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The Alcoholic, Resentments and Recovery

“… we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.  Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 62

Many times we may feel as if we have been hurt over and over again by the people around us.  Sometimes we used this as an excuse to drink or do drugs or fall prey to depression and anxiety reveling in our self-pity.  It is difficult for us, in early Recovery, to understand that we have a vast amount culpability within regard to our own misery.

When we are buried beneath the weight of addiction, we cannot see the scope of our responsibility in these resentments.  We can be quick to anger and blame-place.  Our finger pointing becomes the god by which we set store.  The resentments to which we bow down dominate our lives, further driving us away from spiritual growth and deeper into our own addict alcoholic destruction.  They dictate our behavior, even if the initial incident happened long ago.  We treat every other moment thereafter based on those resentments.  We carry them with us, holding them close, believing that, sometimes, they define us.

In a California rehab, the staff gently begins to show us where, perhaps, our part may lie.  There are times, especially when we were hurt by others at a very young age, the only component of our responsibility is that we still perpetually carry and react to this original pain.  These albatrosses bring us to the bottom over and over again.  Only when we learn to release them do we have the chance of being free.

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