Not Anger Management, But Anger Acceptance

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Thirty Eight]

I have had some very intense conversations over the past four days – two yesterday – about how angry I’ve been and I’d just like to thank my boss, my personal trainer, my life coach and my boss very much.

Because I think I’ve figured this shit out.

This anger shit, I mean.

But first the news:

I mentioned this previously, that I’m angry all the time – irritated by the slightest thing – I’m basically a teenager again.

The particularly frustrating aspect of this is that I have no idea WHY. No trigger. No looming deadline or stressor. No specific problem.

And while, yes, emotions are typically not very logical, finding the logic in them helps me Deal ™.

Let’s get down to the brass tacks, shall we?

Photo by Sarah Ardin on Unsplash

Self Sabotage and the Fear of Success

This is something I haven’t written about previously, but there’s a certain aspect of it that I’d like to explore more thoroughly – specifically, when things are going fine, is there a certain underlying fear of success?

I’d have to mull over it a bit longer to figure out some suitable experiments, but whenever life seems fine, or milestones accomplished, or smooth sailing ahead, something happens.

Part of this is LIFE.

Life is ups and downs and there will always be the ebb and flow of life, but for example, staying up a bit later instead of going to bed early because of a test the next day. Or skipping the long daily walk because your back doesn’t hurt anymore. Or when you stop taking the meds because life seems fine now.

There’s a certain complacency once you’re no longer reacting to a problem, but doing something because it Used To Be Important.

But then there’s a certain fear of success – the bar is higher now, expectations higher – now that you’ve got that promotion / raise / more responsibilities, will you be able to handle it? What if you fall apart AGAIN?

I need to mull on both of these points – I think they could be interrelated, but could be separately addressed.

Does this resonate for you? What are you doing to address it?

Maybe You’re An Angry Person These Days

I kept trying to ‘process’ my anger by observing it, feeling it, and letting it go.

And it didn’t work.

One of My People said, “…but you’re not an angry person, not normally….”

Well, actually.

I used to be? I mean, I’ve had a really rough childhood. Plenty to be angry about there. Depression and suicidal thoughts have been with me since forever – I thought it was normal until a doctor told me it wasn’t.

Oh.

But has anger always been there, too?

One of my earliest memories is of my mother losing her shit and LITERALLY flipping a table.

I burst into tears.

I think anger is what I learned. But that it’s not part of who I am. Not always.

But maybe just right now.

And that’s oke.

As long as it doesn’t reflect in how I interact with colleagues, friends, and family.

As long as I don’t flip a table in front of the kids.

What About Your Hormones?

I’m annoyed that I didn’t think of this one on my own, but someone pointed out that they were super angry and irritated as a teenager which made me think about what I was like as a teenager and YUP, that’s IT.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

And while realising that it’s those fucking hormones that are still stabilising (it takes up to three months, remember?) those other points don’t go away now.

But it definitely gives me space to accept the anger and embrace the chaos that is a steady stream of irritation and rumblings.

It’s a lot easier to take that deep breath in and let it out again when I know that there’s a possible end approaching – in another two months.

I’m the type of person who processes big ideas in my sleep, so I had a conversation, then slept on it that night, and knew whether or not it resonated by the next morning and this is the one that sank in deep.

While the others still resonated, I would wake up with, yeah, but… that’s not Everything.

And this is everything.