Anger in Recovery

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[ ang-ger]

a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.
Chiefly British Dialect. pain or smart, as of a sore.
Obsolete. grief; trouble.
to arouse anger or wrath in.
Chiefly British Dialect. to cause to smart; inflame.


Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog from 28th March, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:

Most people are uncomfortable talking about anger, as it relates to aggression and violence. Nobody likes to be labelled as an angry person. Anger, in most cases, is a learned behaviour and mainly through life's experiences. Anger and addiction do go hand in hand.

This is one emotion, though, I cannot really relate to in my recovery. I would have internalised my anger as a resentment towards others and especially towards myself.

I was never an aggressive or violent alcoholic, I would have run from aggression and violence, and would have avoided situations that could turn violent. I would have drank on my own mainly to avoid alcohol spurred violence.

Anger, though as an emotion is not actually bad. It is a lot better than apathy, as a person with anger is more motivated to get things done. How you manage or direct your anger is what counts here.

People have got sober through anger and stayed sober for years through anger “Dry Drunk”. Not the best form of recovery, but at least they have been able to manage their anger better sober than drunk.

I have dealt with many people who say that I don’t have an addiction problem, but an anger issue. If I get anger management, then I’ll be able to drink/use again. This is literally putting the cart before the horse. Addiction is the primary condition and all other behaviours and consequences are a direct result of addiction and not anger or any other underlying emotion, thought or behaviour. Drink and drugs exasperate and amplify the underlying condition. An example of this is that if you are in a bad mood or angry and then start drinking, you will become even more angry.

If you want more info on anger click on the link below:

My next article is on Assertiveness, stay tuned.

The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.

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