Managing Anger on the Road to Sobriety With Gillian Tietz
April 22, 2024

Managing Anger on the Road to Sobriety With Gillian Tietz

In today’s episode of Sisters in Sobriety, Kathleen and Sonia delve into the critical connection between anger management and recovery. They are joined by Gill Tietz, an educator, who sheds light on how anger can act as a major hurdle on the path to recovery, its origins, and the practical steps to navigate it. This discussion promises to enlighten listeners on dealing with anger in healthy ways, especially within the context of overcoming addiction.

The episode is an insightful discussion on the prevalence of anger among individuals struggling with addiction, exploring why anger is often a secondary emotion masking deeper issues such as shame, pain, or humiliation. Gill emphasizes the importance of recognizing anger's roots and provides practical advice for managing it effectively. Listeners will be intrigued by the exploration of questions like how prevalent is anger in those dealing with addiction, in what forms does it manifest, and why is it considered a significant trigger for relapse?

Listeners can expect to walk away with valuable knowledge on identifying and managing anger, understanding its impact on recovery, and learning coping strategies to navigate through the emotions underlying anger. The conversation will cover key concepts such as the importance of acknowledging anger as a secondary emotion, the role of empathy and humor in anger management, and the crucial steps towards recognizing and managing one's anger in the journey of recovery. The discussion also highlights the significance of self-esteem work in addressing the root causes of anger.

Gillian Tietz, host of the Sober Powered Podcast and a chemistry professor with a specialization in biochemistry, brings her personal experience and scientific expertise to the table. Having started her podcast to share how she overcame her struggle with alcohol using her scientific background, Gill offers a perspective that is educational, empowering, and deeply personal. 

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  • [00:02:42] Gill explains anger as a secondary emotion, hinting at deeper, more uncomfortable feelings that lead to anger.
  • [00:04:03] The conversation touches on the ironic behavior of 'drinking at people' as a misguided attempt to manage anger.
  • [00:04:48] The first steps towards recognizing and managing anger in recovery are outlined by Gill, emphasizing awareness and coping skills.
  • [00:07:26] Gill shares unique anger management techniques, including the use of humor to diffuse anger.
  • [00:10:16] A shift in demeanor, from tension to calmness, is highlighted as a visible sign of progress in managing anger.
  • [00:13:32] The role of family and friends in supporting loved ones through their anger is discussed, with validation and humor being key.
  • [00:15:38] The episode delves into how anger can act as a barrier to seeking help and acknowledging addiction issues.
  • [00:18:29] Forgiveness's place in managing anger and facilitating recovery is pondered, emphasizing the difficulty but necessity of the process.
  • [00:20:35] Gill defines crisis intervention within the context of addiction recovery, painting a vivid picture of the aim and process.
  • [00:23:24] Real-life applications of crisis intervention strategies are shared, illustrating the importance of staying calm and regulated.
  • [00:26:47] A family's intervention experience is recounted, showcasing the power of calmness and brevity in communication.
  • [00:31:04] Triggers that might precipitate a crisis needing intervention are explored, with unmet basic needs being a common theme.
  • [00:34:06] Gill teases potential projects, including refining her anger management program and the idea of writing a book.
  • [00:36:15] How to sign up for Gill’s upcoming anger management course is shared, pointing listeners to useful resources.


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