Health Blog

Do You Use Drugs or Drink to Repress Your Rage?

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In general, women are taught to not show their anger – especially Southern women.I am the daughter of a divorced mother and was raised in the South. I was very close to my grandparents, step-brother, step-mother, and dad.

No-one ever fought or argued. The few times that I said something while I was angry, I was harshly and quickly reprimanded for it.

Nice Girls Don’t Get Made – Right?

So I learned how to repress my rage and anger. During my late twenties, eventually, I found a very easy way to eliminate my anger: wine! Now family holidays were fun; there was a free flow of Bloody Marys, margaritas, and wine. Sometimes after I woke up the next morning I would throw up, but I was nice all of the time, and never felt angry or much of anything.

Later, when I was involved in a long-term relationship and my boyfriend and I owned a house, I would become drunk and vent my anger at him about the things I wasn’t able to talk about when I was sober. There was one night when I threw an entire glass of wine in the kitchen. That made a horrible mess and left shards of glass scattered across the floor (which made me realise that, if I was going to throw an entire glass of wine, that it should be white instead of red).

The angrier that I became – at my family, my boyfriend, my job – the more alcohol I drank. I didn’t know what to do to properly negotiate or communicate. The only thing I knew how to do was to politely smile while I was sober, and then go home and get drunk and throw a complete fit or drink until I was almost passed out at my local dive bar.

5 Ways That Rage Can Be Released

In sobriety, I needed to learn healthy methods for confronting my range. The following is what I learned, with help from my Plymouth Road to Recovery support group, family and a couple of close friends.

1. Keep Communication Open

Find some quiet time if you find yourself angry at a family member or friend. Ask them if they would be open to discussing what is bothering you. That will help to prevent your emotions from becoming repressed.

2. Find Healthy Ways of Getting Out the Negative Energy

Take a walk, do yoga, run.

3. Plan Ahead

Whenever you know you will be encountering a situation that can potentially make you angry, make sure to have a strategy in advance for handling it.

4. Speak With Someone Who Isn’t Involved

A therapist is an excellent person to speak with or a trusted friend who is not involved in the situation you are dealing with.

5. Forgive Yourself Whenever You Are Feeling Rage

It is a natural emotion. So don’t beat yourself when you get angry. Give yourself a break. The morning after fighting with my ex I would feel so guilty. I would grovel and then resent my grovelling to him.

Anger is normal. So just remember that. Repressing can be a very fast way to relapse. So protect yourself as well as your loved ones through finding healthy ways to get things out!

Remember, recovery does take time You must learn new coping skills, make big changes, and build a new life. That doesn’t happen overnight. Many people who are struggling with alcohol abuse are in need of repeated treatment or long-term care – and that is fine. Over time, learning new skills (such as patience) is possible. Recovery is a lifelong journey, not a sprint.

Sobriety is something you choose. It is up to you ultimately – and you alone – to stop being in denial and make your first step in the recovery process. Also, whenever you are faced with a setback that you weren’t expecting or have a strong desire to use, you have the power for determining what the outcome will be. Effective outcome can definitely help with identifying your triggers and overcoming them, in addition to allowing you to make your own decisions in terms of how you will respond.

Helpful Resources

North Jersey Recovery Center Resources

Free By The Sea

New Directions for Women

Northern Illinois Recovery Center

Kingsway Recovery Center