Day 208

I was going to post to mark passing 200 days but didn’t end up getting round to it. I have to rely on my counting app now to know how many days I have, the number has become far less a focus of my consciousness. The whole not drinking thing has become something I think about far less too. That’s probably why I’m not online or posting as much at the moment.

I’m having a strange time with a lot of anger surfacing. I think I’ve always been pretty angry with the world. From the first realisations of my misfit status whilst my age was still in single digits to the plethora of injustices, imbalances and general mess that we currently live in and call society. A lot seems to be driving (and inconsiderate parking) related. I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast and got a crazy rush of anger as he described being nearly drowned by a childhood bully holding him underwater. I see crisp packets and coke bottles strewn around in beautiful woodland and fume about the ignorance of it all. These are just a tiny few examples.

So, I’m pretty sure that anger was one of the things I was drinking to ignore. Now I’m not drinking and now I’ve got past the early months of laser-like focus on avoiding drinking, the stuff I’ve avoided for so long is definitely queuing up to say hello.

I can count on half a hand how many times I’ve had aggravated verbal confrontations with somebody in my life. I’m very confrontation avoidant and generally hate it. I have now had two in the previous two weeks, both at work.

During the first one I was very in control. I didn’t swear or say anything unjustifiable. I had injured my hand the previous night after doing at least two extra hours of work than my contract requires. I was told what my tasks were for the current night and worked out that it was at least an hour more than the actual working time I had, yet again – even though I had pointed out I was injured. There are some people that constantly get away with doing less than their contract requires and instead of managing those people and kicking their butts or changing them for people that are prepared to work, the shortfall just gets piled onto people that they know will shut up and get on with it. I know this is a common complaint in workplaces and it’s not just me. I put my foot down and spoke out against it that night. I don’t know what came over me, I had just had enough and I let them know in no uncertain terms. I think I was more surprised than they were.

It actually turned out fine. I was told I made some fair points and that there were plans to change things in the near future. Hmm, I won’t be holding my breath. It was a surprising response though. Even as I was speaking my mind I was also thinking, ‘Oh shit! What am I doing?!’ It’s the first time in four years I’ve done anything like that whilst some colleagues bitch and moan their way through each and every shift. I was basically taken aside and told that I was well-respected and had earned the right to make those points by having a consistently laid-back but hard-working attitude. Phew!

The second outburst wasn’t quite as in control and well-phrased. We have a guy that comes in early morning to pick up stock that we drop on the floor when it has been delivered but there’s no space for it on the shelf. He snides and snarks his way along, constantly moaning about the night shift, life, the universe and anything else he can think of. He’s also not made the connection in his mind that whoever is in the aisle in the morning is also the person that did the work and therefore he’s bitching about them, to them. Normally I just let it go in through one ear, out the other.

The other morning he’d decided he was going to ‘make an example for the senior management team’ of my one mistake among the probably 6-7 HUNDRED boxes I’d handled that night. I’d mistaken one product for another and dropped it when it would have fit on the shelf. It’s so easy to do when you’re tired and rushing. I lost it. My rant began with… ‘Have you got any idea how much fucking work I handled last night?’ Oops! I went on to point out that taking my one genuine mistake and dropping me in the shit and backstabbing about it was petty and wasn’t exactly making for a good workplace. It’s only a week ago there was a bellowing argument across a meeting I was in. My job is beginning to look like some sort of Machiavellian soap opera at the moment. Jeez!! I did end up taking a deep breath and apologising for the manner in which I spoke (but not the content) and that I hadn’t set out to be intentionally rude.

It’s given me a lot to think about though. I felt pretty good after the first example. I would need to borrow a few hands to count how many times in my life I should have stood up for myself but didn’t (and drank away the resulting regrets and resentments). Sometimes things do need to be said, even though it’s scary to do it. I felt pretty shitty after the second example. The adrenaline wouldn’t dissipate and even though I tried to smooth it over at the end he may still make a complaint about me. I was also unhappy about how out of control it felt. I ended up using EFT to dial down the discomfort when I got home.

Handling anger is evidently something I need to work on and was probably an aspect of my development that got stunted by my early drinking to hide from it. I need to get a balance between standing up and constructively saying what needs to be said without becoming a reactive, unleashed rabid loon barking in everybody’s face. I’m going to be more mindful around my reactions at work in the coming weeks. I’ll take a deep, long breath before I react to anything. I don’t want to make these things a regular occurrence.

