Sober since April 6, 2006


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us ...

"We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others."
--Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 47

Normally, I'm not a person who gives in to anger. I tend to lean more toward the depressive end of the scale. If I get angry, I'm angry with myself.

But the other day, I became angry in response to the actions of another person. I allowed myself to fume and stew, constantly reliving the issue and even predicting future issues with this person. This resulted in being hit with overwhelming waves of rage and hatred -- even about things that haven't happened yet (and may never happen at all).

I knew I needed to let it go, but I wouldn't. In my mind, this person deserved to be hated.

So I fumed. And I stewed. And I hated.

I knew all along that I was wrong, and I knew the answer, but I was not willing to accept it until my anger was exhausted:
"This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'

"We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one."
-- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66-67

Now I'm exhausted, wondering why I allowed myself to get so bent out of shape. I knew the answer the whole time, and I only hurt myself in the process.
"When a drunk has a terrific hangover because he drank heavily yesterday, he cannot live well today. But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience whether we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotion - anger, fear, jealousy, and the like. If we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers."
--Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 88

I have more work to do ... so much more work.


LAS said...

I can totally relate to this!! I can't tell you how many times I have stewed in my own head and played out scenarios that would never happen, letting the anger fester, justified or unjustified. The answer is always the same - to change me and my attitude. Thank you for reminding me...I'll have a better day because of it!

recoveryroad said...

Anger is a large part of my illness. Along with a deep deep rooted slef-loathing.

That post of your was a cold shower. Just what I needed. I hope you're okay and thanks for helping me stay sober today.



recoveryroad said...

Knicked that from you. But quoted you and linked you. Hope that's ok.


sober Chick said...

Dang are you writing what I do word by word.

In June 2005 I when I left Casa, a women's recovery home I was told I need to learn how to release my anger, cuz "You [I] was a walking time bomb." This hurt, cuz I only knew how to be the good calm girl taking it all in.

However, when provoked, what Hell it is. I use the analogy of a baloon . . .

A baloon is to be filled up with air, that is what is does in order to be enjoyed. However if there is too much air it will EXPLODE. There needs to be a balance, so sometimes air needs to be realesed on frequently creating a balance.

When we reserve ourselves so much it all comes out, saturating the situation. I say that it is wonderful you recognize this, that you write about it, and now you can begin to live in the solution. Baby steps of course. :)


Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

Lovely post, TKD. I'm still trying to control my anger. Trying to make the fuse a bit longer. (I can clearly see myself in your post!)

Thank you for sharing.

Greetings and lotta loves from Malaysia.

JJ said...

I do the same things too sometimes but I'm really good at tell people to let it go.

dAAve said...

What I've learned is that all that hatred affects only me and not the person I direct it towards. That takes away a lot of its power and allows me to let go much easier.

Anonymous said...

About every 6 months I feel like I want to kill somebody.Say that in a meeting and it gets a good laugh.The vail that keeps us civilized is very thin :-).Be still and Know.See YA.RDW