Understanding the close relationship between resentment and recovery 
resentment in recovery

Recovery is filled with many ups and downs. It stands as a true test of character to maintain sobriety. Often times in recovery people with former substance abuse disorders become caught up in the pain and anguish. Before they know it their unhealthy feelings manifest into a strong feeling of resentment.

“Resentment is common within recovery but it does not have to affect your sobriety.”

Resentment in recovery

The feeling of resentment can stem from a person who has been the recipient of trauma. Those experiencing feelings of resentment face a hard challenge which can often lead to relapse. However, it is important to remember while resentment is common within recovery it does not have to affect your sobriety.

Resentment can trigger relapse

There are not many tips on how to address feelings of resentment. Many like to ignore or avoid this problem which often leads to relapse and other mental health issues. If left alone during recovery it can become a toxic trigger that does increasing harm to a person’s ability to sustain their recovery.

Here are four steps to help you deal with resentment:

resentment recovery list
1. Make a resentment list

Write down all the people you have or feel resentment towards. It can be as long as you need it to be. This could be anyone. Be honest and write down anyone that gives you a negative feeling. Places or institutions are not to be excluded.

2. Document why you resent the person in your list

Next to the person or place that you resent write down why. Provide as much detail as possible about what they did to cause you to resent them. No matter how silly the reason may seem write it down anyway. These reasonings do not have to “make sense.” They can range from the way they look at you to their personal appearance.

3. How does the resentment impact your life?

Next to your reasoning share what part of your life is affected by this resentment. This could be your relationships, confidence, work ethic, or financial standing. It is important to recognize what in your life is being dragged down by these negative emotions.

4.What part of the resentment is self-inflicted

This section also requires your brutal honesty. What hand did you play into this vicious circle of resentment? For example, you resent your roommate because they seem to excel with their recovery and you are struggling. Your response should be introspection as to why you are not performing as well in your own recovery. Maybe you discovered that your friend asks for help and you don’t. While it is not an easy fix and hard work it’s definitely something you can work on. As you make small steps one day your ability to ask for help may be an acquired behavior.

Download our Resentment Checklist and start letting go of these negative emotions.

Resentment Checklist

Letting it all go

Read what you have written from left to right analyzing whom and what you resent, as well as why you resent them. This also allows you the chance to let go of secrets, fears, and lies. A lot of times we have situations where a problem seems bigger than it is. Once you have written down your problems honestly and face your fears you can return on the path to a healthy recovery.

By letting go of your resentment maybe the difference between your relapse and recovery.