- Step 4 resentment

Step 4 resentment

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Step 4 resentment

Postby tim-one » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:09 pm

I was talking with a brother after a meeting last night.

He was describing a situation he's going through and how angry he is with it. Something he'd been dealing with since before he came in.

Sounded like perfectly reaonable justifiable anger .... NORMALLY. Trying not to judge or work his program for him, I listened and told him I thought he outghta deal with his internal anger before trying to work out the mess and make it worse.

He kept insisting that his anger is justifiable and that, when he's dealing with it, he's displaying rational, non-emotional logic.

My alcoholic bullsht meter was trippin' out. It was obvious he's obsessing over it inside ... happy face or not.

I just asked, "How long have you been sober?"

"Two years." (I'm 6 months)

I yelled, "CRAP!" spun around and walked off cussin', flailing my arms.

"I'm gonna THRASH MY SPONSOR! Worked my AZZ OVER on 4 thru 7.

NOW I find out I coulda held onto my FAVORITE FRIGN RESENTMENTS !

DAMMIT !!!!" :twisted:

OHyeah ... he heard me. :)

Well, it kinda felt good in a self-righteous sorta way. I had fun with it. But now I've got a humbility issue to work out. Oh, well ... :roll:

Got a minute, Lord? Gotta talk. :wink:

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Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:27 pm

What I would do??? (Or, were you possibly asking for a comment about what you did? Or... what? )

If it were me -- I'd leave him alone and let him deal with his own problems. Those kinds of resentments have us on the ledge of the jumping off place -- he's had two years to decide if he's going to jump or not. It's his business and none of mine.

Then, I'd grab the next fresh never-been-to AA newcomer that came through the door and spend my time on him.

If the other guy hasn't bagged up and taken his trash out in two years, he may have no intention of cleaning house. And, cleaning house is a MUST... if we want to stay sober.. and be happy... for the long haul.

I'd also keep the newcomer away from the 2 yr AA, until I had taken the newcomer through the Steps.... (in about two weeks from the day he walked in).

The other guy is an example of an alcoholic that doesn't need the 12 Steps of AA. All he needs is meetings... cause he's got the power to stay dry.

It isn't until after we're thoroughly convinced that we are so powerless over alcohol -- that we are like drowning men -- that can't swim -- will we do the right about face, and take care of business.

I understand how sad it is to see them. The only thing I've seen that will get through to them is:

a. A major catastrophy... Or,

b. A whack upside the head with the realization of the morning-after syndrom that Jack Daniels is so good at initiating.

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I can hear some thinking "well that's pretty danged cold... and smug, and know-it-all-ish..." I thought and said the same thing about the one's that I heard say it when I was new. "How cold can you get?"

They had experience. Something that I didn't have. They had the wisdom of "being there and and doing that -- over and over and over and over again"... many times over. And, I couldn't understand it -- until I had the same experiences that they had.

Each man, in his own way... has to discover and make relations with his HP... "as he does it"... and they'll never do it the way we think they should! :wink:

Alkies are hard-headed. Defiant. Rationalistic. They know-it-all because they're narcissistic. We can drop some tacks around them and hope it punctures their bubble... but breaking the bubble is an inside job... and that's why alcoholism is so fatal.

It boils down to this: "Is my rational, logical, justifiable anger and resentment... worth more to me than my sobriety is?" Our book says... it doesn't matter how justifiable it is... justifiable anger... is for the non-alcoholics, and if we want to achieve and maintain sobriety -- we have to find a way to live with out it. Period. We do that -- or, it kills us.

I've seen AA's walk around with it -- for way longer than two years! :wink: They get worse -- never better. They might stay sober, but their life is a wreck, and often, they have to resort to high-powered medication... and trips to Looney Tune's Farm, for periodic R&R.

