Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery
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Postby ROBERT » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:29 am

This has come up often latley due to readings--it's an interesting topic.....being able to understand what resentments are,how i got them,and how NOT to get them is part of recovery,and has been another process,but the 4th dimension that BILL refers to is very evident in this area for me, any E-S & H...anyone!

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Postby GeoffS » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:59 am

"God, every time this topic comes up it just makes me so mad. I can't believe you idiots need to discuss it again, for goodness sake if you all just listened and did things right there would be no need to hash it all out again."

Yours in step 10.


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Postby ccs » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:34 am

The word resentment comes from the Latin word "sentire" which means, "to feel", and when you put "re" in front of any word, it means "again", so the word resent means "to feel again". It includes people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry, with whom we were hurt or threatened or interfered with, with whom we felt had wronged us, with whom we stayed sore at, with whom we felt "burned up" toward, and with whom we held a grudge.

I would like to add the following as well: People, institutions or principles which we are annoyed with, agitated by, or let down by; and I also like to suggest that this includes our regrets [from "gratan", to weep, i.e., to weep again] because regret is resentment toward ourself.

I always thought that resentment was reasonable, acceptable, and almost fun at times. Resentment became a way of life for me because it seemed like I had problems with or was annoyed by most of the people, institutions or principles I knew.

But, if we want to recover from alcoholism, the BigBook says, "We saw that these resentments must be mastered," and here's why:

1. Resentment is the "number one" offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease. (Page 64)

2. It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility. (Page 66)

3. It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to unhappiness (Page 66)

4. To the precise extent that we permit these [deep resentment], do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. (Page 66)

5. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. (Page 66)

6. We found that it [this business of resentment] is fatal. (Page 66)

7. For when harboring such feelings [resentment] we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. (Page 66)

8. [When we harbor resentment] the insanity of alcohol returns. (Page 66)

9. [When we harbor resentment] we drink again. (Page 66)

10. For alcoholics these things [including resentment] are poison. (Page 66)

11. We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others [resentment], fancied or real, had power to actually kill. (Page 66)

12. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. (Page 70)

13. We have commenced to see their [resentment's] terrible destructiveness. (Page 70)

14. Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic. (Page 117)

15. The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy, frustration, and fear. (Page 145)

After all this, it can't be denied that the Big Book paints a really definite picture of the result of holding resentments. Is it possible that the more we have them, the more we are moving toward our next drink, since we have used alcohol before to help us deal with them? We must honestly ask ourself if we are earnestly seeking to get rid of resentments in our life, or do we hold on to some, considering them unavoidable. It's something to think about.

"Barefoot Bob "

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Postby DiggerinVA » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:47 am

css Thank You for a reminder for the meaning of Resentment. It seems that I no longer re- in those situations. Yes I may still detest some things, but it no longer lingers and bothers me. If that makes any sense.

garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:53 pm

The book does talk a lot about resentment like Cessie said.

For me it's sometimes easier to explain resentment to a new person as a "grudge list". This is one of those things that is a totally "human" experience that non-alcoholics have, too, like GeoffS said. But for me, alcohol did some damage to certain parts of my brain, now they don't work. So my mind has to learn how to become morally "rewired" or "re-taught" through applying the spiritual principles behind the 12 steps.

I had a "grudge" against a certain woman when I was a few years into sobriety. She was the perfect actress, blonde and beautiful, and I fell for her act. I found out she was, oh hell here goes another crazy thing I don't really want to share. Folks, let this be a warning about what happens when an alcoholic stops increasing his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, and when he stops working a recovery program.

Well my mind got deviant after I found out the truth about this woman who was expressing great interest in me, even buying me things. I got interested in her too. Well I came to find out she was a paid snitch for call it an "unamed" branch of law enforcement. I let that grudge grow into the biggest, fattest resentment. I planned out a crime -- use your imagination, please because it's painful for me to say again today. I was ready to carry out something really bad. I knew where she lived. I know "B & E", and a bunch of other unecessary "skills" that would have put me behind bars for a long time. I was dangerous.

Being "sober" without God is painful for me to remember and talk about. I can visualize things as I planned back then - I haven't forgotten who I was. I'm not proud to say that I could see myself, and the look on her face which I thought would bring me satisfaction. I wanted to watch her up close and personal. I wanted to "feel" and sense her fear - to smell her when she clocked out. A "payback" for what she did to me - a payback I thought all snitches deserved. That was what I thought would "make it right" in the universe. This was "passion" gone very bad.

