Before I dive into my topic today, I just wanted to say that this week, I lost someone so important to me in my life. She championed me from the jump, she understood my career (she was a mentor for me), she understood me and supported me in ways that I can't even imagine. She was like my cool ass aunt and we didn't know each other for long but each moment mattered. We loved each other, she was a great confidante, friend and mentor. I will miss her forever. I'm angry (not at her) and I'm grieving badly but since this podcast is about going through it and being authentic. I'm still going forward with posting but damnit. Paula, you will be missed SO DAMN much and this loss fucking sucks.
So anger? Anger is tricky. It's an emotion that registers different from person to person and from situation to situation.
When I was drinking, I prided myself that I never got angry. Of course, that was BS because any time I felt a negative emotion (hurt, sad, frustrated, disappointed), I would bury it all in the bottle. This episode I want to discuss certain types of anger, how it may show up, how you can navigate it and not feel shame around it. We're all in this together, after all.
Stay safe out there, friends! Here is the link to some online AA meetings.
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Hello, my name is Cynthia. Welcome to the latest podcast episode, where we discuss what it's like to get it all the way together or at least attempt to one day at a time. This episode's going to be about anger, particularly anger and sobriety. I know I probably have touched on anger before in some of my other podcasts, but this one is much just solely focused on that, because I feel that anger is one of those emotions that a lot of people don't fully understand. They don't fully like to experience or try to hold it back because they're afraid of the repercussions. We're afraid of the fact that they may not know how to handle their own anger and if it's coming at them from someone else. They're afraid of being on the receiving end of it. Now I'm not saying anger goes with abuse because that's a different ballgame. But I do feel that anger is something that everyone feels or faces. And if you know how to handle it constructively, it can really be a foundation for a breakthrough not only how you handle things, but how your people close to you how they handle things, or their world as well. So anger when it comes to sobriety, I feel like there's different waves and different types of anger. And depending on where you are, you may cycle through them. It all depends on you. It's like I always say it's a very personal thing. And it can be very difficult to navigate when you're in recovery. Anger can strain relationships, if you hold things in I know I am a queen of that. That's kind of like the breeding ground, you know, for relapsing or just other destructive behavior. I think some of us if we had issues with anger, you know, process our anger or feeling guilt around our anger, then we probably coped poorly. And I think our addictions probably helped helped with that, you know, helped cover and bury it. So we didn't have to think about it or be so involved in it, you know, and now that that's taken away, you're kind of like, left with you, and how you view the world how other people see you and know that can be overwhelmingly anxiety inducing. But what I want to talk about is just anger and ways to manage it or navigate it or just things to think through. If you're an angry person. When you are maybe you don't get angry often, but when you do, you're kind of lost, or maybe you don't like to acknowledge the fact that you are angry. And I think depending on the types of anger that you display, you probably have to look at it a different way. I know for me that when I was heavy in my drinking, I always said that I didn't get angry. You know, I said, I probably I was very proud of that fact, like, I was, I didn't get angry. I let things roll off me, you know, like water off the duck. You know, I always say that and people are like, what the fuck? But it's true. That's what I thought. But of course, I was angry. I was disappointed. I was frustrated. But you know, instead of processing that feeling or naming that, or even addressing the situation, or why it's out a certain way, I would bury it in you know, I would go on benders, I would numb myself, if I had a shitty day at work, I would go home and polish off a bottle of wine, or I would start at the office or I would go to a happy hour or something so my mind would just shut off you know, because I was afraid of having to deal with a lot of things. I was afraid of having to deal with the fact that I built a career in something I wasn't passionate about. I was afraid of not living up to my potential and feeling like I couldn't live up to my potential because of my age. I was afraid of having to confront the types of relationships, I had more romantic than friendship, but I was afraid of that, because then I was like, Well, why am I attracted to these people? Why are these people attracted to me? Why do I tolerate such behavior? Why am I okay with this, you know, I would have to do a lot of deep diving, soul searching. And that stuff is scary, especially when you don't know how to do it and you don't have a point of reference. So when I got sober, and I came out that pink cloud of sobriety, and I just had to really take stock of who I was or who I was at the time, and I had to really come to terms with my anger. I was angry for a while, you know, I would be angry for like months straight, and I would be pissed off in therapy. I would be like, fuck this, I would be talking to my friends, I'll be like, Fuck you, you don't really understand where I'm coming from, like, I don't want to deal with this anymore. I'm done. And I felt out of control. I felt so out of control. I didn't feel like myself. I didn't understand why I was having these emotions. I didn't, because logically, I understood what everybody was trying to do. They were trying to support they're trying to help me they're trying to help me, guide me through this, you know, because they all knew that I wasn't drinking, but at the same time, I was just so enraged, and I couldn't and I am not going to say that, you know, certain people push things in me that made me feel angry, but I didn't know how to acknowledge the fact that I was angry. Or say like, you know, this is anger right now. Like my therapist, say like, you know, this is anger. This is what you're feeling and you need to just embrace the fact that you're angry. She