Resentment is a strong, significant emotion for people in recovery from addiction. Resentment can build and become a negative, toxic force that will hold a person back if he or she is not careful. Anger, sadness, disappointment, and bitterness all flow out of a common emotion: resentment.

Recovery and Resentment

When a person quits using drugs and alcohol, feelings of resentment return and may build new resentments. The difference is now coping with the new resentments can be challenging. An individual may resort to drugs or alcohol again and turn into a ‘dry drunk.’ Recovery should feel like making progress but resentments will present big hurdles to moving forward.


Resentment is a big emotion that has long-range impact for relationships. It is difficult to repair a ‘broken’ relationship without both partners addressing resentment to one another. Addiction can cause feelings to build up within relationships and families. The families of people with addiction may feel resentment toward the person with addiction for causing the bad experiences.

Moving Forward

To get past resentment, an individual and family must acknowledge exactly what is happening. Writing down feelings can help. The fourth step of AA-moral inventory-is meant to tackle resentment. First it helps to find inner peace with the fact changing the past is likely not going to happen. Realizing resentments serve no purpose and only hurt others or hold a person back will allow the person who was harmful to continue interfering with that person’s life. Counseling and therapy can be very helpful in dealing with bitter feelings of resentment and residual emotional feelings. There are many emotions in early recovery and, if not dealt with, may become other negative emotions over time.

Dealing with residual upsets in life is part of the process of recovery. People don’t live lives that are perfect and there are always things to work on. An individual must learn there is no good answer to what is wrong in a person’s life, there are many ways to heal and support that issue but there may not be a quick fix. It takes time to assess what’s going on and try to put an end to it. It is for the benefit of everyone involved if a person with resentments handles it more appropriately rather than letting it fester and become more traumatic. It is possible to heal resentments with work and support from loved ones.

Cypress Lake Recovery believes in the power of taking ownership of your experience and not letting resentment get you down. If you are struggling with addiction recovery and need tips or support for the journey, call our recovery program. Let us help you in recovery: 866-217-2636