Are You Resentful of Your Recovery




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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to go to a Philadelphia Eagles football game with my son.

We purchased the tickets a few weeks ago when the weather was supposed to be in the 70s and sunny, so our eager anticipation ran high.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans.

As it turned out, remnants of Hurricane Ian swept through the area this past weekend dropping almost 3 inches of rain and accompanying gusty winds of 20-30 mph. Admittedly, not a big deal in general, but when you are contemplating being outside 6-7 hours in that stuff it’s cause for concern.

Regardless, neither of us had been to a live football game in over two years so not even the weather was going to stop us from attending the game and participating in the 2-3 hours tailgating beforehand.

The Eagles won! That was the good news (for us).

The weather though? Anything but good news.

Sitting through that game was an exercise in misery. Cold temperatures, rainfall, and gusty winds are all weather conditions one can usually handle individually, but when you bring them all together it gets real unpleasant real fast. Both my son and I appreciated the opportunity to cheer on our team in person, but we both would have happily skipped the wet clothes and shivering. 

Nonetheless, we endured the elements, stayed until the cold and wet end, and walked away happily with an Eagles victory.

Now, if I’m being honest, there were more than a few times Sunday I was tempted to get bitter about sitting through such terrible weather. Times when I thought to myself, “I should have just stayed home.”

But each time I started to resent the driving wind and rain I reminded myself that while the conditions of my experience were not enjoyable, the experience itself was. And I should be grateful for the opportunity, not resentful of it.

And you know what? That’s often what recovery can feel like for someone.


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They want victory and celebrate when they experience it, but there are often a lot of miserable conditions they have to endure along the way.

Let’s be real, it’s never enjoyable when we have to…

  • – See our secret behaviors exposed.
  • – Confess our poor decisions and/or betrayal to our spouse.
  • – Show up to “group” and admit we slipped up…again.
  • – Tell our accountability partner that we’ve been lying to them.
  • – Make amends with those we’ve hurt by our choices and actions.
  • – Pick ourselves up after a major fall.

Yet, those experiences are common to the recovery journey and can serve as great teachers that shape our healing if we allow them to do so. Yes, all of those things feel a lot worse than some rain, wind, and wet clothes, but they still are part of the process. 

And when we face those moments, we have two choices…

Pack up our bags and go home.


Embrace the “suck” as they say in the military.

Understand that these unpleasant experiences are what shape us. Or more accurately, the way we react to those experiences shape us and determine our life’s direction. Do you give up? Or, do you accept something that is extremely unpleasant but in many ways unavoidable for the sake of forward progress?

I’ve worked with a lot of men over the years, and I’ve heard many sad and unfortunate stories. And with all those experiences I’ve learned an undeniable truth.

Those who find success in their recovery efforts have learned how to resent unpleasant circumstances without resenting the journey itself.


There is no denying that slipping up for the umpteenth million times sucks – It does.

There is no getting around the reality that the work needed to heal your marriage is going to feel gut-wrenching at times – It will.

And there is no minimizing the negative impact of your poor sexual decisions – Because they do have an impact.

But, the journey is more than just those collective moments and the experience is greater than the elements. Because when you can learn to celebrate your recovery despite the downturns of life, you’ll set yourself up for real success.

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