Last year a friend hurt me worse than anyone’s hurt me in years. As I was stomping around shouting, Bloody Good Chap commented
“Wow, I’ve never seen you this angry Dre.”
I paused, mid stomp, and agreed. It was like I was going back to my pre-mindfulness ways, letting my anger take me over and cloud my judgement. I laughed at myself with BGC.
Then I continued stomping.
My go to is anger – when I’m hurt or feeling vulnerable, I get angry.
And only later do I erupt in tears and realise I’m not angry, I’m sad.
But initially, I just wanted to kick things. Actually I wanted to kick my friend. And never speak to her again. Ever. Like, never ever. Like a tantrumy little child.
Eventually though, the anger subsided and I asked myself what was going on for her.
When I stopped taking it so personally for a second, I found that there were many likely reasons for why she had hurt me, none of which have much to do with me personally.
Only hurting people hurt people.
I know my friend had some major stuff going on in her life that she didn’t want to fully address, and she was pushing me and others away to protect herself from facing it.
A few months after the hurt started, there was still bits of unresolved anger left, and it was still affecting my day to day thoughts, so I wrote this friend a 4 page letter with everything I wanted to say (it was very, very angry. A lot of swearing).
Then I deleted it.
I felt like a huge weight of fucked-off-ness was lifted off my shoulders.
It also became clear that my anger was nothing to do with her, and everything to do with me being triggered back to a situation when I was bullied in high school by three female “friends”.
I didn’t know how to process emotions back then, so they lingered until this friend added one small straw to the haystack, and the camel’s back broke, or whatever.
Unprocessed emotions are like the lava in a dormant volcano,
it’s eventually going to come out- you can either get it out yourself in writing, speaking to a coach or therapist, or punching a pillow, or you can suppress it until more and more lava builds up and the pressure eventually makes your anger or hurt erupt uncontrollably, burning yourself and everyone around you, likely in an inappropriate moment or situation.
So if something is really niggling or triggering you lately:
Get yourself a notebook. Or a keyboard.
Write and write until you can’t write no more. Don’t hold back.
If your rage or hurt needs some physical expression, punch a pillow, shout, throw things, stomp, scream, do whatever you can to express it fully. Preferably when alone, depending on the openness of your housemates.
If it still lingers, consider a session with a life coach, counsellor, psychologist, energy healer, or crystal ball reiki master tarot ninja, whatever floats your particular boat.
I used to bottle everything up and I was pretty sure that was the best option.
Until I realised that I’d created a numb, closed life for myself, and I stopped enjoying anything.
To live a bloody good life you’ve got to learn to feel and express all emotions, the good with the bad.
My control freak self is still pretty pissed about this fact, but I’m getting used to learning to express my emotions rather than shoving them under the very ineffective metaphorical carpet.
If you’re feeling a bit miffed at anyone or anything lately and you tend to shove these things down –
ask yourself, is bottling it helping you get over it faster?
Is it still badgering you passive aggressively in your head, over and over?
Go and get that notebook.