Being a rageaholic has noticable similarities to being an alcoholic. You are the victim of an overwhelming urge to do something highly self-destructive, and you will always be one, even if you haven't indulged for many years. In one sense you genuinely can't help it - I didn't choose to be a rageaholic and don't enjoy being one.
It is an inbuilt mechanism within me that gets set off by what feels like everything - people who speak to me harshly, doddery old giffers in supermarkets holding everyone else up, stupid rules, people who enforce them, people who don't apologise, not being considered, people who don't say please or thank you, the inconsiderate, chavs, muggers, teenagers, muslim women who wear veils, evangelists, parents who don't control their children, British Telecom, British Airways, Manchester United, lies and liars, rudeness, arrogance, supremacism, machines and systems not working, lateness, wasps, flies, mosquitoes, soap operas, Jeremy Kyle, gardening shows, surreal car adverts, the education system, my mum, dad and sister, body odour, bad breath, itching, clumsiness, incompetence, cruelty, neglect, people who play their music loudly in public places, people talking bollocks and having to explain things to people who should already know.
...and that's just things I can think of right now! Though there is some form of valid point to be made about all of these things, anger towards them is unnecessary, unhelpful, inappropriate or completely illogical.
Combine this condition with a teenage daughter and you have a recipe for disaster. No one at any point came along, recognised my problem and intervened. However I was fortunately powerfully motivated to do something about it on my own. My rage was passed down from my parents, and I didn't want to pass it on to another generation. I didn't want to hurt people and spend my life twisted with hate. And I wanted to help others with the same problem.
And so a long quest began to liberate myself from this bondage. At this point in the quest, I have reached certain conclusions. Firstly, rage is an intrinsic mechanism within me. It cannot be removed. However it can and absolutely must be managed. I cannot stop things making me angry, but instead of taking days to calm down I can now calm myself within 30 seconds in most cases and within minutes in the worst cases.
I have had to overhaul my belief system and learn new disciplines such as mindfulness and meditation. Most importantly I have had to develop the abilty to instantly recognise thoughts and feelings as helpful or unhelpful. Usually, I can head off reacting badly "at the pass", but certain issues and contexts cause an instant outburst. I have learned to forgive myself for such occasions. It is genuinely beyond my control and not my intention. Having "lost it" however, I have learned to find my awareness within the madness, and given a couple of minutes space can come right back down to base level rapidly.
A side-benefit from the techniques I have learned is that they work with all forms of negative thought, such as worry, fear and self-pity, and I am a much more positive optimistic person these days. In my next article, How To Stop Being Negative, I will reveal the techniques I have learned.