Letting go of anger

Old 04-15-2020, 07:51 AM
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Letting go of anger

I could really use some insight or tips on how to actually let go of all this anger I carry around towards my AH. I know it's not helping anyone, most certainly not me. I'm not ready to leave him, especially not now so my only real choice is acceptance. I would love to get to the point of peace in my own mind. AH is a decent person, works hard all day, not abusive, just starts drinking in the evenings quietly on the couch and doesn't stop until after I've gone to bed. I pretty much avoid any interaction with him after about 8. I know it's not the greatest situation but especially with quarantine and all it's all I can do for now. I did read Codependent No More, had gone to 1 alanon meeting before Covid, helped somewhat, but it's the anger I carry around that's driving me nuts. Any feedback which will magically bring peace to my life ?
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Old 04-15-2020, 08:52 AM
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Btw, I'm sure I've probably asked this question before, if so I'm sorry, just feeling crazy this morning.
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Old 04-15-2020, 08:53 AM
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Posts: 15,539 would be great if there was something that would "magically" erase anger. Especially, if you are living with the very origin of your anger, every day.

Actually, anger according to those in the behavioral sciences, is not usually a Primary emotion. It is a default emotion...a protective is to cover other very scary sadness, frustration, fear...
And,I can imagine that you are filled with fears and sadness that living with an alcoholic brings into your life.

A few techniques that can help to keep the anger from spinning you out of control, are these...
Some vigorous exercise every least, walking out in nature...out of the house....
Isolating yourself to another part of the house, as much as possible when he is drinking on the couch
***Changing your expectations of him. Lowering the bar of your expectations to the ground, if necessary.....Stop expecting different from him.....
He is going to do what he is going to do. that is not going to change.
***When he is spewing garbage from his lips....think of him as a small Quacking Duck....Full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.....Ignore him as you would a little quacking duck.....
***Begin to make plans inside your own head, about removing the source of anger from your life and the lives of your children. At least, not living under the same roof with it. Day dream about it....imagine it...make mental plans for it....I call this "stacking boxes". Imagine yourself in a deep, deep hole, and stacking boxes to make yourself a ladder for your exit/escape from the hole....
What you can....what you are willing to dream can do....

Get all of the help that you can get....find those that you can talk to...even if on the phone or other media....

****My personal favorite----when I am whit hot angry with someone...when my anger grabs me by the throat....I get to a private place....where no one can hear me....even just walking, outside....and, I imagine the person that I am angry with....and, I just say every thing on my mind that I would like to say to them....
I just talk out loud....and, not nicely, either.....
If I can't think of a person...I just unload to The Universe or God or some such.
It might sound and look "krazy".....but, it has kept me on balance many, many times.

I think that letting the kids know that it is NOT their fault...over and over, helps. This has got to be very hard for them. If it were me, I would let them know that their Dad is under the influence and that he is ma king very bad choices.....
but, that is me....I don't know what others might do.....

Also, distract yourself as much as you can with movies, books, music, and do good self care...every chance that you get....
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:03 AM
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What are you angry about?
Perhaps look at the why, and dealing with it as it comes up, rather than trying to erase it?
Could give you some good insights.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:19 AM
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I also believe that anger stems from elsewhere.

I was really angry at one time, for several weeks (at an ex). At some point I thought to myself, ok what is this anger doing for you?

Well initially it was really helpful, in fact it helped me separate from him (I had already been through the "sad"). I encouraged the anger, it was almost a break from the being down. Eventually I realized it was no longer working for me, I was getting nothing "from" it. It was no longer propelling me forward, it was just an emotion that was, now, annoying.

So I let it go. Didn't take long, in fact once I had that realization it was only a matter of a day or two before I was feeling better.

So, examine those feelings, what are they doing for you. I'm going to guess it helps to feel anger toward him as it separates you from him. It may be something you need to hang on to for a while until you are feeling "safer" with your other feelings toward him.

Yes, it's annoying but it's there for a reason. Once you decide to let it go you will really need to deal with whatever is causing that anger, but you will be able to.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:54 PM
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Anger can tell me a lot. When I give it space to be expressed, heard, released, then I also allow space to first accept it, then to allow it transformation.

5 things that help me:

Getting an Al-Anon sponsor. This is possible via phone, etc.

Prayer. Keeping it simple allows Great Spirit more room to guide me. "Help!". "Thank you." are powerful prayers, done consistently throughout each day.

Allowing self-kindness. Be gentle with self.

Meditation. Asking others if they meditate and what their practice is like. Reaching out further, if needed, to see who has strong meditation practices/techniques. This is like finding business or athletic mentors or coaches. A single conversation with someone who has great strengths can be life changing.

Allow fun. That simple. Easy. As I continue to allow fun, the rest keeps falling into place. My idea/thought/experiences of fun keeps expanding in wonderful ways.

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Old 04-15-2020, 05:28 PM
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i think you need to cut yourself some slack. many of us have been sent home and told to stay there. for our health and safety and that of the rest of the population. we don't really have a choice. it is the best and only way out. we all bear a social responsibility.

so that means you are stuck with a drinker in close quarters, 24/7 and don't HAVE a whole lot of options. this really isn't the time to run out the door screaming or even tell THEM to leave.

i'm not sure it's possible right now to achieve some state of zen or bliss or FUN your way out of the circumstances. you just gotta get thru. as best you can. without worrying about doing it right.

we have kids stuck to us like limpets. pets that assume we are home for THEIR entertainment. we have remote work to try and conduct. and still have laundry, house cleaning, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, to deal with. we have to think and plan any outing - and how to stay safe while doing so.

i guess focus on what you can control, where you can put your efforts to the most use, and try to turn down the noise of drunk on the couch. if that is even possible.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:59 PM
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Anger is a powerful emotion and one I am deeply familiar with from my own life experience, my own and other people's.

