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Post Info TOPIC: I think my anger is actually fear/grief


Senior Member

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Posts: 441
Date:
I think my anger is actually fear/grief


I've been really struggling with my AH and his drinking a lot lately.  I just seem to need to try to get him to manage it (control it) and I can't stop myself.  I got myself all bent out of shape about the fact that a few weeks ago he drank and we were supposed to spend some alone time together.  I've been silently simmering with him for weeks over this issue until I got into it with him over something small and realized it was something larger.  We ended up having a discussion and I told him I was really mad about that incident, and really lonely because of his drinking, we had a very rare talk where he was open to hearing what I had to say and I said it nicely but I have been around the block enough times to know that it's not going to last.  What was different about this talk than any other talk is I heard him say two things "You're right I do drink a lot more and I do seem to "need" it more than in the past".  And "It would be a real shame if my drinking caused our marriage to end".    He's not going to change until he's ready not when I'm ready.  I can see that he still thinks he can control it.  He's not seeking any assistance with it and I am POWERLESS over this disease.  And that makes me angry.  And in my meeting this week someone mentioned that all anger is fear.  And it got me thinking about it.  So if my anger is really fear  what is it I am so afraid of that is driving all of this anger at my AH.  And then this song comes on the radio "take me back to the night we met" by Lord Huron and there is this line in it that says "I Had all and then most of you, some, and now none of you."  And then another line is "I don't know what I'm supposed to do, haunted by the ghost of you".  And that's how I feel about my AH.  If you take away all the anger, all the frustration, all the chaos he seems like a shell of who he was.  We aren't who we were and I have been so desperate to get him to be who he was when we were first together for the first many years of our marriage that I have lost sight of everything else.  I miss who my AH was before the disease took such a hold over him.  I still love him but I can't be close to him (or I can only be so close to him emotionally).  No one can without getting sucked into the chaos.  And so instead of being stuck in anger about his behaviour now I just find it sad to be out of this denial.  I think a small part of me was still holding on to the idea that if I convinced him he had a problem he would get help and we would all be much happier.  I realize now I have to let that go.  It's been so unhealthy for me.  Our relationship is not what it was and will never be that again.  I have to accept exactly where my relationship is as it is and try to move forward and make decisions from there.  It's a relief to realize it in some ways, even though it's very sad for me I don't feel so stuck in the loop I was stuck in before.  I just had to share that and get that out.  Thank you for reading.



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Senior Member

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Posts: 247
Date:

(((KT2105))) - I could have written this post myself today.
Things at my house are okay today as AH tries to control his drinking. I am not sure if he drinks while I am at work all day or not, but he is not drinking in my presence (for the most part) and he is not smashed when I get home. This tricks both him and me in to thinking (aka pretending) he can control his drinking forever, but he can't. I know that in my heart of hearts. Without a program of some sort, this may not end well. But I have to remind myself that I am absolutely powerless over this disease and I cannot force him to do anything, even admit he has a problem.

We had an incident recently where we were given an opportunity to spend some great time alone in a beautiful place by the sea and he spent the time wasted. I realized then that this was not how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I felt I was more of a caregiver or babysitter than a partner. The time together ended horribly, with me having all the responsibility for his safety and the care and closing up of the home we were given for the weekend. I was resentful and I wanted no part of him and his drama and he felt it. So, he stops drinking. He was good for a couple of weeks and then it sneaks it way back in. He starts trying to control it, but eventually he takes a drink, the drink takes a drink and the drink takes the man. He drank all weekend, but he wasn't wasted, and then he backed off on Monday.

It is okay to be sad and afraid and even down right mad. But we have to get back to the place where we can say "It is what it is". I am allowing myself this calm time to figure out what I can and cannot do in this relationship. And to realize that you are right, it can never be what it was.

It is not an easy journey we take with an alcoholic. There are crisis and damage and then there can be periods of relief too. The path is not straight and the road is not without its hazards. I am grateful for Al-Anon because I know I never have to walk the journey alone. And there is much wisdom and strength from those who have walked ahead of me.

I wish you peace today my friend.

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Bethany

"Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be."  Abe Lincoln



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 15130
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KT you are not alone. I discovered that I turned my FEAR into anger because anger made me feel very powerful and fear made me feel small and inadequate. Program steps 4 through 9 helped me to process my fear accept it and express it in a healthy fashion today. I can admit fear, pray for courage and act with courage and wisdom.

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud
El


Senior Member

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Posts: 309
Date:

KT,

Oh, I hear and feel every word. Like Bethany, I could be writing your post. I see the downward spiral of my AH, but I dont think hell hit bottom. He will occasionally admit he drinks too much, but he has no desire to quit because he thinks he can control it. He cant.

I also feel sad and have come to accept that I cant look forward to times away with him because hes only interested in drinking from another view. 

Somedays I am able to accept it is what it is and other days I am furious (fearful?) at the unpredictability of the diseases moods and behaviors.

I hear you, I hear you, I hear you.  Thank you for your share!

