Recovering from a drug addiction is a very difficult and sensitive process. Drug treatment centers create individualized programs for addicts, so they can successfully quit using drugs and lead happy, healthier lives. A significant part of recovery is learning how to deal with your emotions and control them. Patients learn several different techniques and methods of dealing with negative emotions and how to combat drug use triggers. One of the enemies of a successful drug rehab process is resentment. Many drug addicts feel significant amounts of resentment for others, using them as crutches to continue abusing drugs. As part of recovery, resentment is an emotion that they learn to deal with and overcome.
Drug addicts often feel resentment because they do not think rationally. Resentment is a bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. Drug addicts have this irrational feeling because of their drug use. They believe that others are attempting to control their lives. Addicts feel angry when individuals do not act in the way they predict or want them to react. This is often the case when an individual refuses to help them, in some way, to get or continue to abuse drugs. Addicts are resentful of people who they perceive to believe they are superior. Family, friends, and any other individual who tells them what they are doing wrong or what they should be doing is often viewed with resentment. Any person that gets in their way will be meeting with resentful feelings by addicts. Again, this action is in reference to them obtaining and abusing drugs. Addicts that view others as hypocrites, liars, and those that abuse their power are also met with the same negative emotions. These actions can be a result of the addict falsely believing that individual was going to help them in some way with their life of abusing drugs.
Resentment in Recovery
Addicts have feelings of resentment throughout recovery for several reasons. Patients that feel they are not getting the credit they deserve will harbor resentment for therapists, counselors, and family. When patients realize that treatment is harder than they thought it was going to be or they see someone else doing better than they are, recovering addicts can have these negative emotions. The early part of the recovery process has been described as an emotional rollercoaster; therefore it can be very difficult for patients to handle these negative feelings.
Dangers of Resentment in Recovery
Resentment is a very dangerous emotion to harbor when participating in drug rehabilitation. Recovery requires that the patient has an elevated level of focus on themselves. When individuals hold onto their resentment they focus on others instead of themselves. Negative thoughts can push a recovering addict to relapse; therefore resentment pushes patients towards abusing drugs again. Drugs cause an addict’s life to be turned upside down. It is an endless cycle of chaos and destruction. Rehabilitation is geared towards bringing the addict back to reality and on a normal life schedule. By holding onto feelings of resentment a recovering addict cannot find inner-peace, which is essential to the rehabilitation process. Holding onto feelings of resentment can feel like carrying around an enormous weight. By letting go of those feelings, recovering addicts can move on with their recovery. This is important because part of the recovery process is rebuilding relationships.
How to Deal with Resentment
Overcoming feelings of resentment is paramount in overcoming drug addiction. Increasing positive feelings can help addicts overcome the feelings of resentment. Addicts are encouraged to share their emotions with other addicts to release those negative feelings and learn from others dealing with the same situations. Similar to this sharing, patients are encouraged to keep a journal, which helps them release tension and negative feelings. Patients are taught to think about the future instead of focusing on the past. Part of doing that is by confronting those they feel resentment towards, which should end the conflict.