Anger can be a great motivator for change. It gives some people the energy to leave terrible relationships, or succeed in their schooling or career in order to transcend their past.

Anger usually drives activism. Activism is an intellectual way to channel anger into change.

The problem with American culture is that we "other" emotions like anger and lust and even grief. So what do we have? An violent, pornographic culture that denies or fears death.

Seeing anger as a valid emotion that has a right to exist is a powerful experience. So what can you do with anger that isn't destructive? Grow, change, motivate, help others.

The problem with anger is when we get stuck in the blame game and just feed into a circle of petty squabbles or seething resentment (trust me, I'm very familiar, I didn't get here by whistling Dixie, and anger is a frequent emotion that has driven my own excuses to drink too much).

So as someone still working with my own powerful anger myself, and still recovering from the consequences of other people's mishandled anger, the best thing I can tell you is to OWN that anger, accept it, make friends with it...but also find something positive or useful to do with it if you can't release it all. Of course release some of it through exercise, screaming into a pillow, whatever works for you...but whatever you have left over, try to find an outlet that anger would energize into love.

That's all I got.
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:44 PM
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I was angry a lot, for many years. A counsellor once told me that you feel how you feel, your emotions are never wrong, so accepting that is the first step. You don't choose your emotions, but you can choose how to react to them. Something that helped me to not feel so overwhelmed with anger (or any strong emotion) is knowing that all emotions are temporary and that after a short amount of time that emotion will pass. When you feel an emotion, it invokes a physical response and you can get into a loop - your brain creates more thoughts in response to your body's reaction, and that causes more physical reaction, resulting in more angry thoughts. I step out of the loop by first acknowledging what I am feeling, I go somewhere private and yell, swear, express it all (it's never pretty). Then I will walk and practice staying present, and mindful or I will meditate and focus on my breathing - this brings my mind back to what is happening around me instead of staying caught in the loop. My mind calms, my body processes the adrenaline etc and the emotions pass.
It took a long time, a couple of years of repeating this over and over, but eventually I found that mostly the anger has just sort of melted away, and I very seldom feel that overwhelming anger anymore - I'm able to stay calm most of the time, or can shrug things off more easily.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:21 AM
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Thank you all for your thoughtful insight. There is a lot of great information here I am definitely going to incorporate in my day to day. I am trying to exercise every day, we had a ton of rain for a couple of weeks and it's now passed so I am hoping getting outside will help. I am also going to give meditation a try, while struggling with infertility years ago I took a mind-body class where we learned so much about the mind/body connection and how wonderful meditation is for not only your mental health but your physical as well.

When I try to really get to the root of my feelings the two things I come up with are that I want to punish him with my anger, which keeps me distanced from him and I guess my hope is that it will motivate change (futile I know), and a deeply rooted fear that this is going to continue to progress and he is going to destroy our financial security, our homelife, our future. It is also pretty scary to think that it doesn't progress and this is just my life.

Yesterday an acquaintance of mine posted on FB inviting others to an online alanon meeting, I think I need to get the guts to reach out to her. It feels a little too close to home but maybe reaching out to someone I know will force a little accountability. Anyway, thanks again, I truly appreciate that you all took the time too give me some insight and feedback.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:42 AM
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Posts: 15,539 of the basic facts of alcoholism is that it is a Progressive condition. You don't have to be scared that it won't progress....because it will. As it progresses along, it tends to pick up steam and it can progress very rapidly at a certain point.
It does, indeed begin to erode the family life and have negative effects for everyone in the family.

I think that it is important to remember that you have the power to bring about change in your l ife and your circumstances. Your choices...your decision...your actions. Don't just hand over all of the power to the alcoholism. If you let the alcoholic...thus, the alcoholism....control your future...I think you can, pretty much predict the outcome.....

The 3 Cs.....You didn't Cause it. You can't Cure it. And....You can't Control it.

Try to identify what you can control and what is beyond your control.....
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:52 AM
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For me, anger stems from fear and fear stems from one of two places. Fear that I am not going to get what I want or fear that I am going to lose something I have.

Fear is like a door. I can try to go around it, over it, under it; but the best way to get to the other side and freedom is to walk through it.

When I do that two things happen. One is that I usually find the fear is nowhere near the bogey man I had built up in my mind; and the second is that I discover I have way more strength of character than I give myself credit for.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:55 AM
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In a strange way, anger can help propel you forward to do what's best for YOU. A lot of us on this site have trouble advocating for and taking care of ourselves. Many of us are pathologically conscientious and unduly concerned about the welfare of other people, especially family, but not about ourselves. We easily feel compassion for others, but not for ourselves. It's easy to see this after you extricate yourself from the alcoholic but not during the chaos of living with one.

Yes, you are angry, and you have every right to be. All you expect is a normal family life, and that does not include being attached to a slurring man-child. Only you can choose your future path; however, I would suggest transforming some of that anger into positive energy and begin formulating an action plan. Things like consulting with a lawyer, evaluating your financial status, determining if you need to enter the workforce or find a better paying job. Etc.

As long as you keep moving forward and don't get stuck in depression and helplessness, you will emerge. I spent 34 years stuck. Don't wait that long before taking some kind of action.
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