Resentments, the Ultimate Poison . . . to self.
~ by Nikki Holman Ehlers
In recovery there is a lot of talk about resentments. WE ALL HAVE THEM, WE ALL CARRY THEM & HOLD ON TO THEM. I can remember being in treatment & being told that it was paramount to our recovery to let these resentments go. Easier said than done at the time (you see for me I believed that holding on to these resentments kept me safe). They kept me safe both physically and emotionally. How totally totally wrong. Not only did it keep me twisted up inside, it prevented me from being FREE.
Moving on and letting go of resentments was something I tried to do for a long time. I tried without success; the failure was not because I was doing all the right things, it was because I was failing to look HONESTLY AT MY PART.
Allowing myself to carry this resentment toward another person without accepting my part of the problem—gave me a feeling of entitlement to be angry. I have really been trying to live recovery—and for me that means looking honestly at situations with a different perspective.
The largest resentment I carried for years was regarding my ex-husband. Did he harm me and mine? An emphatic yes!! But recently I have begun to realize that not only did I have a part in that harm but I also harmed him!! We harmed each other and boy how nice it was of me all these years to hold myself less accountable than I held him, NOT! We were both human, we allowed ourselves to become embroiled in a bitter harmful dysfunctional pattern. Who am I to say the wrongs to him were less painful than his wrongs to me. This has been so FREEING!
I recently dealt with him again on the phone; no he is not someone I care to hang out with, surround myself with—but I can be caring and kind and healthy in my interactions with the father of my children. And ultimately with the loss of this resentment I can change my patterns for the future.
I am so grateful to have come to this point. I was able to make amends with him regardless of whether he did the same to me. You see, I can ultimately only control me, my actions and reactions. If we are truly trying to find full recovery, we don’t get to withhold our amends due another—in a STAND-OFF till they “right their wrongs” with us (doesn’t work like that and we only keep ourselves miserable).
I finally understand how important this is. I am not a VICTIM; I am a HUMAN—one who makes mistakes. I’m no better, no worse than another.
THIS brings me peace.
MORE FROM NIKKI HOLMAN EHLERS:
A recovering Addict’s taste of tough love! (for the loved ones of the addict)
The AA Promises
> Phone Counseling for Family Members
> Recommended Books and DVDs for families of substance abusers and addicts
> Low cost, No cost Alcohol and Drug Treatment Directory
> Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Recovery Resources for Friends, Families and Employers
>12-Step Recovery and “Things of God.” A Perfect Match. ~by Joe Herzanek
If you found this article helpful please see our “Ask Joe” posts listed at the bottom and consider reading
“Why Don’t they Just Quit? Hope for families struggling with addiction.”
Recent Amazon.com reviews:
Best book ever about addiction. Written by one whose done it and is recovering. Easy to read, not preachy, just honest. I recommend this book to anyone with an addict in their life! ~Lynda A
Got an addiction problem in your family? Read this book. Joe knows his stuff. This book helps you better understand those dealing with friends and family that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have read several of these books but this one is the best. ~RJ
I, like many people, have some knowledge of what drugs and addiction are, but are clueless on what the process of recovery entails. This book does a great job in what it would take to help a loved one, who is an addict and is willing to get clean and stay clean. It also gives one hope that your loved one will survive the nightmare they are living through with their family. ~CG
> Do you have to stop seeing all your old friends in order to recover?
> Is a relapse—failure?
>Should my husband “back off?”
> If someone can stop using drugs or alcohol for weeks at a time, they “aren’t an addict—correct?
>Chronic Pain Management & Pain Pill Addiction: What to do?
>How can I know if my addicted friend or loved one is telling the truth?
>How can I tell if someone is an addict/alcoholic or just a heavy user?
>What is Methadone? What is Harm Reduction?
Resentments Ultimate Poison letting go Resentments Ultimate Poison letting go