hasn't given me carte blanche to go and like light up the city or anything crazy. Just saying like you have a lot of things to be angry about starting from your childhood. And now you're not running from it and can't numb yourself like you used to. So now it's here, it didn't go away. And I think a lot of us think that if we bury it deep enough that it will go away. And I'm here to tell you, that's not the case. It's always there until you address it, addressing it is the only way for you to be at peace. So when it comes to anger, it can kind of manifest in all kinds of ways depending on your personality type. Some of them may show up more for you than others. Maybe you won't touch any of like any of these and it could just be one, you know, I don't think that it's just like a one stop shop. I don't think that everybody handles things in, in the same way. You know, just like our sobriety is different. As much as people like to say like, you know, you kind of go through a certain type of steps or rigor when it comes to your recovery. I happen to believe that it varies from person to person. That's just my take on it. And since I'm not like a therapist or anything, you know, I don't know how much my two cents is worth. But I'm here to share, I think the types of anger that I'm going to cover, it's going to be very loose. But if you see yourself in any of these, or in certain situations, these pop up, maybe, you know, just assess all this is always about assessing because I know right now there's a lot of downtime. For most of us, assessing yourself figuring out what you want out of your life is probably this is probably the prime time because you know, you can't really dictate or control what's going out in the world, but you can kind of dictate and control somewhat how you show up for your own self in your own life. You know, I know right now, I have had a lot of anger when it comes to being being in quarentine. I don't like to be confined. I don't like to feel like my life revolves around work, and it feels like I'm so I'm more exhausted now. And I can't do things that I normally would do. I can't go work out at the gym so I have to do it at home, but I'm tired because I'm also working from home. And my office is my workout space in my living room because I have a small apartment in Brooklyn, because that's just city life. I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to be asked about it. Because I was like, this is just my life. This is what you do, you have to go through it. But that type of thinking, I would say, wasn't serving me. And I was just, I didn't know how to handle it. And it was like an overwhelming sense of anger. And I think that is a particular type of anger to like, is so overwhelming, so overpowering. And I didn't know how to process it. I didn't know what I needed to say. I don't know how to make it like dissipate or level itself out, you know, and I think what helped me was being able to take a step back. I took that day off, and I had that mental day where it was just me even though I couldn't go anywhere. I was still in my apartment. I had that moment to have that break, and I could breathe and I could clean my room a little bit. Cuz it's still kind of crazy in there, I could clean my apartment, I could rest and watch whatever I wanted to on TV. And I could plan my day, I could plan my podcast, I could plan and I felt like I a semblance of normalcy for me in this new normal that we're experiencing, but I had to finally come to terms with my anger and acknowledge that and realize that, you know, I needed to really handle what was going on with me because no one else can fix it. Like I had to be the one to take it on. And it's no one's job to take, take your anger on. It's really I believe that it's really, you know, up to you to get through it. I think another form of anger that kind of comes up is like self abusive anger. I think a lot of us are used to, like, you know, destructing in some kind of way. And anger, of course, can be one of the things that we use to self destruct, you know, and that could be feelings around helplessness, feelings around unworthiness, insecurity. I talk a lot about shading, and things like that. And that comes from like negative self talk. There's self harm, substance abuse, I mean, eating disorders, I feel like you know, we all had our share of addictions or something, we probably evolved had that self abusive anger. Just because you're no longer drinking doesn't mean that tendency is no longer there and maybe manifesting something else. And I think it's just being able to realize that and when you're going down that path, I know for me, when I start thinking a lot about food, and obsessing about food, about the types of food what I eat, how eating when I'm eating, I know that is me kind of going right down that path of like no particularly going back to where it was when it comes to my eating disorder. So when I start going down that road, I have to be self aware enough to say, hey, this isn't healthy. You know, some people could be cigarettes, it could be whatever, that can kind of trigger other things. It's just sort of just being like knowing yourself but not truly knowing yourself. You know what you need in order to stay on the straight and narrow, that is probably key. And just being able to navigate around that, get rid of it. Anything that's as many things as you can that's triggering, I think you can't really annihilate all your triggers, but you can try to not have to deal with them or have them play such a pivotal role in your life. Another type of anger I feel is chronic, or I feel like it's chronic, or what's the best way? I feel like it's resentment, I think, anger, anger around when it comes to being resentful. And I think we all are resentful, and some have been resentful in some kind of way. I think when you're first getting sober. Resentment comes up like a mother, like a mother. Right? Does that say that right? Well, yeah, it comes up and it's probably something that will lead to lead you to relapse the fastest. But I feel like resentment is something that is like that annoying devil on your shoulder. That's like I hate that person. You know, why do they? Why can't I do this? I know right now, for me, I would probably feel a lot of resentment if I, cuz I'm here in Brooklyn, in New York, they can't open up their restaurants. But now there's a lot of restaurants that are doing takeout service and take out is like food, takeout. Also alcohol. So now people are congregating on the streets, because it's nice with their