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Resentment: The Quiet Killer

“Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics.  It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not.  A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective.  Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger.  As we saw it, our wrath was always justified.  Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely.  These “dry benders” often led straight to the bottle.”  From the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve & Twelve, pg. 90.

When anger and resentment are the foundation on which a life is built, it is a life most futile.  There is nothing sturdy or sound about that platform.  We seethe, wrapping ourselves in a cloak of what we believe to be justified ire.  However, that is not the plush coat which keeps us safe and warm; instead it is actually a threadbare sheet which lets the wind rip through the fabric of our flesh, tearing at our very soul.

While angry, there is no chance of being present for those around us.  We cannot be accessible and of service to others in that all-consuming state.  This compounding fury, which may have been a minor transgression on the part of someone who wasn’t even aware of doing or saying something wrong in the first place, can lead us to the drink.  As opposed to recognizing a feeling of being wronged yet continuing to work toward the greater good, the potential to get trapped in and obsess about said incident is prevalent.

How does that lead us to drink?  As we run through that moment in our mind, over and over again, the pull toward needing a release, coupled with the desire for a sense of ease and comfort brought to us by the needed release, grows exponentially.  If we are not staying connected to the world by working with others, we supplant being spiritually grounded and opt for this inflated dissension in the rhythm of our world.  As we continue to dodge being of service then we are not available for anything other than our own self-seeking schemes.  We relive the moment, staying in the past while pretending what we would have said or done actually happened.  Maybe we are fantasizing about the future with what we will say and do next time; our motive of getting even grows larger and larger until it’s the only focal point in our lives.  Where is the relief in that?

California rehab centers teach us that there may be moments where we are uncomfortable yet those feelings are not facts on which to base a life.  We learn that our anger justified or otherwise, isn’t going to serve anyone else.  It doesn’t even serve us.  It keeps us selfish, on that carousel of self-righteous misery, which can only, eventually, be abated by our old behaviors in the search for ease and comfort.  Los Angeles rehab centers show us that even while being uncomfortable the cure for that discomfort isn’t found by putting our lips to the bottle but by extending ourselves to another person.  In these actions of being available for another, we learn to cement our sobriety.

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