(((Hugs)))

Ellen



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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 13256
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KT you had a knowledgeable and experienced member tell you a right thing...All anger is fear...I like it along with another understanding I use...Love is the opposite of fear and fear the opposite of love.  Both cannot exist at the same time in the same place...choose the one that serves me best.   The program taught me how to love and that is what I go with daily.  "Love is the complete and total acceptance of everyone else for exactly who they are."  Al-Anon is miraculous for me.     Keep coming back (((hugs))) wink



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~*Service Worker*~

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(((KT))) - I also was told that Anger was fear. Of course, in my own egotistical way, I thought that was hogwash, and as with most things, had to truly consider that as a reality when I did my step work. I did find, as Betty suggests, in working the action steps that fear was the number one factor of who I was. For me, I had faith in a higher power, yet I still had fear that I was the forgotten child and his will was not in my best interest. I had fears of failure, fears of success, fears of loosing all, fears of abandonment, etc. I truly discovered that almost everything I did was fear-based.

I love the three A(s). I didn't listen/believe that I was full of fear, as I too used anger to puff myself up. In spite of being a reasonably intelligent, successful gal, my view didn't match reality at all. I compensated for perceived weakness with my attitudes, actions, reactions and was a superficial mess. It is only in step work with a good sponsor that I was able to live acceptance instead of just practicing it. This doesn't mean that it is always natural or automatic. Yet, the program has given me the tools to pause long enough to consider what is real and what is imagined/projected as well as the support to work through my fears in an effort to right-size them.

I recall when I too realized that who we were and what we had was never returning. My sponsor was there to remind me that I have no idea what comes next, and that might be better than I could ever imagine or better than what was before. I doubted that then and still do often, yet have gotten to a place where I can conditionally accept where I am and he is as and practice living in this day only. Some days are better than others....yet I do feel the love of a power greater than I and don't have fear and anger at all like I used to.

I'm sending you tons of positive thoughts and prayers. It's a tough place to be yet like all things in this journey, this too shall pass. (((Hugs)))

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



Senior Member

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Posts: 135
Date:

(((KT2015))) ditto, these are my thoughts and feelings also, word for word. My ego/will sure wants me to believe that my human instincts and basic needs like companionship, emotional support and intimacy will never be met like they were before the disease took control of my husband, and it can create so much FEAR! But my thoughts simply aren't truths. Even though my AH can't provide to me what he doesn't have to give, that doesn't make me a victim. I have choices that I'm sometimes not ready to see. Al-Anon has taught me that my feelings are okay and are a result of my minds projections and to make decisions for myself based on the loving guidance of a power that's not me, and not based on the illogical thoughts of my own disease. I love our journaling tool and I continue to take my personal inventory to sort through my fears and that gives me the courage to live one day at a time.

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- Carrie

Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'. Eckhart Tolle



Veteran Member

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Posts: 43
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Your reply feels me with such hope.  Thank you for the wonderful story of your own personal fears and how you have worked the program.  This was very helpful.  I cannot wait to get to a f2f meeting and start working through the 12 steps.



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Senior Member

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Posts: 441
Date:

Thank you all for your posts I really appreciate all the ESH here and I feel so comforted. You're right the opposite of fear is love. Thanks for the reminder. Now I can work on acceptance and move forward from there.

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Member

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Posts: 23
Date:

Thank you KT, for writing this. I, too, felt like I could've written it.

One of the best phrases I've ever heard is "Anger is pain's bodyguard". I ran that by my therapist once, and she said "Yup. Anger is a secondary emotion, a reaction to a primary emotion, and the primary emotion is usually either pain or fear".

I don't have a lot of Al-Anon program stuff to share on this. It just helped me contextualize what's going on with me, and that when I'm seething, the intensity of the anger is in direct proportion to which wound in me got touched, and how tender it is. Gives me a starting place to bring the focus back onto me and see what I can do to heal.

Thanks again KT, and thank you for all the responses.

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Senior Member

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Posts: 144
Date:

I got a lot out of your post. At one time with the now Ex AH I took him to an idyllic setting and paid for the trip.  He was awful.

I had tremendous resentment about the way he behaved which I realise now was that he wanted to get back to be around people to drink with.

The fear behind that was that I would have to take care of myself.  I would not get the togetherness which of course I craved.

My craving for the togetherness was akin to his alcoholism.   I was obsessed with it.  I have obsessed about that trip for a very long time.

I really did not want to admit so much of it was about I did not know how to or want to take care of my own needs.

I focused on  the alcoholic but it is really my own responsibility to take care of my own needs. When the ex A abandoned me which was constant I did not know how to take care of myself around such cruel and 

difficult treatment.

These days when someone gives me a harsh remark, I am able to take care of myself in a way that is helpful. Of course they are not pulling the rug out of under me in the way the ex A did.

That inability to take care of myself has been a huge issue for me.  I have resented so many people because they didn't step up and fill in the gaps!!!!

Of course, needless to say those were people who totally neglected themselves too.

This realization gives me a greater ability to let go.  My fear kept me from letting go in the past.

What a relief to let go of that unfortunate holiday trip and not make it into a disaster that haunts me for ever.

Maresie. 



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