Didn’t I just talk about anger? Well, here I go again, because it’s a feeling that I seem to use as my go-to reaction for pretty much everything. Then I apologize, or don’t (if it’s justified), and go to a meeting and spend the breakout time talking about how angry I am at my anger.
Step Six: were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Most of the time, I’m angry for a multitude of little reasons. That way, my reaction to any single one of them seems completely overblown. Depression follows, the really good kind, the nondescript kind, and I wonder how long I can keep fooling myself in this program. I mean, I keep getting angry, upset, and wrong-sized about stupid things.
My most recent breakthrough? Learning that my number-one defect isn’t anger. It’s fear. I believe that a good 97% of all my anger is based in fear. I used to think that anger was my response to fear. I was incorrect. Anger is truly nothing more then a smokescreen for me throwing a tantrum.
What I’m trying out: Saying “I’m scared” doesn’t work. It’s so un-American. So I substitute “scared” with “afraid” and say it like an English butler would, i.e., “I’m afraid these delays might infringe on my plans.”
Here’s what it comes down to: I am afraid I’m not going to get my way. Example: I’m angry that someone’s driving stupid in traffic. I’m afraid that they are getting away with something, and that it’s not fair, and that I should be able to get away with things like that too. When I tease out the thought to its most basic, selfish want, I find that I spend a good deal of my time worrying that I’m not getting my fair share. Guess what that makes me?
Plus, being angry lets me run around screaming and pointing and wailing. Because admitting to being a scared child when it comes to unbelievably petty things makes me appear weak. Instead, I’m pissed off! I’m trying to get things done, but these assholes are making it impossible!
What is that but a four-year-old throwing a fit? I never learned the lesson, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” Instead, I got upset, and drunk. I simply traded the nipple for the bottle.
Today: Now that I know my fear is more of the “not getting what I want” variety, I can calmly talk to my inner spoiled brat whatever I’m getting on edge. He may not always listen, but I’ll take a pouting inner child over a screaming inner child any day.