You’ll Never Be Happy if You’re Resentful

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Every cliche’ I heard in rooms of recovery annoyed me. Mainly because they’re all so astoundingly true and apply to me personally, so heavily. In fact, I’m almost certain a few of them were written for me, specifically.

Especially the one stating “Living with resentment is like allowing someone to live in your head, rent free”. When I made my way through those doors for the first time back in 2014, I was basically a walking resentment. I blamed everyone, other than myself, for everything I was unhappy with in life. There’s honestly no telling how much time I spent hatching plans that were sure to ruin the lives of those I deemed responsible for my unhappiness. But then I kept coming back and slowly but surely, I was able to let each of them fall by the waist side. I realized that living well, truly is the best revenge.

How much time do you spend thinking about people from your past who wronged you? Do you honestly believe these people dedicate that same energy and head space, to you? More importantly, where has any of it ever gotten you, other than angry, broken and sad?

The irony in all of this of course, is the fact resentments ended up being the reason I walked right back out those doors a few years later. I was done. Tired of the self centered, manipulative, attention seeking behaviors I seemed to be unable to escape in meetings and in those circles in general. Tired of growing close with people, only to end up at their funeral after they relapsed and overdosed. In recovery, they tell you to buy a black suit or dress because you’ll need one and they aren’t kidding. The very first guy I asked to sponsor me, the first stranger to truly help me just because I asked, is dead now. Yesterday would have been his 55th Birthday.

I think what eats away at me about it, is not the fact he passed away but the fact he relapsed very publicly and would still show up to meetings, obnoxiously high. He wasn’t the quiet type so everyone always took notice. More like he made sure you noticed him. Something about this annoyed me so deeply and that bothers me. I wish I had tried to help him the way he did me when I walked in those doors. But instead I was cold, standoffish, and bothered — as opposed to compassionate and understanding. Resentments are a motherfucker.

Even more ironic, is the fact I’d see others do this to those who relapsed and be disgusted by it. It just became state’s evidence for the case of resentment I was building against everyone in recovery. They were frauds who didn’t practice what they preached. Resentment led me right back to a bar stool.

Resentment and peace of mind can’t coexist in the same head. Part of my problem is I love deep and I hate deeper. I wish it wasn’t the case but it is. Awareness is the first step to solving any problem. Today, I’m aware of the damage resentments have done to me. Of the internal yet quiet unhappiness, they built inside of me. I simply don’t have room for them today. I’m too busy trying to fix my own wrong doings to keep track of other people’s. I hold myself too accountable to blame others. Replacing resentment with self awareness is the first step back to the peaceful place I want to return to — and I’m thankfully on my way.

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