I am so angry right now. People who I thought cared about me have acted in manners that show the opposite. I am trying to rise above it. I am finding it unbelievably difficult. I have asked many people for their opinions on these issues. Everyone has agreed that the people have acted selfishly and cruelly. Many have reminded me that I cannot change their behavior, I can only change mine, and how I react to it all. When you have known people for years, and thought you had a good sense of their characters, only to discover that they are completely different to your long-held belief, it is frustrating. How could I have not realized earlier?

I suppose the matter now is how can I deal with my feelings on the matter? How can I learn to accept that this is my new reality? How can I accept that these people either knew what they were doing was wrong, or at least hurtful, and reckless? How can I accept that they might be so oblivious to the fact that their behavior was mean and sly? How can I accept that they may genuinely accept the facts, their roles in them, and still not see the glaring truth. People have hidden from me certain truths, and now that I know these truths they are acting baffled by why I am mad. The are using derogatory terms when talking about me.

I spoke to my mom and my sister today. They live over 3,000 miles away. I officially have no one on this side of The Atlantic to see me through this trying time. They sympathized. Both could see my point, but reminded me of the points above – that I cannot control the behavior of others, that my anger hurts me. It is likely that the perpetratos (for want of a better word) don’t care, and I meanwhile am miserable. I lashed out at one party over the phone. I was vindicated or so I thought, only to be dismissed by them a few hours later. The other party I addressed in a most immature manner. I sent an expletive-laden text. I felt it was justified at the time. I still think I should have sent A text, just not that one. Unsurprisingly I haven’t heard back. She is the same person who ignored my text several months ago asking a specific question to help me with something. That text certainly warranted a response. How is it in my head? I heard from the other party, the one I am still in contact with, what sounded like a response from the text receiver that she (text receiver) did not care.

I had been having very few cravings for alcohol. I saw my psychiatrist yesterday. We’ve been seeing each other weekly. He was impressed, as I was proud, about how well I’ve been doing. He was happy for me to see him in two weeks this time instead of one. I felt good. I’ve had three of four good days in a row, which I have not had in almost two years. I had bawled in my therapy session on Wednesday, and then left and bounced back to being functional, happy, and productive. Then the shit hit the fan, and I drank last night. I had been sober for twenty two days. That may not sound like a lot, but for someone in the early stages of sobriety it is. I had been doing great. I cannot blame these people. I decided to drink. I was in pain, and reached for my cure, my wine. I regret it of course, but I think I can let it go.

I face the prospect that the two people are talking about me, laughing at me, belittling me unbeknownst to me. I may be paranoid, I may not be. Does it matter? It doesn’t. This is a good teaching moment. For me to teach myself to be the bigger person. As the serenity prayer says “Accept the things you cannot change.” Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a therapy that aims to have you accept things as they are, without trying to change the facts. It teaches looking at things in a factual rather than emotional manner, or at least something in between. It is comprised of many skills (tools) to help tolerate distressing situations and emotions (Distress Tolerance,) to interact with others where there may be disagreement (Interpersonal Effectiveness), to proceed mindfully by staying in the moment, in life (Mindfulness), and and to be able to regulate or distressing emotions that are less strong than those mentioned above (Emotional Regulation).

Radical acceptance is a skill in the Distress Tolerance module. It teaches us to look at a problem or issue we’re having to live with in a new manner. It is not an easy skill. I have not been able to practice, but I have been trying to. I will improve with practice and eventually be able to see these let-downs, upsets in a new light. I hope I manage to get to a place where I just live with this. I know I will not reconcile with one of the parties. Too much time and anger has gone by. I have to reconcile with the other person. They are oscillating between accepting and understanding my point of view, and defending themselves and pushing other issues where I was at fault into the fore.

I am just trying to keep breathing, stay afloat with my head above water, when all I want to do is allow myself to sink, link a stone, to the dark depths below. There lies comfort.

9 thoughts on “Anger, Frustration and Fear

  1. AA comes in all sorts of forms and appearances, there are all sorts of myths and suggestions and it seems like everyone’s got their own way of doing it.

    So this could sound really dorky to you or it might sound like a good thing:

    Start reading the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous from the very beginning. And read it as if it was a story of you.

    Read it as though it was you writing a story about you. Don’t worry right now about what you think you might know of AA or what people of told you, or what your experiences were in meetings.

    Sit down be honest with yourself and just start reading that stupid book from the beginning as if it was you talking to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally relate do you little story.

    But as I’m sure you’ve heard, it takes what it takes. And sometimes the tools and the skill sets and the psychological approach is don’t really do anything to prevent me from going and getting loaded.

    So honestly it was a lot of years before, like they say, my drink problem became the only problem I I had to deal with. It had to be first above everything else. If I did not have sobriety then there was no point of living, and the shittiest part about it was I kept living! (Dammit).

    But indeed. I have solved my drink problem.
    I hope you will reach the jumping off point soon, as they say.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the comment. I told myself for years that I was just enjoying myself when drinking. I drank to blackout almost every night. I was in my twenties. Isn’t that what I was supposed to do. I soon realized I was a problem drinking. I finally gave up a few years ago and acknowledged that I was possibly an alcoholic. In other words didn’t admit anything.

    I relapsed after 17 months and can’t find a way out. I am an alcoholic. I know that. I do not want to drink. On Friday evening my emotions felt intolerable. I tried skills to bring down my anxiety, anger etc. None worked. I fell into my good old refuge – alcohol.

    I did go to AA for many months, every day. I felt burnt out after a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did not hear anything about AA. Perhaps you don’t like AA?

    But one thing that helped me was to get out of the details of my own misery. Sure there is always some sort of analysis and some sort of practical psychological approach that can help us deal with the vicissitudes of life.

    But it seems to me that you’re trying to not drink.

    I am not totally sure that the way we deal with life is to drink. What I came to terms with is that I drink anyways. And it just so happens that I didn’t know how to live life. And then I didn’t know how to be sober doing it. What I learned so far is staying sober is that I did not know how to live life … without drinking. My whole life revolves around drinking it didn’t matter if I was sad or if I was dependent on people or if I was overly angry or if I was overly happy or if I drink because I had a great day or a drink because people pissed me off because I hated my life or because I was depressed….

    I came to realize that all those things might be true but the fact is is that there are millions of people that deal with all that shit all the time and they don’t drink because of it.

    What that meant to me was that I wasn’t using alcohol to deal with these things. I was drinking alcohol because that’s what I like to do. That’s how my body and brain is.

    When I saw that clearly, Then I began to comprehend that many people particularly in AA had learned to live life…. without drinking.

    So long as I stayed within my own problems and Nick picked at myself and said oh I really want to drink over this or hey I’m doing great today and I’m not drinking over that… I always ended up drinking usually in a shorter amount of time then a longer period of time.

    For me I found out when I realized the main problem was drinking and drugs that if I dealt with that problem somehow all the other problems seem to kind of take care of themselves, in a manner of speaking.

    It’s not that I don’t get pissed at people or that shitty things don’t happen in my life or that I don’t beat myself up over stuff or any of the multitude of things that just happens in life anyways. it’s that I’ve solved the drink problem.

    And so now I can go through life without drinking and then solve all these other problems as they come up…
    Living life….. without drinking.

    Now if you’re drinking is just something that you think might be helpful to deal with all these other problems and that really it’s all these other problems that are the issue then hey you can ignore this whole comment.

    Good luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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