Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Coping with Anger

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than we alcoholics. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These "dry benders" often led straight to the bottle.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, Page 90

Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism, furious power-driven argument, sulking, and silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. We can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, Page 91

I've always been a pretty laid-back guy. However, there were countless times during my drinking years that I lost my temper. Some might say I had a short temper. With a much greater clarity of mind (in sobriety) and through my attempts to live according to the Steps of AA and other "tools" I have learned in sobriety, I have not "lost it" since the day I stopped drinking. I really can't say that I've even been angry; disappointed, yes, but not really angry at anything, anyone or myself.

TODAY, I KNOW THAT I CANNOT BE PERFECT.
BUT I CAN BE EXCELLENT.

7 comments:

Trudging said...

I can relate.

NMAMFQLMSH said...

Did you get upset when the Sox won last night? Oops.......sorry.
Peace bro,
JJ

GodlessMom said...

When my brother in law was deep in his addiction he carried around a grudge against me for over two years. I didn't even know about it! When he finally confronted me it turned out that he was blaming me for something that I honestly hadn't done. Now that he is sober he talks to me about his concerns rather than letting it fester, it's made for a happier sister in law/brother in law relationship.

recoveryroad said...

That post applies to me more than you can know. Or maybe you do know. Lol.

Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

An angry outburst, what's wrong with that? If well directed it can ruin your mood for days if not weeks. I can't say I haven't been angry in sobriety. I have, many times. However, those tools you are using help me to defuse that anger and become part of the solution rather than a part of the problem. This anger that's kept inside to fester and rankle is a character trait of almost every member of my extended family. True midwesterners are we.My only surviving aunt, she's 94, clings to resentments she had originally over 50 years ago. QN

NMAMFQLMSH said...

Sorry, they were playing the Texas Rangers.......got them and the Houston Astros confused.....duh.....blonde moment.

Perfect Virgo said...

I have a very long fuse indeed and it smoulders for ages then goes out. If the explosion ever came it would not be a pretty sight! I do get angry but I tend to bottle it up and simmer inside. More dignified than screaming I suppose - we all cope our own way in the end I guess.