Managing Your Anger in Recovery
It’s funny that I would get this blog topic today because I was having this very conversation with a coworker earlier today. I had become angry because I felt like my boyfriend made a lot of promises that he didn’t keep. It made it difficult for me to appreciate the nice things he did for me because I was focused on all the things he said he would do but didn’t.
What made me angry were my expectations. When my boyfriend promised me something, I would expect him to follow through and I was just setting myself up to be disappointed. This disappointment often turned to anger. I was also looking at the situation selfishly: What I could get from the relationship instead of what I could bring to the relationship.
However, even if I know this is the case, sometimes I need someone to point it out to me. Basically, managing my anger in recovery comes down to how well I’m working steps 10, 11, and 12.
With step 10, I’m able to reach out to another person in sobriety and have them look at my situation with objectivity. They can point out my part in each situation and tell me whether I owe an amends for the way I reacted to it. They can also give me suggestions on how to overcome my feelings of anger.
Managing my anger in recovery also depends on how well I am praying and meditating. Step 11 is about seeking to improve my conscious contact with God through prayer and meditation. If I am diligent about step 11, I am not quick to anger. I am able to handle most situations with ease and grace. However, when I start to slack off, which I am prone to do, managing my anger in recovery becomes a much bigger problem.
Step 12 helps with managing my anger because it gets me out of myself and selfish and self-centered thinking. Helping someone else and carrying the message is the best way that I can manage my anger. When I stop thinking about me and what I think the world owes me, I am in a much better place spiritually. Carrying the message helps me focus on helping others. The other part of step 12-practicing these principles in all my affairs, also helps me manage my anger. It helps remind me to stop and think before I act out in anger or say something that causes harm.
Really, no matter what caused me to become angry can be directly correlated to what I wasn’t doing in my own recovery. When I am living in steps 10, 11 and 12, I’m usually very satisfied with my life and it takes a lot for me to get angry. When I stop doing the things I need to do, I tend to find fault with everything and I get angry very quickly about little things. No matter what the cause, when something angers me, there is something wrong with me.
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