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!