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Old 04-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Where's my pity party? Or, how do I deal with anger?


Today my husband and I found out that the car battery we needed to replace is actually also a broken transmission - a cost that is equal to our entire 2011 tax refund, our entire emergency fund, our huge jar of coins that was supposed to be spent on something fun, and a grand on top of that - 5700 dollars. We live in the mountains 15 minutes away from town, so we have no choice but to fix it. There's no public transport up here, not even bike trails.

I was feeling cranky and like I wanted to drink a bit, and when I feel like drinking I try to figure out what's really going on so I can understand it and calm the urge.

I thought about it and realized the reason I wanted to drink was so I could have an excuse to throw a fit about this money. I realized that I'm not quite sure what to do when I'm angry. Emotional outbursts were par for the course when I was drunk. I think that I felt like it was okay to express my feelings because drunk people express everything, right? So now that I'm sober I feel too mature or something to get pissed off - I keep telling myself it's doable, that 1k really isn't THAT much, we've been late on bills before, I've certainly been through worse, and how much better it is to be sober and have to deal with this problem, etc... all true but none of it satisfies my urge to scream and punch the sky. We're broke, yanno? We were finally getting back on track after a really rough 18 months. It sucks.

So, my question is, how do you ladies & gents express emotions in a healthy way once you've decided that you're a rational person? Getting drunk and freaking out just isn't an option anymore.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My kids say I am like a crazy person when I get upset; however, it usually passes quickily and we all laugh about my freakout. These days when I get really upset I pray and ask for guidance on what to do and how to act. I remind myself that as bad as it might seem it would be alot worse if I was drinking. I try to remember that because I am not drinking I am more rational and better equipped to handle bad things when they happen in life. I try to spin the situation and look for the positive in the situation. In your situation I would say at least I have the money to fix the car. In November my then 12 yr old daughter overshot the vault at gymnastics practice and landed on her head. She lost conciousness(sp) for a moment and injured her neck. I was so grateful to be sober at 6pm in the evening and to take her to the hospital. I was so grateful that she only had a neck sprain and not a broken neck. I was so grateful for recovery so I could be the mother my daughter deserved in that crisis. Before AA I would have played the victim and felt sorry for myself. I happily just paid the last hospital bill because my daughter is okay today. Life happens, sometimes it sucks, and you just have to ride it out. At least you won't wake up with a hangover tomorrow.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Amy. I really needed some perspective - my situation doesn't seem bad at all after reading that. I'm so glad your girl is okay.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks she is doing great and still doing gymnastics. As bad as things seem try to remember alcohol will only make things worse. I think you did the right thing by venting about how you feel. I hope you felt better after writing it all out. Talking about how I feel instead of drinking to cover it up really helps me.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't believe how much my attitude changed just by reading your post. Thank you so much. I do feel better now, and I realize I have so much to be grateful for. I never looked at my life from this perspective before. I'm shocked.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I get what you mean about how alcohol gave you an excuse to act irrationally and express all your pent up anger, but does that mean you really wanted to say all the things that may end up coming out? You might hurt you husbands feelings, say things you really don’t even mean. Its funny because I was trying to break down the reasons why I liked to drink so much in the past, and I was thinking about all the silly-fun times I had with friends, when we were acting rather childish and immature for our ages. Its weird because its almost like we WANT an excuse to be able to act like children, and alcohol became that excuse. We could laugh about it the next day, blame it on the booze. Maybe we all need to let down our guards a bit more and live more freely. Express our true thoughts, have fun, dance around…no excuses needed.

As for ways of dealing with anger/being pissed off: Vigorous exercise, alone time (I like to walk near the ocean- has a calming effect on me, I’m sure any large body of water would do), cry, get yourself some ice cream.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I get what you mean about how alcohol gave you an excuse to act irrationally and express all your pent up anger, but does that mean you really wanted to say all the things that may end up coming out?
It's so true, I would end up saying a lot of really terrible things that I didn't even mean in addition to whatever frustration I was feeling. I would get really nasty with my husband, and I'm ashamed to say it's not always been because I'm drinking.

