Good topic...(Thanks, Karl)
Not surprisingly, all my anger was justified. Not once, behind the drink, did the thought ever occur to me that maybe, just maybe, i shouldn't have responded as I did no matter what. in fact, no matter how much damage I did, I took comfort in the rationalization "IF they hadn't done tis, that or the other, I wouldn't have...."
Selfish, self-centered. It was in AA that i was taught I would have to get down to the Causes and Conditions of my Drinking, working hard to eliminate at least the worst of them in order to have a chance at this Sober, Happy Life I saw others demonstrating.
With the help of a Sponsor, we began to unravel some of the problem. He helped me to understand how Fear motivated and controlled me through it's hundred forms. For me, there seemed to be a pattern of Confusion, then Frustration, then Fear, followed by Anger & sometimes Rage.
The Fear that drove the Anger was self-centered, based on a feeling of Powerlessness. I had become accustomed to using Fear & Anger to overcome powerlessness through Sports, Military & on the Streets, Fear could channel Anger such that I could get through most rough or dangerous situations... But it was a skill that didn't go over so well in every day living, so I had to change.
My sponsor shared how his fear/anger was usually one of two things: Things weren't going the way he thought they should, or people weren't doing what he thought they should be doing... And it was certainly the same for me. I was the Director, trying to arrange the lights & scenery & ballet as I thought they should be, and woe to those who didn't follow the script.
Writing and learning and talking of my character defects trough Steps 4 & 5 were a start, but the real understanding came in the willingness to find a better way to live, and that was in Step 6 & 7. Step 7 concludes with the statement
"The chief activator of our defects is a self-centered fear -- primarily Fear we would lose something we already possess or fail to get something we demanded" (12 x 12, pg 77)
Today, while I am far from being the most tolerant and patient soul on the planet, I can keep a check on Anger by guarding up against those self-centered fears, knowing that everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. It works...there's a happiness in my heart and a little quiet in my head.
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!