From a very early age I felt that there was something not quite right with my method of thinking. As a child my mother and older siblings were always telling me that I had “a temper”. I remember this was always said after I had become very angry and yelling or throwing things. I became quieter with my “fits”, as they also ascribed to me, as I got older. I was always unhappy. I majored in Psychology in college because I thought it would help me to “fix myself.” It didn’t. I was constantly looking for a self-help book to read and at the age of 27 I began joining self-help groups. At the age of 39 I went to my first therapist. In sixteen years, I saw at least 6 therapists. There may have been more that I have forgotten about. I was also taking more Psychology classes. I learned a lot of theory from the classes, the books, the groups, and the therapists. They all helped some for short periods of time. By the time I was 56 years old I had decided there was not a lot of hope for my happiness. I decided if I could just do my best to behave appropriately in front of others that should be enough. I stopped going to classes, groups, and therapists. I read only an occasional self-help book. By this time my temper was effecting me in a bad way. I was having strong symptoms that would sometimes keep me from functioning for hours or days at a time. I often would cancel social events and call in sick at my job.
One Monday early in June 2018, I was angry at the world. I was feeling lower, I think, than I had ever felt. I went online to see if I could find something “warm and fuzzy” to read. I found something much, much better. I found RecoveryInternational.org.
I read the entire site, found out that there was going to be a face-to-face meeting the next day in San Antonio. It sounded so good. For the first time in 12 years, I felt like there was hope for me to possibly learn to be happy. I didn’t want to wait till the next day. I dialed the number that I found on the site for the main office in Chicago. I don’t remember the young lady’s name that I spoke to, but she was very nice and very helpful. I asked her if I couldn’t attend the meeting scheduled for that evening online. She told me that the online meetings were for paid members. I told her I would give her my credit card and pay for membership right then over the phone. She talked to me for a while and convinced me to attend the face-to-face meeting the next day. I did.
I never thought in the terms of “inner peace.” However, at the age of 68, with the help of RI, I began to understand the outer and inner environment, the 2 faces of temper and what it means to have true inner peace. I don’t have the debilitating symptoms that I once had. At the age of 70 I am happier than I ever remember being my entire life.
Oh, and I threw out all the self-help books except for Dr. Abraham Low’s books.
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