Moving Past Resentments in Sobriety

“Moving past resentments in sobriety” and “I promise you a life of joy and wonderment” were the search phrases that jumped out at me this morning. They go hand-in-hand, one follows after the other. When you get past your resentments, there IS a world of joy and wonderment out there.

In recovery circles, it is a well-known fact that resentment is the number one reason people drink. Interestingly, the CDC cited that in 2011 in the US, there were 11.8 million substance abusers. Wow. Assume that most of them have resentments, and that’s a lot of resentment flying around out there!

I found it possible in sobriety to get past my resentment I had held tightly for 38 years. It was against my parents for things that happened while I was growing up. I was very angry and bitter, but didn’t show it. I kept it all inside, bottled up. But when I drank, it came out, often big-time. in the form of rage or huge despair and wailing with grief from my losses.

My life became one of victimhood, living life as the victim, and “poor me,” “you’d drink, too, if you suffered what I did.” I was consumed by self-pity. Before sobriety, while I was still drinking, I had no clue that there was a way out of this nightmare. I had no ability to see that I was creating my own misery through the fueling of my resentment against the folks.

I was creating my own misery by failing to take responsibility for my own feelings, to heal from the grief and hurt. That took some time in sobriety to discover that it was my responsibility to do so. And, I had a choice to continue being bitter or to work myself free of the chains that were binding me. Ahhhhh, a choice… Sobriety led me down the path to freedom when it helped me realize I always have a choice in everything I do. We all do. Yes, even you.

What I found after I worked through my resentments, has been great joy and wonder at the world around me… the physical world and all Her wonders, as well as the people in the world, and all of their wonders. I learned to have greater kindness and tolerance for others… great compassion. The more I practiced those things, the more wondrous things became in what the person revealed to me about themselves, what they shared with me, how they treated me. Closer bonds have been established. It has been true joy and wonderment.

So how can you get from your resentment to that joy and wonder about which I speak? It’s a process… a process of looking at your wounds and feelings, and identifying where that keeps you stuck in present day. It’s about using that process to look with new eyes at the resentment and the person whom you resent, until you are able to reach forgiveness.

This is a process I guide people through in my one-on-one coaching.  If you want to experience joy and wonderment in your life, you may be interested in learning more. Go to “Coaching” under the “Services” tab. We can work on that resentment that is keeping you from joy and wonder, and you can experience more peace during this holiday season.

I was indignant about looking at my “stuff.” After all, I was justified! I WAS a victim. That’s a fact. But there came a time in sobriety when I realized I just couldn’t carry my bitterness any more. It was affecting my ability to get to true sobriety, emotional sobriety. What I discovered was forgiveness and that helped me to find joy and wonder, peace and freedom.

How about you? How do you work through your resentments in sobriety? Have you reached joy and wonderment in your life?