No matter how much clean and sober time you may have under your belt, your addiction is a cunning and subtle beast–and it will try to find a way to worm back into your grey matter and set up shop.
You can be at the top of your recovery game. You are working your program of recovery like a boss and doing all the things you need to do to stay happy and sober–and yet there are moment where the recovery motor skips a beat and your wheels get mired in the mud.
While getting stuck in neutral is a normal part of the recovery process, staying stuck can be problematic–very problematic. If you aren’t able to identify what has thrown the monkey wrench into your well-oiled recovery machine, you can find yourself sinking deeper in the mud and towards a relapse.
Of all the obstacles you can encounter in recovery, hanging onto resentments is one of the most formidable challenges you can face. Overcoming resentments in your recovery is key to staying on the straight and narrow–but it can prove to be difficult.
What are Resentments?
Finding ways to overcome resentments in recovery is a key tool to have in your recovery tool belt, but you first need to be able to clearly define in your mind what resentments are. In an article written by Mark Sichel for Psychology Today, resentments can be defined as the following:
“Resentment refers to the mental process of repetitively replaying a feeling, and the events leading up to it, that goads or angers us. We don’t replay a cool litany of facts in resentment; we re-experience and relive them in ways that affect us emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually in very destructive ways.”
Resentments can spring from recent and specific angry conflicts, but they usually stem from conflicts or events that go further back in a person’s history. Oftentimes, resentments are the result of imagined or real episodes of disrespect or disregard that hasn’t been resolved.
You may feel snubbed or mistakenly forgotten about by a family member or friend, and it can spark the fire to those deeper issues that lie beneath the surface that have been buried. The importance of addressing resentments in your recovery cannot be stated enough. In order to truly move forward, you need to address these matters and clear the decks.
Easier said that done, but it needs to be done.
4 Essential Tips That Will Help You Overcome Resentments in Your Recovery
Are you stuck in the emotional and psychological quicksand and need help in overcoming resentments in your recovery? While it is a tall order, by keeping these four tips in mind, you will be able to reduce and eventually eliminate those resentments that plague your recovery.
Perhaps the most important tip in minimizing resentment is learning how to forgive. Forgiveness can be very difficult–especially if there is deep trauma in your life. However, you must address the source of the hurt, acknowledge it exists, forgive and let go.
To truly forgive, it doesn’t mean that you pretend not to hurt and sweep what you feel under the rug. To truly forgive, you acknowledge that what has happened has hurt you, but you are letting go the judgment of that person or event. By no means are you forgetting that the event or events happened; you are acknowledging it and moving forward and letting that person or people deal with those events.
What’s Your Motivation?
Another key in overcoming resentments in your recovery is to examine why you are hanging onto resentments in the first place. Simply put, what good does it do you if you hang on to those events that have already happened?
Again, it may be difficult to comprehend moving past those events that are truly traumatic, but in the long run how are you truly going to move forward? By hanging on, you are setting yourself up for further pain and anguish–and if you are trying to work a program of recovery, you are ultimately setting yourself up to fail.
Identify Those Emotions That Lead to Resentment
Overcoming resentment in recovery hinges on identifying those emotions that provoke resentment. If you have been in recovery for any length of time, you have seen the acronym HALT. HALT stands for the four main emotional states that lead to resentments: hungry, angry, lonely and tired.
If you are overcome with feelings tied to these emotional states, you need to stop, take a step back, identify what is eating at you and why and use the life and coping skills you obtained in treatment and in your 12-Step or other support groups to address them.
How do you learn to move past resentments? You do so by being grateful for what you have and what you have accomplished in your recovery. By practicing gratitude, you can change the way you interact with the world and it promotes thoughts and behaviors that support your recovery.
How do you practice gratitude? You can keep a gratitude journal and write down what you are grateful for–no matter how small–on a daily basis. You also can learn to appreciate the simple things in life, do good for others, and most importantly embrace the fact that you aren’t perfect and that you make mistakes–and have the power within you to overcome.
The Key To Recovery? Hard Work, Perseverance, and a Willingness to Learn and Grow
No matter how strong our recovery may be, we aren’t perfect beings and we can stumble and have moments of uncertainty. When we encounter those moments we need to learn and grow from them and keep on keeping on. It is often said that in order to beat the enemy, you need to know your enemy.
In the world of addiction, you can turn to Sober Nation for the information you need to understand the complex disease of addiction. From informative articles and blogs to a comprehensive treatment directory, we have you covered and got your back.