"Well that SOB Dallas!" :lol: :lol: :lol: "Thinks he know's it all!" :lol: :lol: :lol: No... I don't know it all... but I've been around the block several times... cause this is the neighborhood that I grew up in! :lol: :lol: I'm a "Watcher!" I watch them come and watch them go... and I take notes... and do my homework... not so I can "know it all" but so that I can use the lessons on myself! :lol:

Maybe... you and the newcomer's light and life will shine in front of him... and he'll see what the two of you have... and then, he'll decide he wants it. That will happen sometimes! That's when you'll start noticing that guys that have been sober many years more than you have -- will come up to you after the meeting, and tell you "I want what you have. I'm willing to do whatever it was that you did... Will you help me?"

Totally blew my mind the first time that happened to me! And, it blew it several more times... until I realized... what was going on.

Good luck Tim! Continue to let your AA light shine... and hopefully, he'll want it. But, he has to make that decision for himself.... and most likely without your help. Maybe... it works that way... so that it keeps our Ego smashed... Keeps us from coping the attitude that we can "fix them"... or save the world... when the only butt we can save is our own! :lol:

Last edited by Dallas on Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby DiggerinVA » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:39 pm

Dallas so well said. I give you two thumbs up.

You clean house, then ask for God to remove the things that are in his way, then repair repair the damage we can. Repeat daily.

If he is not willing, then next!
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Postby tim-one » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:25 am

Thanks, Dallas.

periodic R&R.

You are, of course, refering to our Relapse Recovery group, right?

( :lol: ... I just made a thinkable typo ... misspelled recovery as revocery. HHhmmmm. revoke and recover. Nevermind. Guess ya had to be there. I mean here. :lol:)

"well that's pretty danged cold... and smug, and know-it-all-ish..."

Yep. It's often cold. Has to be. The simple, unadulterated truth. After all the debating and wondering and chair-wiggling, it all comes down to simple truth.

"Your enemy is out to kill you. And you are your own worst enemy."

My shortcoming list is pretty short. I only have one defect! Self.

"God ... REMOVE ME!" :shock:


By the way ... the guy is an AA brother. I looked back to make sure he was laughing. He was. Lookin' down shakin' his head at me. (everybody knows my humor there) Point made. :wink:

I just love you guys, that's all. Thanks for your insight.

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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:01 pm

Love and how to do it. Wouldn't it be nice -- if we had it all figured out, and love would always be expressed precisely like we think it should be. :wink:

Sometimes, cold seems like such a bad idea. And, if we could just help someone to be more comfortable... wouldn't that be the loving thing we could do?

Give them a blanket. Maybe a portable heater... that's ran on batteries. Let them move in to our wonderful warm house -- so they can stay out of the cold. Yes! That would be more loving, for sure! Wouldn't it?

Those poor one's. Feed them. Dress them. Keep them warm and comfortable. That would be more loving, for sure! Wouldn't it?

Responsibility? Oh! They've got me! I'm the loving one! Why would they need to take responsibility -- when they've got me... the Loving ONe... sent by God, to love them.

Accountable? Oh! Surely not! Why in heaven's sake... should they need to be accountable? They've got me! The wonderful Accountable one -- sent by God to be accountable for them!

Conflicts? Oh!!! No! Surely not! I am the Loving One, sent by God to solve their conflicts for them ... I love them, so I'll take their conflicts for them. I will carry their burdens. I'll hang on their cross for them. I'll pay their fines. Bail them out. Feed them. Dress them. Care for them. Do their time for them -- if some Judge is not as loving towards them, as I am!

Tough love? Oh heck no! There is no such thing as "tough love." I know -- because "I am the Loving One, sent by God to love them!" Love is never tough! It is touchy, feely, kind, and caring... It is taking care of them... so that we can enable them to pursue their own goals in life! That's loving!

Gee... wouldn't it be wonderful for me... If I could find the Loving One!

That dear Loving One... to take care of me during the hard times!

Sober? Why would I want sobriety? That sounds like hard work to me! Surely, that's not very loving! I'll leave that one to the Loving One.