I’ve been trying to reframe incidents that make me angry and look beyond the immediate event to the probable underlying causes. Instead of getting angry at the other person I’ve been attempting to separate the behaviour from the person. I’ve been wishing people a peaceful resolution to whatever anger or fear is causing them to act out in dangerous, inconsiderate or antisocial ways. I’m also trying to remember that some things are out of my control and to get angry about those things is like drinking poison and hoping somebody else is going to feel it. It’s hard, really hard to do but it’s got to be better in the long run than mumbling and grumbling into a glass (bottle) of red.

I hope you’re all having a good, sober and calm week x

 

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Day 208

  1. shadowedmuses August 24, 2017 / 7:56 am

    Great insight. The bubbling of emotions in just starting to see at day 56 so I hear you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      Hi! It’s amazing how many common experiences we can see running through so many of these blogs. Day 56 is great, go you!! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

      Like

  2. feelingmywaybackintolife August 24, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Wow! Good on you! Things are happening and shifting. Good! 🙂 And yeah, well, for some details… ;-). Those will work itself out in due time when you keep paying attention.
    My therapist says: “It is important to practise being angry. Note that people in general are genuinly scared of people who are rightfully angry – really no need to shout or wave or tresspass boundaries. Just hold on to what it is you need to transfer. But when you start practising, it might be better not to start with important people.”
    What I think to have noticed in my years of work is that management does not always talk to those who need talking to. But they do talk to whom is listening – those are the ones who do not need a lot of correcting. I am in the same-ish situation where one guy we sort of ‘let him do his thing and hope for October to come’ so his contract ends. With your comment I realise it is not fair to others. Luckely firing somebody is not as easy in the Netherlands as it is in the US e.g. – but it does have downsides as in this case.
    On anger: anger is a secondary emotion and used to reposition ourself. It might even be a tertiary emotion. So first there is one emotion which mainly overwhelmes us and leaves us out of control and unsorted. Then anger pops up to put all the things back into place. It helps us focus our energy, helps us know what we want, makes us singleminded. Like with the plastic in the park: first you are shaken/sad/disappointed/grieved because somebody hurt something you hold dear. I can only assume that it holds an aspect of ‘if they do not hold on to these standards, what else could they do? -> Oh shit this is an unsafe environment/world’ and then you get angry to make sure you can fight the danger off.
    When you get angry, and or swear it is a good sign that somebody has (tried to) harm something you hold dear, that can be a person, a group, stuff, environment but also an idea or an ideal. I find it informative to find out what I hold dear.
    And yes, then there is anger management. 😉 Being angry is easy(ish), allowing ourselves to be angry might be a bit more difficult. Being angry at the right time in the right amount for the right reasons at the right person takes some practicing. It is my observation not many people are capable of this. Myself included. Like anything, it takes practise. And you are doing that! Cool!!!! It might help to realise that people are genuinly scared of a rightfully angry person, they are also genuinly in awe of somebody who can genuinly say sorry. 🙂
    Congrats on your day 208! That is cool too! When you read through sober blogs I think you will find that a lot of people ‘suddenly’ had to start dealing with anger issues. Guessing indeed it is part of the process. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      Wow, you have a lot of insight about this kind of thing, so much of this seems pretty accurate. I love knowing that other people understand and have had similar experiences, it makes me less worried that there’s something wrong with me that is being uncovered by sobriety. Thanks feeling, have a great weekend xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • feelingmywaybackintolife August 25, 2017 / 9:26 pm

        Ghegheghe, I love how you put that ‘it makes me less worried that there’s something wrong with me’. I could have said that in exactly the same words. 🙂
        Wishing you a wonderful weekend too!
        xx, Feeling

        Liked by 1 person

  3. soberisland August 24, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Congrats on your 208 days. That’s fabulous. (Day 4 here, damn it) And I say, give them hell, if they are being assholes at work. Just kidding. I feel your pain- I hate it when people mess up my chi. In the scheme of things, it’s probably a much bigger deal to you than your coworkers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Thanks! Work has been mostly OK for the last 4 years, I’m sure it’ll be OK again going forwards. Deep breaths and in one ear out the other is my grand plan. 4 days (now 5) is waayy better than no days. I was wondering how you were doing with that. Keep going, I’m here cheering you on 🙂

      Like

  4. ainsobriety August 24, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    I found the first few years of sobriety was learning to notice my emotional cues as they began rather than after I was mad or upset.
    It’s a practice. It takes time. And it sounds like you are doing it!
    Finding the ability to take a deep breath before responding has helped me do much.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 3:38 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely a new technique that I need to practice. I’ll work on spotting it before I let fly with the verbal abuse that sounds like a much better way! Thanks for your support Anne x

