Resentment: The Secret Stressor

Well, we’re shut down again… This second shut down has bothered me more than the first (and we’re only like 2 days in).

Every year, my family plans a trip to San Diego. This is one of my favorite place for food and drink and the ocean. It is my reset button. I decompress and am able to handle the rest of the year. This trip is normally scheduled for May, but we were in the middle of our first covid peak, so we pushed our vacation to July. I was disappointed, but at least I had something to look forward to.

Then here comes the second spike in covid and then started the conversation that we might not be able to go on our vacations. I didn’t realize that it had messed with me as bad as it did until I looked at myself on Sunday and realized that I had eaten more food in that weekend than I had in the last two weeks (not really, but you get what I’m saying). The stopped resisting the cupcakes. I gave up on my goals. I didn’t care anymore. It wasn’t that I was angry at the shut down and acting out of spite. No, I had just given up.

resentment builds stress inside of us
Resentment build stress and pressure up inside of us

As I sat processing the shame and guilt of that kind of binge eating my emotions, I realized that even if its hard I will need to keep working on my goals. Monday morning, I got my butt up early and started exercising. With physical movement, we find mental clarity and I had a flash of that. I realized that I had allowed resentment to build up inside of me.

Once I had that epiphany I looked further to see what I was resenting. To be honest, by that point, there wasn’t much I didn’t resent. I resented my job because it wasn’t my dream job. I resented my family because they had emotions themselves they had to deal with (go figure, right?). I resented myself for numbing my brain with social media instead of dealing with emotions. I could go on for ever really.

That much resentment had become small things that added up to a huge load. I was exhausted. I couldn’t carry it all anymore, but didn’t realize I was carrying all of it. So I judged myself for struggling and reverted back to negative behavior cycles. This was a big step back for me.

I am thankful though, that I have been working on myself. I normally would have spiraled for months before even realizing I was mess. I’m grateful that it only took a weekend to figure it out and process it. I let go of my resentment and felt almost instantly better.

We are all dealing with so much. I encourage all of us to focus on mental health. Emotions like resentment are not as evident as emotions like anger or sadness. It is subtle and compounds on itself. If you find you are struggling with these emotions, please ask someone for help.

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