Help with anger and irritability

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Help with anger and irritability

Postby Gayle72 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:03 pm

Hello. I am 4.5 years sober and suffer from generalised anxiety which leaves me agitated, irritable and angry. Has anyone got some tips or examples of what you do to help with this please?
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Re: Help with anger and irritability

Postby Brock » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:33 pm

Welcome to e-AA Gayle, and thanks for this topic.

I think it’s an important one, because so many of us report one of the main reasons we drank was to control anxiety. The big book promises serenity after we complete the steps and live in the solution, which is the opposite of anxiety.

I know my own anxiety has reduced considerably since I have followed the program, but it seems like a gradual reduction, so it’s hard to pin point one thing I did which provided the most benefit. But without doubt it is tied to spiritual development, the more I trusted and had faith in a higher power, the less fear I had, and anxiety and fear are closely related.

I have found certain books helpful, but what suits one person often someone else finds not to their taste. I hope others may give their experience with this, because living without fear and anxiety is a promise of the AA program.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Help with anger and irritability

Postby Blue Moon » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:01 pm

I work regularly on meditation, and on getting active, even outside AA. My "comfort zone" is to isolate. Trouble is, that doesn't give me regular experience of what to say or do when trying to mix.

Above all, sobriety is my first priority in life. Not the only priority, but the first (along with breathing, eating, etc.). I don't forget this, even when "life" happens.
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Re: Help with anger and irritability

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:35 pm

Thats unmanageability of step one. If we don't address it, we could get back to a state where a drink would look real good option. Fortunately for new comers we have the reminder of the steps and for old timers we have the 10 and 11. Some revisit the steps every now and then just stay spiritually fit.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Help with anger and irritability

Postby Roberth » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:19 am

Hello Gayle and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. If it’s something recent it could be that you are coming up on a mile-stone in yours sobriety. I know when I was coming up on 5 years all the doubts were running through my mind about where I was in my sobriety.
If you have had this anxiety all along you might want to a professional opinion about it. Many of us have had problems that alcohol had covered up. As for myself I suffer from PTSD, and with some help I have learned how to live comfortably with it
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Re: Help with anger and irritability

Postby PaigeB » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:23 pm

Page 87 of the Big Book says: Pause when agitated or doubtful. I REALLY wanted to do that, but hey ~ anxiety right?

Here's what I found. I did not seem to be able to even SLOW my thoughts. I needed to practice that, to get better at it when my brain was NOT in crisis. So I decided that I would meditate on one word, not Ohm but "Love". I would draw out the syllable "Loooovvvve" I would gently bring myself back to this word (gentle redirection is important... I can't force this, I surrender this). I couldn't do it for very long either - just a few minutes... 2 minutes to start. Then an AA prayer like the 3rd Step prayer on page 63. Then be done with my meditation practice. I had to figure out when a good time of day was for me, but I found that I began to try to go to that word when I started to feel anxious throughout the day! It turned out to be a calming effect but it also was a Pause to go to a Peaceful Place. I found that I was able to Pause when agitated! Pause, not stop. It is a practice not a perfection.

Sometimes this pause looked more like screaming "GOD save me from being angry (so I don't kill this SOB)!" (pg 67) or "Help ME PLEeeaase!" or "Bless this MESS!" You know, the age old cry of "Serenity NOW!" But take heart, even Zen Buddhists practice meditation. Look around in your community for a Zen center or go to the library for a book or get a guided meditation in a phone app.

I also got a new sponsor at 7 years sober... we DO what we have to DO.

Action first ~ then results. This works IF we work it!
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