My name is Dan and I am a 34 year old grateful member living in Madrid, Spain. I have been coming to the program long enough to know I want to continue to seek prolonged recovery from the effects of the family illnesses of addiction and alcoholism. Since my journey in recovery, I have had plenty of opportunities to work with two sponsors on resentments.
I came into the program burdened with many resentments towards my mother. I blamed her for all my trials and tribulations with romantic relationships, challenges regarding my sexuality and I pointed the finger at her for passing down character defects to me.
Talking to my sponsor, it was becoming apparent that I needed to do fresh work in this area. Resentments were resurfacing, sometimes subconsciously, but regardless they were affecting my present-day interactions.
He suggested I list my grudges towards my mother from childhood and that we discuss them together. Namely, to acknowledge what happened in the past, but to move on, and not to be dragged down by my past grievances and occurrences. To gently reflect on the past without staring at it—to recognize that she was doing the best she could at the time with the tools she had—and then to move on.
It was late one Tuesday night and I was due to talk to my sponsor the following day, just before our Madrid homegroup meeting. I finished up writing the email containing the grudges towards her and then hit send. I went to bed and got some good rest.
I phoned my sponsor the next day and he asked if I had had the chance to email over the list of resentments. We have experienced some tech hiccups in the past, so we thought the message could have gotten lost in cyberspace. My sponsor double checked his inboxes and the email was nowhere to be found.
At that moment, I revisited my sent folder. To my shock and horror, I saw that I had sent the resentments to my mother! I was in a state of panic and did not know how to react. We had about ten minutes to go before our Zoom meeting. I cannot be more thankful that the timing could not have been better. I was on a call with a loving, supporting fellow member. Little did I know, but I was about to jump online to the meeting to be overwhelmed with messages of support, during and after the meeting.
Afterwards, I spoke to my father, who is in recovery, and my sponsor and another program friend (who I have been grateful to get to know, thanks to the pandemic).
My sponsor helped me see this as an opportunity. He couldn’t have been more right. I decided to phone my mother the next day, explaining that it was an honest mistake and she was never destined to see that email. I said lots of prayers before I called her. I apologized sincerely for what happened, and made it clear that these were old feelings and expressed how much I love her.
She was very hurt but heard me out. I can’t begin to imagine attempting to work through such a challenging crisis without the wonderful help of the program. This was not a mistake in my eyes, but a Higher Power gifted opportunity. A coincidence is God’s way of winking at me. A friend from across the pond used a boxing euphemism to remind me that they ‘will always be in my corner’.
Dan T-R – 5/24/21