A few years ago I was asked to work in Northern Ireland with a group of adults addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was there to share my strategies for dealing with anger. It was the most uplifting experience for me. Every person I met and worked with had their own outstanding qualities and they all taught me something. I was humbled by the manner in which they welcomed me into their lives. One day I hope to return there again. One particular lady had her own personal way of dealing with anger and other feelings. She would write poetry. We were privileged that she shared this poem with us and I am grateful to her for allowing me to share it with you all.
Anger is the clash of fear, hurt and rage
It’s the feeling of madness, emptiness and pain
Of telling yourself one thing and feeling another
Of hurting deep inside and layering on the covers
Fear of being scared, hurt or upset
Of having to face something you’d rather forget
Hurt from experience or something that’s hard
So you brick up your wall and put up your guard
Rage of pain being screwed up inside
Thinking that you’re not good enough
Feelings can hurt, can tear you apart
Can mix up you head and split up your heart.
It is easy in my line of work to relate everything to anger and stress. Anger, however, is closely linked to trauma, pain and fear and addictions are one of the ways we deal with them.
While dealing with their anger, a lot of my clients learn to deal with the trauma at the source of their pain. Gradually, over time, they are able to heal the scars and function in society in the way they would like to be able to function.
Next time you meet someone who is addicted spare a thought for what they may have been through. Imagine what damage may have been done to them that led them to find solace in a bottle or through a needle.