Sometimes, I like feeling angry. It’s comforting and familiar. Joy is fleeting, spurred by highly inflated moments that are fleeting in time. But anger, the deep kind that builds walls around your heart and shades your view of the World…that’s easy. It’s like a big fuzzy blanket wrapped around your body on a cold Winter night. It keeps you warm and coddled. Sticking your toe out to feel the frigid chill reminds you it’s better, safer, inside the blanket.
The problem with constant, self-indulging anger is that it leads to resentment. And resentment leads to doing and saying shit that your heart doesn’t truly mean or want. It leads to setting others up for failure so you can get the satisfaction of telling yourself “I told you so”. And it’s incredibly toxic. Toxic to your mental health. Toxic to your physical health. Toxic to your relationships.
Anger is also the second stage of the grieving process. According to a bunch of super intelligent psychiatrists, we go through five stages of grief when processing some kind of trauma in our life. Sometimes that process can be quick, sometime it can take a lifetime. So you may be wondering, what are those five stages? The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, hopefully…acceptance.
But the fun part of the process…the part that makes your head spin and is a blatant definition of insanity…is that you can cycle through these stages over, and over, and over again. Until you find something that helps you truly process your experience and successfully move on to the next stage. In the last several years, I’ve talked to a bunch of different types of therapists, coaches, and even friends. Each one offered me a tidbit of sanity to process my anxiety, anger, and depression. In this moment in time, I can say I’m moving past the anger stage but boy oh boy am I bargaining. Currently bargaining with myself the most, and also my husband…it’s driving my husband crazy (it’s a good thing he loves me unconditionally), but there’s progress.
So my little piece of advice to you, if you’re processing some kind of life trauma and feeling anxiety, depression, and anger fill your soul, don’t give up! Keep working at it! Even if it feels you’re going around in circles and there’s no progress. Because every single step forward, even if it’s a side step, is progress. Every nugget of enlightenment is a new door that might spark new awareness. Like a ten-thousand piece puzzle…just keep arranging the pieces until you start seeing the bigger picture.