You worked hard to quit using, but now that you’re sober, you’re finding yourself feeling angry and resentful. You blame others for the problems in your life, and you believe things would be different if only this person or event hadn’t happened. The problem with resentment is that it lets you avoid dealing with your own feelings — feelings that might leave you feeling vulnerable or hurt.
You already know that a cornerstone of addiction recovery is allowing yourself the luxury of self-awareness. When you don’t pay attention to how you feel, you’re lying to yourself. And these are the emotional symptoms that can lead to relapse. Letting go of resentment is essential for living a truly healthy and satisfying lifestyle in sobriety. Keep reading to learn how to overcome resentment in recovery.
Keeping It Real
SMART Recovery — the Self Management and Recovery Training program recommended by Clarity Way — addresses resentment in a powerful way. Did you know that:
- Resentment closes you off from others emotionally
- People who experience resentment are less able to express love, but more likely to harbor bitterness
- Resenting other people and events tricks you into thinking you’re not responsible for your circumstances
- Resentment is an unhealthy defense mechanism that keeps you from feeling emotions necessary for growth, such as sadness and unworthiness
- Letting go of resentment lets you evaluate how others treat you
- Letting go of resentment makes it possible for you to build a new lifestyle free from anger
Practical Advice for Letting Resentment Go
The difference between letting resentment go and covering them up is accepting the feelings underneath. You’re allowed to feel angry, sad, and hurt when you have been wronged. You’re entitled to be honest with yourself, and you’re entitled to cry. You deserve happiness, and you also deserve sobriety. But when you let feelings of blame and anger color your thoughts and actions, you let resentment win. Wouldn’t you rather focus on yourself and learn to live well than let bitterness and anger control you?
Words are easy to write but you already know putting them into action is harder than it looks. If you don’t feel ready to let resentment go during recovery, it’s time to engage in therapy. If you’re already in therapy, it’s time to get real about the issues you’re facing. Do you have a loved one or confidant whose opinion you trust? Ask for honest feedback. You might be surprised at how much resentment can affect your overall demeanor, and negatively influence your world view.
Call Clarity Way for More Information on SMART Recovery
Getting trapped in guilt, resentment and blame is a dangerous cycle that can lead to relapse if you don’t address it. Covering up these feelings with alcohol and drugs can be tempting, but using will only lead to more serious problems.
Clarity Way is proud to use the SMART Recovery program in our alternative addiction treatment center. For more information about recovery and resentment, contact Clarity Way today.