In general, all women, especially Southern women, are trained to keep their anger to themselves. My upbringing was in the South, I was the daughter of a divorced man. I had a good relationship with my dad, my step-mom, my step-brother and my grandparents.

I didn’t see any of the argue or get angry. If I, on occasion, said something in anger I was quickly and sharply reprimanded.

If You Are a Nice Girl, You Don’t Get Angry – Right?

I learned to repress the anger that I felt at all times. By my late twenties, I found there was a great way to do this: wine! I loved family holidays as they were a time that wine, margaritas and Bloody Marys were in good supply. At times I would be sick the next morning but I was always so lovely – never having feelings of anger or anything really.

After a while, when I had a long-term relationship and owned a home with my boyfriend I would get myself drunk and then have a major anger vent at home over matters that I wasn’t able to talk about when I was sober. There was one night that I threw a full glass of wine across the kitchen. It made such a mess with shards of glass everywhere (it made me see that if you are about to throw a glass of wine, its good to make sure it’s white and not red).

The more anger I felt – in my work, at my boyfriend, even towards my family – the more I turned to alcohol. I had no idea how to communicate, all I knew was how to smile in a lovely fashion when I was sober and how to drink in a bar to the point of almost passing out or at home before flying into a fit.

The 5 Ways You Can Calm Your Rage

When sober, I learned how to deal with my rage in a healthy way. Thanks to my support group at Plymouth Road to Recovery Group, as well as a few close friends, I learned several things.

1) Communication Should Always be Kept Open

If you are feeling angry at your friend, a family member or someone else, find yourselves a bit of quiet time. See if they a willing to talk about it. That stops emotions from getting repressed.

2) Look for Healthy Ways That You Can Release the Negative Energy

Go for a run do yoga, even just take a walk.

3) Make Plans In Advance

If you know that a potential anger situation is looking make sure that you plan in advance for it.

4) Have a Chat With Someone Who Is Not Involved

A therapist is a good option or a trusted friend who is not in the middle of things.

5) When Rage is Boiling Up, Forgive Yourself

Feeling rage is a normal human emotion. Do not feel angry at yourself for being angry. Give yourself a break. I used to feel so bad the morning after I had a fight with my ex. I would grovel, then feel bad about the grovelling too.

Don’t forget, anger is normal. If you repress it you can have a relapse very quickly. Give yourself protection, as well as your loved ones, by knowing how to release it.

It takes time to recover. You need to learn new ways of coping and make big changes to build a new life, it doesn’t happen at once. A lot of people who have an issue with alcohol abuse will need long-term care and that is just fine. After a while, it will be possible to learn new skills. Recovery isn’t a race, it is a journey that lasts a lifetime.

It is a choice to be sober. The choice is yours – and yours alone – coming out of denial is the first step on your road to recovery. In the same way, when you get slammed with an unexpected setback or a strong urge to use, you have the power to decide on the outcome. Effective treatment can be a massive aid in identifying triggers and allowing you to make your own decisions as to how you respond to them.

Do You Repress Your Rage by Drinking or Using Substances?