Working With My Anger

I awoke this morning to the most intense and latent rage I had experienced in years. I just wanted to punch everything and anything in the face. I was twitchy and bitchy and generally horrible to be around. So I watched the London marathon and then went running myself. I ran until I was too tired to be angry anymore because at this point my legs had forgotten how to be legs, let alone consider the possibility of kicking the shit out of someone.

I don’t deal well with anger. Happiness, excitement, depression, fear – I can take all these in my stride. Anger is something I tend to avoid, something to bury deep down until inevitably I have a fiery outburst and the poor person on the receiving end is wondering why I am getting so aggressive about milk in my tea.

I avoid anger for so many reasons. Some of it is to do with my fear of being disliked, some of it is to do with the moments in the past where I was on the fast track to violence. This leads to passive-aggressiveness, bitchiness, and hours of frustration. Maybe its the Dalai Lama book I’m reading, or maybe it was the straight up honesty of my best friend/wife, but for once, I did something other than bitch. (After I had had a few rants of course.)

On my long run, I was thinking about why I was so pissed. I blared out some Slipknot, pounded the pavement and systematically went through the reasons behind why I was so enraged.

Its been an emotional two weeks – I had issues in work, issues with friends, college work starting to pile up. I could only keep going for so long. But instead of addressing any of these issues, I allowed myself to become completely demotivated, ate with the reckless abandon of a 13 year old boy, lounged on the couch instead of running, and listened as my brain suggested various combinations of starving, throwing up, alcohol and self destruction. Like I said, it was a hard few weeks.

So this morning, I broke down the incident that sparked my mini downturn. My initial response was to blame the other party. After all, he was the one acting like an idiot. But I had been doing this for days and it wasn’t getting me anywhere. So maybe, just maybe, I needed to look at me.

There are two ways of going about this. The first way was to think: this happened because I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, too boring, too needy, too whatever-negative-quality and to berate myself, idealise my ED, drink myself into a stupor and huddle up into the foetal position until someone looked past all this and decided to fall in love with me.

The second way was to look at the facts. Starting with the positive: although I had lapsed into some comfort eating, I had fought through my ED compulsions and other self destructive thinking. Some less pleasant facts: I had been whining for a week and had only just realised that the person I was the most mad at was me. Mad because I had made the same mistake again, mad because I took people’s cruelty to heart, mad because I wasn’t strong enough to just get over it.

So what can I do? Well for one, I can accept that making the same mistake is pushing me to finally change a relationship that was perhaps more unhealthy than I had first realised and that it is going to painful and shit. I can stop punishing myself for being hurt but I can stop letting it dictate my entire day’s mood. I can accept that I won’t always be treated in the way I would prefer but complaining about it is just adding to the number of people who acting like douchelords.

There is no real conclusion to this because I’m still waiting for my epiphany to put up its hand and make itself known. But at least I won’t be arrested for assault this way.

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