You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry

hulkI am filled with rage. Do I think it’s terrible that the first thing I’ve written in 2018 begins with the fact that I, right now, am a rolling pile of hostility that radiates from every point in my body? Yes, I hate that I feel that way, I hate that I’m aware I feel this way, and to be quite honest I have no idea how to fix it.

I guess I should start at the beginning. If you remember this proclamation you’ll remember that about 6 months ago I got a new job and a new apartment and there was this boy I liked and it was all fun and dandy; and it was, it really was this water shed moment in my life where I felt visible progress in this whole “adult in my late twenties” thing. I was proud of myself for my accomplishments and I felt somehow I had conquered some thing big and scary in a positive way, something that, after my depression, I was even more stunned by.

I don’t claim to know a lot of things. I’m old enough now to realize I don’t know shit and yet the one thing I do know is that change is constant and life has an ebb and flow to it when it comes to crazy life circumstances. There are moments that are triumphant and happy and great, and there are moments when things are complicated, and messy, and hard. I have learned that it’s best not to push against the ebb and flow when you’re scared or unsure, that the only way to get through the complicated, messy, hard parts is not to fight it.

Intrinsically I knew, that on the other side of all those winning moments was another low of chaos and confusion (insert Brady/Patriots analogy here) that would humble me again and give me some invisible progress in this whole, “adult in my late twenties” thing.  In my head I was prepared for another turn-my-life-upside moment but I had no idea a shit storm would come at me so quickly after.

Career drama, boy drama, ex-boy drama, family dynamic drama, a vast array of people just being their worst selves/breaking my trust around me and the never ending background noise that is our current political situation had me literally shook. In the span of September – December I spent 110% of my human energy trying to withstand the ebb and flow that is the universe/God/fate/whatever you believe in and it was hard. As a show of my growth in this whole, “adult in my late twenties” I surrendered to it and tried my best not to fight it out of fear or uncertainty and low and behold it worked! I came out the other side! I healed my heart, I stayed the course with work, I had won again! Mic Drop.

… but then the anger came, and it is not a gentle “ebb & flow” it is a tsunami of years of unprocessed anger that has literally taken over my life. I wake up angry, I go to sleep angry, 89.9% of the time at work I am angry, it never stops. It’s so intense it flows over into everything – anything! What I can only identify as a severely increased volatile state has made me feel like a different person, like a darker person. I can feel it, the anger, like poison in my body fighting tooth and nail to be seen, to be heard, to be taken seriously. At first I thought it lived only in certain situations, in the things that have happened to me over the last few months but I’m slowly coming to the realization that it goes beyond that. I am completely hulking out in my life because I have internalized anger for most of my life and it is here ready for vengeance.

I should say now that by nature I’m an incredibly passive person. Not to be confused with passive aggressive, I just all together hate being mad and enjoy keeping everyone happy.  I know that this isn’t always possible but I find, for me, confronting people never does anything but cause hurt where there doesn’t need to be.

That is my reasoning behind internalizing all my anger for so long. It sounds stupid even reading it and yet, even with rage literally coursing through my body, I feel uncomfortable and anxious with the anger creeping so close to the surface. But the truth is I’m pissed, pissed about my career, pissed about my love life, pissed about being a black woman in America and a deeper feeling that no matter how much I try, nothing ever matters.

Of course, once I realized something was off I wanted to move on to a solution. Almost anything sends me into profanity laced tirades so I thought I’d try yoga. Didn’t work, I ended up getting mad that I haven’t found the right yoga studio and, when practicing yoga found I focused more on getting there than actually being there (if that makes since to anyone but I frankly don’t care if it doesn’t). I tried meditating, didn’t work. I bought some apps and read some articles and tried to be still but every time I do the list of fucking unjust and unfair things in my life (and the world in general ) play like movie credits on repeat. I’ve tried changing my diet (as a far fetched connection to my anger) but the overwhelming stress I feel about being so goddamn angry makes me crave every carb under the sun and the extra 20 lbs. I’m already hiding on my body makes me a feel a mixture of  such sadness, helplessness, and guilt that it directly turns into even more anger.

“It’s healthy for you to be angry”, most people would say, and they would be right. A therapist can probably help me to deal with my anger more constructively moving forward, but that doesn’t help the anger that already exists back from who knows how long. I fear that if I can’t address and confront those issues I may be trapped in the anger forever, and you won’t like me when I’m angry.

 

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