The Anger Monster
"Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy." - Aristotle
Thoughts that are racing through my head
One day I was running through my endless, maddening loop of thoughts:
- I have breast cancer and I’m sick of feeling sick.
- I’m quarantined in a disastrous pandemic (after being quarantined all last year with chemo).
- It’s pouring out and my patio enclosure is leaking badly.
- I’m almost done binge-watching my backlog of good tv shows and I’m getting very anxious.
- I’ve been eating way too much ice cream
…when the phone rings. It’s a telemarketer. And I did what every expert says not to do. I picked up; even though I knew full well from Caller I.D. that it was a telemarketer. But it was one of those days. One of those days when you really want to take your anger out on someone. So I did it. I picked it up.
ME: Hello (with gritted teeth).
RECORDING: Hello, you need to extend your warranty. Press 1 to speak to an operator.
(I do not need to extend any warranty. Without hesitation, I pressed “1”.)
LIVE OPERATOR: Hello, how are you today, may we extend your warranty?
ME: If you ever call here again, I will come to find you and you will regret it. (Hung up on her.)
I am one of the most non-violent people around but I had to say what I said. It had to be done. Not only do I despise telemarketers but my anger has been building up for quite some time. Life as it is now, with its death by a thousand cuts, has added fuel to my anger fire for a while.
One of my many therapists (yes, I have several) asked me, “Where is this anger getting you?” Wow! Did he not understand me. Do you think I want this anger, buddy? You think I wake up in the morning and declare, “There’s absolutely no reason for me to be angry, but I’m gonna be angry anyway. I’m cool with the fact that I lost all my hair from chemo, I don’t mind that my nails are brittle and split, my energy level is nil, my stomach is shot, and that I’m 66 years old and am watching precious time go by. Oh, no, I’m not angry.” In all honesty, my anger is so justified and so repressed that if it were electricity, it would light up the whole planet for decades.
Some suggest I meditate, do yoga, smash lanternflies (a local insect menace - full disclosure, no one advised that). All those things work…for about a half-hour. Then I’m back to fuming.
Controlling my anger is very hard. I’ll keep trying though and will work at only taking it out on lanternflies - not making any promises though, telemarketers. By the way, I’ve heard trying to be creative helps with anger...
FURY, IRE, CHAGRIN & RAGE (A Random Haiku Written ‘Specially for the Age)
"Anger now is my
Constant companion - and
I’m so mad at it!" - by Claire Gawinowicz
Do you have an MBC mentor/mentee?