Hi I’m Emma, Alcoholic.
I am at the beginning of my Step 4 and only into my first resentment. The resentment is massive and I have already been working on it for 2 weeks with no end in sight as yet. I have broken this particular resentment down into many parts, identifying each and every way this particular person has harmed me. With each part that I work through I must ask myself after my analysis, “Am I able to forgive”. Here I have hit a road block.
Forgiveness. How do I forgive someone who has hurt me in such devastating ways, when I feel such a huge sense of injustice? The injustice is in part my own fault, for it was my decision at the time to not persevere with the course of justice that was openly available to me. The reason at the time was fear. It was fear that stopped me from going ahead with proceedings. It was that fear and lack of courage that set the wheels in motion for further wrong doings against me, each incident creating an ever darker and more inescapable sense of imprisonment. With each incident that occurred, and with each lack of prevailing consequence, the easier it was for the perpetrator to continue their behaviours.
I should have sought justice when I had the chance. I should have tried to seek justice the next time, and the next time…. but I didn’t. For that, I must at least forgive myself. I was a sick person. I was unwell. I was an alcoholic and I was co-dependant on another person. A victim of my disease and of my own vulnerability. Yet I still feel this great sense of injustice and there is a part of me that still wants to do something about it, and I still can if that is what I were to choose. But what would be the consequences of doing so? The doors would open up to this very unpredictable and dangerous person, coming back into my life. There would be undeniably huge amounts of stress involved. Anger would surge to the surface of my being and course through every inch of me while that person lied and cheated their way out of trouble. The risk of relapse would be huge. Fear once more is preventing me from doing what I should have done three years ago. So what do I do? Somehow I must find a way to let go. Somehow I must find a way, not only to forgive myself for what I wasn’t able to do and for what I still can’t do but also to forgive the other person.
What is forgiveness?
stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.
no longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake).“I was willing to forgive all her faults for the sake of our friendship”
I asked myself the question, “What is forgiveness?” and wondered what the true definition was. As I read the words above I realised I had been wrong in my understanding. I had thought that to forgive someone, meant to acknowledge that it was OK for them to do what they did, that I have let bygones be bygones and understood their reasons for doing so. This is why, just a few moments ago I was struggling so much with coming to terms with the act of forgiving. I can see now, that forgiveness does not excuse the actions of another. It simply means that I will choose to stop feeling angry about it. Now it is starting to make a little more sense. Not that it changes how I feel right now, because I am still stuck on how I go about laying this part of my past and my anger towards it, to rest. This is going to be a really tough call for me. I am going to have to dig deep. I am going to have to pray and pray to my higher power for guidance on this matter. I must find a way to forgive and to let go. By not doing so, I am blocking out the sunlight of my higher power. I am allowing the past and this person to dominate my life even though they are no longer a part of it, nor have they been for some time. I am allowing my feelings of resentment and anger to sit, and that is a dangerous thing for a recovering alcoholic to do.
I’ll leave it there, for now.