I'm not proud of myself. I was without God's Direction. I wanted to make a person suffer, and to watch her, and even smell her fear. That's a thing that differentiates some alcoholics from everyone else. Over the years I drank, alcohol increased my spiritual malady - my sickness (or "hole") of the soul - to the point where I would enjoy doing something very ugly. That is a malady. That is a sickness of my soul.

Alcohol brought that about. Somehow, alcohol had an "abnormal effect" on some part of my brain to the point where I became capable, that is uninhibited enough, to carry out grizzly acts of violence against another human being, and then enjoy it. Somehow, alcohol damaged the part of my brain that controlled my dangerous or wreckless "impulses". I'm alcoholic and I was "suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer."

Well something distracted me from my plans - obviouisly God had a hand in granting me grace. Somewhere during that time, I prayed again, and my destructive desire was lifted. All this went on after 4 years sober. Then a real irony came to me, and by that time, my innermost being had changed. I asked for help from God because I knew I would drink again, and deep within my heart, it hurt me to think and plan out a violent act against one of God's daughters. But my own twisted thoughts were there before me. I saw myself through God's eyes and experienced God's grace and mercy, and I changed.

I found out the girl had a serious mental illness that she was getting treated. She was mentally sick. Her mind was crushing her. A man I knew described taking her to her psychiatrist several times. He described how she was shaking and crying, and she would blurt out psychotic things - he had to restrain her to get her into the clinic. She wasn't an alcoholic. But she was mentally sick. Very sick.

I no longer had that "grudge" or the "resentment". I took her mental condition lightly, but I no longer needed to think destructively or hold a grudge, or have a resentment.

The ONLY way I can overcome the damaged part of my mind, my "broken inhibitions", is to pray the "4th step prayer" over on page 67 which goes like this:

"We asked God to help us show the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."

That's a pretty simple solution to resentment. It's not easy, but it is simple. For me it works, and it's not as uncomfortable once I learn how to do it through practice over and over again.


I discover freedom from the "bondage of self".

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Postby ccs » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:40 am

Hey Paul its really nice to see your words of E,S,&H once again I missed you !!!!!! :wink:

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Postby JayWalker » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:49 pm

This sure seems to be a hot topic around here.

Chapter 3.

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Postby tim-one » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:04 am

This sure seems to be a hot topic around here.

Yeah, it is, JW.

Resentments seems to be a toughy. Gotta remember that there is no "here" really. We're everywhere.

Los Angeles ... that's in ... like ... way west Texas, ain't it? :lol:

One of my AA buds was griping about a 4 year issue. He told me he wasn't angry. (bull ...) I asked him how long he'd been sober. "2 years".

I really RESENTED that my sponsor didn't tell me I could hold onto my favorite resentments when he step-7'd my fanny. :roll:

Turns out resentments isn't the real issue. It's letting go of them.

I "needed" some of mine. NOT ! :wink:



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Postby Danni » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:19 pm

CCS, thank you for posting the blurb from Barefoot Bob above. (Was it Barefoot Bob or Barefoot Bill that died earlier this year? They have both been wonderful A.A.'s and will be missed by many).

Here is something that helps me from the Twelve and Twelve, in the part for Step Ten.

"It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger? If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
from Page pg 90 Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

"Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These emotional "dry benders" often led straight to the bottle. Other kinds of disturbances--jealousy, envy, self-pity, or hurt pride--did the same thing."
from Page pg 90 Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

"It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us."

I find it more productive to my serenity and sanity when I get disturbed with someone else is to try to find out where I'm in the wrong instead of jumping to conclusions that the other person is in the wrong, or that they are "out to get me".

Anger, resentments and other emotional disturbances filter all of my thoughts making it impossible to see the real truth in any situation. The disturbance will cause "it's all about me" thinking (self-centeredness) and that "the other person is out to get me" (pity, selfishness, self-centeredness), and blame anything and anyone with "they are out to get me" thinking.

By placing blame on the other person I am powerless to do anything about it. By taking responsibility for my own emotional disturbance I can take corrective actions and become accountable to make personal changes that take control of how I deal with my life experiences.


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Postby ccs » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:53 pm

CCS, thank you for posting the blurb from Barefoot Bob above. (Was it Barefoot Bob or Barefoot Bill that died earlier this year? They have both been wonderful A.A.'s and will be missed by many).

Barefoot Bob Hardison

Born: August 8th, 1933

Sobriety Date: February 28th, 1974

Died: January 31st, 2009
yes Danni I love reading the writings of Barefoot Bob

thanks Danni I really needed to read what you just posted
I dont think it will ever cease to amaze me how when you need to hear or see something GOD puts it right in the mouth (or fingers in this case ) of another alcoholic sharing thier experience strength & hope :o

LUV-2-ALL Cess

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