Resentment destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease. For, we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick.
While dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with?
We went back to our lives. Nothing counted but thoroughness and honesty. When we were finished, we considered it carefully. The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong. To conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome was that people continued to wrong us and we stayed sore.
It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. But with the alcoholic, we found that it is fatal. For when harbouring such feelings, we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison. We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. This was our course: We realised that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.
Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.
Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man’s. When we saw our faults, we listed them. We placed them before us in black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight. (To be continued next week)
Reprinted from the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, page #64-67, with permission of AA World Services, Inc.
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DNA Newspaper Mumbai Edition Published Date: Apr 24, 2012