I ‘ve been right where you are, asking the very same question…WHY do I get angry when I drink?
The night that got me to look in the mirror and say enough is enough!
It was my sister’s Jack and Jill.
It was a weird, roller coaster of a night. Sparing the finer details, something happened midway through the night that would have angered any husband or boyfriend.
It’s now the end of the night, we’re all intoxicated of course. The last bit of the party remaining is helping clean up, maybe 20 of us.
The cleanup is coming to an end so we all start congregating in the kitchen area.
What happens next is inevitable, the incident that happened earlier in the night gets brought up. I completely lose all control, cursing and yelling at my sister and my dad in front of 20 other bystanders.
The screaming match ends with me stomping out of the kitchen with raging violence on my mind. Wondering what I can hit that isn’t my sister or dad.
There is an oversized industrial garbage bag completely stuffed just outside the kitchen door. That looks juicy. So I take a run at it as if I’m trying to kick a 50-yard field goal and the whole thing explodes with garbage flying everywhere.
I don’t remember precisely, but there’s a good chance I kicked it a couple more times for good measure to ensure it was empty before stomping out of the building.
When I woke up the next day, I was utterly embarrassed over my actions. I threw a tantrum in front of 20+ family members, future family members, and close friends.
It’s Not The Drinking, It’s You
I tried changing what I drank. People tried to make correlations with my anger and certain types of liquor. It’s the Rum. It’s the Jaggermeister. It’s the…
After this night, I had an insight and I just knew that none of this was true. It wasn’t the drinking causing my anger, it was me.
Sure, there is some evidence to suggest that alcohol provokes anger. But, this doesn’t happen if there isn’t underlying anger ready to be provoked.
Think of the relationship between alcohol and anger as ‘poking the bear’.
Alcohol has the ability to magnify our current state of being or bring out our suppressed emotions.
The happy person gets smilier than usual.
The sad person cries.
Below we’ll get into what you may be suppressing that’s causing your anger as well as other possibilities.
Why You Get Angry When You Drink
The person suppressing resentment gets angry.
The person protecting their ego gets angry.
Why is this?
This is the one I resonate with the most.
Something magical happened after I forgave my dad, I no longer became an angry drunk. Although I knew my anger when drinking was an inside job, I never would have thought forgiveness was the solution.
How can you know if holding on to resentment may be a potential fire starter for you?
You’ll likely notice, whether you’re drinking or not, you have a tendency to get angry easier than you’d like. Especially with certain people. These are likely the people you’re holding resentment for.
This resentment has gone unattended to and therefore gets triggered and magnified when you’re drinking.
Letting go of resentment isn’t easy, I know from personal experience. But the reward of doing so is unimaginably freeing.
Want to learn more about forgiveness? Check out these 2 posts below
Protecting Your Ego
I can resonate with this one as well, though not nearly as much as resentment.
When we have an over-inflated ego, we feel that it must be protected. We propr ourselves up as someone we are not, trying to make ourselves look important, worthy, successful etc. when inside we feel unimportant, unworthy, and unsuccessful.
It takes a lot to protect this false identity we portray to the world, which often includes offense and defense.
When we drink, this over-inflated ego tends to get pumped with more air.
When someone doesn’t agree with us, we feel the need to defend ourselves.
When someone judges us we take it personally and overreact.
When we feel threatened by a potential alpha male or female we go on offense to try and bring them down a peg.
These are just a few of many examples that could be used.
To wake up one day and truly see that you aren’t who you think you are.
The best book I’ve read so far about the ego is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s an eye-opener.
The post below can be a simple place to start:
Remember, Anger Is An Inside Job
No matter the reason for your anger when drinking, always remember that it’s an inside job. Your anger is not caused by the drinking, it’s caused by you.
Your anger comes from the inside out. Your drinking merely assists in drawing it out.
So the next time you find yourself asking ‘Why do I get angry when I drink?’, start looking within. All your answers can be found there.