Day 54: The Vents and The Rudder

Behold, the “Vent Trinity.”

Vent. Circumvent. Reinvent.

I don’t know about you, but, I may as well work part time in a Coca-Cola bottling plant. I bottle up so much shit inside me, that, it’s no wonder that I had to drink the way I did to escape all the toxic sludge that was bubbling just under the surface of my skin.

In treatment, we’re delving into the “anger” segment of our process groups. This is of particular interest to me, because, well, I’m angry as fuck. The trouble is, you’d never know it. Because, it’s all right here inside me. I don’t say boo to anyone. I keep my mouth shut and my eyes ahead of me. But, here’s the thing, just because you choose to ignore your anger, or sweep it under the proverbial rug, as they say, doesn’t mean it disappears.

No siree-bob. That shit collects. And, the more of it you shove out of the way, the bigger the bang when it’s time to unearth it.

When I bottle my anger up, it manifests as resentments. Those of your who have been reading along for a bit know that I have some serious resentment issues. I hold grudges. They live and breathe in me, without mercy or kindness. And, it’s been interesting to have both the AA perspective on how to deal with resentments and my rehab center’s approach.
I think both are totally valid, and actually, when used in combination with one another, are a fool-proof way to start releasing that pent up anger.

The “Vent” concept occurred to me while in my one-on-one session with my mental health counselor. After practically vomiting a week’s worth of my emotional crap on his lap, I was feeling so much better. To vent, or in my case, spew really, all the anger and frustration from my week was a life saver. Even the littlest incidents are such a relief to get out in the open. Until talking to my counselor, all these little issues kept bumping against the inside of my chest, like moths searching for the light.

After laying my guts on the table, we discussed ways to circumvent my issues. Figuring out practical solutions to my dilemmas. If I’m having trouble establishing boundaries, well, then, I’m using the wrong method of communication. So, we talked through various solutions that might be useful to try out when I find myself in situations where it’s necessary for me to create boundaries that are going to work for me.

And, of course, the hard one: Reinvent. So much of sobriety, for me so far, has been reinventing myself. Almost every aspect of my once sad, little life, needed a serious make-over. Reinventing habits, thought patterns, daily rituals, social scenes, and heck, life plans, it’s no small order. It takes reflection and a keen self-awareness that I am grateful to have at this moment. The clarity that I posses now gives me the power to turn the rudder of my boat and to steer myself in an entirely new direction. And, with so much of the mess behind me, it feels so good to sail forward.

I know that new, angry waves are on the horizon. But each sober day equips me with new tools for navigating a stormy sea.

Today, I’m letting it all out, overcoming my obstacles, and rerouting the rudder.

And oh yeah, as for anger, well, I still got a few ships tied to the dock. But, I’m working on getting them their sea legs.

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