friends, maintaining some low level, social distancing, and quotes, but they're having drinks and plastic cups, you know, in front of the bar and just socializing that way. And I haven't really seen a lot of that because I don't really go that far out of my, I don't really go that far. And when I do, it's around like parks and things like that. But I know I probably have a certain level of resentment of seeing people being able just to be congregating out and socializing. And, you know, I miss being able to do that with my friends. And I know that now. It's like, well, that's some sense of normalcy that they're trying to experience and like, I feel and then I feel like Well, I don't Kind of in this house, having to be inside all day, and learning French and doing all this stuff. I'm doing a lot of great things gardening, the girls gardening, I have like 20 plus planets now who knew and they're actually living again, shocker. But you know, wouldn't stop the resentment from going away. Because I'm like, man, it would be nice to be able to be out and talk to my friends who have haven't seen in months and drink a little bit. It's like, you know, Primetime. weather's nice, a nice cold drink that I that's not water. That's not tea. That's not coffee. That's not like you know, smoothie. Be nice. You know what that type of anger or resentment is just like lead. It's gonna keep you like spiral around because you're gonna focus on it, and then then you'll start thinking about all the good old days. I remember. It was like two years ago, you know, it was nice. I had a good time I had made friends. I had a laugh, you know? And then forgetting Of course, you're hyping up the drinking days. And that kind of just leads you right down that path of, you know, potential relapse, or idolizing a life that, you know didn't benefit you. But you just missed it because you feel like you're missing out. FOMO I know I talked about FOMO because I did not have that until I got sober. And then I think another type of anger is one where you feel like vengeful like you want to get back. You want to hurt somebody. I know for me, sometimes my I was raising environment when that was a big thing. So when someone hurt you, you hurt them back just as fast just as hard. You may wait, you may do it right away. But that was it was coming. You know. So that type of mentality comes naturally to me. So I have to work hard not to be that way because my initial instinct when you hurt me is to hurt you back. You know, that's not something I'm proud of about myself with and when it comes to myself, but it's just something I acknowledged in something I'm truthful about because that is you know how I was raised. Taking a high road is not always easy. You know, you want that. And because you want to make the other person feel just as bad as you do, I had to learn a lot about forgiveness when I got sober so much about it, because there's so many people that I felt like have hurt me, and I can't really address it with them. Because, you know, they're either not, you know, alive, or they're not in my life and I can't really seek them out or nor would I want to seek them out to have a discussion about it. They may not be certain people may not be capable of having these types of discussions that I want with them. And that's okay. Certain people are where they are, you know, and I don't believe in having these long conversations with people that are not really pivotal in your life at the moment or even if they are, if they're not capable of doing it, because I feel like you're going to leave the conversation feeling more like crap because they're just not going to be able to go there with you. Whether it's because they can't whether because they don't want to. You have to just be like, Alright, I'm at peace with it. You know, learning to forgive Wanting to accept true what they say, as cliche as it always is, like you have to forgive more for yourself than for the other person, because they won't know like your anger and stuff that you're carrying around probably is not impacting them, nor is it something that's even on their radar. So you have to let it go for you. I, for me, a lot of it was like writing and journaling, talking it out in therapy, and learning to just say, you know, play some of that stuff back in my hand and say, you know, I did the best I could at the time, they were doing the best they could at the time, and realizing that, you know, it's just about two people trying to make it in the world, even if the end result was kind of jagged. And that a lot of things that people do is more of a self reflection on them than it is of the other person and vice versa for things that I've done to people. You know, that's, you know, a lot of that stuff was how I felt about myself and then being able to look at things from that perspective made it easier for me to forgive other people because you know, I would want someone to be able to see that or be able to or things That with some of the stuff I've done those disruptive, you know, even if they don't, I mean, I can't make someone think that, but that's just how I approach things. So when I look back on things that's happened to me being able to say, okay, that's the best I could do at the time, whether I agree with it or not. It could still be a crappy, shitty thing. But that helped me process it, helped me let go, it helped me become free of it. And I think if I didn't, and I kept going through those paths, and I kept saying, like, why did he do that to me? Why did I allow that? why it was my mom, you know, and, you know, it would just probably keep me stuck in my recovery process, keep me stuck with within how I'm feeling and not focused on growing and learning about myself through greed. And I think that is it for this episode. Some of the key topics that I talked about or current regarding recovery is just ways to go about it and be meditating, walking exercise journey. talk therapy, talking to friends. You know, that's always helpful. And then always, you know, try to get it out of your head, however you can get it out of your head. I think that's really helpful when it comes to taking stock of the situation. If this resonated with you in any kind of way, please let me know. I always like to hear if you have any questions or any thoughts about this topic, please share. We're all in this together. After all, if you feel like someone would benefit from this, if you could share it with them, I would totally appreciate it. Until next time, my friends take care talk soon. Bye Transcribed by https://otter.ai