Friday, June 22, 2007

Anger hurts

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)


  1. I think it is interesting how you write about your friend being an alcoholic but has not drank in a long time. Just because someone is sober does not mean they no longer have the addictive behaviors. Does he still work his program? If he does not, this could be the reason he is off his center. I know if I miss meetings in Al Anon, I feel as though I am off center. As said by Jonathan Swift, "Whoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn into bees who kill themselves in stinging others".

  2. Jeez. I get as FAR away from angry people as I POSSIBLY can. I try to leave the room or area before they finish the FIRST angry sentence. If someone 'lost it' I would simply excuse myself. I CERTAINLY would not hang about or try to reason with them. The only times I seem to get caught out is when I am so shocked by their outburst that my mind goes a bit blank.
    I hate to say it, but I find a LOT of AA's behavior pretty disappointing. Obviously there are some real kindnesses exchanged within AA. Lots of fellowship, service and all that. But when push comes to shove, and you unwittingly trigger their 'stuff', there can be a real lack of impulse control, a real lack of self restraint when it comes to 'reining in' their angry impulses. Some AA's think they are being 'honest' by expressing their anger at a situation. Its a bit f***ed up really. You know what though? I suffer from the same kind of defensive irrationality when exposed to certain triggers. But then I am pretty messed up emotionally, compared to more ? normal types. I can experience overpowering internal upheavals when a fundamental core belief is challenged. The difference between me and that guy is that I do not TRUST anger. I know it means I am full of s**t and it will keep me blind. Keep me stuck. It is because I WANT to move on that I am willing to NOT give in to it. Besides, I know I will go off course if I allow myself to get dragged along by the current. Its called MORAL RESTRAINT. Its actually VERY important. So much hinges on 'keeping our side of the street clean'. Well I think so. Denial is just plain weird, and in order to overcome it, we have to not 'give in' to the anger, and let it run riot through the system. Only then do we have a chance to come to our senses and see what an idiot we have been. Once I have cooled down I think my anger was utter madness, embarrassing and pathetic. But that moment comes much sooner rather than later if I REFUSE to act on it. That's my best chance. Anger is like hot metal, not easy to handle well! It requires some impulse control!

  3. okay excuse me everyone but I am diving in! THAT water to me is heaven.Just a quick visit today Syd..I will reread post better next time.

  4. That water IS beatiful - and I was going to use the same quote Pat did.

  5. My mother is one of the angriest people I know, and she is not an alcoholic. I don't think addicts corner the market on that malady. Anger comes in all forms and doesn't always manifest itself in an obvious, outwardly explosive way. There are a lot of angry people who imagine themselves to be quite the opposite.

    I'm with Tab, I want to take a swim. Another great photo.

  6. I wish I knew how to show anger appropriatly...but I don't. I can only name a handful of people who have EVER seen me angry. It was the ONLY emotion not allowed in my family growing up. Hence, when it comes up....I stuff it as far down as I can. This has been my downfall emotionally for as long as I can remember. When it does pop comes out as sarcasm, which is probably uglier than anger...or well...just another form of anger I guess. I really have to stay away from angry people....because the truth is...I don't know what to do with them. I never learned any coping skills in that area. Sorry to post such a long comment. I may need blog about this subject.

  7. Anger is a luxury I cannot afford (BB P66) I just pray for the 'em, shut up, mind my own business and get on with my job. Anger in me is usually caused by fear, self will, when when something isnt going my way or someone behaves unreasonably and I think, I will be some way. Now I know this its easier not to play ball with it and act out noisily or silently seeth and self harm. Dealing with Anger, whosever it is, is tiring, i find. Inventory helps me loads.

  8. Wow! I just read the previous comments.....and I really have to think about it. I have a brother who is an 'angry alcoholic'....he's angry when he's drinking and angry when he's not. When I see him once a year, I'm able to make him laugh...and forget about his anger. I also had a brother who was not an alcoholic..and he had his angry moments...Wow! the temper...ooh la la! Run for the hills! But yet, he was the nicest guy in the world.
    I don't like the insinuation that drunks are angry, therefore if you are angry you are a drunk....and if you didn't drink in a long time, you are still angry.
    Well, then I'm one angry person..yes, I should learn to handle it better....when I see people bullying others,,when I see that life can be so, I cannot turn my back and walk away....I truly believe there is 'good anger' and 'bad anger'! I can't get angry over things I cannot control....but yes, I can get angry over things I can change.
    Did Jesus not get angry that thieves and gamblers took over the temple and did he not 'clear the room'?
    Whoa! That pool looks good..think I'll go for a swim and cool off!
    Think I'll go write another post about anger!
    Stay cool, Syd!


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