Resentment List - The beginning of Step Four
Today, as slow as it felt, is going by quite quickly. It’s nearly 7:00, about the time my home group starts meeting, but I’m sitting in a coffee shop downtown. I am waiting for my sponsor so we can go over some step work…
… and he just walked in – so the wait is over!
I’ll report back.
I just got back from doing my Third Step. This is HUGE to me, because I’ve been trying to get “properly” through Steps One, Two, and Three so I could get done with – wait for it, wait for it – Step Four!
The issue is that I’ve been sitting on Step Four for roughly a year. It’s not the fault of anyone but me, if “fault” could actually be found. I just had a hard time connecting (time wise) with two of my previous sponsors, so it was hard to get any work done. I could have pressed harder I suppose, but the other day, when I was discussing this with AF, she reminded me that "we get the things we need in the time we need them, not before."
I guess I know that, I just got frustrated over it all.
So it is on to Step Four (again). I have struggled with this step because it confuses me. The word resentment to me means “to be angry at, feel bitterness towards, or hate.” The reality of it is, there was no one that I am angry at, felt bitter towards, or hate – except myself (or, I used to). But I didn’t realize that “I” might be part of the equation, so it didn’t make any sense.
I’ve been particularly blessed in my recovery, in that I have a great counselor to work with. Working with her, I’ve really been able to stop hating myself, and blaming myself for everything that has happened in my life. I've still got a lot of work to do with self-talk, but with awesome friends like ZJ and AF, I'm reminded of such things, and they don't let me get away with it. Period.
My counselor had shown me that the blackened crust that enveloped me was nothing more than a Protective Shell, one that I had to use as Younger Me to protect myself from the things I imagined were trying to ruin me. It was Older Me that outgrew that shell, and when I felt threatened because it no longer fit – I drank to hide. And that worked, for many years; dunked under the liquid where demons riding by on their beasts couldn’t find me.
But the Alcoholic River has dried up, and the Protective Shell still doesn’t fit. It's time to find out Who’s hurting Who. Literally.
My sponsor explained that “I” was definitely part of the equation. It’s not always all about them (see what I mean? About me, not about me; about me, not about me – it’s all over The Rooms! Anyway…). I was most definitely angry/bitter/hateful (aka: resentful) towards somebody.
“Start with you, you’ll see it come.”
So, my next step is to start a resentment list, I guess. Who is it I am resentful towards? And what have they (or “I”) done? He said, "You're three years old, throwing a temper tantrum; none of this adult anger management crap. Let it go, and write it out:
' I'm resentful towards [someone] because/for/blah blah blah.' Just go to town.' "
This was always confusing to me, but this sponsor is going to walk me through it. Finally. I hated being handed a stack of papers and being told, “Here. Follow instructions.” WTF. I didn’t know what I was doing! And my second sponsor just told me to write. It didn’t make sense or feel “correct,” so I struggled with it many times, and wrote, and rewrote, and rewrote, like ten times (<sigh> I guess one might suggest that is a resentment. Oi). But now – now I have something to work with, even if it is just part of the whole step.
One thing Sponsor said was, “Hand write it. No spreadsheets, no word processors, hand write it.” Okay. I see a very cramped hand in the near future, but I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this because I believe in this process! I don’t care what 12-step program anyone goes through, if they do it fearlessly and thoroughly, I believe, in my heart, that it will be helpful. Period. There’s no question to me about this.
So, in light of my knew assignment, I’m going to cut this blog shorter than I normally would. I’ve got some writing to do. It shouldn’t take me long, I don’t think. I’ve got a pretty boring past, and the few things that I am resentful towards (or, what I was resentful towards) was against myself. But I don’t know – I’ve heard people uncovering many things they’d forgotten about, and I suspect I’ll find the same. I guess we’ll find out. I know I’m willing. Now to go to any lengths.