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Why Letting Go Of That Resentment Is So Hard

The talk of “God” and a higher power is one of the things which turns people away from the twelve steps and any kind of treatment program which includes the use of the twelve steps. Rumors of an inventory in which one has to divulge all of their inner secrets and resentments is intimidating to many as well. Then, there’s the step nine and the dreaded word: amends. Immediately people respond: I have to apologize?! And promptly head the other direction. Rather than investigate, find out the deeper meaning of the process, or learn about the toxicity of resentments, they simply turn back to what works for them: drinking and using.

Resentments are fatal to the alcoholic or addict, according to twelve step philosophy. No such inspiration to drink and use comes than doing it to spite someone else. Unfortunately, that drink only affects you. As Buddha is popularly quoted for saying, anger is the poison we drink with the intent to harm someone else. Resentments are a shortcut to relapse. Anger stews and brews until it leaks into other areas of life. Finding the ability to forgive is key to letting go of resentments and moving on.

Forgiveness is not about letting other people off. Quite the contrary. Forgiveness is about you letting go of bitter anger and resentment while being mindfully aware of what has happened. People make mistakes. People get hurt. When you forgive, you don’t forget. You do free yourself from suffering from the pain of what happened the rest of your life.

However, forgiveness is easier said than done. Bustle lists these one primary reason as why you might have a hard time letting some resentments go: injustice. Injustice is defined as a lack of fairness and justice. Fairness is defined as “impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination.” When an injustice is done to you, it feels less than just and less than impartial. You take it personally. Favoritism, discrimination, or any other motivation might not be involved in the situation at all. Possibly, someone simply did the wrong thing and it had a negative impact on you. Taking it personally makes it partial to you rather than impartial. It’s hard to let that go, especially when you take on a resentment. Holding onto a resentment is like waiting a lifetime for a court sentencing. You want justice to be served on your terms. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.


Letting go takes time, therapy, and work. It’s part of the process of recovery which you learn to embrace through treatment. Holding onto resentments will continue to make you sick as you try to get well. Wellness is our goal at Harmony Place, mind, body, and spirit. For a private consultation and more information on our treatment programs, call  1-855-652-9048.