On anger and forgivness

16 Nov

12:10 am

There is no way around it:  I am angry.  I am just plain angry.  I want to scream into their faces, Who do you think you are?  And, what, exactly, do you think you’re doing?  It’s about being sober, and being able to see those people SO uber-clearly now, 5.5 years later–and seeing that some of these faces are bullies, and the bullies can’t touch me anymore.

I think I have had a lot of bullies in my life, and I NEVER knew what to do about them–out of fear, out of self-loathing (as in, for some reason, I believe I don’t have the right to talk back), out of lack of self-confidence (as in, my idea or path can’t be the right one).  I let people bully me–but I also, of course, participated in the exchanges by not being direct, or being secretive, or taking things too personally, or just plain assuming things that were not or are not true.  That’s part of my alcoholic drinking problem as much as it is a personality “flaw.”  However, not “talking back” led me to bury a lot of anger, and to learn to bury it and be passive-aggressive (which I fully admit that I can be).  Now, I see the bullies and their ways for who and what they are, and I do talk back, and the response is usually one of either reciprocal anger or deeper bullying tactics.  And this, too, I can see, and it makes me angry!

Am I paranoid?  Maybe.  I just feel like, with these handful of old relationships, they’re still running on (over) the “old me” tracks.  Even now, years later into my sobriety.  It’s actually strange to see how these people either try to continue their old ways, or simply detach because they just don’t know how to relate to the new me, or simply don’t want to relate to her.

Can’t we move forward?  Is it my job to school them on the “new me?”  Probably, and eventually.  It’s hard, though.  It takes a lot of trial and error and effort!  And, for people who for some reason refuse to acknowledge my sobriety–my having gotten sober–it just doesn’t seem possible to have a relationship.  And that is the hard truth, because I am the one who has to accept the change and move on with or without their ability or desire to relate to the new me.

Maybe letting go of this anger and paranoia, this is part of that elusive process of “forgiveness?”  I wish I felt some sense of sustained relief, of renewal when I have chosen to forgive, but it’s more of an intellectual pursuit for me–the next day, when I think about that person, I feel angry again.  Nothing has changed, inside or out.  I know that I should continue to try–but, IF these people are in MY PERSPECTIVE (again, that could be skewed) bullying me because they still think of me as sad or poor or drunk; how can I cultivate good will toward them?  It just doesn’t compute…yet.

It could just be a matter of having those hard conversations, where I, um, tell them how I feel and allow them to explain to me how they feel.  Haha.  Oh, me.

On a somewhat different note:  I am not at home (where we get a LOT of sun) right now, and I really notice it (I think your brain gets used to a certain amount of light and can no longer function well in places that are darker).  That is me, now; it’s actually been me for years, and every time I come back to this city, I am a little bit less enamored (I am in the cold city where I became a drunky drunk girl, and where I also started this blog two days after quitting drinking).  I’ve been here before, in this space of being reminded, literally around every turn, of what went down and who I used to be–and, I’m used to the sour feeling in my eyes and belly and brain, that thing I just can’t shake, that time machine effect where suddenly, I am closer to BEING that old me than I am of only just remembering who she was.  And, it is not a good feeling; it’s not as heart-hurtful and soul-sucking as it used to be, but it’s still there.

Am I still there?  Maybe I am; or, maybe I’ve just never dealt with my anger.  I don’t get it.  FIVE years later, after having worked through what I thought was my anger, and now…I see that I’m just scratching the surface?  It kind of scares me, this whirling from past to present and back again; how my emotions can exist in a timeless state, evergreen, able to trip me with the flick of a brain cell back into my past.  Boom, and I’m literally there; and it’s hard to not feel the same way, to not see myself as my past self.  The thing is, I AM that person, as much as I am the one writing this now; I can’t not embrace what happened to me, what I went through, because that has made me the person I am now.

Is this how it’s always going to be, living in a prism-like reality, where it’s never really over?  I guess as long as I have memories (which, hopefully will be until the day I die!), and as long as I choose to confront these deep-seated feelings that caused me to drink in the first place–no, I don’t think it will ever be over.  In fact, for the first time in many, many days, I’ve thought about drinking (more than once while here; not good).  I have even slipped into thinking, ahh, it would take the edge off, it would be such a nice treat, a reward for slogging through..what?  A dark, cold night?  A storage unit that seems to have a life of its own?  Um, NO.  No, no, no.  It would SO not be a relief, or a treat.  Duh, I know this.  God, do I know this!

