I am angry a lot (too often, way too often).
I’m angry when my body can’t handle something it used to (like a speed I used to run or a workout I used to do well, or even look great/fit the right way in a dress I used to love) because I’ve been spending to much time holed up in an apartment, since there was so much I felt I couldn’t do when my PTSD was overwhelming.
I’m angry when I see Bill Cosby talk about doing a tour to help people not be accused of assault – instead of focusing on not assaulting people…
I get angry when I see photos online of people from my old class having a great time because I think that I should be there.
Sometimes I have misplaced anger at people who really haven’t done anything wrong. E.g. the people from BMI – why didn’t they stand up for me or fight for me or help protect me? Well, for one thing because they literally did not know. I know there were a million reasons not to tell anyone there. And I know that felt more protective (of myself), ultimately. But it’s this irrational anger sometimes that I don’t feel just toward them, but toward various people/things/events/places/whatever.
And that’s good to recognize and try to logic myself out of. There’s no reason to be mad at them. It’s a crummy situation, for sure, but there’s no need to be mad at them.
And then I have rational anger. It is rational to be upset about the treatment of victims in America. It is rational to be upset at this man who seemingly “ruined my life” (or at least ruined a loooooooot of things I loved about my life for the time being), and then brazenly refused to care.
But even if it’s rational, is it healthy? Is it good? Is it productive? Is it fun? Is it adding value to my life?
Some people “do anger right.” I can’t speak to their personal lives, but professionally, Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee are an example of two people who do anger beautifully. They bring us in with them. It’s not like “ooof. Why are you being this way?” Or “I’m kinda scared of you in the moment.” No. It doesn’t make you wanna turn off the TV. It makes you wanna lean in and give a standing ovation afterward.
But I’m not someone who “does anger well.” I don’t think I hold it well or express it well. It feels like a veeeery awkward unfitting thing for me. I don’t like feeling angry in person or online.
I mean, I’ll get into it over a bill on twitter. (That’s always been true.) But I want that to be kind of the exception, not the rule – not who I am.
And the anger feels like a giant cycle. I have a bad run and I’m furious this is what my life has become – I’m *furious* that things that used to not be a struggle are now a struggle. But then I think when I get angry, sometimes I struggle with those things even more. And then when I struggle even more, I’m even angrier. And it’s like this never-ending loop of anger.
So how do I stop that?
Running was how I used to get out my anger. That’s obviously not working. (And that is the best coping mechanism I have.) Soooo, what do I do when that’s not as strong as I want?
I used to make lists of all the things I was thankful for in my life – desperately reaching for anything I could, scribbling sadly, trying to take deep breaths, telling myself “everything’s okay, it’s all okay!” when it obviously wasn’t.
I’m in therapy now. That’s helpful, but a long process.
I’ve done a lot of googling and reading way too many articles about letting anger go. I’ve tried all those writing things out and tearing them up, and various other things.
And I’m still angry.
And sometimes I think, “well, when things return to normal, I’ll stop being so angry.”
But how can things “return to normal” if I’m not myself? How am I gonna get the beautiful life I was living before, if I can’t be the same open trusting happy adventurous grateful girl I was before?
So I can’t wait for things to magically change, ’cause that magic’s not coming without a force from me.
A quote I really love is that “anger is like a vessel that destroys the vessel that holds it.”
So, what am I doing semi-willingly holding this acid?
I don’t have an answer. I don’t know the answer.
I think of other new projects to do – writing thank you cards to someone everyday or other ways to show gratitude to the world. But I don’t know.
All I know is I am trying desperately to not be quite so angry. And I desperately wish I knew how to do that. Because I am *exhausted* being angry all the time…