“The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy, envy, frustration and fear”
Pandemics, natural disasters, international and national political strife all around us, more and more reasons to hate and harbor anger against someone and possibly for some of us to hate ourselves. The world is being drowned in all these things and many other things that any outsider looking in would classify as unhealthy and destructive.
For those of us who struggle with alcoholism and addictions of all kinds, we must accept that many of these emotions and activities are the luxuries of people who are not like us. The world around us seems to be pressuring each one of us to pick one side or the other in circumstance after circumstance and raise our fists in anger against some opponent they have chosen. In effect, vomiting their resentments, frustrations, angers, fears, jealousies and envies all over us and then forcefully trying to convince us to drink it!
As alcoholics and addicts of all kinds, these are our “GREATEST ENEMIES.” While someone may have good intentions while they are vomiting their crazy all over you, it is your responsibility to recognize that for you specifically this is not just average everyday vomit, this is particularly poisonous for you.
Your “GREATEST ENEMIES” are:
These are not some gift that someone is passing on to you, these are defects of character that we are working steps to remove. Whatever your perception of evil is, that evil is working overtime to cram these destructive ideas, emotions and lifestyles down your throat. It seems appropriate to start with Resentment.
“Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.”
Imagine someone who has been undergoing treatment for cancer and finally finds him or herself in remission. Grateful and free that person leaves the hospital with a new lease on life. Then some friends of that person come along and say, “Hey! You should get that cancer back. If those doctors have been telling you that you shouldn’t want you to have cancer, they are lying to you.”
Maybe these friends are not successful right away, but they keep having this conversation with you and more and more people that agree with them start pressuring you in the same direction. Even the news you are watching is nudging you in the direction of resentment and anger powered by a little fear.
Using the cancer as a metaphor may seem like a bit strong of an example but is it really? If you are working on finding freedom from alcoholism or addiction and someone is pressuring you with the one thing that “destroys” more people like us than anything else are they not trying to poison you and send you back to the exact thing that was killing you.
What about the fear that is often used by these same people to influence you? They tell you that you are on the wrong side of with your thinking and should be on the other side of thought or some terrible evil will be unleashed. You are going to look like a fool. Impressing upon you how you are going to cause destruction and mayhem to yourself and others if you do not take on their fears, resentments, frustrations, jealousies and envies.
What does the “Big Book” have to say about fear?
“This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve.”
This “evil and corroding thread” that the world around you is forcing you to swallow is corrosive to you, your recovery, your relationships and the world around you. It is a seed of misery that is a pandemic of its own.
Are you ready to “outgrow fear” (see pg 68) or are you under the mistaken idea that fear is a playground that a person seeking recovery is safe to play in?
I am not saying that “fear” in the sense of an emotion that informs you as to when you should use caution is bad and a person should learn to live without it altogether.
What I am saying is that fear leading to resentment, frustration, jealousy, envy or other activities and emotions destructive to your life or recovery is to be avoided at all costs and not accepted as a gift from those around.
The bottom line is that this is a period in history where there is a lot to be afraid of and a lot of people to mad at (some of them rightfully). We have to remember that every idea someone vomits upon is not worth dying for, and many of these issues might kill you or at least your recovery. Their motives might be pure or evil and this may or may not be destructive to them, but that is not the issue. These things are dangerous for you and to be avoided at all costs.
“Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol”
We should all consider not allowing ourselves to be forced into aligning with other people’s emotions and views at our own risk to be one of those lengths.
That gift you receive of seemingly righteous and justified anger may just turn out to be the poison that you drink repeatedly expecting other people to die. The stress and destructive emotions of the world around are contagious, but you are not obligated to catch them.