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Its weird because its almost like we WANT an excuse to be able to act like children, and alcohol became that excuse. We could laugh about it the next day, blame it on the booze. Maybe we all need to let down our guards a bit more and live more freely. Express our true thoughts, have fun, dance around…no excuses needed.
I think I did want an excuse to be a brat... to have no responsibility for myself. Ugh why?! Thanks for your post, it's super insightful.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So, my question is, how do you ladies & gents express emotions in a healthy way once you've decided that you're a rational person?
I think you just did.

Sorry about the car bill, that's never fun. It's gonna suck for a while but you'll make that money back eventually. Money is just money; your sobriety is priceless.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yessiree, gratitude is the most powerful arrow in my quiver.

I think GFCO knows this story already, but a couple of months ago I was rear-ended on the freeway. Pushed me into the sedan in front of me. My poor little car was the meat in an I-5 sandwich. So several weeks go by, lots of battling with insurance companies, yada yada, and I finaliy get my car back. It's perfect. You would never know anything happened.

Six days later—a.k.a., last Wednesday—I'm stopped at a four-way intersection and — bam!—a woman drives into the back of my car. Pushes me into the SUV in front of me. Damaged worse than before.

I actually laughed when I called a friend to give me a ride home. It is always something. Just the week before I got a nasty surprise when I did my taxes. Life is full of unexpected surprises, good and bad. And when the bad surprises only involve stuff—a car, money, or anything else that can be solved with time, hard work, and patience—well, I have to count myself lucky.

No one was hurt in that wreck. Amy's daughter wasn't seriously injured when she took that tumble. You have overcome addiction this past year, and live with your new husband among the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

Ahh, to be young newlyweds, flat broke and loving it...
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Six days later—a.k.a., last Wednesday—I'm stopped at a four-way intersection and — bam!—a woman drives into the back of my car. Pushes me into the SUV in front of me. Damaged worse than before.

I actually laughed when I called a friend to give me a ride home. It is always something. Just the week before I got a nasty surprise when I did my taxes. Life is full of unexpected surprises, good and bad. And when the bad surprises only involve stuff—a car, money, or anything else that can be solved with time, hard work, and patience—well, I have to count myself lucky.
Oh my gosh R&A, I didn't know about that part!

Thank all of you for posting in response... I feel sort of embarrassed now that I was so worked up about it but I'm glad I posted anyway because these are things I have desperately needed to hear for a while now.

I mean, the only reason we have to get the car fixed right now is because we live in the mountains, and that has been an incredible experience. Plus, it's a wonder this didn't happen before when we were broke and I was working in a very unsavory profession that I would have had to work twice as hard at... Or when my resolve not to go back to such a life was weaker than it is now.

We found out how much it was going to be today and 20 minutes later my husband texted me to say the tax refund had been deposited in our account. Gives me shivers now that I'm thinking about it - the good kind. And what the hell am I doing with a huge jar of change when there are people who could use it?? I should know that already, I used to be homeless and literally survived on other people's change. Now I'm hoarding it! What a dummy I am sometimes.

Thank you all again. Love you guys & SR. This truly is a special place and I mean that with all sincerity. This has helped me pry my head out of my butt tonight and that's a hard thing to do.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am so glad you are feeling better. Your share not only helped you, but helped me remember to be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life and not to sweat the small stuff.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I thought about it and realized the reason I wanted to drink was so I could have an excuse to throw a fit about this money. I realized that I'm not quite sure what to do when I'm angry. Emotional outbursts were par for the course when I was drunk. I think that I felt like it was okay to express my feelings because drunk people express everything, right? So now that I'm sober I feel too mature or something to get pissed off - I keep telling myself it's doable, that 1k really isn't THAT much, we've been late on bills before, I've certainly been through worse, and how much better it is to be sober and have to deal with this problem, etc... all true but none of it satisfies my urge to scream and punch the sky. We're broke, yanno? We were finally getting back on track after a really rough 18 months. It sucks.

So, my question is, how do you ladies & gents express emotions in a healthy way once you've decided that you're a rational person? Getting drunk and freaking out just isn't an option anymore.
Sooooooo cool that you were able to see that! So cool. Put a smile on my face, that's for sure. What you're seeing is that the problem really wasn't the alcohol.....but the thinking that proceeded it + the inadequate techniques we've used to go through life.

