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Women In Recovery Get To Be Angry

How do we define anger as an emotion? Anger can be defined as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility”. For many people, anger is more than that. As women, anger transcends our annoyances, our displeasures, and even our hostilities. Women’s anger is often suppressed, which creates a new anger in itself. Women experience anger in a different way than men do because the idea of aggression and the expression of aggression does not fit in with the social standard of femininity. Men- big, strong, and full of power- get angry. Women- demure, fragile, and vulnerable- do not. Women are taken care of. Women are expected to take care of others. Of this women cannot be annoyed, cannot be displeased, and cannot exhibit hostility. Many women take their lack of emotional autonomy out on themselves in an effort to spite others. Without the lifetime experience of recognizing, articulating, and expressing anger, their anger becomes something else- an alcohol problem, a drug addiction, an eating disorder, or other harmful behaviors.

Anger is a secondary emotion, which many are not aware of. All-consuming, blinding, and overwhelming anger feels primary when we experience it. Hidden beneath the surface of gurgling rage, bubbling angst, and stagnant resentment are two primary emotions: fear and sadness. Connecting to fear and sadness is a challenge for anyone who has not spent ample time working on their emotional selves. Addicts and alcoholics who have greatly rewired their brain have an especially hard time recognizing their emotions and connecting to them fully. Anger is convenient. Fear and sadness are more complex, requiring a deeper level of emotional comprehension. For women, anger is often a first experience.

Coming to recovery from alcoholism requires being “done”. Often it is said that if you aren’t “done” you aren’t ready to recover. When a woman comes to recovery, she’s “done” in many different ways. She’s done drinking. She’s done hurting herself. She’s done being disconnected from herself. She’s done being told how to feel. She’s done trying hard not to feel what she doesn’t feel she can feel to begin with. Dropping the drugs and alcohol, her emotions begin to come through. Most often, she is angry. She is sad. For many years, she’s been living in fear of herself and the world around her.

Recovery is the safe space women need to fully experience their emotions in a place where all of their emotional experiences are welcomed without judgment. Gender specific treatment gives women the sense of solidarity and sisterhood they need to realize they aren’t alone in their struggles, inside and outside of recovery. Women are empowered when they choose to get sober and begin the spiritual path of transformation.


Villa Tranquil welcomes women on their path of transformation in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida, provides a unique transitional living service, helping women continue their treatment and recovery after residential inpatient. Call us today for information: 214-799-3080.