Maintenance and Growth
Two themes that pop out for me is anger and resentment.
As per previous video I have a 12 session anger management workshop focusing on making better choices.
Good definition I heard for resentment is that if we think of something that makes us angry at least three times on the same day then this may be a resentment. That definition stuck with me. Resentment is pure mental drunkenness, we must treat it mentally and spiritually to remain physically sober.
What is the best way to start dealing with resentment? Write them out. Are you angry with people, institutions or principles? What I found is the resentment does not really have much to do with others. It took me a lot of digging, though, to find out. In the big book it states that a life that is filled with deep resentment only leads to futility and unhappiness. To live a resentful life is to squander away precious hours that would have been more worthwhile spent living or creating things. Resentment hinders spiritual growth which is our only hope to recover.
Other qualities to consider is dishonesty, criticism, self-pity, jealousy, intolerance, fear and as mentioned in the reading, anger.
If you get the opportunity, I would encourage you to Google the anger arousal cycle. Was very helpful to me in my recovery. If we were to look at anger positively it is just like a thermometer. It is an indicator that something is going on and that we need to take action. Although it is an indicator we can still mismanage it. I know I certainly did by really indulging in it and by dumping it on others, especially my wife, really unfairly I might add. Even though I have been in recovery for a couple of decades I still let anger get to me. In my radical honesty I shared a book that really changed my outlook on anger – the book is called “The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.”
One example that I usually come up with is building a model. Although there has been numerous times I have been visibly angry because I do not hide it very well, I keep remembering the model car. It took me quite a few months to create this car and paint it, etc and glue it together. It was a hobby I tried to get into early on in my recovery because I used to build models when I was younger. That is what happens when we get into recovery, we tend to try to pick up our life where we left off when we started drinking or using drugs. I know that happened in my case and the only thing I had to get used to was doing what I used to do before drinking but now I had to do these things without any mind altering substances. I remember getting real angry and picking up this model in both hands, just squishing the whole model and throwing it on the ground. It kind of shocked me and my girlfriend at the time, and she is now my wife though.
So that is what we need to do, we need to find someone who is willing to grow and walk alongside us in our recovery as we begin to get our life back into manageability. Like a sounding board with which we can test reality. Why because I am starting to know myself now. I know I love anger and self-pity. According to the big book this type of anger is a dangerous emotion for us. If we are to live we need to be free from anger. We need to kick the grouch to the curb. They may be ok for others to experience but for alcoholics these things are poison. It builds up like static when you rub your feet along the carpet. This anger then builds up and builds up and builds up and then what? Leads to self-pity and resentment which can then cause slips. This is the reason that if I now experience anger which can also build up over several years I know I need to talk to someone or get it out immediately. I use a model of communication that I learned along the way and my tendency now is to approach the person themselves that I am angry at. Doing a thorough step 4 and 5 gives me the ability to do this because like I said in a previous video once your story is out there you are free to express your emotions as close to the trigger of those emotions as possible. You just need to be thorough and honest in steps 4 and 5 though. The issue is if you are not thorough and honest you will stay in a state of constant anger and resentment and will not be able to fully express these emotions when they arise as they arise. This is what I believe they term the dry drunk then. What makes this all possible as mentioned in the previous video is a willingness to turn our lives and over to God as we understand him.
I would encourage you, if you are new to recovery, is to ask yourself what does ANGER and RESENTMENT mean to you? If you felt an emotion as I said that that is an indication that something may need to change. I encourage you to find a very close friend or companion who you trust and share your recovery life with them and ask them to walk with your spiritual journey with you, if you do you will be able to work through this poison that is ruining your spiritual growth.