I Woke up Angry Today (And that is Fantastic News)

I Woke up Angry Today (And that is Fantastic News)

Anger sucks, but recognizing it and letting it out is a step forward

I‘ve been feeling progressively irritable in the last month and it has finally led to full on anger.

My entire body is in the midst of a rage right now and I will shortly head to the gym to beat the fuck out of a padded wall.

I’m not sure how many years have passed since I’ve felt this way, but it is definitely a feeling that is foreign to me. At some point during my 20s I worked through the anger I had as an adolescent. Anger had been overcome as I’d learned to turn it into understanding. Or, so I’d thought. I’d come to believe that this was a validation that I’d “matured.” My vision of a mature man was one who was in firm control of his emotions.

Is control of emotions not a sign of maturity?

Well, actually I  believe it is. Except I wasn’t mature and in control of my emotions at all – I simply didn’t have them. Either through subconscious avoidance or repression some emotions just weren’t present. I didn’t feel angry sure, but only because I didn’t truly value anything.

I didn’t feel much sadness or anxiety or anger or fear. Instead I felt joy, excitement, and happiness pretty much all of the time. It was easy to deal with setbacks or losses for me back then – I would just assume that other things and people would come into my life and things would be fine. I’d just start looking for the next thing and work towards it. When I got divorced I thought “why does this need to be a negative thing? Can’t it be a positive since we’ll both grow and learn from this and go on to other things?

In retrospect this was an absolutely naive thing to think and a terrible way to experience life.

I wasn’t “happy” because I had a good life that I appreciated, I was happy because I hadn’t allowed myself to value anything.  In a sense I’d just given up. Feeling so consistently happy for a sustained period of time really should have been a warning sign that I was going down the wrong path, rather than a validation that I was progressing on the correct one.

Feeling this fiery rage inside of me today is wonderful. And it’s wonderful for two reasons:

  1. It reminds me I am human and have lost something in my life worth enough to me getting angry about. Which, in turn, means that I was lucky enough to have had something in my life at one point that I valued dearly.
  2. Anger is the fourth stage in the grief process, and so it’s reassuring that anger is taking the place of  the denial, depression, and bargaining that relentlessly consumed most of my energy for the past year like a giant leech attached directly to my heart.

I’m not sure how many days, weeks, months, or years that it will take to work through this anger, but I fully intend on shit kicking punching bags until I get it out of my system. Rather than avoid this anger, calm myself, and redirect my focus on positive things – I’m going to feel it and let it consume me until it dies down on its own. Because, really, that’s the only way I’ll actually be able to move on and have the opportunity to feel a more genuine sense of peace and happiness in the future.