When you’re at Pat Moore Foundation and working through an alcohol and drug treatment program with us, you’ll come to learn that resentment is the most powerful trigger to relapse. Resentment can be debilitating for many of us and because we stunted our emotional and spiritual growth over the years, we’ve not really learned how to live outside of resentment.
What is Resentment?
Resentment is a negative feeling we hold against others and within ourselves. Whether your resentments are blatant or subtle they create negative emotions that distort our perceptions. They prevent us from being happy, and keep us from offering happiness to others. We tend to block out all forms of communication, including peace, love and growth. We stay on the darker side of our emotions, and remain closed-minded with darker heart. Continued resentment will build walls between people we care about – we don’t want them getting close and ‘hurting us again.’ Two sad parts about resentment are; holding on to them because we cannot find creative and healthy solutions, and that we typically hurt only ourselves.
If left unchecked, unmanaged, and not continually assessed it can be the main relapse trigger. In essence you personally give up your sobriety for what someone else did. You give them all your power, and then resent them even more; a vicious cycle indeed.
Resentment can be categorized by:
- Blaming others for not solving your problems
- Constantly reliving thoughts from the past or future in which you fantasize about a person or situation, again and again.
- Constantly dreaming of life as you wish it was, instead of accepting it as it really is.
Where do Resentments Come From?
For some of us, resentments come from childhood trauma, or at least events that have happened in the past. We tend to ‘squash’ them, never dealing with the issue at hand. We feel we can cope with alcohol and drugs, but then we go through our life focused on how to ‘prevent’ that action from ever happening again. When you are in resentment you are, in essence, re-living or re-feeling that emotion over and over again. You might be playing out the situation in your head with different outcomes, like “If only if I said this,” or “If only I did that, then he I wouldn’t be angry like this.” Instead of accepting what is we fight against it and then cling to that hurt and feel we are in control of the situation, when in fact we are not.
How do you Cope and Prevent Resentments?