This is where I am today. I am overreacting again. But this time I am taking it to a WHOLE different level. I am overreacting about overreacting. I feel so bad about overreacting that I can barely focus my thoughts on anything else. AHHHH!
Why is this so common among people who love someone struggling with addiction? Why can’t we modulate our feelings? Why are we going from 0-10 instantly? I have a few theories:
1.) We often under-react to the person struggling because we don’t want to trigger them so we end up overreacting towards other people in our lives.
2.) If you were raised by the person struggling with addiction (like me), we weren’t given a good example of how to cope with stress.
3.) We are constantly expecting the worst situation or the worst out of the person.
Tell me I am not alone in these suspicions. Let me review my past 72 hours.
We have a couple friend that love to joke around. They constantly tease everyone. They tease each other, they tease their family, and they tease the crap out of me. I am a pretty hilarious, fun loving person but sometimes I just want to shake these two people. After awhile, the teasing comes off a little critical and judgmental.
Knowing I can get annoyed with them, my husband and I made the mistake of being around them too much in the past couple weeks. They tease me for what I wear, what we eat, where we eat, and anything else they can. By this weekend, I had had it. One of them made a joke about me eating lunch before 11:00 am (it was a rough morning) and I exploded. I threw a tantrum.
Luckily, I didn’t explode on them. I exploded as soon as I was away from them but I couldn’t get over it. I told my husband I was done with them, I never wanted to talk to them again, and we were fading them out as friends. I was confidently explaining that they were out of our lives forever and I didn’t care that he had been friends with the husband since early childhood. I was putting my foot down (like a brat). My husband didn’t say much because I was at a 10 out of 10 on the crazy scale at this point.
This couple has texted us several times over the weekend about getting together for Halloween and I feel TERRIBLE about my feelings being hurt by them. How does that make sense?? I am allowed to have hurt feelings, right? Yet, here I am convincing myself that me overreacting was the most childish thing I could have done and wondering why my husband even likes me.
My brain is exhausting. I overreacted then. I absolutely know that. I can’t cut out one of my husband’s best friends. I am also overreacting now. They do hurt my feelings a lot. I am allowed to be hurt by their constant criticism. I just need to modulate my reactions.
The truth is, (1) I am actually mad at my mom right now but I didn’t tell her that or even process it myself until today. She is the one I should be yelling at, not this critical couple. (2) I don’t know how to process this anger though because my mom always took to the bottle anytime her feelings were hurt, she was stressed, or things got hard. I am still developing appropriate coping skills daily. (3) Its easier for me to think that this couple hates me than to think that they are just being silly. It is less painful if the worst possible scenario is something you expected than it being a complete surprise.
This pattern often emerges when I am stressed, sad, or confused. It is easy to go to 10 instead of reacting at a 3-4 level. What have you found that helps you cope with frustrations? What helps bring you down from a 10 to a 3-4?
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