Anger – Recovered 465

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As a way to introduce the recovery topic of Anger, let’s see what our listeners think.  I asked our listeners:

When you were new, with what/who were you most angry with?

Some of the responses we received included:


Anger can be labeled anger, mad, cranky, frustrated, irritated, irate, agitated, seething,

and many more. Many alcoholics/addicts and their family members are surprised that to find

that the newly recovering person continues to experience a lot of anger. There are many

reasons why a recovering person would continue to feel angry once they have quit



Let’s start at the beginning of recovery.  Initially, detox may have something to do with it.

Thoughts on anger at the beginning of recovery and the physical withdrawal from substance and the effect on mood.


Swetha, Many alcoholics/addicts and their family members are surprised that to find

that the newly recovering person continues to experience a lot of anger.  What has been your experience your observations within the al-anon community?


Sometimes the newly recovering person is still angry about how they came to be in

recovery. They may be angry at law enforcement, the judge, the boss, the wife, the

family in general, or society for not condoning active addiction.   What has been your experience in regards to those closest to you in early recovery?


Swetha, what are the common expressions of anger for the new al-anon?


The newly recovering person, still not very adept at processing feelings, may project blame and

responsibility for their feelings onto others. Although they may be angry with themselves, the family may still be getting the brunt of it.


The family members of alcoholics/addicts also have anger. Instead of the addict being

grateful for family members getting them into treatment and saving his/her life, the addict

is angry at them. They cannot understand this because they remind the addict that is, and

has been, the family that has been holding down the fort, making all the payments, taking

care of the kids, the bills, the house, etc. The family member has been taking care of

everything and the addict is mad at them!


The addict does not understand why the family member is not giving him/her credit for

his sacrifice and understanding how difficult this has all been. The addict is angry that

when they do make efforts to do the things that family members have been asking them

to do for a long time, that the family member either does not notice or that that family

member just expects it. From the family member’s perspective, the fact that the addict

wants a reward for doing what everyone else is expected to do, is inconceivable. Neither

understands the other’s frame of reference.


Ryan Interview use the itunes player


But we at Recovered are all about the solution.  What are some of the tools of recovery that you use?

What steps?

What slogans?

What prayers?

What about sponsors?

What about sponsees?

What about service work?

What about your higher power?


what our book says

Page 66:    open

 …If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison. We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to…


Page 88:    open

 …running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves. It works – it really does. We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple…


Page 108:    open

 …Try not to condemn your alcoholic husband no matter what he says or does. He is just another very sick, unreasonable person. Treat him, when you can, as though he had pneumonia. When he angers you, remember that he is very ill. There is an important exception to the foregoing. We realize some men are thoroughly bad-intentioned, that no amount of patience will make any difference. An alcoholic of this temperament may be quick to use this chapter as…


Page 37:    open

 …In some circumstances we have gone out deliberately to get drunk, feeling ourselves justified by nervousness, anger, worry, depression, jealousy or the like. But even in this type of beginning we are obliged to admit that our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened. We now see that when we began to drink deliberately, instead of casually, there was little serious or effective thought during the period…


Page 135:    open

 …but frankly said that he was not ready to stop. His wife is one of those persons who really feels there is something rather sinful about these commodities, so she nagged, and her intolerance finally threw him into a fit of anger. He got drunk. Of course our friend was wrong – dead wrong. He had to painfully admit that and mend his spiritual fences. Though he is now a most effective member of Alcoholics Anonymous, he still smokes and drinks coffee,…

Final Thoughts


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