Jealousy in Recovery

Thursday, February 05, 2015 @ 2:54 PM

Jealousy is an ugly, yet human trait that many people battle with. When I stopped drinking, I was extremely jealous of anyone who could drink normally. I was resentful, angry, and sad. I knew I had to stop drinking because it was taking over my life, but I was jealous that other people around me could drink without consequence.

It took me a long time, and a lot of help to overcome jealousy. Sometimes, like this New Years, it crept back up on me. Why couldn’t I toast champagne like my friends? Why can’t I go to parties and drink like everyone else can?

The reason I can’t toast champagne is because it wouldn’t end with just one toast. I would want more, then it would turn into wine, then vodka, then who knows what else. I would probably blackout, start a fight with my husband for no reason, and end up crying alone on New Years.

If I think my drink through, this is what would most likely happen. Then I would have to spend months or even years trying to regain the trust I worked so hard to earn. I would probably be humiliated, and lose a couple friendships as well.

When I think about drinking this way, it doesn’t seem very fun anymore. I don’t want just one or two drinks, I need more.

For a while in my early recovery, I lied to myself about my feelings of jealousy. I told myself and everyone else that I don’t care about drinking, I don’t want to drink, and it doesn’t bother me at all.

The truth is that it did bother me, and I didn’t know how to rid myself of these toxic thinking patterns. I wasn’t honest, so I relapsed.

When I got back on the wagon, I got a sponsor and was completely honest with her. She helped me get through my hard times, and gave me hope.

Instead of pushing my jealous feelings inward, I talked about them, and studied why I felt this way. As I got more time in sobriety, my self esteem improved, and my jealousy subsided. Now I think about all the things I’m grateful for.

Jealousy still creeps up on me from time to time, but it doesn't consume me anymore. I don't use these feelings as a justification to drink again.

Celebrate Hope

Bobby Nicholl