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A business that tries to sell useless or damaged things goes broke; a PIR who holds on to useless and unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors also goes "broke" and risks relapse.
The Big Book, page 64, says that "resentment is the 'number one' offender," and that it destroys more addicts than anything else does.
When I mentioned to my friend Mark that I was writing this chapter, he said, "Yikes! " He then proceeded to tell me about his own struggles and achievements as he worked on each of these "relationship" Steps.
In Twelve Step programs, and especially in Steps Four through Ten, PIRs learn how to develop healthy relationship skills.
You may meet your PIR while they are in the midst of working Steps Four through Ten and be curious about what this "amends making" is all about.
I was so unfamiliar with the Twelve Steps that I didn't know enough to ask Steve about them or if he had done them.
It is obviously very important, therefore, for PIRs to identify and release their resentments in a constructive way.
My friend Paul told me about helping PIRs make "resentment lists." He said at first they'll say "heck no, I don't have any resentments," until they actually start listing the people and things that make them angry.
When people work Step Four, they begin to realize that in order to stay clean and sober, they need to handle all their feelings--the good, the bad, and the ugly ones--in a healthy and safe way rather than covering them up with mood-altering chemicals or addictive behaviors.