Addiction with Anger and the way out
You may believe you have reasonable motives for being mean and performing in an ugly fashion. Addiction with anger is born somewhere in the depths of our past. Undoubtedly somewhere someone really hurt you; they affected your self-esteem. They abused you and left you with a memory of misery and pain. Holding on to the pain of the past can cause more damage to you than the individual or individuals who injured you in the first place. The things we suffer can either make us better or bitter. Such volumes of pain would easily destroy us if we had not found avenues to cope. We needed a way to avoid pain and simultaneously institute a soothing pleasure. Food, cocaine, alcohol, heroine, sex and a number of unnamed addictions became our answer. We knew we could count on them to calm the beast of anger on the inside. Soon, we forgot why we were angry at all. All we knew was we could “fix” the frustration, loneliness, boredom and disappointment with one act of indulgence. One act of indulgence became two and two became three until we found ourselves caught in an infinite, dizzying helix of pleasure and excruciating pain. Pain of course breeds addiction with anger!
We cover pain with anger
We cover anger with addiction
We cover addiction with denial…………………………………………..
All the while the pain festers beneath addiction with anger. It fuels the fire. In brief moments of clarity or we see what we are doing to ourselves, perhaps after an accident, or near death experience! It is at this time we have the courage to say, “I give up”, not on life but on the daily destruction that has plagued us for so long. Some of us find the courage to face ourselves and the unsightliness inside us. It is often fear that drives us to be motivated enough to start to recover whilst some if us remain obsessed with the anger and pain and freely invite it back into our lives believing once again that it will all be different this time!!
The rush of rage of addiction with anger that one can experience in rehab can produce a similar high to your common street narcotic. The problem is you manufacture the drug in your head. Your mind and your body may be conditioned to “overheat” any time you feel fearful, threatened or insecure. The cravings for anger will not subside quickly.
This is why the programme strongly suggests taking your recovery ‘one day at a time’ as it takes time to get a better prospective of your relationship with pain, anger and maybe eventually-yourself! Don’t fall prey to projecting your feelings and getting angry with others. Your temper must be managed in treatment. Addiction with anger will simply hinder you from finding the answers you seek. Anger is a secondary emotion. What lies under it is usually the fuel for addiction with anger. Emotional pain, loss, rejection, depression, dis-ease and heartbreak are all covered up with anger. Anger is easy. The former emotions are not. Below is an interesting read on the assumptions people have about addiction with anger
By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
“I guess I have an anger problem. I lose my temper pretty quick. But it’s not like my wife doesn’t do things to make me mad.”
Richard has reluctantly come to treatment because his wife took out a restraining order after their last fight. He admits he lost control. He acknowledges that maybe he said things he shouldn’t have. But he also thinks she shouldn’t have done or said what she did. “I can’t help getting mad when she jerks my chain. I can’t let her get away with that!” he says.
What Richard doesn’t yet understand is this: Temper isn’t something you lose. It’s something you decide to throw away.
Raging, shouting, name-calling, throwing things and threatening harm is all a big bluff. It’s the human equivalent of animal behavior. From the puffer fish that puffs itself up to twice its size to look more intimidating to the lion on the veldt who shakes his mane and roars, creatures who feel threatened posture and threaten in order to protect themselves and their turf. People who loose their temper quickly are often over protecting themselves when small things happen that they may feel are a direct attack. The display often is enough to get the perceived predator or interloper to back off fast. If not, the fight — or flight — is on.
People in addiction with anger, who rage, are the same. Feeling a threat, they posture. They throw away all mature controls and rant and rage like an out-of-control child, from where they learned a lot of this defence behaviour. It’s impressive. It’s scary. It gets folks around them to walk around on eggshells. Make no mistake it is no accident. So, ask yourself, are you approachable, or do you make others walk on egg shells when they are around you? Others often let them “win” just to get away. Problem is this will affect ALL your relationships, soon others will be less inclined to be around you. Everybody wants to feel safe, calm and secure. Failure to recognize, fully acknowledge and consciously address addiction with anger as it arises is how it comes out sideways, and at other people as opposed to ourselves.
