How does jealousy affect recovery?
Addicts, like most people, are complex. We project wholeness when inside we are empty. We feel jealous and act arrogant when we feel insecure. We work hard to get other people to like us when we don’t like ourselves. We are a mixture of contradictions.
Now that you are working on your recovery, watch out for jealousy because it can arouse emotions of fear, self-pity, anger, resentment, and frustration that will inhibit your spiritual development. If you take time to analyze your feelings of jealousy you will find in them a combination of all your imperfections. They may appear in mild or passive form, yet they are all there: self-pity, resentment, intolerance, dishonesty, criticism, suspicion, and anger.
To combat jealousy, start with a thorough Step Four and Step Five, which will allow you to discover and accept yourself with total honesty. Once you learn to be honest with yourself, you’ll more easily accept yourself and others in day- to-day life. As you gain experience in recovery, working Step Ten as a daily spot- check of your inventory will help you identify and snuff out jealous emotions before they inhibit your spiritual progress.
Your loved ones may also struggle with jealousy now that you are in recovery. They may be jealous of the close relationships you are developing with others in your Twelve Step program, especially if their own relationships with you continue to be strained. They may be jealous of the fact that your Higher Power is changing you in ways they could not. Recognize and validate your loved ones’ feelings while assuring them through your words and actions that you need and value your relationship with them.