May 13, 2022

The Lethal Hold of Resentment: The Cost we pay for Harboring Pain.


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Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~ Malachy McCourt


Holding a grudge is detrimental to your health.

Stagnant, ruminating in anger and frustration, you’re the one who suffers. Unable to cope with your feelings, you’re trapped into reliving painful interactions instead of learning from them. Obsessing over the past, blaming others, and holding your frustration also build internal anguish and adds stress and anxiety. Ultimately, resentment destroys your gratitude and impacts you physically.

Before I got sober, holding grudges hurt me tremendously. Resenting others made me unhappy with myself. Frustrated by experiences I lacked the tools to process, I unknowingly repressed my anger. Anger that surfaced when I drank.

The littlest things set me off. After promising to help with the kids, my husband would come home late. I would obsess over his lateness and allow resentment to spiral into a frenzy, ultimately making me unhappy with myself. I would turn to wine once the kids were in bed. By the time my husband got home, I was drunk and angry.

Consuming alcohol was my way of coping with resentment. My solution would be to drink enough to numb the feelings. Sometimes I’d forget about it the next day only to restart the cycle again. By the end, I was physically and emotionally ill in ways beyond counting.

In sobriety, I’ve learned I can’t run from problems. I face life’s challenges head-on. I don’t hide from the things that I once drank to forget. I’m healing on the inside and outside.

I know a lot of people who hang onto resentment. Perhaps, you resent someone who hurt you. Harboring pain isn’t worth the physical and emotional toll it takes on your body and mind.

Learning to move through the emotions and live in the present is far more gratifying than ruminating. Setting boundaries for yourself and the people around you helps define feelings surrounding these difficult situations allowing space for forgiveness. It has taken a lot of therapy and self-reflection to understand that. I’m still working through it every day.

Do you hold grudges? If you find that you have feelings of ill-will, anger, or resentment, try reevaluating the root of these emotions. Perhaps it’s time to stop drinking the poison (or truly stop drinking and get sober!) and define new boundaries for yourself. I promise it’s not worth the constant, daily distress—especially if you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of drinking alcohol to manage your emotions. Resenting others every day and hanging out in a permanent space of negativity is no way to live your life.


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