Anger

holdingontoanger

 

Today it was pointed out to me by someone who’s opinion I trust and respect, that I very rarely get angry.   This wasn’t the first time this was pointed out to me and I wanted to explore this further.   I said anger is an emotion I am not comfortable with.  I hate the emotion when it is displayed in others and especially when it’s directed at me.  I try very hard to live and act a certain way, so as not to hurt or anger anyone.  My intent is always pure and I expect others to act the same way.

But is it healthy not to get angry?  Can’t I be pure and good and nice and still display anger.  Am I harming myself  by not getting angry when it is warranted?  Shouldn’t I be angry that I am chronically ill and have no idea when (or if) I will ever return to health?  Shouldn’t I be angry that I had to stop working and go on disability?  Shouldn’t I be angry that I had to sell my co-op that I owned for 20 years and move to a neighborhood near my mom and sister, so that I had a support system near by.  Shouldn’t I be angry that I have been removed from society for 5 years and not able to move on with my live?

When I read this, I’m thinking of course I should be angry, but I’m not.  Or is this anger so suppressed  and buried deep within me, that it is keeping me ill and I don’t even know it.  It would be a lie to say that my life and my health haven’t changed for the worse, but I think I am making the best of a difficult situation and I just don’t see how being angry that this happened to me is of any use.

I grieved for the loss of my pre-illness life, as I would a loved one.  In fact, I was going through this period of mourning my old life, when my dad past, so I grieved for them both at the same time.  Just as I deeply miss my dad, I deeply miss the life I had, but as time moves on and you become more removed from the past, the new normal is your reality.  While I remember and have flashbacks of my dad when I see a mailman on the street (as that was his occupation), or when I have to parallel park (as he taught me how to expertly do that), I also have flashbacks and pangs of sadness when I think back to my working and dating days.  But not anger, never anger or rage.

I’m starting to wonder if this is normal.  I never really thought about it before like this.  What good is constantly reliving the past in our minds, it only holds us back from moving forward.  I have so many physical constraints, I don’t want to think that my mind is causing me to prolong my illness and recovery.

I strongly believe that a very important component of me getting well and feeling better is adapting to my new reality.  Even though my life is difficult, very difficult at times, I still have an inner peace that sustains me and helps me go on each day.   There are days when I feel useless and not productive, but I never feel like my life is without value or worth.

My particular chronic illness is an extremely physically draining one, but I would be foolish to think that it isn’t emotionally draining too.  The more I adapt to my current surroundings and my new limits, the happier I feel I will be.  I am very thankful, that before I became ill, I was a very resilient, easy going individual and this resilience has served me well.  I also am thankful that I have a social support system that is available to me when I speak up and ask for help.

So as suggested to me, for the next 30 days, I am going to keep a diary of situations that occur and my response to them and see if anger is warranted in any of the situations when I review the day in my diary.  I am hoping I don’t have too many entries!

 

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People that make you Feel Alone

robinwilliams

This week there has been a lot of press about Robin Williams and his unfortunate suicide.  It is very hard to hear about anybody taking their own life, but when one of the funniest men in my lifetime ends his life, it’s almost unimaginable to think about the pain this man must have been in.

Last year, someone sent me the quote I posted above and I’ve kept it and thought about it often.  I thought Robin was so right in what he said.  It’s much easier to be alone, than to feel alone when surrounded by people.  It seems weird to think that when there are other people around, you can feel lonelier than when you are actually alone, but it’s true.  I know the feeling and I think it’s because when I’m alone, I’m at peace and there are times when I’m surrounded by people but I feel turmoil.

I pick up on other people’s energy more than most and that’s why I don’t like to be around certain individuals.  Normally I am very chatty and inquisitive.  I can talk to almost anyone and make them feel at ease, except when I am around people that exude a certain type of energy… whether it’s an arrogance or a belittlement or rudeness.

It is quite clear that all living things have a life force, a life energy, that can be used to do work and make things happen. It is this creative energy that is very real, but can’t be seen.  It is obvious that Robin Williams had an abundance of creative energy.  It animated him and gave him so much life that when I watched him on television at times, it almost seemed like he was a cartoon character.

