Anger is a call to action. Anger can be the entry-level emotion to other underlying emotional states. No emotion is either good or bad though many interpret Anger as a “negative” emotion. Anger can serve a purpose however, over the long run, the bright, hot heat of anger may not be sustainable.
Early in recovery, anger can be directed toward other people who have hurt you, let you down, or taken advantage of you. The anger’s initial purpose may be to have you separate yourself from these people and experiences. That being said, having this separation may not necessarily lead to healing. The cliche of having a “chip on your shoulder” may encourage you to push away and rebel against those other people.
Be mindful that in getting away from something, you may not yet have discovered what direction you want to head in. Healing the emotions underlying anger is more likely to help you find your purpose and meaning. You can be angry at people that have hurt you, but this is not the same as finding new people who will offer comfort and care.
Let anger serve its purpose, but once it has run its course, find other energies to help guide you.
Chad K. Cox PsyD
AToN Center 888-535-1516