Give It Time and Think It Through
Calming Down When Tempers Flare
|Tempers Flare !|
These last few days have bombarded me with situations that left anger and frustration bubbling within me. Last night these feelings finally surfaced. I was out to dinner with my parents and their attempts to control and protect me provoked the temper I have been attempting to quell. It all began Friday at my doctor's appointment. We already know how these appointments make me feel seeing as I discussed it at length in my earlier entry Doctor of DOOM. This appointment however proved to be my worst ever. It was only a week after my previous appointment and I spent the week working to gain weight- taking supplements, eating real dinners with my mom, and walk less- and I was relatively certain that my weight had at least increased a bit. I was shocked and appalled to learn that I had in fact gained over 4 pounds in a week! I was expected an increase but this large number was too much for me to bear. I was struck with anger, sadness, frustration, and fear. I broke down in the office for the first time ever. My hysterical sobs and loud laments could be heard throughout the office and into the waiting room for all to hear.
The nurses tried to calm me down with typical comforts- "It's going to be ok," "You are all right," "Stay positive"- but their words were lost on me. I had heard all these statements before and often use them myself in attempts to calm others down. If anything it was their hugs, feelings of love, and sincerity that brought me any level of comfort. The nurses at the office know me well. They are used to my usual joking and playing around (attempts to make light of my personal situation and alleviate my anxiety.) This was the first time I ever showed sadness or anger regarding my life and personal situation and I think they were surprised to discover how much pain I am truly in deep down. After over an hour of attempting to calm down my Mother picked me up and brought me home and put the appointment and accompanying emotions aside for the remainder of the weekend. I don't have friends who I can express these situations with because they simply don't understand and I have lost too many friends over this eating disorder to risk pushing anymore away. I kept my feelings of fatness, disgust, self-hatred, fear, and sadness to myself. They did not disappear but I no longer had an outlet to discuss them with. Even my Mother did not want to talk about them. She continued to attempt to change the subject or distract me instead of just giving me what I needed- A sympathetic and loving ear for me to voice my anger.
|Sometimes we're angry when everyone else is fine-|
Ever since the appointment I have been feeling miserable about myself and my body and simply out of control. I feel as if I have been eating mass amounts ever since the appointment (although I can admit these thoughts are probably irrational) and am terrified that my weight is just going to continue to increase. This fear haunts me every moment of every day and I am forced to keep it to myself. At dinner last night I was set off by a relatively small thing and I am blaming my temper flare on the fact that I had been burying concerns from earlier in the week and the weekend. My parents came in for dinner despite the fact that I just saw them for dinner on Friday and they began discussing plans for another family meal some time this week. I love going to school close to home. Having my parents nearby is a nice comfort and a reassuring safety net if and when I need them. But I don't need them all the time. Their desires to come in for meals is coming from a place of love and concern but its results and a tense power struggle. They want to come in to see me eat not to see me. I need my independence. I need to learn to care for myself. And at the same time they must learn that they cannot control me or protect me from myself. I need to discover how to save myself, how to eat on my own, and how to stay well. I will ask them for help and support if need be as I have done in the recent past but I don't need them all the time. Their attempts to control my behaviors and health by monitoring my food in take set me off! I couldn't take it anymore. All the anger and frustration within me flared and our meal ended in familial argument. I left the restaurant fuming, refused their offer to drive me home, and walked in the drizzling rain back to my apartment. I couldn't be with them any longer because I knew the argument would only get worse. I wasn't just angry at them. I was angry at everything- my weight, G-d, my diagnosis, my disease, myself, my feelings of fullness, my feelings of failure, my life- and I needed to be by myself to think it through and give it time in order to calm down and stay cool. Ok, so I know I have written a lot but I promise this entry does have a point and theme. How do we calm down when tempers flare and put everything that is bothering us into perspective? Well of course I have a few quotes to help us answer this question-
|Time to put out the fire and stay cool-|
I have chosen four quotes this morning so I hope you can forgive the long length of this post. I couldn't choose to exclude any of them because I thought they were all too relevant and important in helping support my general themes for this post: quelling anger, forgiveness, and ultimately healing. The first quote speaks about the debilitating powers of anger-
"Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved."
- Marcus Antonius
This quotes holds so much truth that I can see within my own personal, recent situation. I was so angry over my doctor's appointment, the weight gain, my food intake and I refused to let it go. In reality I spent more time feeling "angry and griev[ing]" in the aftermath than I spent in the doctor's office. Worst of all holding onto this anger didn't only negatively impact me it hurt the people who I love and love me most. Refusing to let go or fully deal with the feelings immediately resulted in an argument that hurt both my Father and my Mother deeply. My refusal led to more anger and more frustration over an issue that probably wouldn't have bothered me so much if I hadn't been holding on to my previous emotions. This comment leads perfectly into my next quote-
|Hug it out and feel the love !|
- Walter Anderson
Last night I refused to hug either of my parents as they departed but perhaps as Anderson suggests that is exactly what I needed to do. Maybe if we hugged and showed our love for each other we would have been able to move past the anger and feel the genuine love that we all have for each other. Perhaps it is this love that mends the wounds a fight can cause. I would like to take this argument one step further and suggest that we hug ourselves every so often. (I know it sounds super corny and almost ridiculous) but maybe if we can hug ourselves and express love toward ourselves we will be able to forgive ourselves and move past the anger we feeling for our own past actions or mistakes. The next quote ties in nicely with Anderson because it reflects upon the idea of forgiveness and the gift that comes with our ability to forgive-
"The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that this situation is over, you cannot move forward."
- Steve Maraboli
As we have seen from my not so brief personal reflection holding onto anger prevents us from moving forward, enjoying and experiencing life, and can impact those around us. Harboring anger and resentment will eat us up inside. It does not dissipate it merely gets buried deeper and deeper. Eventually it will need to be released and the longer it has been sitting the more potent it is (kind of like leftovers in your refrigerator that you keep meaning to throw out.) I would like to share one more quote that relates directly to Maraboli's quote and touches upon my notion of giving it time-
|Time to put the pieces together and become "whole again."|
- Jack Canfield
I don't want to bog down Canfield's words with too much personal analysis and associations because I love the way he ends this quote and I want it to stick with us. All I'd like to offer are some words of agreement and cohesion with the variety of quotes I included today. When we are angry or upset- with others, with ourselves, with life- we must learn to let go. When our tempers flare it is best to think through the situation, give our minds and souls time to heal, and finally forgive. Once we have been able to let go of the anger, resentment, or frustration and have come to peace with who or what provoked it than as Canfield said we are ready to start our journey to becoming "whole again."
Live, love, let go, and be happy,