Monday, April 13, 2009
Addiction Recovery-Keep Anger From Sabotaging Recovery
Anger may seem to be nothing more than an emotion. A person gets mad and we may think either he has anger management issue or there was something that brought it on. Even for people who have anger problems, there is usually something that triggers it, no matter how irrational it might seem. So, we are going to talk about the different causes of anger (not the obvious ones) because it can affect recovery.
We are going to center on triggers that affect us without us really knowing why.
Here are 6 of the more common causes of anger that can throw us into an emotional state that can jeopardize recovery. By understanding these, you can be more level-headed when these things come up and have a better understanding of the feelings.
1. Being Overwhelmed
Being overwhelmed is a main cause of anger and happens to people who have difficulty handling daily stresses. These feelings make one feel trapped and unsure of what to do, so they lash out or relapse.
2. Wanting to Retaliate
Retaliating against someone who is angry at you is another cause of anger. This is a direct response to somebody getting angry at you. This is a defense mechanism to someone’s frustration with you, which can make you feel threatened and can cause anger and relapse.
3. Being Paranoid
Being paranoid can also be a source of anger, especially for those that feel taken advantage of or those who are going through withdrawal. It’s normal for people to get upset if they feel someone is trying to take advantage of them, but being paranoid is one step past. If have trust issues and low self-esteem (which addicts usually do), you may get easily offended by other people's actions and become angry.
4. Feeling Threatened
Feeling threatened is a huge trigger for anger. The threat could be anything. It could be a person, situation, or occasion that jeopardizes your plans or goals. This anger is a way to communicate to the party causing the threat that something is wrong which requires urgent attention. This anger doesn’t have to be all bad if it’s not allowed to go too far and end up in relapse.
5. Being Judgmental
Being judgmental is another trigger. If one is judgmental, it can easily spark anger. If you pre-judge people and circumstances, it can let temper and rage consume you.
6. Chronically Angry
Chronically angry people don’t need a reason to be mad. They have no definite cause for feeling this way and are more or less addicted to the feeling. Remaining in this state can have severe effects on recovery and one should seek professional help.
Take an honest look at these anger triggers and figure out which ones trigger anger in you.
Are you overwhelmed, do you unnecessarily get defensive, do you have trust issues, do you get angry when things don't go your way, are you unfairly judgmental, or are you just chronically angry?
Once you understand what triggers your anger you can find ways to cope with it. Find an outlet that won’t harm you or others. Try deep breathing, look for emotional freedom techniques, meditation, and try some exercise. These are just some of the things one can do to keep anger in check.
Remember, you can’t completely change a person or a situation, but you can change the way that you deal with your feelings by learning how to react differently to it and not let it get the better of you or sabotage your recovery efforts.