Alcohol and Anger
Anger is one of the most powerful emotions. When a person is trying to remain sober it is important to know how to handle those feelings. If you understand how to recognize these feelings and what to do with them, it is easier to avoid relapse. There are some steps you can follow to help you deal with the anger issues that involve alcohol. When anger is mismanaged it poses a threat to the recovery process for both those who have just stopped drinking and those who have not been drinking alcohol for a long time.
First of all you will want to learn how to recognize angry feelings. Discover the ways your anger reveals itself and how you know when you are angry. Are you in the habit of denying your feelings of anger and hiding those feelings? Are you able to own your anger and go with it? All of these things are important and you will need to learn how to recognize your feelings of anger.
The second thing you can do is to make a list of your anger signs. Notice and record stomach, head and back aches. You may have a problem with rapid speech when you become angry. You may use sarcasm or become cynical. Do you scream and yell or argue with others when you are angry? Is violence an issue?
Also list any isolation techniques you use or if you tend to avoid people when you are angry. Often when a person is no longer drinking alcohol they will still have thoughts about using. Have you experienced compulsive actions that involve, eating, spending too much, gambling or sex?
You can add to the list denial or rationalization problems you have when angry, as well as revenge fantasies. Do you withhold yourself from others or become silent? All of these things may be signs of anger. Next, pay attention to the causes of your anger. Think about the situation that resulted in your feelings of anger. Who else was involved and was it the first time or has it become a pattern?
Think about any other feelings that were involved. Were you stressed, lonely, hungry, scared or tired? All of these things can play a part in recognizing triggers to anger. Now, what are some positive things that can be done after you have done your accessing, recognizing and list making? There are actually several things you can do to help yourself when anger and abstaining from alcohol have taken a toll.
Decide how you will behave. When you know what you are up against and you recognize the triggers, there will be many times when the choice of how to handle your anger will be up to you. You can make good choices or ones that will only hurt yourself, others and your recovery process. One way to make the best choices is to learn how to talk yourself through difficult situations. Talk to yourself in a calm and reassuring manner and use reason. Figure out what the outcome may be if you are able to make good decisions.
If there is another person involved, be willing to talk with them calmly and assertively. Try to listen patiently without interrupting. Avoid name calling and blaming the other person. If you are too angry to talk at the time of the incident, wait a few days if necessary. When you control your alcohol consumption, then your anger also be in control.