Today I Feel Angry
I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or with an angry intention in my heart. I had to assist my husband with an less than pleasant task, a life lesson the “keeps on giving” so to speak. Reminding myself that taking care of this task was a step closer to the lesson being done “giving” to us, I hopped in the car and set out to get things taken care of. This was a third attempt to take care of this, and the strain of the delays was felt as soon as we saw this this was going to be a failed third event. The feelings of judgement and discrimination were palatable, and The Internet that lives in my head hurried to jump in to to tell my the reasons I shouldn’t be feeling that way that I did. It went a little something like this:
“Aren’t you glad you’re not _______ it would be so much worse if you were”,
to which I replied
“that’s terrible that others are worse off in this type of situation for things that are beyond their control, but isn’t it okay for me to feel what I’m feeling right in this moment? Do I have to spend every waking moment discounting my own feelings because of others?”
Before the Inner Internet had a chance to respond I felt the anger grow to sizable proportions that I could taste it in the back of my throat, feel in my ears, my eyes started to sting with tears of confusion, frustration, and hate. I was driving as I was being assaulted by my emotions, and found the tension in my chest growing…. The Inner Internet was back “geeze, calm down, it’s not that big of a deal. You don’t want to hold onto this anger, it’s not good for you. Why don’t you just let it go? Can’t you find the gratitude?” Adding to the chaos of the thoughts was my own inner child trying to justify the feelings to everyone who I had convinced myself deserved and explanation and justification.
I pulled into my driveway. Paused. Asked myself, what are you going to do next? I choose to find something else I was angry about, and spent 30 minutes fanning the flames, allowing the anger to join hands with fear, rapidly looking for things to confirm what I was feeling. My inner voice of reason, quietly waiting for a moment to speak, finally got the chance. “Hey girl, I can see that you’re angry and now stirring in a bunch of fear. Can I ask you something?”
“Ugh Fine! Yes what, I’m kinda in the middle of something here!”
“This anger that you’re feeling, can you use it as fuel?”
“Yes! Of course I can! Hold on though, this is a good instagram post, It’s really riled me up, I’ve got to share it. I don’t want to be alone in this anger!”
“Okay, I’ll wait.”
Rapid fire, post to stories, rapid fire think of all the people that will agree, now process all the people who might judge me and hate me even more than I’m sure they already do…
“Did that help?” My voice of reason asked.
“For a minute, the internet told me if I’m not standing up and saying something I’m part of the problem. I don’t want the others who judge me to think I’m not doing something.”
“Alright, is this the something you want to put that energy into?”
“No, but does what I want to do even matter now? I’m pretty sure the sky is falling, the only thing that seems to matter is all the drama of the world right now.”
“Hmmm, that sounds like the fear you mixed in has grabbed the mic and is taking a turn driving the boat.”
“Ugh I can’t do anything, I can’t get up off the chair, I can’t turn off Instagram, I can’t do anything today. It all feels hopeless.”
“I know you really feel that right now, but it wasn’t in charge this morning when you woke up. What changed?”
“The Anger and Fear.”
“How will holding onto that help you?”
“The anger can, it fuels me up, I can feel that adrenaline, I know it can be channeled into something productive and be released there, I know that going for a run will help, but I’m stuck.”
“For what reason are you stuck?”
“Is staying in fear helpful or hurtful?”
“it’s paralyzing me that’s what it’s doing. I know “they” say that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. And right now when I am feeling fear that is the dumbest thing ever. Who cares. What difference does it make, I guess when you’ve been able to suppress and ignore the fear you can step back to process it like that. But right now? You know what FEAR stands for to me? FREEZE, End of the World, Anxiety, RUN. Fear is not logical. Fear isn’t a neatly wrapped acronym, fear is something that I feel, and then over think, and feed and it makes me want to lay on the floor and not move cause at least then I am low to the ground and harder to see.”
“Okay, lets find the freeze then;
Now that you’re holding still can you find your breathe?
Is it in you head?
Is it fast or slow?
Deep or Shallow?
There you go, you found it.
Pay attention to how it feels in your body.
Is it speeding you up?
Slowing you down?
Now that you’re there with it can you move it lower?
Move it to your stomach, it might help to think about blowing up a balloon. You know how you want to get a super big powerful breathe so you can get as much air as possible into the balloon? Pretend that’s what you’re doing. I’m picturing a red balloon, one that’s been blown up a few times, so it’s stretched out a little. I’m drawing my breathe in and can see my stomach blowing up like a balloon, once I’ve breathed as deeply as I can I pause, almost like I’m sealing the breathe in before I blow it all out, slowly, evenly, steadily. Now my stomach is empty and the balloon is full. I pause again making sure to seal the balloon so the air doesn’t escape. I pass the balloon off, grab another one, it’s blue this time, and repeat the process. After doing this a few times can you feel your breathe? Can you sense any changes? Good keep breathing into your belly.”
The voice of reason continues; “Let’s engage your senses to find out where you are right now.
What are 5 things you can see, yes open your eyes, what can you see?
What are 5 things you can hear?
What are 5 things you can touch?
Can you smell 5 different things? 3?
What can you taste?
Now I want to help shift you from the what if’s to what is, this slows down the anxious feeling inside.
What day is it?
Do you know the date?
What is something that is happening today?
What is something you are currently working on?
Who is someone you currently enjoy spending time with?
What are you going to do later today?
Okay, do you want to go for a run at this point, this will can help with endorphins, blowing off excess steam, etc. Or would you like to take the energy that you’ve built up and put it towards another action? Is there a project that you’re working on? A load of laundry to do? A kitchen floor to mop? Become really singular and think about one small thing you can go do. Getting started is the hardest part…..