Addicted to Anger
anonymous Asks ...
I am a rageoholic. That’s what my last wife called me. Before she left me. I have spoken with therapists and even did a couple of group therapy sessions with a bunch of other angry men when I was trying without success to save my marriage. I know how to recognize my anger when it comes and I know how to arrest its progression with progressive relaxation and deep breathing exercises. But unfortunately, anger is like a drug to me. It’s like a high that I can’t do without. When I feel my anger rushing in I could still stop it if I chose to but at that moment I LIKE IT. I love the sense of power and the loss of control and restraint and my righteousness. I just love it all so much. OF course I don’t like what I get after, but that’s after. So I want to stop but all anyone seems to be able to teach me is to learn how to stop it from blossoming once it gets started. For me though, once it gets started I am like an alcoholic trying to have just one – aint gonna happen. So what do I do?
Rebecca Ashton Says ...
Hello and thank you for your question.
First I'd like to congratulate you on the work that you have done so far-recognising triggers and progression can sometimes be the hardest part of overcoming anger.
You say that you love the sense of power, the loss of control and restraint and your righteousness. It is my feeling that it might be helpful to step away from thinking directly about the anger for a moment and think about what is it about the sense of power, the righteousness and the loss of control and restraint that appeals to you? What could be causing you to seek the rush? What kinds of things could you do to replace that particular high with something more healthy?
You mention that you feel addicted to anger, so it might be worth approaching the issue from an addiction perspective instead of just an anger management perspective.
I hope this helps, good luck.