The Impact of Resentment in Addiction and Families


Resentment is an emotion most people identify as one that is negative with a lasting impact. It is significant for individuals in recovery from addiction because it can play on the mind and soul of a person who is not able or willing to let go. Resentments build from perceived wrongs or feelings of anger, disappointment and sadness that will not go away. It is possible to learn the impact to repair and restore positive feelings after resentment.

Resentment in Addiction

Many people with addiction feel resentment towards an individual. Persistent negative feelings can make a person use drugs or alcohol to cope or escape. Feeling better is only temporary. When a person self-medicates, addiction to drugs or alcohol can quickly take charge. Letting go can feel almost impossible. Continually seeking to cover up emotions with drugs can only lead to further problems.

Resentment in Recovery

Quitting drugs or alcohol is not easy no matter who the person is or how long things have been going on. The feelings of resentment can return and even new resentments may open up. The difference is for an individual with resentment that dealing with it is key to staying away from drugs or alcohol. Recovery should feel good but resentment can put up roadblocks in recovery if not dealt with effectively.

Resentment in Family

Addiction can cause feelings of resentment to build within a family structure. Families of people with addiction may feel resentment toward the person with addiction for causing the people to have so many bad experiences and emotions it can feel difficult to get free. People with addiction in recovery may have resentments towards family members or feel they individuals don’t trust them anymore. The difficult thing is to work through it as a family and have patience while it gets sorted out over a period of time.

Overcoming Resentment

Resentments are feelings that can become addictive and toxic over time. In order to overcome them, it helps to write down the feelings as they arise. Finding peace with not being able to change the past can help when learning that a person cannot control the actions of others. Resentments serve no purpose but to hurt an individual and hold that person back. The constant interference and interruption from resentments can escalate creating further damage to one’s emotional health as well as relationships.

Counseling and therapeutic support can be helpful. Alcoholics Anonymous or other similar programs are helpful in overcoming issues that arise. Negative feelings feed off one another so can build over time to the point an individual may hurt oneself or others by turning back to toxic behaviors or towards addiction again as a means of coping. With the right support, help and healing is possible over time.

Sustain Recovery provides a unique approach to adolescent care. Learn more about our programs and how we create long term solutions to adolescent recovery from addiction. Give us a call to get started.