I have had FIVE damn years of practice, of re-training my brain–am I just feeling extra-sensitive to the triggers here because this is where the worst of it went down?  Probably, and I will remain steadfast, but…I haven’t heard the whiny voice of wolfie-boy (a pup barely in the womb, that’s how small it is) in a very long time, and it’s more confusing and surprising than anything.

On that note, I have to close it up because it’s midnight and I have a bunch of stuff to do tomorrow.  Needless to say, I still love this city, and I am, of course, grateful to be here, now, sober.

18 Responses to “On anger and forgivness”

  1. mishedup November 16, 2017 at 12:33 am #

    This would be the time for me to jump in and suggest that you get yourself to an AA meeting…I don’t think you’ve gone that route, am I right?
    The suggestion is here because in a cold city you can spend a little time around others that GET this anger and the feelings and the wanting to drink….and that will be so helpful. Even just going to a few while you get your bearings in the city, I think it might help.

    That forgiveness thing is a bitch! I get it…so, so hard.
    I might just quietly ask you to notice the anger, the fact that it’s making you think about drinking, and making you feel shitty, and then maybe ask yourself if holding on to the old crap is worth it?
    I absolutely agree that those who can’t get n board with the new you gotta go, or at least take a backseat in your new life..it’s just easier. But those important people, the ones who will stay in your life…well, how do you let go of the anger there? start a forgiveness process?
    I could suggest some things that have worked for me, I’d be happy to share if you want me too.

    Meanwhile…are you just visiting or moved back? Another new chapter in your life…that shit is hard, acknowledge that and allow yourself to feel what you do about it. That growling wolf probably has a lot to do with the feelings, and why i suggested being around others who are doing the sober thing….not feeling alone is a joy.

    Hang in there! And know you can certainly vent here, thank god!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 16, 2017 at 12:39 am #

      “ask yourself if holding on to the old crap is worth it”–oh, I love this! It so isn’t–it just feels easier to let it go in a place that isn’t this one! I am just visiting, but we are planning a big move, and yup, that is also a huge deal (lots to think and feel–and let go of, and prepare for)! I didn’t think about the possibility of going to a meeting, but you know, it probably would help to just feel more connected here (and especially to people who are also sober and also probably angry or emotional). Thank you so much for your comment–totally appreciate the support!

      • ainsobriety November 16, 2017 at 11:23 am #

        I think a meeting would be a nice transition.
        You will definitely find people there who understand anger and change and resentment…many of whom will have found the answers to these problems through AA.
        The 12 steps are an excellent tool for self awareness.

        The dark gets to me too. It makes it easy to feel alone and isolated. Vitamin d can help.

        As for people who don’t get you or bully you or belittle you. I’d say goodbye, I have never been one to real,y consider laying it all out there unless you are dealing with a spouse or family member. Other people can be mean and self centred and what they think of is is better left unknown. There are tons of new people out there just waiting to meet you!

        Take care.

      • Drunky Drunk Girl November 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

        Anne, thanks for this–absolutely agree that those toxic people just need to go. And, yes, love that reminder that there are so many other amazing, loving people in the world to meet–true! Much love…

  2. Trace-Blogs November 16, 2017 at 4:59 am #

    Hey so today I have felt really angry about a few things and I found myself saying to my brother (who had a beer in his hand and was being harassed by our mother) “I’d rather be happy and drunk than miserable and sober like I have been for three years”. We laughed. He agreed and kept drinking. But I thought about that later. You see, I can look back at drinking with all the fondness of nostalgia, but truthfully, I was not a happy drunk in the end. If I drank now, it would take me away for a night but I’d wake up in the morning with all the same problems. Plus the hang over would kill me. I just keep telling myself that the feeling will pass, and it does. Each day is new. x

    • ainsobriety November 16, 2017 at 11:24 am #

      I’ve had the same thought. Drinking only numbs is for a moment. When it wears off things are only worse.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 30, 2017 at 11:59 am #

      Yes, yes, yes to all in your comment! Drinking solves nothing, only makes it worse. I was a terribly unhappy drunk the last few years, so even the drunk time sucked! Nostalgia is a bitch, basically, and for us, who have gone down into the hole, we can’t let pining for the past cripple our present or future awesome lives. Let the past go, die. Let your old self go, die. You will never be that person again, but you know what? You will DEFinitely not be miserable in your sobriety forever–it will get better. Thanks for sharing here…

