Will Road Rage Affect My Recovery?

Will Road Rage Affect My Recovery?

Someone cuts you off on the road and what do you do? Do you chase after them and proceed to get revenge by cutting them off? Do you flip them off or do you consider that they just might be having a bad day and write it off? Road rage is a serious problem that not only causes accidents but can cause a person to increase their negativity each time they get in the car to drive. Trying to figure out what road rage is and how it could affect your recovery, whether you are the instigator or the victim, is important to discover because this type of behavior may have negative consequences for all parties involved. 

Legal troubles

Even though you may not have been under the influence while you are driving your car, you can still get arrested for driving if your road rage leads to property damage or bodily harm for another person. Imagine injuring someone or having someone injure you because you did not turn on your blinker, or if someone was tailgating you because they were trying to go faster than the speed limit you are driving. This behavior can make your insurance go up or possibly get you arrested if you injured, or worse, kill someone to make a point.

Financial problems

If you wrecked your car, or someone else’s, you will be responsible to foot the bill for any damages that you caused. Plus, if you get sued or taken into criminal or civil court, you could owe restitution for damages especially if you are found guilty of a crime. Then on top of what you would be paying to the victim, there are court costs, possible lawyer fees, community services fees, fines, probation fees, and the list goes on and on depending on the seriousness of the situation. You may think that this would not happen to you because you are not drinking and using while you are driving anymore, although you truly need to consider that there is no way for you to control the situation where road rage is concerned. 

Low self-esteem

Being in rage and getting upset over what others are “doing to you” when you drive a car is no way to live. You were meant to be happy, joyous, and free rather than being egotistical with thinking you can teach others a lesson by using a car as a weapon. Negative thinking brings about negative self-talk and negative actions that do nothing but break down your confidence which inevitably makes you lash out in road rage. Hurt people hurt people and someone with road rage is hurting and needs help to come out of whatever the root of that pain is. 

Yes, you may have gotten sober, worked the 12-Steps, and participated in therapy, but life still goes on. If you are not continuing to implement your steps, therapy, and practicing the principles in all your affairs, you will eventually go back to your old ways. Someone who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction is never cured and only arrests their addictive thinking when they are active in their recovery. Once you let down a little defense in your program, other things can creep in to try and make you sick, like road rage. This is when you would pick up your recovery tools to help you learn how to use your program with road rage.  

Breathing techniques

Obviously you cannot fully meditate while you are driving a car. Using breathing techniques to your advantage can keep you in the present moment and snap you back into reality instead of continuing to focus on your road rage. If all else fails, try using hand yoga along with your breathing instead of giving someone the bird.


Talking to someone about what is causing your road rage is crucial in making a breakthrough because there is more to road rage than just getting angry. Dealing with anxiety and stress head-on is vital so that you no longer take it out behind the wheel.  Find a type of therapy that you are interested in to help calm you down and use it to your benefit. 

The Steps

Using your step work as a guide to what is bothering you is another good idea. The 12-Steps are amazing tools to get down to causes and conditions of your fears and your resentments. These are probably the main culprits for the explosions with your road rage that need your attention.

Understanding your road rage will give you what you need to know about making changes in your life to continue to support your recovery. Character defects will continuously pop up because no one will find perfection just because they are sober. We are all flawed. Thankfully, you have a way out from under in everything you do – including taking your road rage offroading into your recovery.

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463

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