By the way, the private phone sessions are going really well, as they are allowing me to respond to everybody who wants to reach out about their specific situation and provide insight, education and personal advice. I’ve also been getting positive feedback, so I will continue to do these sessions and set aside more time to schedule them. So thank you, and please let others know who might benefit from this.
*This inventory is from several years ago, and though I don’t give a shit about it anymore, we can only really help others if we’re completely honest, so I thought it would serve as a good example of why writing inventory is so important.
1st Column (Person, Institution, or Principle I Resent)
Local alumni from up North. And up North.
2nd Column (The Specific Resentment)
a. Was never asked by up North’s golden boys to be part of their projects, nor have I ever been asked to work up North, even though I’m pretty good at this stuff. Some of their alumni have started multiple sober houses and TCs in my backyard and not a single phone call to partner, work at, or even come and speak, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given these guys are pretty cliquish and insular… oh and apparently I’m not ‘thug’ enough. Lol. I was only asked to come speak twice, years ago, after donating $1000 on two separate occasions. The guys in the house responded emphatically, loved it, and were inspired. Needless to say, I haven’t heard from anyone since.
3rd Column (The Resentment Affects My…)
SE (Self-esteem), P/A (Pride or Ambition)
4th Column (How Did I Cause The Resentment? How Was I Self-Seeking, Selfish, Dishonest & Fearful?)
Self-Seeking: Where’s my pedestal? How could anybody NOT want me to be the head freaking clinical director?
(In other words, I want to be seen as some recovery master. I also want to be seen as worthy of being included in these efforts. While at least the latter might not be completely false, the fact that I want to be seen that way by them, but haven’t been, causes my resentment. You see, if there is no self-seeking, there is no resentment. Fact: the resentment has everything to do with me and nothing to do with them.
Resentments are born and grow by our own reaction to external events. Nothing is to blame but ourselves. And when we break down our resentments and peel back the truth through the process of inventory, we can see situations clearly, which allows the resentment to dissipate and lose power. When we discover the truth, we no longer care about what is bothering us and we can move on without this spiritual poison inside. We can forgive and let go. This is how we work on ourselves. This is how we stay recovered.)
Selfish: I’ve always wanted to work with them and be a part of the family up North. As well, I am unable to see that they have no obligation to include me in anything, and I should be happy for them that they are doing so well and have been able to accomplish such great things… yet I care more about indulging my pride and ego. That is selfish.
(This is where some people get bent. No it’s not bad or evil to want to be a part of something. But to be selfish is to want or to desire, and since I am in want, I list it here. The problem with this selfish desire is that I EXPECT to be a part of their efforts, and with expectation comes disappointment, which leads to the development of the resentment.
Listen, if we want to get better and of we want clarity, we must dig for this stuff and peel back these layers of false perception and bullshit, the very stuff that leads to anger, grief, fear and resentment, the very poisons that keep us preoccupied with self, which if left unchecked will fool us into believing we have the right to drink or use again. Resentments left to sit inside and rot us will make us crazy again, and then it is only a matter of time before the mental obsession takes us over and rips us apart at the seams.
If we do not write inventory and do this work, we won’t be staying sober, let alone stay recovered. That’s what these tools are for. That’s why the Twelve Steps are not just a poster on the wall at the AA meeting. That’s why AA is not meetings. It is a Twelve Step program of action based on spiritual principles.
Dishonest: The truth is I don’t really want to work with them. I find it exhausting just trying to relate. I am dishonest in the way I truly feel, but resenting them helps me to avoid the truth about myself, the fact that rejection makes me uncomfortable. The truth is that I want to do things my way just as I’m sure they do. So essentially, I am projecting a quality that I myself own onto them.
(You see, underneath this resentment is that fact that I have nothing in common with these guys and don’t really give a shit about working with them. Quite frankly, I don’t agree with their militant, ‘I’m gonna beat the shit of you’ style. The truth is I just want to be asked so I can then say ‘no’ and go do what I want, which would be my own thing, of course. The truth is I hate working for people, or even with people in many cases. All this leads to the final question I must ask myself, which is, What am/was I afraid of?)
Fear: I fear rejection and needing the approval of others to be okay. I fear not being okay on my own. I fear not being able to make my own way, even when I’ve been able to.
So… I thought that I always wanted to be a part of that family up North, to work with them or to work with some of the alumni down here but the truth is I really don’t. By writing this inventory, I realized that I just want to do my own thing and to do it my way. And now I can finally let go of it because I don’t care anymore. I don’t need anybody to see what I’m doing or to see me a certain way. I’ve learned that we do this work not to be self-seeking but to help ourselves, our families and others. We do this work to become more honest and to see things as they are.
Most importantly, we do this work for God.
God, help me to see those things that block me from You and Others…