  3. Just Some Woman November 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

    I think Mishedup is right. You’re in your old town with all the old haunts and memories. They aren’t going anywhere. You need a weapon to fight them with and a meeting just might do the trick. At least you’ll be with people that understand you completely even if you don’t like them all. Alcoholism is a tricky disease. I’m coming up on 6 years (this is my second go ’round) and if I decide to get drunk, I won’t pick up where I left off 6 years ago. Oh no, not that easy. It would be as if I’ve been drinking for the last 6 years. THAT’s where you start. For me, that means jail or worse, I’m sure. I really can’t even imagine what I would be like. Enjoy your beautiful city ..it’s a great time of year for it, and don’t worry about drinking or toxic people. YOU GOT THIS.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 30, 2017 at 11:53 am #

      Thank you so much–I needed to hear/see “YOU GOT THIS” in all caps! And to realize that yup, those people are toxic, plain and simple. Hmm, that is interesting that you think you would pick up not where you left off, but 6 years down the road–I have no idea how I would feel physically, but I get the sense that even after all this time, I wouldn’t be that much different in my emotional dependence on alcohol as I was 5.5 years ago. I am pretty sure I can never drink again. And, it reminds me of this sober person I met when I first got sober, who, when I asked him if he could ever drink again, took about 5 minutes before he said, No. I wondered what on EARTH he could have been thinking about that whole time–hahaha. Now, I get it. Thank you for being here in this space with me/us!

  4. realliferenee November 17, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    I hear you, at 3 years my anger came up and I was shocked. You are right, we continue to grow. I love page 552 in the 4th tradition Big Book when those urky feelings come. I have confidence in your ability to speak your truth as you share openly now to work through this all. You spoke it out, Your HP heard you, the journey has begun. Prayers and love to you.

  5. Lisa Neumann November 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    I love your “yet” … you see it. Anger is a useful feeling for me. Where is it driving me to be different, or see different. How can I use the anger to elevate my consciousness? ‘Anger’ can be as fleeting as ‘hope’ … and for me, neither has ever stopped arriving in my life.

    Sending lots of love, light, and hope.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 30, 2017 at 11:47 am #

      Lisa, thank you for such a profound reminder–as always, LOVE your presence here! Much light and love right back to you…

    • StephenD December 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

      Anger as fleeting as hope, neither have stopped arriving.

      Too much anger pushed in the world. And hope is often better replaced with expectation. Expectation lifts, and brings us to action, moving beyond the end of alcohol in our lives.

      May the momentary flush of anger pass
      More the fullness of hope last
      And if
      Words have power
      — Here’s expecting
      Every hour.

  6. MilesAwayGrrrl November 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    Gosh, so much relatable stuff in here! Reading people’s comments has also made me think an AA meeting in my old-new home might be a good idea.

    Some triggers I don’t think ever go away, or stop you feeling sad, or angry… I might be wrong.. I know how I deal with those feelings has changed hugely for the better.. often to let them pass, or really feel them, or to compare then and now.. but for many things, often not drink related, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop that instant ‘feel.’

    As for the old friends you have to school.. after this amount of time… no. It’s not up to you (in a way it never was, BUT I realised later on in sobriety it was not fair to be mad at people not to suddenly understand the ‘new’ me, or change in thoughts, or even how important it was – given I’d hidden my feelings and actions for so long. But the best way to ‘school’ them, was actually just to be me, and be confident in that.

    Keep venting! xxx

    • Drunky Drunk Girl November 30, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      Wonderful comment, and lots for me to ponder here–thank you!!!

  7. StephenD December 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    Relating to old acquaintance:
    As with bumping a bruise reminder of cause comes with the pain. Meeting those we knew, who turn bullies, they may still be in the condition of being overcome with what we overcame.
    Envy and jealousy arise faced with the value and virtue you possess and they desire. Seen anew, you catch their flak. Having attained higher altitude, fly on. God-speed.

    But I do urge caution with regard to AA (as a former ‘member’).

  8. witandwisdom4u February 13, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    You are very self-aware. Stay that way.
    Congrats on your sobriety.
    Check out Annie Grace “This Naked Mind” The 30-day alcohol free experiment would be beneficial for you even though you are already AF. She sends daily emails, videos and there is a blogging community.

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