Addiction Recovery

13: The Dangers of Resentment in Sobriety

January 08, 2024 Steven T. Ginsburg Season 1 Episode 13
Addiction Recovery
13: The Dangers of Resentment in Sobriety
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers


Explore the liberating power of releasing grudges and past hurts in addiction recovery with Steve Coghran and Steven Ginsburg from Restore Detox Centers. Uncover the impact of suppressed anger and the necessity of forgiveness in sobriety. Hear personal stories, including a powerful narrative about Steve's journey to cathartic release through letting go of animosity. Gain actionable insights on confronting and dismantling bitterness, utilizing prayer, meditation, and direct confrontations. Emphasizing the importance of candid communication, we invite listeners to share their experiences and join us in the pursuit of inner peace. Join this enlightening conversation for a journey toward recovery and reconciliation guided by authenticity.

Helpful Links:
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery:  1-800-982-5530

DISCLAIMER:

Welcome to the Addiction Recovery podcast, brought to you by Restore Detox Centers. We are dedicated to providing valuable and insightful information on addiction recovery. However, it is essential to understand that the content shared in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for individual circumstances. The topics discussed in this podcast are based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice or treatment.

It is important to note that the views and opinions expressed by the podcast hosts, guests, or contributors are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Restore Detox Centers. We strongly advise listeners to consult with qualified professionals, such as addiction counselors, therapists, or medical practitioners, before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this podcast. Please be aware that listening to this podcast does not establish a client-provider relationship with Restore Detox Centers.

Steve Coughran:

This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey there, welcome back to another episode of Addiction Recovery. My name is Steve Coghran. I'm here with Steven Ginsburg. Stephen, welcome back. I'm so glad that we're together again.

Steven Ginsburg:

Brother, I always love our time where we can focus on the solution and give people a better way of day at a time.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely. And today I want to talk about resentment. The other day, you and I were having a conversation and you mentioned this idea of the dangers of resentment and sobriety. What? What did you mean by that when you said that to me?

Steven Ginsburg:

Yes, I'm actually really happy we had that talking point and then it led to here we are now. You know the folklore or the consistent message you will hear in treatment, in recovery, in the recovery world that resentment is considered the number one offender. And I believe that there's so much that comes behind suppression suppression of anger, suppression of issues, suppression of elements where they people feel like someone has done them wrong, that when people carry that around, they are carrying that animosity around and then they go ahead and they take it out on themselves. And that's where I truly believe they need to work on whichever method works best to be relieved of that and to let it go and to get into surrender mode so that resentment doesn't sit there and eat them alive while they're angry with someone else. Yeah, I mean so that's interesting.

Steve Coughran:

Let's talk about that more. What are we referring to specifically when it comes to resentment? Are you saying an addict is sitting in group, or they're having a discussion with you or some other professional and they're saying when I was eight years old, you know, my mom did this and now I resent her and therefore it's led me down this path? Is that what we're talking about?

Steven Ginsburg:

That's a great example of it. It's a perfect textbook example of it. And they're carrying around stuff about mom and they're mad at mom and then they act out and they end up harming themselves because they're so angry at mom and the only person they're hurting is who themselves. Right. And that's where I really want to see people break free from that cycle and that's where so much of the focus in recovery is in the value of acceptance, of not being weighed down by resentment and then finding a way to the solution where you're not holding other people answering for their transgressions, for your key to your happiness and your serenity.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, and I think it's easy to fall into that trap. I mean, look, we all do it to some extent. I mean, but how do we overcome that? Because you know it's interesting when I was younger, you know, my mom got divorced and you know my dad left when I was, I think, three years old. My mom had five kids with them. My older sister, you know she I mean she was older of course, she was more familiar with the situation. I was three years old so I didn't really know the difference, to be honest, until I got a little bit older and I was like, oh okay, well, that's kind of jacked up. You know, my dad left five kids because he had a drug and alcohol problem. And eventually, you know, it wasn't really like resentment, steven, it's not like I like hated my dad and therefore I was going to act out and do all this stuff. It was just more I was wondering, like, why the heck would he do that and am I not worth anything to him? Like why would he leave me and my siblings If we had value? I just couldn't understand it. But it's funny because some people in my family or some people in the in my extended family and even close friends. I've seen them go through the same exact experience as somebody else, but the response is entirely different. Like one person is, like, completely angry with the situation, whether it's divorce or death or whatever it may be a bad situation, whereas somebody else deals with it entirely different. What's that all about? Is that just like ingrained in our DNA, or is that something we have control of and we could fix? What are ?

