It seems like all I do these days is get mad at everyone and everything. I write to escape my thoughts. Weird huh?! My thoughts are my solace and my unslain (this probably isn’t a word but oh well) dragon all at the same time. Paradox, anyone?
If you have ever been in a short fuse phase type situation, you probably know what I’m talking about. For all you lucky people who haven’t, perhaps you have been around a person who turns into a thunder cloud in the blink of an eye.
What’s with the anger that threatens our very sanity?
Rearing its ugly head at every pin drop? If I was a swearing kind of girl, it’d probably have my room a nice shade of rainbow with the words it stirs up each time it comes a-calling. After moving around with my brow low enough to render my eyelids useless and a perfect sulky flavour in every conversation I had today, I’d had enough!
What’s wrong with me? Am I broken? See, I’ve been struggling with this for almost all my life (well, as far back as I can remember). Slamming doors was my forte. Arms folded, lower lip jutting out, angry breaths raising and lowering my chest were what I was known for until about four years ago.
Why am I slipping into that Armageddon again?
What went wrong? What’s not going right?! Am I being punished for something I did wrong? Desperate to find answers, I went to the place I always find what I’m looking for; Jesus’ feet. Now contrary to what I hoped I would find, the peace lasted all of 10 minutes before someone managed to stir up my anger pot.
I have been in and out of this hell countless times before, so why wasn’t the same path leading me out again! ARGH! I’m frustrated just thinking about it. For the past week, I’ve been going round in circles trying to figure out how to fix this mess my emotions are in…and then I had an epiphany!
I SET MYSELF UP FOR THIS FOUL MOOD!
Say what!!! Hell yeah!
That is the truth. And if you can identify with my struggle, think through your past week. I’ll share with you my past week.
Okay maybe a little further than a week ago, I walked away from two lucrative businesses majorly because I couldn’t quite find the reason why I had started them in the first place after attending a life changing conference Fearless #BeBrave. Feeling like a colossal failure, I turned to my coping mechanism…tonnes and tonnes of cardio until my medial meniscus got torn and I had to go for surgery. During the post-op days, I had a lot of time to think through my life and make decisions that made me a better person; shedding dead weight people and stuff. I connected with people who helped me set up all sorts of stuff; this blog, a mastermind class etcetera…Then I had to go back to school, and all hell broke loose.
I wanted me time…
…but I just could not get it without hurting one or more of the people in my life. I had started a self-development habit building program that went to the dogs once I stepped into ‘my other world’- school. It felt like my world had gone topsy-turvy. I was not reading my bible, exercise was out until approved by my doctor and physiotherapist, writing was an uphill climb…everything that I think defines me just was not going right. Frustration had reached peak levels and I had had it! As I vented one night, I realised that I have changed but was trying to fit back into a world that could no longer serve my purpose or personality the way it was now.
I had worn my nerves out just trying to be someone I no longer was. Walking on eggshells around my friends who I thought were too fragile to handle the new fearless me. Getting angry when they tried to handle me with the same kitten gloves as they had been before. I almost had a heart attack from the build-up of anger, frustration, feelings of failure and fear of regression. The build-up had me clutching my chest in bed one night wondering how I had allowed myself to fall so far back in such a short period of time. My four years of dropping the angry-girl thing I had going had been dug up and thrown out with last night’s trash in only a week! Was victory over my own emotions even a possibility?
I had given up on myself completely!
Going through the motions of my day-to-day with a smile pasted on my face as the poison seeped into my blood and spread to every part of my body. By this point, anything could anger me. Hating myself and the feeling of failure that was making itself comfortable in my chest, I decided the write this; to sort through what had really happened. Here’s what I was able to come up with;
- Lost sense of purpose
- Increased expectations from self and others it seemed
- No me time
- Dancing to other’s beats instead of my own
- Lingering sense of failure
I had forgotten how to be me for me and had focused on worrying how others would react or if they would reject me altogether because of who I had become. But here’s the thing, in your life- you’re the most important being. All your decisions should honour and bless you. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hedonist saying you are all that matters and you have free reign to do whatever you want to whoever you want because it makes you feel good.
That’s not what I am saying at all. What I am saying is, stand up for you to you. Don’t allow yourself to trample on your rights because it’ll make others feel better about themselves. Don’t try to hide who you have become (especially if it is a positive change you have been continually working on for a long time) just because it might make those around you uncomfortable.
Be unapologetically you!
But for those times when you feel yourself slipping down the anger rabbit hole, there’s a few things I do to perk up;
1. Play upbeat music.
Your brain will pick up on the happy vibe and the rest of you will follow.
2. Talk to someone about it.
It could be a friend, sibling, confidante, therapist, teacher, pastor, a willing stranger! Just talk to someone who will listen and not put you down further
3. Realise the role you have to play in your own happiness.
Your mood is 100% you. You cannot control the things that happen around you, but you can definitely control how you react be it consciously or subconsciously. The subconscious reactions can be altered with careful self-study and deliberate habit cultivation.
4. Quit the envy wagon.
It doesn’t help you at all to look at what someone else has and belittle what you have or hate the person because they got what they have now yet you haven’t. Your life journey is your own. There is an abundance that is yours and yours alone; wealth, health, name it! Sometimes it is just waiting for you to perform the right actions until they are yours. Just because someone is succeeding and you’re not doesn’t mean you’ll never succeed. Quit getting so hung up on what they have and work at getting your own.
5. Build your self-awareness.
Know what ticks you off and decide not to react with anger to it. Deliberately decide to be calm and cordial when it happens and actually follow through with the decision. Now this one is tough, but as you keep practicing it, you’ll become a master.
6. Achieve something…anything!
Let’s get those happy hormones moving in your body. Complete a task you had been putting off. Start and complete a 15-minute workout. Write that term paper you have been putting off. Organize your wardrobe. Do and accomplish anything! Adopt a child from a disadvantaged country (only if you’re willing to take care of it long term). Take a walk in the evening sun with your son or dog and bond. You get the idea! Do and achieve something…it’ll bring back your sense of purpose.
7. Shed off the expectations.
No one should have to dictate your life for you. Believe it or not, you’re the one who will be stuck living the life you don’t want to live. So make your own decisions. Obviously there is respecting the authority figures in your life; but sometime you gotta let them see reason. And I have learnt that if you explain yourself and your point of view clearly and respectfully, they will listen. They are humans too. If you find yourself stuck in that same situation, decide to make the most of it and set your own expectations within what your superiors expect such that you’re in charge of your own life.
8. Help someone.
Get out of your own mind. Help someone else feel better about themselves. It’s pretty hard to remain moody when you are being appreciated by someone for making them feel good.
9. Don’t be alone or play sad music.
Negativity feeds off of isolation and depression is sure to set in it you set the mood. Don’t give those feelings of anger to drive their roots so deep into your mind and kill your energy vibe. Play upbeat music if you’d rather not be around people but try to get back into the world as soon as possible.
Finally, and most importantly, I find that whenever I am struggling with feeling of anger and I pray, God sorts me out. It may not be immediate but he sets the wheels in motion to get you out of the pit of despair you are in. He does it for me each and every time without fail!
Thanks for ‘listening’ to me vent. I feel so much better now. The anger is gone. Time to go enjoy the rest of my evening. I hope you enjoy the rest of whatever part of the rest of your day you are in right now.
Until next time,