“They” tell us in the ‘Big Book,’ the book of Alcoholics Anonymous, that ‘resentment’ destroys more alcoholics than anything else. I have some first-hand experience with this – I have harbored, and nurtured ‘resentments’ for years. And yes, even into recovery. So far, I have not relapsed ‘physically.’ I haven’t had anything alcoholic to drink since 28 Jul 1994. However, I have experienced more than a few severe ’emotional’ relapses – I have driven myself into the depths of my own personal Hell; often fueled by ‘resentment.’ A couple times I didn’t know if I was going to “make it back;” I don’t know if I even wanted to ‘come back’… I do know however, that there is a point when I won’t be able “to come back,” even if I were to want to. I’ve seen this too often in others in recovery. There will come a point where the pain of resentment will become too great, and being an alcoholic… let’s just say, I’m very afraid of that.
One of my greatest resentments has been ‘the loss of friends’ – or what I perceive as, the loss of friends. I tend to either get very close to people, or I distance myself from them. In the Air Force, I had some friendships that were very solid, and extremely intimate. I trusted my life with these guys – and would have sacrificed everything for them. I loved those guys… However, over the ensuing years, a few of my ‘friendships’ have fallen by the wayside.
Let me be very clear here; I am not without culpability myself. There were times when I was drinking, and in early sobriety, where my conduct and behavior was outrageous, and hurtful. I know I hurt those closest to me at times. And for this, I am truly, deeply sorry. I have attempted on a couple-3 occasions to make amends to these guys – to no avail.
Then there are my ‘friends’ that I only hear from when I take the initiative to contact them. Often these guys are cordial and ‘friendly,’ but if I don’t call them, I won’t hear from them. And yet, I hang on – sometimes leading to ‘resentment.’ Not good.
I have recently been told, perhaps in jest, that I have a “third” brain, in addition to my right and left brains. I think I get this. I think I’ve known it for years; because for years I’ve known I’m “not quite right” when it comes to conventional thought. For the most part, my ‘third brain’ has served me well. It’s provided deep introspection, humor, wit, cleverness and a sense of common sense way beyond the comprehension of others. But it has also been a source of torment for me. Sometimes it rages out of control, hurting the very ones I love the most. (And, this is the next ‘challenge’ I will face…)
So, now comes the time I address the source of the resentments I create from ‘lost friends,’ and say “goodbye” to them. It is the time now for me to let these ‘friends’ go. And while I will make the effort now to physically, and intellectually, and emotionally let you go; know that each one of you will always be in my heart. And I will be forever grateful for your imprinting my “disk of life.”
(Here is where I am going to “go Episcopalian” on ya for a moment; in that in saying ‘goodbye,’ I want to acknowledge you by name… yes, third brain engaging again.)
Thank you all, for being my friend at one time or another, when I needed you… Jay K., Jerry M., Dana S., Craig W., Dobie, Joe, ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Archibald Barassol,’ Tommy K., Duke, and a few others to be named later – when you walk through my mind…
“God, please be with these folks, watch over them, and be with them, until we can once again, soar together like eagles… Amen.”