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.
Again, I find these to be some of the most important words in all of the program for me. There are a few things I want to understand better about this.
First, I wonder what sort of change or understanding finally enabled me not to go straight to the bottle. I want to understand this, even more now that it occurred so far back in my past. No doubt I drank over an excess of negative emotions and character defects. When and why was I finally able to make it through those sober?
Also, I have understood on some level that any time I’m disturbed, something is wrong with me. That has served me very well through years and situations. Maybe it helps me deal with the frustrated impotence I can sometimes feel when someone has really and truly done me wrong. OK, they were wrong. How can I change myself to better handle it when other people are wrong?
Most times no doubt I must try to accept the wrongness ratio of any situation as basically 50/50, and move on. The above says that I have been victimized by resentments, justified and not. So even my justified resentments hurt me. Hurt. Me.
I peeked ahead just a bit in the step and I’m hoping for a better understanding of the spot check inventory – soon.