More Inventory

     Sometimes it can be difficult to see how we caused resentments that we have towards a more general trait or behavior rather than a specific event. Here are a couple examples I remembered from my original 4th Step. I added some additional answers to show that it’s not just one thing, though our task is to find the most honest answer for each category.

1. People who litter

a) They litter.

Affects my: Pride/Ambition, Self-esteem

*Self-Seeking: I am (want to be seen as) a model citizen OR I am a pillar of tolerance.
*Selfish: I want them to be like me, to think and act the way I do.
*Dishonest: They remind me of my own entitlement OR I take it personally, but because I don’t want to see the trash, not because I care so deeply about the environment.
*Fear: I’m afraid of confrontation (so I don’t do anything about it).

2. Wife

a) Gets anxious sometimes.

Affects my: Pride/Ambition, Self-esteem, Personal/Sex Relations

*Self-Seeking: I’m a hero of a husband… so why on earth are you anxious or upset?
*Selfish: Her mood takes me out of my comfort zone.
*Dishonest: Her anxiety reminds me that I’m not okay (otherwise I wouldn’t react to it by resenting her, which helps me avoid the truth about myself).
*Fear: I’m afraid to love her OR I’m afraid to swallow my pride, my pathetic construction of self.

The above resentment is, sadly, a perfect reflection of an addict’s childish and warped mind. To resent someone for suffering because it takes me out of my comfort zone, and then to get mad at them for doing so, is grotesque, to put it mildly, and beyond reproach. This is why addicts who don’t write an honest, fearless and thorough inventory don’t make it. 99% = 0.

God, help me to see those things that block me from You and Others… 

2 thoughts on “More Inventory

  1. Hoping you can clarify bit on whats alcoholics part as survivor of child abuse, sexual etc. My take on this is no part, responsibility. At most its how holding on to resentment fear gives it power over person, impacted life, ie. Shame, fear affects self esteem, security, sex relations etc. Seeking help, therapy, Understanding abuser sick person and forgiving is freeing. Ive heard some nasty responses at meetings.

  2. While I can only speak from my own experience, I'm inclined to agree with you entirely, and without a shadow of a doubt. As well, your insight looks to be extremely honest and astute. Any innocent child who is abused in any way, shape or form has no preceding responsibility whatsoever. I had some abusive babysitters, and wondered the same thing. I found that my responsibility is how I chose to respond to the event after the fact. For example, I took my resentment and lashed out at family members who weren't at fault and had nothing to do with the abuse. That is my part, if you will. We must remember that with inventory, our part in it can occur before, during or AFTER the event. It's also important to remember that even if we do find self-seeking, selfishness etc. in an early resentment of a sensitive nature, it doesn't necessarily mean we were wrong or at fault, it is simply trying to see our life events and our resentments for what they are. So our job is to simply dig deep. Furthermore, nobody has any right to take someone else's inventory. Your inventory is yours and yours alone, and it rests between you and God. Who are we alcoholics to judge anybody else? I mean look at us for God's sake 😉 Nasty responses at meetings is but a sad reflection of the current epidemic of sick meetings and untreated alcoholism, perhaps resulting from modern, watered-down, 'bumper sticker' AA. God Bless You.

    For further elaboration on resentment inventory, see the following link (and there are several other links on the post as well):

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