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10 Most Common Resentments in Early Recovery

By Cheryl Steinberg

You’ve probably heard this a bunch already but, resentments will take you back out. When you take a look at what the word, itself, means, it might give you some insight into why holding resentments can be so detrimental to your recovery. Resentment is close to “re-sentiment” where sentiment means ‘feeling’ and the prefix ‘re-’ means ‘again.’ So, resentment literally means “feeling again (and again).” Therefore, holding resentments is like recycling old, negative feelings, revisiting them over and over again. No wonder they can be such a problem! Below are the 10 most common resentments individuals in early recovery may feel.

Resentment toward your AA or NA Sponsor

For telling you something you don’t want to hear.

Having a curfew and other halfway house rules

Many of us in early recovery choose to live in a halfway house for added support, especially because it is suggested to do so. Well, ‘added support’ means having structure and therefore not too much freedom. Often times, it seems that we forget that we signed up for exactly that as soon as a rule is being enforced.

Resentment toward your halfway housemates

Whether it’s that they’re stealing your peanut butter or laundry detergent, or not pulling their own weight when it comes to house chores, it’s quite easy – and common – for people in in early recovery to cop a resentment towards their housemates.

Because of OPP (Other People’s Programs)

People in recovery sometimes can’t avoid the pitfall of taking other people’s inventories and becoming resentful when they see others who talk a big game but aren’t actually living the principles.

When someone’s family is helping them financially

Especially if you’re struggling with money, or a lack thereof.

Because of something someone says in a meeting

Like when someone mentions drugs in an AA meeting or identifies as an ‘addict’ rather than an ‘alcoholic,’ for example.

That someone gets to go home for the holidays

For those who went out of state for treatment and/or to live in a halfway house, that usually means that you don’t get to see your family back home for a while. But for some, whether they are locals to your area or who can afford it, they get to make the trip back home. This for sure leads to resentment on the part of those who stay behind, especially at holiday time.

Because someone else has a car

Meanwhile, you have to take the bus…grrr.

When someone uses

Unfortunately, when it come to the disease of addiction, relapse is quite common. And many of us, when we were in early recovery, would cop a resentment that someone “got to” use, rather than see it for what it is: an unfortunate relapse.

Resentment towards “normies”

People who can drink or use successfully – as it’s said – especially friends you used to drink and/or use drugs with. While you turned out to have a real addiction and therefore had to get sober, they could continue to party.

Resentment, envy, and jealousy are all part of the human condition, However, for people in recovery from alcohol and other drugs, copping resentments can be Enemy No. 1 when it comes to staying clean and sober. When you’re feeling resentful, talk to your sponsor and sober supports; and share about it in a meeting. If you are struggling with your sobriety and need help, call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. Addiction Specialists are available 24/7 to take your call.


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