The word resentment comes from a Latin word which means to re-feel. Isn’t this what we are doing when we have a jumble of resentments in our mind? The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on page 64 states that resentment is the number one offender. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease. It goes on to say that when the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. Just what is this spiritual malady we are to overcome? The book on page 62 states that selfishness and self-centeredness. That we think is the root of our trouble.
Based on my recovery from alcoholism I would tend to agree whole heartedly with these statements. I was full of resentment and self-centeredness when I first came to the 12 Step program. It was all your fault! If you would only see things my way all would be grand. But life doesn’t work this way no matter how much I tried to control others and events in my life. I couldn’t forgive you for what my alcoholic besotted mind thought you did to me. Finally in recovery I came to realize that by forgiving you I could find peace and serenity. I still remembered what you did or didn’t do but I do not waste my time replaying it in my head. I had to bury the hatchet so to speak and not go out and dig it up some time in the future!
At first it really pained my still selfish mind but as time went by in the program and I stayed sober, I learned to see the value in letting go of old slights and hurts. As I did this my selfishness decreased. It was no longer all about me. I also learned to pick my battles. I didn’t have to keep score with you any longer or resent anything that you said, did or didn’t do. Quite a few of my resentments had to do with what you did not do to suit me. I hung on to a few of these for a few years but I finally saw the folly in doing so. So once again taking out pen and paper I made my list. I then took this list to my sponsor for another long talk. I saw where I was at fault and that I had major expectations of you. I had to pray to let go of these resentments and then make any necessary amends.
The Book also states on page 62 that we must be rid of this selfishness or it kills us. I don’t know about you but that sound pretty serious to me. As new resentments cropped up in my sobriety, I learned to dispense of them quickly. There is a saying around AA and it says, do you want to be right or do you want to be sober? Well, I choose to be sober!
Through my years of sobriety resentments tend to crop up less and less. This is because I trust God and try to live life on life’s terms. My own terms made a mess of my alcoholic life so I did not want to have to repeat any of that history. Fortunately, I have remained sober since my first day in detox. I was desperate to find an alternative way to live rather than the poor excuse of a life that I had become. There is no wiggle room in sobriety. Either you stay sober and work the program, apply it in your life or be doomed to a hellish alcoholic life until you finally die. I am so grateful to my Higher Power for giving me the gift of surrender. I’m grateful that I am able to receive this gift on a daily basis and stay sober no matter what.