Steven Ginsburg:

I think so much of it is what occurs in our formative years and I think that I think the key to all of this really becomes grace. Like are we able to allow ourselves and this is easy to talk about and it's easy to say, okay, you know, give grace like, let go, forgive, understand rather than be understood. That rolls right off the tongue. But go ahead and try to live that, especially when you've had trauma or when you've been the person who has fallen victim to individuals where there has been dysfunction or misgivings. Yes, it's easy lip service, but to live it, you're really doing yourself a greater benefit than the person you're forgiving. So it's through that grace, it's through forgiveness, You're relieving yourself of carrying that weight around. And you know, even in my own family there are things that I've chosen to let go of and move on from so that I could love my family well and so that I could come alongside and have a great relationship with my family. And then I have other members of my family who have decided to hold on to things and the only person it's affecting is them. But there's really nothing I can do to tell them. I've got to do my best to just live that out and then hopefully eventually they come to that realization. But I would really urge people, through grace and through taking care of your part in things You're able, to let that animosity go, and the relief comes when you let the animosity go.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, no, and I think that's so true. Easier said than done. Okay, I totally agree with that. I think the big thing at least for me, and maybe some people can relate when it comes to forgiving, I'm all about forgiving, okay, no question whatsoever that it's more for me versus the other person. Here's the problem that I've ran into and I've had to overcome this mindset, and I want to hear your thoughts on it too, stephen. It's like, okay, somebody does something bad to me, to somebody I love or whatever maybe. And I often fall into the trap where it's like okay, well, if I just forgive this person, then it makes it okay, then they're justified. And I know it's not about like, okay, I'm going to be angry with them and hold this resentment and somehow it's going to affect their life because they just move on with their life. I don't even know that you're mad at them. They're just living life and here you are suffering, you're having all this trauma. But individually I'm thinking, okay, if I go to this person and say, hey, look, I forgive you, then it's almost like saying, hey, it's okay to punch me in the face, it's okay to steal from me, to stab me in the back, whatever it may be. Whatever the trespass is, it's almost like you're giving them permission. But then I realized, okay, that's a terrible mindset to have, even though it's easy to fall into.

Steven Ginsburg:

So I think it's a great talking point and it crosses over into other great talking points. But all of this stuff quote, unquote, does you know? Then it becomes about if there's going to be an exchange, if there's going to be communication, which of course is monumentally healthy and then we're able to explain to the individual where we're concerned, we're letting go of this issue. We can still have really healthy, succinct, well-spoken boundaries, steve, and let them know. Hey, this wasn't acceptable to me, but I understand what occurred and I forgive you for your apartment and I'm gonna move on with my life, but then we don't have to allow them to re-perpetrate that same thing in our lives again. Yeah, dovetailing, that you know. First of all, you're doing yourself a great service. You are proverbially putting down your sword. There's value in that but you are not presenting yourself arms wide open to the offender and saying now strike me again. That is not what's occurring and I don't believe in that. There's enough to carry around, there's enough work to be done, there's enough road to haul. We are not here to carry around that weight and have that burning inside of us. You made the most important point, steve. I assure you, whoever that individual is, they are not walking around in their day-to-day life thinking about us.

Steve Coughran:

Yep, they're not.

Steven Ginsburg:

They could care. I mean, they're just not God bless their hearts, but we are. I have one person. This is a pretty amazing reality. I have one person, steve, that I have purposefully and consciously continued to carry resentment around with, and it's my pleasure. Now, that's terrible, but it's also truth, and I love the truth. It's the most fun, it's the easiest thing to remember. Will I get to it? You bet I will. If it weighted me down, if it caused unmanageability in my life here's some familiar terms, right. If it was holding me back, if it was affecting my day-to-day life with my wife, with my children, with you and I, with the world that we encounter and our ability to love and heal, I would run to the event horizon and relieve myself of that burden. It's not doing any of those things, so I am enjoying my resentment, and it's been yours. The day will come, though. The day of reckoning will come with this individual, but I like even owning that with people as a talking point. I don't want my halo to blind anyone. I fall short here too, but it's such a better way to live to not carry that anger around and to be freed of that and liberated of that so that we can heal and process and so that we don't repeat the transgressions of what the perpetrator repeated towards us. We don't want that as part of our day-to-day.

Steve Coughran:

Well, and I love your truth and your vulnerability to that, steven, thanks for sharing that. And I think that's true in each of our lives and what I want the listeners to hear and I'm sure you'll second this that it's okay to have some level of resentment as just a natural response. We're human. Something bad happens to you, somebody stabs you in the back, we're not saying okay, well, tomorrow you need to just say hey, I forgive you. Like there's a process here. So you may be resentful, you may be angry, you may be frustrated, you may be whatever the emotion is like okay, feel it. Like don't bury it, like burying it's gonna be worse, but feel it, experience it, go through it, but then let it go when the time's up.

Steven Ginsburg:

Amen, right, amen. It's such a yes, a billion percent, and again, like it's such a great way to live. There's so much validity to it. And, steve, I think people get sick behind resentment, like cancer, like heart disease. I think people suffer through wild bouts of depression. Behind resentment, I think there is anxiety at infinem, behind resentment. It is just such a gross part of the human condition. But there is a really easy solution, but it's gotta be done just with consistency and with a real emphasis on the footwork towards letting things go.

