My father had a terrible temper. My mother often told me that I had my father’s temper. The day I hit my father over the head with his dinner plate, when he was cursing in my face, I believed her. When my boys were little, I was afraid to punish them in anger. I would send them to their rooms until I could cool down.

However, when my addicted son was using, there were many times he picked a fight as an excuse to leave and use. Many times, I obliged him by ranting, raving, screaming, and crying as he slammed doors and walked out of the house.

Today, even though I am in recovery, I still know how to push the anger buttons of the addict and others. I realize that others know how to push my anger buttons as well. Today, I take responsibility for what I am doing and where I am headed. Today, I try to choose my reactions. Today, I stop and think before I react with anger. Today, I will say something humorous or say things in a kind way. Today, I do not want my anger to give the addict an excuse to use.

Thought for Today: Recognizing and owning my feelings is an important step in my recovery. Learning to choose my reactions to my feelings is a priceless gift. Another’s behavior is not about me. I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it. My thoughts, however, are the cause of my behavior. Only I can control my thoughts. Only I can change my behavior. I can choose to let go of the negative. I can choose to embrace peace.

“God help me learn to accept my own and others’ anger as a normal part of achieving acceptance and peace. Within that framework, help me strive for personal accountability.” ~ Melody Beattie