Overcoming Immaturity, Resentment, and Envy in the Journey of Recovery from Alcoholism

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Most of us are familiar with the story about the little selfish boy who picked up his ball and went home because the boys he was playing with wouldn’t let him pitch, and as a result of his resentment, the game was discontinued.

No doubt most of us can still remember our drinking days when our behavior was like that of the little lad. No doubt too, many of us can recall when we habitually used family and friends to sate our lust and desire for drink and when our demands were not met, we would slink off to some secluded part of the house or den and sulk like an ill-tempered brat.

Continually we took the joy out of the lives of our loved ones and made life miserable for them. We demanded love and respect from our wives and children but offered nothing in return toward their welfare and security. When a family member complained about our demands, we pick up our hurt pride and hustled off for the nearest bar to have it dressed and bandaged.

Some of us bring this little boys’ temperament into AA and we don’t want to let go of it, as it may come in handy when a disagreement arises. This enables us to pick up our wounded pride and ego and head for some bar where we can always find a sympathetic listener, who will listen to all our troubles as long as we furnish the drinks.

AA too, has some group jumpers. They bounce from one group to another for various reasons or for no reason. Some members have picked up their ball of resentment and joined another group at the slightest provocation.

As an example, men have left and joined another group because they were not asked to serve on the committee for the group anniversary celebration. Others leave a group because the coffee is too hot or too cold, too weak or too strong.

There is no such thing as finding the perfect group because groups are made up of people and there is no perfect human being. Consequently, there is not perfect group. They will seek in vain until they realize their own imperfections.

We have also some in AA that are not mentally mature and take it upon themselves to attempt to reform the whole AA program. They try to assassinate another persons character that opposes their plans by using the shield of anonymity to hide their identity.

They resort to this cowardly trait to spout their poisonous envy at the men and women who take on job or position which they themselves could not ably handle. Yet, we should not and best not condemn them but rather pray for them, for they know not what they do.

We, the recovered alcoholics are both fortunate and aware that our main body is composed of many, many level-headed men and women, who freely devote their time and talents in carrying the message and helping others because they feel and are responsible.

These solid AA members stand up, discuss and handle problems in an efficient manner. As long as such honorable men and women serve as guardians in AA, our program will continue to grow.

Originally Titled “Resentment” by Ed B. Akron Ohio, Central Bulletin, July 1983

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.