Steve Coughran:

And I think that's a great point, steven, and let me just piggyback on your point about being sick, and I'm gonna be a little crude and explicit here. But I don't know about you, but when I used to drink, I would sometimes drink so much that the next day I'd feel terrible. I'd have the worst hangover in the world, and since I was drinking on an empty stomach the night before and I had no food in my system, I would throw up liquid and I'd throw up and throw up. But then I'd get to the point where there's nothing left in my system and I'd started throwing up bile and I didn't even know what bile was until it actually came up out of my mouth. And I don't know if you've experienced that before.

Steven Ginsburg:

I absolutely have, unfortunately.

Steve Coughran:

Yes, yeah and it's like acidic, it burns your throat, it's like this nasty taste and it's like. I mean, for me it's like this orangeish color. I mean it's gross. The reason why I bring this up is because when you talk about being sick and we think about poisoning ourselves, I truly believe anger and jealousy and hatred and all these bad feelings, like these negative feelings that come from the adversary that produces this bile or this nasty stuff that's poison within our bodies and we just carry that around and it's like no wonder why you feel so terrible and no wonder why people get sick, and I'm not saying people who get sick or get cancer. There's this direct correlation. But to your point, steven, if this is constantly in your mind hatred, anger, resentment then of course it's gonna have some physiological effect on you, just like the vial that I'm talking about. What are your thoughts on that?

Steven Ginsburg:

great analogy. It's just a remarkably perfect analogy, brother, and it's awful. Carrying resentment around it produces nothing but an element that is just purely uncomfortable and makes us physically and spiritually unwell. So your analogy is just perfect.

Steve Coughran:

So let me ask you this with resentment you've coached people through this. You've done groups on this and we have a lot of expertise in this area. What tips would you give to somebody who is dealing with resentment and they wanna let it go. They all wanna carry it around with them. They're just having a really hard time letting it go. What would you say to them?

Steven Ginsburg:

Many, many things jump to the front of my mind. First and foremost, whatever an individual's version of prayer is and everybody has different versions of that go ahead and, with the person or the situation you resent, assign yourself, a day at a time, a 30 day prayer cycle on it, Even if your version of prayer is nothing but meditation and reflection. Meditate and reflect on the situation and its resolution for 30 days in a row. Above and beyond that, maybe, write a letter, one that you're never going to send, releasing the individual or letting go of the circumstances that are sitting there holding you down and holding you back. And then one of the last facets which is imperative and important is whether it's you know, I prefer things can be face-to-face if it's a safe enough circumstance face-to-face. Sometimes that's just not possible with the people we hold in resentment. Sometimes it's a phone call, sometimes it's got to be a text or an email or an actual letter. Sometimes it's none of the above. There's going to be no communication. But we have these other form of communication through a prayer cycle, through a letter that's written but never sent or received, so that we can start to process through and out of the proverbial woods. I think that's the imperative part. And then the last element I want to say again, because I think it's important to reiterate these things more than once give yourself a chance to let go. You can always take it back. You know what's great about resentment? Your misery is fully refundable. If you want to let it go and be free and relieve yourself of that burden, let it go. If you can't live without it, you go grab it right back and take it back and hold on to it for dear life and have it, keep you all warm and toasty at night and just really sit there in it. But if you let it go once, you're bound to it again. I'm not laughing because it's funny. I'm laughing because the irony of life and these things and the beauty and the freedom behind these things there is a beautiful comic irony to them. But there is so much relief and again, if nothing else, take solace in knowing that the other party, the other side, we are not even on their mind. They just don't care. God bless their hearts. But we've got that right. To move on and to let go, I totally agree.

Steve Coughran:

Well said, this has been such a great conversation. I love these conversations with you, steven, and thank you so much for sharing these insights. And before I turn the table back over to you, to wrap things up, let me just tell the listeners If you have any questions, if you want to connect with us, if you have any feedback about the show, we'd love for you to reach out via hello at restore detox centers dot com. Shoot us an email and we'll be sure to respond. Also, we have a ton of resources prepared for you on our website, restore detox centers dot com, so be sure to check that out. And lastly, if you are enjoying the show, it would mean the world to us, number one, if you leave us a review. So just click on that button, give us a review and then also share it with your friends. You know, what better compliment could we receive than helping us to get the word out there?

Steven Ginsburg:

Just to echo your sentiments. I really love when we can actually step back from everything else in our day to day and focus on these topics. I get a lot out of it just for myself and do an inventory and taking a look at what's going on in my day to day life, which is nowhere near perfect and never is going to be, but I am busy making sure my actions and words match and I just want to say that everyone out there, we are here with you and for you and all things. Everyone be safe, everyone continue to seek serenity and we look forward to speaking to you on another day.

Dangers of Resentment in Addiction Recovery
Letting Go of Resentment's Power
Importance of Communication and Engagement