There is something toxic about resentment. When we hang onto our anger, it festers inside of us and comes out in all sorts of negative ways. Many men and women in recovery have had the experience of feeling resentment grow until it reaches a boiling point, causing them to turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to escape their emotional turmoil. By learning to let go of our resentments, we will begin growing closer to feelings of peace and serenity and be at much less risk of turning to substances. Twelve Step recovery focuses heavily on the dangers of resentment. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem 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.” Dealing with resentments in a healthy way is not only for those that adhere to the Twelve Step philosophy. Anyone attempting to overcome addiction and grow personally and spiritually can benefit from developing healthy skills to deal with resentful feelings. Resentment can grow inside of us until it takes over our ability to make sound decisions and behave appropriately in any situation. Dr. Robert Enright, in a 2017 Psychology Today article entitled Why Resentment Lasts—and How to Defeat It, explains, “…resentment can become a part of your identity, a part of who you are as a person. You move from showing resentful behavior to being a resentful person and there is a large difference between the two. Once you start saying that you are a particular kind of person, it sometimes is threatening to change the identity. So often people will live with an identity—a sense of self, a sense of who one is—that is compromising for them because they are afraid of change. The familiar is better than the alternative even if the familiar includes pain and unnecessary suffering.” By allowing our resentment to fester, our ability to live the happy, joyous, and free life in sobriety that we have sought is diminished. We must learn to forgive, not only for the sake of others, but for the sake of our own personal and spiritual wellbeing.
Your can change your story into one of serenity and peace in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to providing clients with all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain a fulfilling life in sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777