Friday, June 22, 2007
I've been thinking about how anger is a hurtful thing. I saw it on the ship this time and heard about it from several people. Just seeing someone go off on another indicates the amount of physical and emotional energy that anger takes. It's not a productive emotion for me and seems to take away my enjoyment of people and opportunities around me. The words that are said during an angry interchange can maim the soul. But after an angry outburst, it takes me quite a while to get the event out of my head because I go over it and try to figure out what happened.
It seems that angry people like to think that they are justified with making themselves and everyone around them miserable. Anger seems to be selfish because things can't always go the way that I or others want them to. People won't do what I say. Things in life aren't going to run smoothly for me or anyone else all the time. I have to accept that and just deal with it. Getting angry isn't going to change anyone's viewpoint or make things run more smoothly. In fact, I've found that anger has the opposite effect.
Maybe it's the nature of the alcoholic to be irritable. I've wondered about that because I've seen a lot of irritability with an alcoholic friend on my last cruise. He became enraged with other people on board. He cursed and generally acted out. Is this stress or just the alcoholic mind at work? My friend has been sober for many years and I've never known him to blow up like this. I know that he has issues with hypoglycemia, but somehow I think that it was linked more to stress.
I've read that alcoholics can have hypoglycemia that makes for irritability. Eating sugary foods seems to make the situation worse. I don't know the answer but having been on the receiving end of alcoholic frustration at home, I know that it is painful for both parties. The person who is angry feels bad about losing control and self-esteem seems to suffer even more. I basically don't want to be around someone who is angry so that adds to more feelings of isolation. Apologies that are repeated over and over don't work anymore.
So now what I have to do is my part--forgive those who have been angry and who have lashed out; accept that their anger is theirs to own and not mine; and remember to think before I open my mouth with hurtful words.
"An angry man is again angry with himself, when he returns to reason. "(Publilius Syrus)