What to do with anger


If you’re Wolverine, you start kicking ass. If you’re me, apparently you write blogs.

At the risk of sounding repetitive or uninteresting, I am clearly still not over the feelings I began to express in my diatribe against romance in yesterday’s post.

Everyone deals with loss, heartbreak, or some other emotional trauma differently. As difficult as this is for me to say when I am in such an emotional state, everyone has their own way of dealing with things and that in and of itself is not invalid. How one reacts is difficult to predict. It becomes more difficult to see things from other perspectives when you’re hurting, especially the perspective of the person involved with hurting you in the first place.

For me, what I have left to deal with now is a lot of anger. Some of this is reactionary anger, almost like a self-defense mechanism to protect me from further harm. Most of it is rooted deep, based on a lot of bad memories, bad experiences, resentment, perhaps even some self-righteous indignation, the sense that the hurt inflicted on me is a form of injustice. That last statement may seem excessive, as it does come from an irrational state.

So regardless then of whether your anger comes from heartbreak, or from social outrage, or because someone did something horrible to you or someone you care about, what do you do with it? As an introvert this is an especially taxing question, because we have a propensity for letting feelings bottle up, only to explode at an unfortunate moment when we finally lose control of our emotional leashes. Also, introverts draw their energy from within, not from outside, but when the source of your anger and torment comes from within as well, for me right now in the form of memories and a lot of unanswered questions, this becomes a big problem.

Writing seems to be the only outlet I have at the moment, the only thing I can focus my mind on that doesn’t then drift off to thoughts of her. Music is not readily available to me; the instruments I have access to play sometimes are not at home. But is this enough? I have spent the better part of the last two days writing thoughts, some of them really jaded and cynical and some even full of bile, yet I don’t feel as though I’ve exorcised my feelings of outrage, like the world is out of balance and I can’t rest easy until the scales are made equal again.

I have a plan that involves a lot of physical exertion, exercise, hiking, spelunking in the great outdoors. My hope is that this return to being more physically active (something I’ve had trouble with working the job I do) will help channel the rage I have inside in a direction that won’t be self-destructive.

My hope in writing this, aside from seeking some form of catharsis, is that if by chance you actually read this and maybe are feeling the way I do, you might take some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this. Maybe I can share something that helps you find your own way of dealing with your pain. Or you might share with me your own experience of what helped you.

Anger is not automatically a bad thing. It gets a pretty bad rep in our culture, despite the way we Americans glorify violence and war. Sometimes anger can protect us or those we care for. Sometimes it can correct an injustice. Also… sometimes it can make you say some mean, hurtful things that, even if there is truth within the words, it still causes damage to the person reading it or hearing it. Such is my case. Said case becomes even worse when at the end, you don’t feel like you came away from it all with any greater understanding of what the person who hurt you is thinking, or that they really grasp why you are so hurt or why you think the way you do. The sobering reality is that heartbreak makes you lose the ability to empathize, it narrows your perspective, it makes impulsive decisions and impulsive words seem like good ideas.

Now I have a deeply rooted cache of feelings, a maelstrom of emotions brewing beneath the surface, with scarcely anything to act as a pressure release. Another hope in this blogging journey of mine is to find answers, and to be the person who can be a reminder to others enduring the same struggle that you are not alone in this.


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