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Addiction & Soul
Posted by: Michael
Reading time: 3 minutes
Anger is a normal human feeling. It is something that we all experience, whether we show it or not. You may be someone that screams and curses and waves your arms all over the place. Or you may be someone that keeps a calm, blank face, while the rage inside is swirling like a hurricane. When anger rises up, it’s immediate, it’s in your face, and it’s common to use the most immediate people or situations around you as the cause. However, it is not so common to look behind the anger, for deeper feelings, or older reasons, for the real cause of rising anger.
Anger is an easy language to understand because most people know how to speak it, and know what it means when other people speak it. When you hear a person raise their voice, and see them wildly swinging their hands around, the signal is clear. Something is wrong. Anger can display in many forms: screaming, shouting, breaking things, withdrawing, silent punishment, and on and on. It’s easy to communicate that something is bothering you by using anger. Deeper feelings are more difficult to express. If you feel unloved, how do you behave unloved? If you feel that you are disrespected, how do you act disrespected? Anger usually speaks up, by default.
Have you ever asked yourself why that person or this situation is causing you to feel angry? Ask yourself if it’s actually an external event that is intolerable, or if there is a deeper hurt being triggered. There could be a past experience stored inside you as old pain that was never resolved. A moment comes, you feel a reflection of the old pain, and what comes out is anger. As uncomfortable as anger can be, with the raging, the burning, and the bursting, it is nothing to the stab of rejection, or the ache of loneliness, or the gutting of insignificance.
Some of those older, deeper feelings can hurt far worse than the anger, and they can be scary to endure. This is why they tend to get buried, while anger comes rushing up to do the talking. The next time you feel angry about something, ask yourself what is behind the anger. What have you been carrying, that keeps getting triggered, that needs to be released? If you don’t know how to show it, you must learn how to speak it. This is the hard work in breaking addiction, in getting sober, and in personal growth of any kind. You look deeper into yourself, gaining awareness of your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, how these are connected to the experiences in your past, and what all of this means for your future.
Anger is only part of the story. If you get stuck there, you only really know part of yourself.
Michael is the Lead Sobriety Coach and Head Blogger of Addiction Reality.