I’ve been reading lately about resentment. I’m generally a nice guy. I smile at folks, laugh at their jokes, and listen to what they have to say. As an introvert, it is sometimes hard for me to actually engage in a conversation, but I frequently try to make small talk. So when I thought about the possibility that I might add resentment to my list of addictions, my first thought was, “no way.” And right behind that thought came the epiphany , I was resenting the the notion that I was addicted to resentment.
So begrudgingly (with resentment), I’ve added it to the list. Yesterday, this addiction was confirmed. I meet with a small group of guys on Monday nights to talk about my addiction and recovery. They have been very gracious and kind to me. Yesterday, however, when texting about the details of the upcoming get-together I received the following texts. I’m putting the screenshot with the names redacted.
At first glance this probably looks like a guy taking advice from his friends but let me tell you about what was going on inside. I got angry about “spidey’s sense” and advice. It was my wife’s birthday and I had already thought through going out. She was sleeping off the stomach flu (a nice gift from someone on her birthday, 😦 and wouldn’t be waking up any time soon. I resented my friend for even bringing up the idea, and when a second guy affirmed that I should stay home, I got even more angry. That’s resentment pure and simple.
Twelve step recovery process insists we face everything honestly. I want to be known as a thoughtful guy, a nice guy, a person who thinks everything through and then makes a good decision. I didn’t take well to the challenge that maybe my decision was not the best one in this case. I acquiesced with, “Ok. See ya next week.” But, I caught myself thinking my friends didn’t know what they were talking about. Moreover, I resented they had even considered I was not taking everything into account. And, I was angry.
The good things is that I was honest with myself about my anger. In the past, I would have buried the anger and eventually would have acted out my addiction to keep from acknowledging the feeling at all. Honesty, acknowledgement, baby steps toward recovery, and now writing about the event are progress, but I’ve got a long way to go.