I started giving up the drink in 2011 and made a firm commitment last July.
One of the things my spiritual counselor told me after I committed to living clean is that I would start facing myself as I really am. Kind of like Luke in that cave on Degobah. But, I digress.
No, actually, I’ll stick with the Star Wars metaphor. My internal Darth Vader has been creeping out over the past year. It’s not a burning desire to drink, do drugs, buy fast cars, or cheat on my wife. No, my dark side is all about having a short fuse and a long memory. Minor incidents at work or home set me off. And once I’ve been set off, it’s quick and easy for me to return to that place.
I think one of the main reasons I started drinking after college was to relax myself. I was wound pretty tight back then and I feel like I’m heading that way again.
So, why not drink moderately to chill out? Well, for one, I’m allergic. Another is that alcohol masks and exacerbates my anger, anxiety, and depression, but it doesn’t actually make me confront them.
I’ve taught students that anger is a secondary emotion, and that it stems from a source of fear or hurt. I’m pretty sure I learned that lesson a long, long time ago. Fear is the path to the dark side, after all.
So, what are the roots of my anger? I’m not quite sure. When I solve that puzzle, I might be able to confront it.
I accept that dads get angry. I just don’t want my sons growing up in a house where they need to walk on eggshells around me.
So, I’m going on a mission for my inner Yoda. Posted will I keep you.