Resentment

I’ve been extra resentful with my oldest friend P this week. I can’t talk to him about my job search any more because he clearly doesn’t think I’m doing it right, and it’s driving me mad. Again, I don’t know whether to give into resentment and let him go, or ignore resentment and keep working at the friendship.

My Headspace meditations at the moment are focused on acceptance. Instead of encouraging me to be more accepting, they assume that acceptance is already a natural state and it’s active resistance to things that I need to be questioning. So every day I’m asking “who or what am I resisting right now?” My mind automatically keeps coming back to P. I don’t think it’s letting him go that I’m resisting, it’s him as a person, him as a friend that I am resisting. If I were to go through with breaking our friendship, I’d be giving into old behaviour that I’ve done so many times before with so many people. If I stick with him, I’m letting go of resistance against him. I’m saying “those things that annoy me don’t matter, I can see past them.” My thoughts keep returning to something I heard in a meeting a few weeks ago, where someone was talking about how they’ve stuck in their relationship for so many years, despite wanting to stab their partner in the eyes on occasion: they learnt to stick at it. More and more I’m seeing that this is what I need to do in life – with P, with AA, even with the job search – and it makes me very uncomfortable, because it’s not what I grew up doing.

*****

The meeting on Friday for once I didn’t walk into feeling resentful, like I didn’t belong there. Normally those resistant feelings become aroused about a minute before I walk into any meeting, but they were absent on Friday because I had a new AA friend to distract me. I’d met up with S for coffee, the newcomer who I’d been chatting to in the week. We went to the meeting together and I felt like I’d found the ally I was looking for, that person who would sit next to me in the meeting without thinking, who’d chat to me when it was over and not allow me to go out on my own, isolated.

The sharing in the meeting was wonderful and I managed to keep that feeling of belonging throughout. Sadly at the end, I lost S as I got chatting to someone and he got chatting to someone. By the time I was ready to leave, he’d already gone. I worry about losing people like that now, because he might have felt that I’d abandoned him, and a subtle wedge could have been driven between us without anything being said. I’m sure this wouldn’t happen to everyone in such a situation, but with me, it seems to be a curse in AA. The big friendships that I’ve had have begun to end this way in the past.

Well, at least I made it nearly a whole meeting without feeling awkward or isolated for once.

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