But are people who explode easily happy? Usually not. When I talk to the Richards of the world, they usually just want things to go right. They want respect and they want things their way. They want their peers and their partners to give them the authority they think they deserve. Sadly, these tactics generally backfire. Not knowing what might set him off, kids, partners, co-workers and friends distance and leave him more and more alone.
Helping someone like Richard with “addiction with anger management” requires more than helping him learn how to express his angry feelings appropriately. Giving him practical skills alone assumes more control than he can probably hold on to. To be able to integrate those skills into his self-image, he needs to reconsider some of his basic assumptions about life and his place in it. Consider yourself as a Richard. If you sound like him sometimes, perhaps it’s time to look at the bigger picture, and work on yourself instead of work over others.
7 Mistaken Assumptions Angry People Often Make
- They can’t help it. Angry people have lots of excuses in addiction with anger. Women will blame their PMS. Both sexes will blame their stress, their exhaustion, or their worries. Never mind that other people who have PMS or who are stressed, tired, or worried don’t pop off at the world. Angry people don’t yet understand that they are actually giving themselves permission to rant. In that sense, they are very much in control.
- The only way to express anger is to explode. People who rage believe that anger is like the build-up of steam in an overheated steam engine. They think they need to blow off the steam in order to be OK. In fact, raging tends only to produce more of the same. It also ESCALSATES. Best to deal with it now.
- Frustration is intolerable. Addiction with anger is experienced by people who can’t sit with frustration, anxiety or fear. To them, such feelings are a signal that they are being challenged. When life doesn’t go their way, when someone doesn’t see things as they do, when their best-laid plans get interrupted or they make a mistake, they simply can’t tolerate it. To them, it’s better to blow than to be left with those feelings. They don’t get it that frustration is a normal part of everyone’s life and that it is often the source of creativity and inspiration.
- It’s more important to win than to be right. Chronically angry people often have the idea that their status is at stake when there is conflict. When questioned, they take it overly personally. If they are losing an argument, they experience a loss of self-esteem. At that moment, they need to assert their authority, even if they are wrong. When it is certain that they are wrong, they will find a way to prove that the other person is more wrong. For mature people, self-esteem is grounded in being able to put ego aside in order to find the best solution.
- “Respect” means that people do things their way. When another driver tailgates, when a partner refuses to go along with a plan, when a kid doesn’t jump when told to do something, they feel disrespected. To them, disrespect is intolerable. Making a lot of noise and threatening is their way of reasserting their right to “respect” by others. Sadly, when the basis of “respect” is fear, it takes a toll on love and caring.
- The way to make things right is to fight. Some angry people have learned at the feet of a master. Having grown up with parents who fight, it is their “normal.” They haven’t a clue how to negotiate differences or manage conflict except by escalating. Then they become very much like the parent they loathed and feared when they were kids. Addiction with anger becomes a norm. Very, very sad.
- Other people should understand that they didn’t mean what they did or said when they were angry. Angry people feel that anger entitles them to let loose. It’s up to other people not to take seriously hurtful things they say or do. After all, they say, they were just angry. They don’t get it that other people are legitimately hurt, embarrassed, humiliated, or afraid.
Helping the Richard within us means helping us identify which of these assumptions are driving our temper tantrums. Some or all may apply. We may even have a few that are more uniquely our own. So start becoming aware. Also be quick to apologize. Teaching ourselves rules for anger management, although important, isn’t enough to have a long-term impact. Changing our assumptions will enable him to use such skills with conviction and confidence. Blowing small things out of proportion can have unnecessary negative impacts on ourselves and others. Addiction with anger can be managed with practice. Contact us for more help with addiction with anger on 0824424779, or email us.