      Like

  5. soberinvegas August 24, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    oh yessss i so relate to this. i have had to work really hard on anger now that I don’t drink…i keep coming back to this book (https://www.amazon.com/Anger-Cooling-Thich-Nhat-Hanh/dp/1573229377) when I start to feel that crunchy anger surfacing…when i start just thinking nasty thoughts about humans for no reason, or getting SO ANGRY because someone doesn’t signal a turn while driving…then I come back to this book to get my head on straight! Sorry you are in the midst of it right now, hugs from Vegas ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 3:44 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, that book has gone straight on my reading list! I love finding buddhism-related books for specific issues I’m dealing with. I’m sorry you’ve had the same issues, I’m now realising it does seem to be a fairly common theme in getting sober blogs. Thanks and hugs! x

      Liked by 2 people

      • soberinvegas August 25, 2017 / 4:21 pm

        indeed, i think for me I dealt with what I considered ‘uglier’ feelings with booze, to try and numb them, and when that is gone all the sudden it’s a BIG learning curve of how to deal with all of them! you are not alone and we’re here for you! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Untipsyteacher August 24, 2017 / 11:53 pm

    Dear TOTW,
    Yes, anger was one of the hard emotions for me to learn to express and to learn how to react to someones else being angry.
    I used an old book called, Feeling Good….by Daivd Burns. It really helped me with my anger…it’s an old book using CBT.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=david+burns+feeling+good+book&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3ypr-h_HVAhUJ3YMKHQmcB_gQ1TUIXQ&biw=1208&bih=617#spd=11629002194889555226

    Work place anger is hard. I had teachers who worked really hard, and others so lazy.
    xo
    Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Another great recommendation for my reading list, thanks! I guess it’s such a common issue with the workplace stress and anger. Hopefully now I’m more aware of it happening I’ll spot it and handle it with a few less explosions on my part. Thanks Wendy, have a great weekend xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Elizabeth August 25, 2017 / 2:13 am

    We are so much more empowered by speaking the truth softly. It’s not what I say but how I say it that gets me in trouble. I’m trying hard these days to keep quiet until I’ve let myself calm down. You have great self awareness totw – be encouraged. You’re awesome girl. Congratulations on 208! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 25, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      Thank you so much Elizabeth. I know what you mean, it’s just so hard to speak that way when the adrenaline is racing and there’s steam coming out our ears! It’s obviously something that a lot of us are having to work on. I guess it’s still better to have my issues out in the open rather than hidden and ignored behind the booze fog. Have a great weekend xx

      Liked by 2 people

  8. postcardsfromrecovery August 25, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Finding out who we are–and who we want to be–in sobriety is definitely quite a surprising journey! Good for you for recognizing things you want to work on.

    Hugs,
    Penelope

    Like

  9. onthemend12 August 26, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Congrats on 208 days! That is amazing!

    The surfacing of emotions was tough for me – I had spent so many years pushing them all down with booze. Trying to control my feelings – what, when, why and how they surfaced- was futile because it just drove me to drink more. The gift of being sober has allowed me to feel it ALL – good, bad and ugly. There’s some beauty in being able to do that, even in anger. Being human isn’t a fault, for me – it’s a gift. Sobriety allows me to learn how to live with it.

    Keep sharing! Love reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 27, 2017 / 8:26 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely words of encouragement. I feel so much better about it all now I’ve been reassured it’s a natural and understandable part of what needs to happen, rather than me just turning into a cranky bitch ;D

      I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂 x

      Liked by 2 people

  10. reallifeusblog August 26, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    It sounds like you are doing a beautiful job learning how to advocate for yourself and manage appropriate emotions. This is can be tricky for anyone, I know I have struggled with it having dealt with low self esteem from bullying. Thank you for sharing. So happy for your success in recovery. ❤️❤️

    Like

    • tiredoftreadingwater August 27, 2017 / 8:32 am

      I’m sorry you’ve had experience of bullying too, it’s horrible. I was bullied the whole way through the school system which is probably the main reason I’ve always shrunk away from speaking out, until now. I guess I’m finding new reserves of courage in sobriety that I didn’t know were there. Thank you for you lovely feedback 🙂 x

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Jess August 31, 2017 / 4:14 am

    Cheering for the over 200!! Are you freaking kidding me! So happy for you.

    As for anger. I’m right there with you on all of this. Anger is definitely a thing I need to gain control over and find it comes out at unexpected times now.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the outburst. We all have them. It’s human.
    And bosses/managers — at least the good ones, know that.

    Keep on keeping on. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • tiredoftreadingwater September 2, 2017 / 9:55 am

      Hi Jess, thank you so much! So many of us are dealing with anger, it’s evidently a common problem once we sober up and start feeling everything again. My outbursts have turned out fine, no lasting repercussions that I can see, phew! 🙂 x

      Like

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