Robin was full of life, but I guess he also was full of the demons that occupy so many people’s brains.  How come some people can balance the good and the bad (because we all have that in our life) and some can’t.  What makes some of us rebound on a daily basis and others just retreat.

Yesterday,  it was revealed that Robin was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s and that he couldn’t face this newest illness.  My dad had Parkinson’s for the last 10 years of his life and it did make his life much hardier and less enjoyable, but he faced his demons daily and lived with his limits without complaining.

I am saddened that this great comedian, who seemingly had it all: money, glamour, stature, a loving family couldn’t see there was hope for him and that he had no other choice.  It makes me see how strong I am, because I suffer everyday, with no cure for my illness, yet the thought of ending my life has never once crossed my mind.  I am not passing judgement on anyone, it just pains me to think that this man felt he had nooptions.

 

Toxic People

toxicpeople

I read an interesting article this morning describing how to deal with a toxic person in your life.  It’s sad to me that the word toxic can be used to describe a person.  In my mind, anything toxic is poisonous, very harmful and can also cause death.  So why is the word toxic used to describe someone in our inner circle.

Many of us have at least one friend who can be described this way. We are so careful to remove toxic food and chemicals, second hand smoke, decrease the time spent on cell phones, wear x ray vests when visiting the dentist; yet we openly invite someone into our home that is equally as destructive.

Toxic people are good at getting what they want from you and manipulating you to the point where you begin to feel it’s your fault. They know when they’ve pushed you too far and then do something sweet and caring and get back into your life. I am speaking from experience. There is one particular person in my life that I know can be bad for me, yet at times the friendship serves a purpose and is just what I need.

The tip I am going to focus on today is to OUTGROW the DYNAMIC of the relationship.  I have tried many times to lead by example and to not stoop to their level when they get insulting or hurtful, but it hasn’t worked and I have learned that being subtle also doesn’t work with this person.  So I have given up on trying to change them and have realized that I can only affect change in myself.  If I change, then the dynamics of the relationship will have to change as I am no longer the person I was when we began this relationship.  Maybe the person won’t like who I become and the relationship will end on it’s own or maybe the person will also begin to grow and change.

While I can’t cause the other person to change, just as I am making a conscious decision to change some of my actions and behavior, they can too.  We are changing all the time, hopeful for the better!!

Happy Birthday

hbballoons

This week is my birthday  and I have a couple of little celebrations planned with a few of my friends and hopefully my body will cooperate and behave so that I am able to enjoy this week.  When I think back over the past year and think of  what has transpired, it occurs to me that basically nothing has changed, for the good or for the bad.

In one sense that’s a relief, but in another it’s a disappointment.  I can’t stand feeling like I’m not moving forward.  I need to learn and I need to experience new things this year and I’ve made a promise to myself that I will not let fear motivate me to make safe or bad choices.  I need to think about making choices that excite me and that will bring me joy and not avoid situations out of fear.

Recently Jim Carrey made a commencement speech at a University and when I listened to it my whole impression of Jim Carrey changed dramatically.  This man is profound and deep and is guided by love.  His speech has replayed in my mind many times since I’ve heard it and he is right on when he says that many people’s decisions are based on fear disguised as practicality.  He also says that you can fail at what you don’t love, just as easily as you can fail at doing something you love, so choose Love.

He’s right.  While my choices are limited these days, I still do have many choices.  I want to surround myself with positive people who encourage me to continue fighting to get well and who don’t see a sick person when they speak with me and constantly point out my limitations.  I want to surround myself with people who see possibilities in life, not live in the past constantly regretting decisions made 10 years ago.  I want to surround myself with people who are kind and loving and not people that continually hurt you and place the blame on their unhappy childhood.

So when I blow out the candles on my birthday cake and make a wish, of course my first wish will be improved health for myself and continued health for my loved ones, but my next wish will be that all my decisions this year will be coming from a place of love and not a place of fear.