from my inbox:
from PMD: “Maybe I’m just a whack job. OK, I am a whack job. Closing in on 10 months sober and I’m ready to throw the towel in. On everything.
I never really had that sober euphoria I kept hearing about. My birthday just past and it seemed to trigger anger in me, like when one of my daughters didn’t even acknowledge it. A lot of things piss me off nowadays. End of the week, Friday & Saturday, I used to look forward to it are now the same fucking thing as a Tuesday. Nothing really to look forward to. If I start drinking my wife will leave. If I stay angry like I am now my wife will leave. I’m fucking sick of that threat, which has been for 22 years. Maybe it’s just marriage problems, maybe I’m bi-polar, maybe all of the above.
With regard to not drinking, I really am not happy with the results. WTF? Ever hear of this?
God bless you for doing what you do, I don’t think I’d ever want to listen to the moaning of people like me.”
me: Dear Whack Job. There’s a lot to unpack here, and I don’t know you very well (yet).
it’s entirely possible that you have years of stored anger that never got expressed when you were drinking. and now it’s leaking out of you like a tire with a nail in it. this is not necessarily a bad thing. stored emotions do need to come out …
for me, though, I always think that anger is masking something else. it’s usually not just anger. it’s fear, or disappointment, or regret, or shame, or embarrassment or fear or fear or fear. but anger is easier to reach for than the real underlying painful thing. fear of abandonment. fear of rejection. disappointment that no one understands. whatever. I’m only guessing (I’m guessing based pm what it is for me when I’m angry).
your 1% emotional improvement homework for today would be: “the last time I was angry (today? yesterday?), what was I angry about, what was I REALLY angry about. if it wasn’t anger, what was it? And what would Belle say was under what I was really feeling even if I can’t see it / say it.” you don’t have to admit this to any one outloud, just email me.
there’s a well documented sober slump from 8ish months to 10ish months. there’s a hill you climb and then suddenly you can see your one year soberversary coming up. can you face forward and see it (yet)? you will. then things will feel better.
if you really are bi-polar then your brain fires off all kinds of stuff that seems inconsistent, incongruent, or downright unpredictable. I’m sure you have a doctor or two. I’m sure someone more qualified than me can help you with this. medication is a wonderful thing if you take it.
(really did you want me to go on and on like this? probably not!)
you’re not staying sober because of a threat from your wife. you’re staying sober because you like your life, you like your wife, you like your kids, YOU don’t want to lose this. you don’t want to face backwards. you want to face forwards and see new stuff coming.
some days are shitty days. being angry in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. some people are shitty and they make us angry. some kids are disrespectful. some wives nag. some husbands spring to anger quickly and some wives never really know what it’s about.
some husbands reach out for sober support cuz they want to be sober, they want to stay sober.
that’s you. I can tell.
now do your 1% homework and email me back.