“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” —Aristotle
I grew up an angry child. The older I became, the more resentful I was with everyone. I trusted no one. Absorbing the hate of those around me, I became a hateful, self-destructive victim. Without tools to cope with frustration and anger except for drugs and alcohol, I descended into hopelessness. Addictions suppressed my anger, as it festered and grew stronger. I didn’t want to feel; I wanted to escape everyone including me. My drugs of choice did that for me.
Anger was A Nasty Getting Even Response, and I had it down to perfection. After years of hatred, eating anger’s poison and hoping others would die, anger told me, “I’ll show you, I’ll kill me!” Recovery came not one minute too soon.
For as long as we blame everyone else do we stay a prisoner to our misery, convinced that anger is the only way we can get attention or sympathy. We stay the victim with self-imposed rights to remain that way. Working with professionals and loving sponsors helps us to accept responsibility for the harms we’ve done to others. We found that as soon as we begin to let go of selfish, self-centered anger, that these emotions hurt no one as much as it hurt us. As others walked away, we were the ones who hung on to the power and excitement of anger’s poison fueled by our disease of addiction.
How Important Is Anger?
When we ask, “How important is anger?” we remind ourselves that our hard- fought serenity and peace are non-negotiable, without exception. Anger must go. We promptly admit when we are in the wrong and make amends to correct the situation. After all, this is our program, no one else’s. What recourse do we have? Here we learn to Live and Let Live. We must, because the alcoholic/addict in or out of active addiction or without a program, is like a lion chasing its prey. Anger becomes focused and relentless, out of control insane; and, if not checked, we can and often do, hurt others physically or emotionally through our words.
With practice, we learn to pause when agitated or doubtful and remember that This Too, Shall Pass. These actions, together with constant contact with our Higher Power help to ensure the distance necessary to dissipate our anger, and the poisonous damage it causes us and others.
The degree to which I place my serenity and sobriety first determines how often my character defect of anger takes a back seat. Thank you, God, for showing me how to Let Go and Let God.
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”—Buddha
Taken and gently modified from Miracles of Recovery, a 365-day inspirational that speaks to all of us as we strive to live life on life’s terms, and remain clean and sober one day at a time. Find your recipe for a new life here https://amzn.to/3Ad6PEa.