Sobriety Didn’t Magically Cure My Anger

Well, it looks like I’ve got some work to do. I’m not sure if it’s the stress of the holidays, or just the ebb and flow of life, but lately I’ve been noticing that I’ve just been a hot mess of anger, way more than normal.

 I’m normally a quick tempered person, and when I got sober, I had this unrealistic ‘koombaya’ moment that I would all of a sudden stop being an angry person by giving up my unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

alcohol sobriety did not cure my anger

What I realized over the last few weeks is that I literally have to calm myself down from just being a hot ball mess of anger, 99% of the time. The smallest things have been pissing me off, like….

Kids arguing and treating each other mean? I blow a fuse. 

Someone cuts me off in traffic or driving slow? I’m yelling at them in my car ( in front of the kids, yikes.)

Another huge thing that began to tip me off that something was amiss, however was my blood pressure. I have been active all my life and use exercise to release my stress, so I have always had low blood pressure…but as of lately my blood pressure has been crazy, scary high and off the hook. 

I’m talking scary high blood pressure readings…..Like blood pressure machine alarms screaming at me (and a scared nurse) while at the doctor’s office.

…Scary high that the nurses requested I “lay down for a few minutes so we can keep an eye on you.”

…Scary high like being asked repeatedly by the nurse if I felt like I might pass out.

…and the best (love my mom!!!!) My mom, who is a nurse, warning me very matter-of-factly that I’m at risk of stroking out….

Yes, it was THAT high!

Then it hit me. During those first few weeks of sobriety, when I was all happy-go-lucky and in love with finding my sobriety (finally!) and trying to find my way again, reading tons of books, feeling enlightened and that nothing could bother me, I just thought my anger would naturally melt away for good. 

Well, it didn’t. (I should have known better!)

And here I am, having anger affect me, my blood pressure, and my heart in a way that alcohol did…having some similar effects on my body, spirit, and my family that alcohol was beginning to do before I quit drinking.

How can this be? Why am I still here? Why am I angry? I just celebrated 500 days of sobriety, shouldn’t I be enlightened, floating on clouds and such???
I don’t know.

But I do know that I have some work to do. For my mind and body, for my family. My kids don’t deserve an angry mom. My husband doesn’t deserve an angry wife. I deserve to be happy and full of joy, and not temperamental at the slightest annoyance.

Becoming sober didn’t magically cure my anger issues. Alcohol only magnified problems that were already there (because truth be told, I ABSOLUTELY was an angry drunk!) 

So begins my journey to get to the bottom of my anger issues, which, who knows if I will ever get to the bottom of, but I’ll be damned if I stay angry for the rest of my life. Just like my sobriety is worth fighting for, so is my happiness.

And in the meantime, while trying to get my anger (and my blood pressure!!) under control, I’ll remind myself to take an extra breath, take a step back, and try not to get so worked up.

Has there been anything on your sobriety journey, besides battling against your drug of choice, that you have struggled with?

P.S. If you need help getting started on finding your sobriety and freedom from alcohol, this book by Annie Grace is a wonderful resource to help you get started. This book helped me immensely as I began my sobriety journey in 2017.

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