My false ego (the ego that's "abnormally" inflated.....not a good, healthy normal ego) likes to tell me "I deserve better......poor baby......life's sooo hard on you......you shouldn't have to deal with problems like these.....you deserve a break." In MY history, drinking provided just that break.....but now I don't have THAT tool (nor do I want it) so what do ya do?

Option 1 is deflate your ego. Sorry, I'm no help in that arena. I've not found a good way to just "do" that.

What I can do is option 2 - keep my humility high. An easy way to do that is to try to be helpful to others. Do things NOT for me but for someone else and not look for or take anything in return.....including credit for what I did or praise for doing it. Selfless acts......my false ego HATES that $hit. It's like throwing water on a fire.

As a byproduct of keeping my humility where it should be is the ego gets right-sized, the pity pot disappears and I can look at a situation like yours and say, "wow, how lucky I am to have ALMOST all the money I need for a repair that I MUST get. Good thing that didn't come x-months ago or I'd have been stuck. Thank God I didn't blow the money on that trip or that other thing I wanted or I'd be screwed. Best of all.....with this cool new sobriety, I've got a shot at rounding up that grand I'm short AND I'm not making matters worse by drinking a couple hundred bucks away this week."

So for me, sometimes the best way to deal with anger is to not go at it head-on. (and, fwiw, I think of my anger as just another component of my alcoholISM.....one of the parts of the spiritual dis-ease I have whether I'm drinking or not......and one of the things that if I DON'T deal with it, it's got the power to take me back out to the bottle one more time -- and I sure as hell don't want that!

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Originally Posted by ReadyAndAble View Post

I actually laughed when I called a friend to give me a ride home. It is always something. Just the week before I got a nasty surprise when I did my taxes. Life is full of unexpected surprises, good and bad. And when the bad surprises only involve stuff—a car, money, or anything else that can be solved with time, hard work, and patience—well, I have to count myself lucky.
^^^^^^^^^THAT'S recovery and real sobriety right there - a whole new outlook upon life! awesome.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I appreciate that, DT. But if someone crashes into me when I pull my car out of the body shop next week, I reserve my right to a moment of silent despair.



(Now that I said it, it can't possibly happen... can it??)
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I appreciate that, DT. But if someone crashes into me when I pull my car out of the body shop next week, I reserve my right to a moment of silent despair.



(Now that I said it, it can't possibly happen... can it??)
LOL.......you'd be entitled to it! LOL

.....and I've learned the hard way not to say "that can't POSSIBLY happen" hahahahaha.

......interesting that you're "presuming" you'll be gettin' that car next week. Lemme know how that goes..... LOLOLOL
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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A little off topic here, but --- that's A LOT of money to fix a car -- you could buy another one (used) for that price. Have you thought about trading the thing in and getting another?
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Today my husband and I found out that the car battery we needed to replace is actually also a broken transmission - a cost that is equal to our entire 2011 tax refund, our entire emergency fund, our huge jar of coins that was supposed to be spent on something fun, and a grand on top of that - 5700 dollars. We live in the mountains 15 minutes away from town, so we have no choice but to fix it. There's no public transport up here, not even bike trails.
HUH????????????? Battery and Transmission???????? Apples and Giraffes!!!!!! One has nothing to do with the other!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm in the biz, PM me, if you'd like some free advice. Lost3000 has a point, but then again it depends on the parts being used, and the particular vehicle involved.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I think I did want an excuse to be a brat... to have no responsibility for myself. Ugh why?!
The Addictive Voice will try anything to get you to drink when nothing seems to be working for it. Your disgust with your AV suggests the separation between your sense of self and your AV is further widening - right on track.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Lol, I know it's a ton right??? We're considering all of our options.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Girl, I have the same issue. I was seeing absolute red the other day after an argument with my husband. I had a VERY hard time coming down from it. it's like I knew drinking wasn't an option, but my anger had no out! I wonder if DayTrader's suggestions would work. I think with your situation you have some time to sit and calmly consider it. With mine, I was so enraged, it was really hard to calm down and think rationally. I mean, it took me HOURS.
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