Hey Bartender! Pour me another please! And, a round for the house, too! My loving one will be here in a little while... to catch up my tab! :wink:

Oh wouldn't it be wonderful!!! If Love and the Loving One... would stop failing me! You know! I'm really ticked off! My Loving One is late! The bartender is starting to look at me funny! He's on the phone and calling the police! What do you mean that was a bogus bill that I gave you? I had nothing to do with that! I cashed my last paycheck across the street at that National Bank over there! That's where I got that bogus bill! It isn't mine! I only gave it to you because they gave it to me!!!

I have a right to be angry! I'm sitting here in this damn cold cell... My Loving One, that understands me and all my problems... hasn't showed up yet to bail me out! Bitch! Doesn't she know how cold it is in here? And, that damn bank teller! I'm sitting here in jail because of that bank teller! And, that bank teller wouldn't have been able to give me that damn bogus bill... if that damned National Bank hadn't of hired him!

I'm pissed! I'm ticked! My anger is justified! My anger and resentments are logical... I was simply sitting in the bar, enjoying my drink! My loved one was late in coming to pay my tab... so I had to use my own money! Money that I worked hard to get! And, the bartender had the nerve to say it was a bogus bill! And, now here I sit in this cold jail cell... It's the police, too! If they weren't out to get me...!!! Where the hell is my Loved One!!! I got to get out of here!

My mom just died... God took her away from me... just to punish me, and I could have been there to save her... had I not been sitting in this damn cell! Angry? You bet'cha! Justified! Obviously! Geesss.... I can't wait to get out of here and have a drink! :lol:

If only those Loved One's would do what their supposed to be I wouldn't be in here suffering like this!!!

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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:22 pm

BTW: As I read my little rambling above... I realized it was the perfect metaphore for my brother. I loved him. He died due to his alcoholism and drug addiction, two years ago. He was full of resentments and one of his biggest one's was "AA is so phony! They have that dumb little sign on the podium that says 'We Care' and they don't care!" I'll go find someone that really understands, and cares, and loves me the right way!

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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:09 pm

There's no need to be "cold" when someone is having a hard time getting rid of resentments or doing anything else this program suggests. The BB has a couple of lines in the chapter on Working With Others that sort of suggests you can lead a horse to water, he may not drink, but you might have made a new friend. (Susan's paraphrase).

I think when folks get bristly or "cold" it's ego talking. Sorry guys. There's another line in the BB that tells us to regard anyone that upsets us as we would a person suffering with any other kind of illness (again Susan's paraphrase -- you'll forgive me if I'm not able to quote verbatim just yet . . . :D ). You wouldn't be "cold" toward a person lying in a bed suffering with deadly cancer who refused to take a therapy you thought was the only one that could save his life.

I think the BB says you shouldn't waste precious time trying to work through steps with someone who isn't serious about it when there is someone else ready, willing, able and still suffering; it doesn't say anything about being "cold" toward one who is having trouble accepting.

This is a program of attraction. Teaching or leading by example is the best way to go I think.

Sorry, but I feel so strongly about this.
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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:10 pm


Im so sorry about your brother. :cry:

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Postby Susan68 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:16 pm

I started trying to take life on life's terms today. I was in Costco ready to beat people up with the huge carts all over the place and when the cake I ordered for tomorrow's anniversary celebration was NOT THERE and I had to wrangle with the folks in the back making the things. . .

I have a bit of short fuse for munitia such as above and other irritants. My patience is longer on the deeper stuff. But I am so nasty and impatient generally. So I'm am desperately trying to meander through this zoo known as Costco on a Saturday afternoon and I said, "Susan, relax, life on life's terms." I extrapolated my recognition of this irritating moment to other frustrations and indeed resentments that invariably led to the downward spiral with alcohol.

Just thought I'd share that thought cause heck it's all about me!!! :D
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Postby Dallas » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:51 pm

I guess the key phrase would be "someone else's perception of what is cold."

