If you have lots of resentments, drug abuse or alcohol abuse may be the reason why you have fallen into this trap. The cycle of addiction is messy and complicated and it tends to create a lot of resentment for all of the people involved.
Resentments are like poison. Someone once said that holding on to a resentment “is like drinking poison and hoping that it kills the person you are angry at.” You just walk around with bottled up anger and stew in it and let it fester but you never direct it outward at the person you are resenting.
It is this lack of communication that kills us. It is this bottled up emotion that drives us to self medicate. Drug and alcohol abuse is perpetuated by resentment in some cases.
In recovery, we have to let go of resentments or we end up drinking or using drugs again because of it. Carrying around a resentment takes too much mental energy for the addict or alcoholic to really put up with. It becomes a huge burden over time and eventually the addict will self medicate because of it.
We can take action in recovery to eliminate our resentments. It takes hard work to do so but if we do not do this then eventually it can lead us back to our drug of choice.
How do we eliminate a resentment? It starts with identification. You have to know about the resentment before you can do anything about it. Unbelievably, some recovering addicts and alcoholics are walking around without even realizing that they have a resentment. They might be spending minutes or hours out of each day experiencing constant anger towards someone or something, without even realizing that they have a resentment. So the first part of solving this is to sit down and identify what or who you are angry at.
After you have a list of resentments, the major step is to go through each one and identify your part in it. Now in most cases, this will take some careful thinking on your part and an open mind. Our initial reaction is to feel justified in our anger and point the finger at others. But if you keep an open mind here and dig enough to see the part you are playing in each of your resentments, then you can start to dissolve them and learn to live free again.
Identify your resentments, then pick them apart. Realize the role that you play in each one of them. Where could you practice more forgiveness?
Are there people you are angry at for doing things that you yourself may have been guilty of at one time in your life?
Do you see that it is senseless to hang on to such anger, when these people who you are hating on were just doing the best they could at the time, given the resources that they had?
Let go of the anger and reclaim your serenity. Forgive yourself, then forgive others.