Overreacting about Overreacting

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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?

If you can relate or think someone else could benefit from reading about this, please share. Subscribe if you’d like to read more in the future! Thank you for reading!

-Grumpy Sunshine

 

 

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Grumpy Sunshine

About me: Oh boy. The big thing here, my main focus, is that I am the adult child from an alcoholic home. My mother is a straight up, textbook, pain in the butt alcoholic. My dad drinks too much but probably wouldn’t be defined as an alcoholic. Enough about them. This is my about me. I love me. I learned to cope with my parent’s issues through my sense of humor. Sometimes I use it to distance myself, sometimes I use it because the situation really can be funny. I decided to start this blog because I can’t be the only person who appreciates humor in the darkest hours of our lives. And as a wise friend asked me today, why not invest in yourself? I hope you take something from these stories. It could be inspiration to address a family member’s problem, the strength to stand up for yourself, or even if it is just a laugh at my wonderfully awkward upbringing, I hope you get something out of this. My secret wish is that you find hope. Hope is hard to find and can be very dangerous when loving someone with addiction but, God, is it worse when you have none. Here’s hoping this helps someone.

12 thoughts on “Overreacting about Overreacting”

  1. I feel like this too. My sister has stressed me out but I have taken it out on my daughter. I have had to give myself a few days away to try to get back to being calm again.

    1. It happens to me all the time! I have to be really mindful of when I am upset to make sure it is for the right reasons.

  2. This is me! I end up taking my frustrations out on the ones that love me the most; the ones that would never want to hurt me. I find if I walk away for a few minutes and reflect, I can usually calm down- but what damage did I do with my initial ‘overreation’? Thanks for sharing, I feel better knowing I’m not the only one that does this.

    1. I always feel guilty about my initial reactions but I have to keep reminding myself that I am human and I am allowed to make mistakes!

  3. I have spent 3 years with my partner, now husband not saying what I feel or when I’m upset.
    Now it’s coming out in spades as I’ve grown with him, but he doesn’t know what’s hit him as I’m like 100 miles an hour with it.
    Standing up for yourself is hard but worthwhile and eventually essential otherwise you’ll build up resentment
    I don’t do moderate is what I always say!
    Take care of you x

  4. Thank you for writing this. I just experienced this the other day. I feel so bad that I reacted the way I did towards my friends and family, whom I know are just concerned for me and the fact that they think I’m drowning with my best friend’s alcoholism. It is my best friend and her relapse that I’m really angry with. I’ve given myself a few days of space to get calm and clear minded again. It really helps me to read your blogs and not feel alone. Please keep writing. I look forward to them!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! You are definitely not alone. It is hard to take care of yourself when you are so worried about others but keep taking care of yourself! Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. I find it helps if I can remember to just say “ouch” out loud in the moment when a person’s comment hurts me. That way (with out my making a huge deal of it) the person gets a clue as to how their “just kidding” is actually coming across. Unfortunately, most of the time I don’t remember to say “ouch;” instead I retreat into silent, wounded, judgmental, self-righteousness only to explode later at the wrong moment.

    1. That is a wonderful suggestion! Thank you for sharing it! I also have a problem with exploding at the wrong moment. I am glad I am not alone!

  6. I reacted badly a year ago because a family member did not ask how I was after surgery,unfortunately they stopped contacting me ,despite my making a apology,its a family member so has created upset

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