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[ Personal Narratives ]

Anger, Sobriety & The Next Indicated Step

I have written this over and over and over again. I have deleted and re-written this more times than I care to admit.

This last 24 hours has been rough. I don’t tell you this for sympathy but to refrain from stuffing it down, hiding, compartmentalizing or denying it. It’s how I stay healthy and sane today; to feel the feels, to stand in my truth and then put one foot in front of the other and take the next indicated step, regardless of how small or how painful.

When I first got sober, I was angry. Really angry. It scared me how pissed I got; how intolerant and impatient I was. I spoke to my sponsor, at length, about it. Prayer and acknowledgement wasn’t the answer for me, finding the root cause and a solution was.

I am a willful person. This is AWESOME when you are trying to achieve something on your own (hence my success on the golf course). This is NOT awesome the rest of the time as willfulness in relationships and pretty much every day life causes aggravation as everyday life includes other people;  friends and spouses and parents and children and well, the guy in front of you at the gas station that doesn’t pump gas fast enough or the woman at Target that wants to write a check for a can of diet coke. You know… *PEOPLE.* The root cause, for me,  was two things: Control and Not Being Heard. I did a lot of digging and therapy and yoga and meditation and Soul searching to exorcise The Anger. I believe that anger is a good thing. It doesn’t need to be repressed but it also doesn’t need to be explosive and emotionally debilitating.

I am going to digress here. Do you remember the movie Pretty Woman? The one with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts? They were in the bathtub. And Richard was saying to Julia that he spent $10,000 in therapy to say “I was very angry with my Father”.

Although I am not angry with my Dad, I do get angry and frustrated about things. I still am miffed that I cannot control everything. {ha!}. But today, I am able to say how I feel “I am angry” or “That hurt my feelings” or “I just need to be heard.” It’s nothing earth shattering but speaking my truth has been an integral part of my healing. The second part of this is that sometimes it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, I am not heard. Sometimes, I say what I need or how I feel and it is met with resistance or with an inability to help.  *THAT* has been another learning experience.

So, after 7 years of digging; discovering, uncovering and discarding stuff around control and anger and not being heard… I have found out THE REAL REASON that this is my path. And it has nothing to do with me. {Shocking.} All of this work, all of the Blood, Sweat and Tears is not about me after all. It is about helping my son.

He is a beautiful boy. He is smart and funny, silly and inquisitive, empathetic and compassionate. He is also willful, wants to be heard and gets ANGRY when he doesn’t get his way.

So yesterday was bad. There is no need to go in to details but the melt down that ensued after he didn’t get his way scared me… and his Dad. It scared us because we couldn’t help him. It scared us because our sweet, loving, gentle little boy couldn’t get a hold of himself, couldn’t right the ship, couldn’t find a way to self -regulate and get unstuck. We were utterly helpless.

 The feelings all came rushing in.  I have felt this way. I have felt this way as an adult; watching myself drunk and out of control and unable to flip the switch; hurting myself, hurting others.

Days like yesterday used to be spent in the bar; drinking and forgetting and pushing away and shutting down. Although I didn’t hit the bar yesterday, I did get in to bed. I did binge on Quantico and vegetarian pizza. But today, I don’t have a hangover. I don’t have *another* problem because I drank and then drove and then got a DUI or in an altercation. Today I got up. Today I put one foot in front of the other. Today I took the next indicated step. Today I reached out and asked for help. Today I spoke to my husband and let him know how awful I feel and why.

Things are going to be okay. I am so grateful for the friends and professionals in our circle. I am grateful for my sobriety and the tools that I have to get me through hard days. I am grateful for the presence in my own life so that I be of service to my son. I am grateful for the 7 years of hard work I have done on my own issues so that I can bear witness to others.

The uncovering and discovering should never end. Elena Brower recently said two things that have stuck with me the last 24 hours {I am paraphrasing}; 1. The best teachers are the best learners. 2. The continual practice of being a yogini on and off the mat; not only the yoga studio but at home.

Today I am grateful for my willfulness. It got me up today. It keeps me going when there is some part of me that doesn’t want to. It pushes me to take the next indicated step; even if it is small, even if my legs feel like they weigh a ton, I take it.

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