I have an anger problem. This isn’t news to me. I have known since around the fifth grade. Pretty much the entire year I was in fifth grade, I saw a counselor for anger management. Sometimes I was taken out of class for it, other times I went to the actual office location of the therapist. Do you want to know the worst part? None of it helped. None. I spent a year learning coping mechanisms, controlled energy release techniques, things like that, and none of them kicked in.
Well, that’s not true. Most of them kicked it, but they waited until I was a decade older and had no idea what took them so long before they did so. I’m not saying they were a day late and a dollar short, but… their timing was imperfect and they had not the currency required. I used to hit things, throw things, hit things, attempt to break things by throwing things at them, often hoping to also break the thing that was flying in the process. I wasn’t a happy child, right then.
So, you may be wondering what changed ten years later when the “education” kicked in, and it’s really simple. I realized something about what I was being taught that I never caught on to when I was with the therapist: none of the things I was being taught, and encouraged, to do were to suppress or remove the anger. They, instead, funnel that anger into a specific activity, hopefully non-violent, to remove it from the equation as much as possible. They were trying to let me know that anger isn’t just inescapable but expected, and in many cases acceptable. Anger will exist, often more so when we try to run from it, but if we decide to release it in non-devastating ways, it can be effective as a motivational tool, or the push to do that thing you’ve been putting off. On the other hand, if we bottle it up, we risk detonation, and whether that explosion is internal or external will determine the fallout.
I just had to learn one thing. Anger, in and of itself, is not bad. Making poor choices while angry, that’s bad. Blaming your actions on your anger, as if that means you don’t have to take responsibility for them, is also bad. If you are angry all the time, that is also bad. You can’t use it as a crutch, or rely on it to help you do things you don’t think you can do otherwise, because anger is just an emotion. It is often fleeting, and whimsical. Pinning your hopes and dreams on temporary emotions is not something I would ever advise, just as I would never advise you to rely on an emotion to be there when you need a boost, because there is a good chance it will not be there. Emotion is illogical, and emotion makes us human. Embrace it, but do it the way that funnels the extremes out.
P.S.: Sorry this is out a day late, and that I missed a day. That is what terrible sleeping patterns will do to you… I’m going to attempt to make up that lost prompt.