Resentments in Recovery
Holding on to any resentment is like building a storehouse for anger. Dwelling in the emotion about a person, place or any situation is known as resentment. In simple words, resentment is to re-visit the reasons of your anger without resolving them and having no acceptance toward the situation that makes you hold on to deep bitter feelings.
Carrying resentments is also a way in which people can justify their actions or negative emotions. It is a way people vindicate themselves in their own minds and boost their self-esteem. Holding on to such feelings can be of a negative effect on your recovery.
An addict would ‘enjoy’ holding on to resentments – it can stimulate a high of sorts. By training their attention on the ‘wrong’ or injustice someone has done can make them hold someone beneath the weight of their judgment and put themselves on a self-made pedestal. By focusing on someone else’s faults they can afford to lose focus of their own shortcomings. Being unwilling to let go of hurt or anger – stubbornly refusing to accept people for who they are, and what they are, to cling to the past alone - these things can keep their keep feeding their resentment and continually threaten the serenity of any addict.
Clinging on to pain from the past can keep anyone from being hurt in the future - this is a common belief some people have about clinging on to resenting anything. What one does not realise is that we lose control of the way we think and feel and get consumed in it which gives birth to more negative feelings that can result in a relapse.
Resentment is known to fuel one’s anger. When one gets consumed in this, anything can rile them up. If the offence is real or even imagined, an addict with resentments is always walking around with a large portion of anger, ready to explode like a volcano. Being resentful toward anything can eat up the person from inside and will only lead to further isolation, strained relationships, negative feelings and an unhealthy environment to live in.
Letting go of resentments can only happen when one is willing to do so. Being ready to be willing to accept things for what they are and being able to make peace with it by letting go. To able to do so, one must be able to reflect on oneself and try to identify the root cause of such feelings.
Some of these questions could help -
With whom am I angry?
Being able to refine your list of people, places or any situation you are angry with could be useful to understand where the feelings are stemming from.
How have I been hurt?
What part of you has been harmed enough to cling on to these resentments? Has someone damaged your pride? Your reputation? Your sense of trust? Identifying the exact area of being affected is important because resentment is like a coin, which has a face of anger on one side and hurt on the other. Angry people continually fume about their injustices; they need to vent their grievances to feel lighter. On the other side of the coin, one will find people who are hurt deeply. So instead of settling battles with other people it is important to able to heal yourself first.
What is my part in the problem?
We often forget to look at the factors that we have contributed to cause the problem. Being able to accept one’s fault and identifying our side of the mistake is one huge step to let go of your resentments.
Resentments can prove to be a great downfall to anyone’s recovery. It is often found that most people forget to deal with these feelings since they have buried them for years.
Resolving resentments is part of recovery
At Hope Trust rehab in India, addicts are encouraged and guided in the process of letting go of negative emotions such as resentments. Group and individual counselling sessions are highly effective. Clients learn to accept and forgive. Being able to do so, the individual can focus better on his or her own recovery and lead a sober and clean life.