There are some issues that come back again and again no matter how long we have been in recovery. Resentment is one of them. It’s not so much that we are slow learners; it’s more that we are just human beings. And then too, we are around other human beings all the time: at home, at work, at the mall, on the golf course, even in our Twelve-step meetings. So resentment is a topic that is always relevant no matter how long we are in recovery.
In “Out of the Woods” I write about resentment and what I have learned and how I still learn to deal and heal. I acknowledge that we get resentments and that, yes—we also create resentments for others. So what can we do?
It turns out that the advice in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is very good. We can pray to be free of resentment. It does work. But I have found—and maybe you have too—that I have to be reminded over and over again.
So to speed things up we have sayings and slogans. I think some of the pithiest, funniest and most pointed gems we hear in long recovery are about dealing with resentment. And even though resentment will haunt us at the ten and 20 and 30-year mark, the good news is that we are able to shift out of resentment faster. And isn’t that a relief?
Some of my favorite sayings that allow me to catch myself before I do too much damage (and it’s always damage to ourselves) include these:
Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.
Resentment is like setting yourself on fire and hoping the other person dies of smoke inhalation.
Resentment is like letting someone live rent-free in your head.
I know these sayings to be life saving and I have included more slogans and instant-sanity sayings in the new book.