stem back to our childhood or ex-marriage. Other resentments include bitterness towards institutions and principles, such as religion, government, or the IRS. Some of these resentments are more justified that others, for instance if you’ve been cheated on or unjustly fired from a job. Whether the resentment is real or imagined does not matter, both types of resentments are equally deadly.

Identifying and Removing Resentments

The first step in cleansing ourselves of resentments is to identify our resentments. For some people, their list of resentments is a page long and for others it can be up to a dozen pages. The generally rule of thumb is that if something is still causing you to be bitter or angry then it is important to come to terms with. We do not have to write down every person who cut us off in traffic or the bully from first grade, unless it is causing us to still be bitter and ill-contented. Once we have identified our resentments there are a few ways to remove them from our lives. It is suggested that we look for our parts in the matter of the resentment. In matters such as divorce, it is fairly easy to find our part in the issue. Maybe we were insensitive, selfish, dishonest, hurtful, or unfaithful. It is important to put aside what has been done to you and instead focus on what you could have done differently. Once our roles in all our resentments have been identified, we then pray or ask our higher power to remove these resentments. We ask forgiveness and blessings for the people in our life and slowly our resentments diminish.

The principles behind working through our resentments and putting them behind us is about breaking the pattern of self-pity and to stop playing the victim. We learn to take responsibility for how our life has turned out and stop blaming people and things around us for our misery or misfortune. When we take ownership of our lives and our happiness we experience a sense of empowerment and freedom. Those old resentments no longer have a control over us and won’t weight us down with pity. We are freed from the shackles of the past and can focus on what is in our near horizon.

0
Hits: 2154

Posted by on in Alcoholism

IncreaseWriting a fourth step is an act of courage.  It takes immense bravery to write in detail a complete moral inventory of oneself paying close attention to our part. It is important to detail our resentments, because after doing so we can look at how we were affected and what our part in the resentment was. When we break down resentment we learn that we still carry it because it affects a constant fear that we have.  Perhaps someone bruised our ego or we felt cheated, we change our perspective to see where we were selfish, dishonest, or afraid.  When looking at our fear inventory, we break down each fear and find that most fears are related. Our fears all share the commonality that we are not actually scared of something concrete or material, but of how it will make us feel.  When writing our sex inventory it is important to look at how our behavior affected our relationships.  Without beating ourselves up, we accept responsibility for how we acted. It is the act of catharsis to write how we feel, and an act of courage to look at our part.

The courageous act of putting this all on paper must immediately be followed with an act of integrity.  The catharsis is incomplete if we do not quickly read it out loud, so we can admit to our high-power, another human being, and ourselves, the exact nature of our wrongs.  The power of the inventory lies in this confession.  When we read it out loud, we take the power away from everything we have held on to.  We are finally able to let go of guilt, shame, resentment, and fear.

Recently I went through my steps for the second time with my sponsor, and the difference between my first fourth step and second one was astonishing. After I read my fifth step the first time, I felt like a weight had been lifted.  I felt as though everything that I had carried around for all those years finally dissipated. I was expecting a similarly visceral experience the second time.  They were roughly equally in length, and both thorough.  However, after the second one I wasn’t as emotional or changed. I attribute this to the constant inventory I take.  Since my first fourth step I have tried to tell the truth and tell it faster.  This means doing a tenth step any time I have a resentment, and reaching out when I am struggling.  After some time of doing this I found that I am fundamentally changed.  A weight wasn’t lifted the second time because I no longer let the weight of resentment and pain accumulate.

0
Hits: 0


website by DesignSpinner.com | © Addictionland LLC