I had no resentments... Really. I no longer resent anyone at work. I no longer resent anyone in my family. I no longer resent anyone in my AA circle. Then, I was at a meeting a few weeks ago and someone was talking about a conference later this year and said that "female alcoholic X" would be speaking, everyone should go, she is a GREAT speaker, a CIRCUIT speaker! I turned to the man, a dear old friend, next to me and said "she is a f***ing b****." How do you like that? Woops! At that time, I told my friend I probably have some work to do around this, he agreed (amazingly enough!) This morning, I was perusing blogs, and looked at an attachment someone had on their blog, and there she was again! A featured speaker at an AA event...
Another blogger has written a bit in the last year or so about people in AA who are "living dirty" and I smiled. It is my experience that when I am busy tending my own side of the street, I haven't time to worry about how others are living. But, then there are the people whose lives impact ours, and their "dirtiness" gets in our lives, and then we might end up with festering resentments. And then, guess what? It is OUR problem. Yep. When I am calling someone filthy names, it is MY problem, not hers.
Condensed version of this story: When I was married to my AA husband, he liked to travel around the country to round-ups and conferences and conventions, and I would go with him. He was sponsored by a series of "circuit speakers," who tend to have minions following them around, hanging on the hem of their garments. One day, sober about 8 years, in the throes of agony of a marriage that was falling apart, I was sitting in the back row at one of these events, listening to a speaker. She had every single thing I wanted. I asked her after the meeting if she would be my sponsor. She said she would. Over the next year or so, as we talked and she got to know me and my situation, she told me this - direct quote, I will never forget it.... She told me I MUST leave my husband... "there is a place for men like that, it is called the penitentiary." I left my husband, on foot, with nothing but a backpack. Really. No car, no furniture, no family pictures, nothing. I had my big book, some underwear, a toothbrush - whatever fit in that green back pack.
A few months later, I met with my then estranged husband for coffee, he was moving out of our home. He had a keychain with the letter "X" on it. I asked him what the "X" was for. He told me it was "female alcoholic X," it was her keychain - because he was moving into her house! Holy Shit! He was moving in with MY SPONSOR. Oh my goodness. I still get a sick feeling in my gut when I write this. After a few more months, he started telling me what was in my 5th step, because he said it had been discussed around her kitchen table... I told him I was free of all of that - the steps DO work, you know. She could put it on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News, I don't care. I told him that I would much rather be the aggreived party in this situation, because I can't imagine being sick enough to do what she did. sheesh.
But now, 14 years later, I realize that I am going to have to write some inventory on this. I simply cannot feel this way about another person. I will call my sponsor after church this morning and discuss this with her and make a plan. -- And thanks to anyone who has read this far in this long, long, grim post.
So, I am going to church for Morning Prayer. Then I will go buy a leg of lamb and all the rest of the stuff for Easter Dinner. A run later today if the ice clears off the sidewalks. Last night I put sheets on my lilacs and roses... we have got major ice and snow. I hope the pretty blooming things survive.
"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66