Resentments, for myself, are typically comprised of feelings of disappointment, and anger. After a daily inventory, I often find that most of my resentments are fueled by fear or insecurity. Resentment stems from the Latin word “satire”, meaning to feel. They are often repetitive feelings of displeasure, and if not dealt with properly, will often blockade any possible progression in one’s own recovery. I have found for myself that most all of my resentments derive from unmet expectations, whether small or large. As addicts, we often play the victim when our expectations are not met, justifying our feelings of incompetence or “not being good enough”. If we sit in our pity long enough, things will most often than not, spiral out of control and lead someone in recovery to relapse. Resentments truly are the number one key offender. For myself, it is easier to place blame on others rather than accept responsibility for my part in things, especially when my character defects and ego begin to take over. I have discovered that in working previous 4th steps, I have a lot of subconscious resentments that I may be unaware of in a certain moment, but will sporadically come to the surface when I am least expecting it. Being the case, it is extremely important that I deal with them properly when they arise. It is important for me to always remember to admit my fault in any circumstance, to accept the fact I am powerless and have no control over other people, places, and things, and that others have their own trials and tribulations. My only solution and freedom from resentments towards others is the Fourth Step prayer:
"God, please help me to be free of anger and to see that the world and its people have dominated me. Show me that the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, has the power to actually kill me. Help me to master my resentments by understanding that the people who wrong me were perhaps spiritually sick. Please help me show those I resent the same Tolerance, Pity and Patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend. Help me to see that this is a sick man. Father, please show me how I can be helpful to him and save me from being angry. Lord, help me to avoid retaliation or argument. I know I can’t be helpful to all people, but at least show me how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. Thy will be done." (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 66-67)
Holding onto resentments binds us from emotional liberation. As addicts, we have developed a psychological comfortability with certain disruptive behaviors. Living in distress becomes second nature. We must learn to reprogram our way of thinking through positive affirming actions. Remember, RESENT is the word PRESENT without the 'P". We must learn to not RESENT others, and PRESENT our anger to God, as a gift for our own personal freedom so that we can live in forgiveness and peace that we all so deserve.