Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dealing With Anger and Resentment at 18 Months Sober

***Submitted by Julie

I was hoping to submit some writing to your site. I just love it and wanted to share some of my story.

Recovery has been one of the most challenging things I have ever been through in my life. I just celebrated my 18 months of sobriety about 3 weeks ago. Even though I have come this far in the journey, I still feel so fragile and unsteady in this world of sobriety. 

I starting blogging a while back. I was amazed at all the support I received from others. In a way, though, it makes me so incredibly angry at myself that I waited 15 years to do something about it.

At this juncture in my sobriety I still feel pretty fragile because of some lingering anger and resentments. On one level, I feel like there were people who knew very well what was happening to me and never intervened because they needed me sick. But, on the other hand, I think these same people didn't know what the heck to do with me because I was so out of control, volatile and quite unpleasant to deal with drunk or sober. I really need to forgive them, forgive me and move on. They sure have, and look at me, still stuck back at square one wondering what happened.

I am standing at the doorway of my 4th step of recovery. People have told me this is the step to identify and get rid of all my resentments and anger.

Sounds wonderful, right?

 Actually, it sounds like change, and I do not deal very well with change. I get stuck in a comfort zone. I swiftly and quickly got addicted to alcohol. Although I was miserable, I drank anyway because I knew what was going to happen, this was my routine. 

Now that I have been sober for 18 months, I sort of feel like my resentments and anger have started providing this same rut/comfort zone. The resentments do make me happy, but it is sure comfortable to stay here. What happens when I am not mad anymore? What if I forgive people? 

Anger is righteous to me. It motivates me. It gives me energy. Makes me totally loony at times but at least I am connecting with the world around. Kind of reminds of the reasons I still convinced myself to keep drinking....sigh.....

On the very basic level of things, I feel like I am still trying to find my place in the world.

I drank from ages 15-33. I accomplished a lot in those years, especially since I was drunk almost every day for the last 10 years of it. But, I still don't feel settled into a life of recovery. 

A life of alcoholism was easy to slide into only because I didn't have to feel anything for 10 hours out of the day. I am just restless and unsure of myself. 


  1. Wow, heavy stuff there! I have encountered your same sort of feelings. It sounds as though you're right on track...another barrier to push through. Hang in there!

  2. That's some healthy honesty and it sounds to me like you are ready to tackle that fourth step head on. Your resentments are going to keep you sick, and staying unwell like that is what pulls us back to our addiction. I mean, seriously. Whats the point of putting down the bottle if we're still going to feel like sh*t? However, go easy on yourself. You are still fairly early in recovery and these kinds of feelings are not uncommon. Do you have sound guidance with your fourth step?

  3. I can relate to the "needing me sick" thing, but only for a moment. At the end of the day, alcoholism is our own problem and it's not healthy to point the finger at other people, no matter how enabling they were, and shift blame for why you drank. It takes the focus off of what's important - not drinking. We're all here for you.

  4. I am also working on my fourth step. And I'm taking a long time to do it. I did it two years ago, but in sort of a half-assed way. And even so, I did get a lot of relief. I am trying to do a more thorough job this time. In the end, it is really more about finding out our own part in all that has happened and continues to happen to us. It is then that we can figure out what we need to change about the only person we CAN change: ourselves. And that is so empowering!

  5. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I wrote this a little while back. I have been through my 4th step now. I think this is something that I am going to have to revisit again (the 4h step that is). It's a work in progress. I have a blog as well if you are interested in my journey: www.livefortodaysober.blogspot.com

    In about 3 weeks I will be coming up on 2 years! I am so grateful!!

  6. Julie, am so happy for you. I am hoping to make it to a year. I never have. Relapse always seems to be looming. I hate how Alcoholism waits so patiently for you to falter, then it swoops you up and says, "Come here you, been waiting for ya." Or so it seems. Anyhoo, I am proud of you. Soldier on Sistah. I know I am. All the best,

  7. AWESOME recovery! And so REAL! wtg

    Ok, drinking ages 15-30 ?? That's a long time to "undo", , a history of stinking thinking. Go easy on yourself,
    from where I'm sitting, you're doing beautifully!

  8. The 4th step is a tough one but one that needs to be done with rigorous honesty. Do not get stuck on the 4th step and do not rush through it either. You will come out a much better person with a new perception on life.