I'm not suggesting to be cold with anyone. Or, to ignore anyone. Or, to be unkind to anyone.

The keyword is "helpful."

About six months ago a doctor stuck a huge needle in my eye. I couldn't understand how that was being helpful. It was so painful -- surely, couldn't the doc find an easier, softer, kinder way... to be helpful to me?

Then, a couple of weeks later... the doctor did it again! He knew the pain that it caused me the first time he stuck the needle in my eye. He knew how much I objected to it. To get an idea of the pain... simply imagine that a doctor is shoving a huge horse needle into your eyeball... without anything to numb it! That's what it felt like.

Was the doc trying to be helpful... or, was he just cold and a mean person? Was he not thoughtful of the pain that the huge needle would cause me? Wasn't he sensitive to my needs?

So, I asked him: "Doc why did you have to do that to me? You're one of the best surgeons and docs in the country... according to your reputation. You prayed with me on my first visit to see you. You told me how important all your patients are to you... and that you and your wife pray for them each morning in a devotional tothether.... surely, if anyone could do it... an easier, softer way, why not you?"

He told me that he did care about me. He asked me if I was aware that some patients have to have the needle stuck in their eye every week... week upon week... to treat their condition. He said that I was lucky. So far, he only had to do it to me twice. And, if he was successful... I wouldn't have to have it done to me... once a week... for the rest of my life.

He told me that he was trying to save my eye. And, to keep me from going totally blind... and to save what tiny vision I still had left in it... in the hopes that someday, science will come up with a cure to treat my eye.

Cold? Sure. My perception was that he was cold. But, deep in my heart, I knew this doc did care about me. And, I know that sometimes... what's horribly painful... might be precisely what I need at the moment.... if I want to get better.

No. I'm not a doctor. Just a simple man that's sensitive and that does care about others. I'm also a sober alcoholic. That gives me credentials to drink! I know how to drink! And, I know how I got sober -- and I think I know what's keeping me sober.

If I thought that my actions were not helpful to another alcoholic -- I couldn't be comfortable in my own skin -- and knowing me, I would drink again.

I've also had the privilege of working belly-to-belly and face to face with hundreds of alcoholics throughout the last 22 sober years. I undertook the same academic training that doctors take that specialize in treating alcoholics and drug addicts. And, I've had the priviledge of observing a few thousand of them. Does that make me an expert in dealing with alcoholics? Hardly! I'm simply an alcoholic that's trying to stay sober -- by trying to be helpful to other alcoholics.

Could an alcoholic's perception (or non-alcoholic's perception) of what I'm doing -- seem "cold" and unhelpful, and painful and unnecessary? Sure it could. Does it mean that I am cold and uncaring? Or egotistical? I'll let others decide that for themselves. I know the honest answer.

Kind of like the doc I wrote about above. I'm sure that he's been sued by patients... for his "unhelpfulness"... which to their perception would have been malpractice. I haven't met a doctor yet, that has practiced for very long -- without being sued. Does that mean they are bad doctors... or that they just lack the experience to be helpful in a "real way" that people need? I don't think so.

I would suggest that all AA's... that want to help alcoholics... should spend a few days going to Al-Anon. (The program for the non-alcoholic wives, sisters, children, family and friends of alcoholics)... And, see first-hand, and learn, what they've learned the hard-way... to help the alcoholic that they so much love. Here, you'll find thousands of families that were searching for answers and solutions... "How can I best help the alcoholic that I love?"

For me, I discovered the key of what was keeping me sober. I want to stay sober more than I want anything else in this world. What's keeping me sober -- is trying to help another alcoholic. And, I believe, that if this is true... (and I think it is)... I want to learn and know all that I can -- that might help the other guy/girl that's still suffering. My sobriety and my life depend upon it. And, I love my life and I love my sobriety! :wink:

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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 4 resentment