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
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