I have learned in AA that any time I find myself acting out there must be an emotion lurking underneath that is causing the outburst. Before recovery I never questioned those instances where I found myself vying for best temper tantrum with any two year old sprawled out on the floor of any store isle in the country. I just went off and wreaked havoc on every one around me like a hurricane tearing through an unsuspecting coastal town. I never thought about the why behind my outbursts, I just figured I was angry and I was… but there is always something else behind anger. No one is ever just angry. Pride and fear are the top two contenders for me. Food and sleep are always there too, but that type of anger seems to be of a more superficial type. Today I am talking about real, scary, out of this world anger that erupts from deep in your soul.
I had this type of anger come upon me this past week. I was at work, sitting in my office just fuming. If I could have been foaming at the mouth, I would have been. I was that angry. I was literally spewing vile words from my mouth. I just kept going off to no one in particular, after all, it really wasn’t about them was it? No, it was about me. At first I thought I am angry because my co-workers don’t respect me now that they are going on to new jobs with the company that took over our office. How were they not respecting me you ask? Well, they had the absurd notion to give me work to do that fell within the boundaries of my job title! I mean come on! How rude of them!
As I continued to spew foul frustrations from my mouth, I had said co-workers come to my office to see if I was okay. I told one of them that I had a lot hitting me that day. I hadn’t really emotionally dealt with the fact that I had to have some skin cancer removed from my leg and how it sucks to know that 11 years after detecting my first Melanoma that it was still coming for me. I also told this co-worker that I couldn’t get my job hunting done because I was having to do so much work for other people and that those other people should understand my situation and not give me work to do even though it is my job to do such work. That last bit had some actual truth to it…
I knew my behavior was just uncalled for and so I turned on my favorite band and sat and my desk and got busy doing the work I did not want to do and then I paused. I asked my Higher Power why I was behaving this way, feeling this way… I finally asked the real question that needed answering… What emotion is underneath this outburst? What am I really upset about?
The answer came quickly. FEAR. I was afraid! I was afraid of loosing all of the financial ground I had worked so hard to gain this year while living at home. It was really hard for me to come back to the Memphis area and equally as hard to admit that I needed to stay at home for a couple of years to get myself back on track financially. It is hard for any grown adult to do this and after 5 years of sobriety and bouncing around the country in dead-end jobs trying to make something of myself somewhere – I was forced to go home after staying in friends homes for a few months at a time because I couldn’t afford a studio apartment and I couldn’t find a decent roommate situation. I eventually tired of living out of boxes and having all of my stuff crammed in my car all of the time. I eventually went home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom and my brother and I love spending time with them….
Anywho, back to where I was going – FEAR. I was trying to make it about pride, but it was all really about Fear. I was afraid for my future. I was afraid of what might be around the corner EVEN THOUGH my Higher Power had recently given me a thought that I wrote down and kept with me. I actually woke up with this thought in my head, “All is well, you just can’t see it yet.” These are the words given to me a couple of days before my meltdown. My Higher Power, whom I choose to call Jesus was intervening on my behalf. He knew the weight of the circumstances would crush me and so He gave me a word. The problem was I didn’t take it to heart. I didn’t let it seep into my soul as truth. I chose to look at the giant cloud looming just ahead of me and make that my truth instead and I was crushed.
As soon as I realized that fear was causing my outburst, I prayed and relinquished that fear to God. I chose to read that word He had given me and make it my truth. If He says all is well, but I just can’t see it yet, then I have no reason to worry. I am doing my part and applying to jobs like crazy. I am also reigning in my funds and moving to more of a rationing budget. I am hoping for a job in October so that I can use my stay bonus as a down payment for a new car (but that’s another story because I am going to have a hard time letting go of Hercules) instead of using it to pay off the remainder of my debt. Either way, I will still be debt free by the end of this year.
The magic of AA is that I no longer just have outbursts. I don’t live on an emotional roller coaster anymore. I now know how to handle my emotions. I know how to look underneath and find out the real cause to my actions. Whatever issue comes up first is usually the secondary issue with a primary issue lurking just a little further down. In my case my secondary issue was pride with my primary issue being the fear of the future. Once the issue was named, it lost a lot of its power. Once I knew what I was fighting, I knew how to attack it. In my case, I turned my thoughts around by taking my truth back, which is the real truth. Even if I do loose some ground financially and cannot use the bonus to buy a new car, I will still be debt free by the end of the year and I will have a roof over my head and food to eat since I am staying at my mom’s house. Everything will be okay no matter what happens. The weight that was crushing me wasn’t even my weight to carry. I gave that to Jesus and meditated on the words He gave me a couple of days prior, “All is well, you just can’t see it yet”.