A mother wrote to me: I have to let go of my resentments. I’m thinking of an old suitcase: I’ll put those poisonous thoughts, which have been festering like an old splinter, in the suitcase and bury it! That’s my plan today… I’ll bury this suitcase with the things that were said so they NEVER pop into my brain and get in the way of my good memories.

My reflection on the message above: AA talks about resentments being “fatal,” so I asked Dr. MacAfee if letting go of resentments was an act of will. He said, “Yes, in part, but letting go of resentments takes more than will. The problem is that people often try to let them go, but they do it with toxic amounts of denial. Denying them is as problematic as holding them. I would use the visualization technique only after understanding my reaction to the pain. Resentments are powerfully damaging and sometimes pitifully trivialized.”

Today’s promise to consider: I will do the work necessary to understand my resentments. I will not deny my pain, but I will strive to let go of my resentments for my good and the good of others. It’s time to let go.


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Gina DeCosimo
Gina DeCosimo
13 years ago

Ciao Libby,
I think it comes down to last Thursday’s mediation about honest conversation. We need to really be honest about what we are resentful about and if we get validation its probably easier to let the resentments go. I agree with Dr. MacAfee, resentment is very damaging but when they are trivialized it can be just as damaging. Its easy when your child is in recovery to forget the resentments. Than a possible relapse is looming and suddenly the resentments come bubbling up to the surface. I like your “promise to consider” I need to work much harder on that!

13 years ago

Dear Gina,

I agree with all that you write – it’s all about honesty. As the Big Book says, “Recovery can be found only with rigorous honesty.” Resentments are often trivialized and I have to let them go, too. Sometimes they feel like a hook in my belly, tugging at me. Not good. We’ll work together :).

Hugs back to you – Un abbraccio,


13 years ago

Libby, that is exactly how I feel; like a hook is in my belly tugging relentlessly. Not good is right. Yes, we will work together 🙂

Un abbraccio