Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Temper, temper

I blew up the other day. It was short and sweet, but for one brief moment, I lost my temper.

This was news because I don't remember the last time I even raised my voice. I live alone. I keep things simple in my life and my relationships. I try my hardest to live according to the principals of my recovery program, which is basically live and let live. And I attempt to live a life in which I don't have to apologize, especially for my behavior. I don't generally get into situations where raising my voice in anger is at all appropriate.

They say mothers know how to push our buttons because they installed them. Well, a couple of days ago, my mom pushed my buttons. Then she pushed them again, and again, and again. Finally, I felt myself blow. Like I said, I don't remember the last time I felt such strong anger rise up within me. Fortunately, I didn't say or do anything inappropriate, but I definitely raised my voice. Boy, I was angry!

Long story short, my mom and I have since patched things up, but that anger really messed me up for awhile. I found myself surprised by the intensity of the emotion, and I worried. Almost immediately I questioned myself. I got down on myself for getting angry. "What's wrong with me, I wondered?" "Oh no, I must not be working a good recovery program!" "I must not be spiritually fit, I thought." In a nutshell, I questioned my integrity and worth as a human being. Just because I got angry!

Fortunately, I have people to talk to. I quickly consulted another recovering alcoholic. She assured me I was okay but warned me to let go, of my anger and my negative thinking, so as not to annihilate my serenity. I tried, but it took a good 24 hours to accomplish that. In the meantime, I tortured myself.

I also consulted a very close friend. After she listened to my story and to the events leading up to my eruption, she validated my anger. Then she said exactly what I needed to hear. "It's okay," She told me it was okay to have felt angry. What a revelation!

Actually, I knew that. But when I was all jumbled up in my emotional mind, I forgot. Anger is just a feeling. It's a normal human emotion. It's not good or bad. It's just a feeling. It only became bad when I attached all of my worries and judgments to it. And did that help me at all? Nope. It only made me feel worse. It kept me all jumbled up and emotional. It made an entire day much more difficult than it needed to be.

The good news is I'm un-jumbled now. I feel better. ( And I am trying hard not to get down on myself for getting down on myself!) It was an uncomfortable situation, with uncomfortable emotions, which complicated my life for 24 hours, but I've come out the other side unscathed. I am constantly learning how to live this life on life's terms. I'm not real fond of this latest lesson, but I learned from it, nonetheless.


HBF said...

Anger is a tough emotion for me to handle myself. I'm glad you were able to navigate your way back to good. Way to go reaching out for help and coming out the other end, I know it's not always easy to be kind to yourself and not ride those worries and judgments deep, down into the darkness! Way to be :o)

Anonymous said...

I have lots of guilt when I'm angry. There are no wrong emotions. They're just feedback, I tell myself. As I am more accepting of others anger toward me, I hope I can get better at accepting my own. I try not to feed a story and complicate it into unnecessary drama. Really hard though. We're not right just because we're angry either. Irene