The journey towards lifelong recovery is filled with many milestones and victories, and it can also be filled with considerable obstacles. With each day you stay clean and sober, you actively engage in your relapse prevention plan to minimize the stressors and triggers that can lead you down the slippery slope of relapse. While some of these triggers are obvious, there are some that can be deeply buried and can surface in the most subtle ways. A great example of that type of trigger is resentments and it can take the joy out of your recovery.
What is Resentment?
Simply defined, a resentment is a type of negative emotion that people experience when they feel they have been wronged in some way. This feeling of being wronged or harmed in some way may be in response to actual events that have occurred in their lives or it may be purely imagined. In many instances resentments are irrational, but the individual who experiences this feeling will not see it for what it truly is.
When someone in recovery feels resentment they direct their contempt and frustrations towards those they feel have wronged them in their life. While there may have been instances where people had done genuine harm, people that are newly sober who feel resentment and anger have not fully addressed their pain and learned how to move past those past events.
As a result, they have become stuck in those feelings. If people who are sober are unable to address and work through the pain and hurt that people and events have caused, they will not grow any further in their recovery. Eventually, the anger they feel will take up most of their energy and focus and they will end up using substances again as a way to cope with and rationalize what they feel.
How Do You Let Go Of Resentments In Recovery?
If you are newly sober and are struggling to deal with resentments as part of your recovery process, you must find ways to deal with what you are feeling and have the ability to let it go for your sake. The following tips will help you move past resentments in your recovery.
Focus on You
When it comes down to it, the only person responsible for how you handle things in your life and how you feel is you. You can’t fix the past and you can’t change or fix other people. The anger and frustration you feel as a result of resentments will only hurt you and it serves no purpose in your recovery or your life. To truly let it go, you need to focus on you and work through those issues that keep you stuck in those feelings.
Focus on The Positive
Another way to let go of resentments in your recovery is to focus on the positive things in your life and feed positive emotions. It is often easier said than done, but there are many things that you should be happy about. First, you are clean and sober and you are growing in your sobriety every day. Secondly, you are looking and feeling better than you have in years. Thirdly, you have a support network of family, friends and your peers in recovery you have your back through thick and thin. Place more of your energy on those things that will help you grow.
Mindfulness meditation techniques have become a staple of many drug and alcohol treatment programs. By practicing meditation, you are able to focus more objectively on your feelings and your thoughts. With regular practice, you will be able to deal with resentments and other negative emotions that can sabotage your recovery.
Keep A Journal
Journaling is another excellent way to let go of resentments in your recovery. When you write freely and candidly about what you feel onto paper, you are able to deal with those emotions in a more objective manner. In order to foster more positive emotions, keeping a gratitude journal is a great start.
Continue To Go To 12-Step Meetings or Other Sober Support Groups
A great way to learn to let go of resentments is to continue to attend 12-Step or other sober support group meetings on a regular basis. In these groups you will be able to talk about your feelings with other people who have dealt with similar things. It is easier to talk about negative emotions in a support group because nobody is there to judge.
Are You Stuck in Anger?
Learning to let go of resentments is absolutely necessary if you are going to succeed in your sobriety. In order to get the tools and support you need to truly break free, you need the professional help and support that can be found at Dream Center for Recovery. With our holistic-based treatment approach, expert staff and individualized treatment plans, you will be empowered to leave your addiction behind. Call us today!