I had another "ah-HA!" moment last week and it had to do with my anger. I spent a lot of my time in recovery digging into the past to look at "everything that had pissed me off." Like a lot of folks, I came up with a laundry list of people and events who and which had really annoyed me over the years. Had annoyed me enough to drink over, as a matter of fact.
But then, last week, I started to think, "wait a minute. I didn't get pissed off at those people or events. They were only the excuses I used to allow my inate anger to erupt!"
In short, I have come to believe that I was born pissed off and that I had spent a lifetime acquiring people and events to justify allowing my anger to erupt! Okay, maybe that isn't big news to anybody else, but it's big news to me.
I realized that when I was angry I felt powerful. I liked feeling powerful because most of my life I had walked around feeling pretty powerless (i.e., a "victim"). But when I was pissed off, I felt justified in not being the victim but, instead, in being the victimizer.
Anger gave me the illusion of control. "I'll show YOU, you SOB!" And then I'd go indulge in some inappropriate and/or dangerous behavior like (over) drinking or (over) spending or (over)eating or (over) f*cking.
All of which is like taking poison and hoping somebody else dies.
And how insane is that?
I spent a lot of my childhood pissed off because I felt like a victim of the alcoholism of the adults who surrounded me. When I grew up, and inhabited an adult body, the inner-child continued to behave like a victim and continued to act out because I had "found" sufficient reasons throughout my life to justify letting my inner anger escape.
Now I can laugh at my inner anger. Somebody, I forget who, once said that "my therapist wants me to nurture my inner-child, but my sponsor just wants it to grow the f*ck up."
I think I'm getting beyond nurturing my needy inner-child now. I think it's time for the little brat to grow up. And with that, I can laugh at it's temper tantrums.
It doesn't matter what happened to me in life... all that ever mattered was how I reacted to it.
Thankfully, I react better these days.