We must avoid quick tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.
I feel kind of bad as an example of sobriety here, and I need to write again that I have come a long, long, very long way in my membership in the program. I’ve dealt with these issues sufficienty to have a very good life right here, right now, but I want to go deeper.
In my past drinking life, I suffered much more from depression than from anger. Now, I can get angry at least once a day. I have made self-restraint an art and a defect.
Last Friday, someone at work was making hurtful comments toward me. I remember them well because I emailed Carole about them. I believe she saw and agreed that the comments were hurtful. A gift of AA is that I’ve pretty much learned not to take my own word for anything, but to check it out with someone else. Anyway, the hurtful person is someone I have a long, close relationship with, and so someone I could appeal to on a personal level by asking him – what gives?
I didn’t do that. I believe that he does, on some level, have some anger toward me, although mostlyour relationship is good. All this as a way to explain how I was restrained, when maybe I’m really missing the point.
I will try, try, try, again and anew, to see my anger in terms of quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. I will try to recognize pride and vengefulness as bait luring me to a trap. I will write myself email right now to remind myself of this tomorrow, when I’m back in the lion’s den.