It seems as though a month has passed since the last SEP. Gauging from the burgeoning SIB, it has been a month of Sundays since I last wrote anything. The choice to forego Friday Follies this week was very personal. Some of what has made its way to my inbox could not be spun into humor. It was only hatemail.
It is rare for me to be at a place where my body and mind are in an equally dark place, but the SIB and my left side decided to hold hands this week…and made it into a fist…and smashed me over the head. In this cloud, time seems to be standing still.
It is hard for you to gauge the passage of my time, as the posts continue to go live. Most of them were scheduled weeks and months in advance. To you, I seem active and present. Yet, I am not.
A few of you have seen me in the comments of your blogs. I was entirely random about where I went today. I did not travel my normal route around the blogosphere. I had a number of people I had not seen in a while. Some of them will never know I was there. I was merely a voyeur to the emotions on display.
There are a growing number of you who have seen me at the RP forum. I have been there at least six times per day since it opened. While engagement is still low, hits are astronomical. With more than 15,000 hits in the first week, it is becoming popular. I know better than to think the 20 members have been surfing its pages to the tune of 1,000 hits each. I have not seen it even 100 times. And I like the place.
I attempted nominal appearances on social media this week with varying degrees of success; yet, the call of my desk, editing and research has been the siren’s song which drags me back to reality. I have been neglecting all of you. In direct opposition to all the support you are giving me. It is shameful, really.
There is a reason to party coming next weekend. No, I am not only talking about Halloween. I am talking about M3′s blogoversary. The counter is a tad off. It really is next Sunday.
What would you like to see for the big day? I mean besides the flash which is already scheduled. I have an idea, but I am under the impression it is a bit bizarre…even for M3.
Oh, my word! You are the most creative and prolific flashers I have ever met! Have you seen all the new flashes? There is even an entry to the Hot Flashes! Click on the FTP page in the lower menu bar and check out how many have already gotten the quarter started like a house on fire.
There is a thread in the forum asking for your ideas for the Hot Flash segment. I would appreciate all input.
Right Turn, Clyde!
The flippin’ ape seems to be curious about something we all face to varying degrees: Anger. It is a much maligned emotion. Why?
Anger is good for a large number of things. Like everything from cheesecake to water to potassium, good things become bad things (and even terminal things) when we have them in large doses, for prolonged periods or in concert with other equally potent things.
When we are angry, we have triggered our fight or flight response. We just happen to have tripped the fight switch. In our hormone-heightened perceptions, we can mistake them for sound decision-making, logic and justification. In fact, the chemical reaction is none of those things without practice. How do you practice? Get angry.
If you were to look closely at the last time you got angry, not irritated or pet-peeve-miffed — truly angry, you could likely attribute it to grief. Since anger is one of… Wait, what? Hold the phone. Oh, for cripes’ sake. No need to kill anyone.
Grief is triggered any time we lose something. (That is not a typo. Something.) That is everything from not getting the results we expect on the job, losing the camaraderie of a colleague and even simple things like losing a set of keys. How?
Job: Failure gives us a sense of loss because we feel the portion of ourselves in which we invested the faith of success has now left the building…without us.
Friend: Loss of the human touch of conversation, communication (They are different.) and camaraderie does not need to have the finality of death to signal the end (loss) of a friendship.
Keys: Much like the job scenario, loss of self-esteem is intricately woven into loss of everyday objects left in our charge.
Back to anger…
Anger is a natural part of the grieving process. It is a big step toward healing because it is where we turn the depression (sadness turned inside) outside and point it in the direction of something/one outside our skins. Chances are good it is even aimed at the person who caused the emotion.
Anger is to be welcomed because it is a release of the sadness. Rather than turning all of the hurt internally, it is focusing the hurt toward the outside. Venting anger leaves more room for positive emotions. Moving the emotions from only internal to external makes them easier for others to help you manage. It puts them on display for easier identification by those who want to help you. Anger is a far more active emotion than the loneliness and isolation of sadness.” ~ Killing Us Softly
Venting it burns calories and helps our bodies cope with the chemical warfare in our brains. It becomes very simple for those who love us (or at least marginally care enough to not want us to hurt) to help us work through the emotion.
You understand this position. Disappointment bites. When you were a child, there was an adult in your life you would have given your baseball card collection, your piggy bank and your doll not to disappoint. If they were angry, you knew how to mollify the emotion:
- Being helpful in unrelated matters
- Highlighting your success
- Participating in their success
- Being comical
- Engaging their help
It is easy to commiserate with someone who is angry, which is far more unifying than empathy or sympathy with depression, sadness or hurt. Empathy and sympathy both create a wall which says:
I love you and want better for you, but I cannot go there with you. I can only wait for you until you get back.”
Anger is often symbolized by fire. We tend to think of anger as hot because indeed it raises our body temperature (see chemical warfare and calorie burning), it heightens our senses (ears burning, eyes wide=more irritants…burning) and makes us move more quickly (butt on fire). What else is fire?
We light fires to bring our lost home, as a beacon. We light fires to banish darkness, allaying fears. We light fires to cook food, sustenance to survive. We light fires to create warmth, survival from the cold. Fire happens to be a good thing.
Even the fire of anger is a good thing. Use the excess energy from the fire to channel into success. It happens to be your inner fuel. Do not trip at the finish line. Do not sit there shivering in the shadows afraid of being caught on fire. Do not let it smolder until it goes out.
You are the fire.
Stoke it. Toss on any other negative emotions you have lying around. Make it big and bright. Banish the cold darkness of loss, loneliness and failure.
Bring marshmallows and brats. Roast them. Have a barbecue. Make S’mores. Feed your soul.
Fan it with a blanket. Send smoke signals letting others know you are coping, healing, growing. Let them know you are controlling it. It is not controlling you. And they are not adding fuel to your fire. You are not a victim.
Centuries of your ancestors have celebrated with fire. Whether it was aboriginal bonfires or fireworks, we celebrate with fire. You do not need rhythm to dance around a celebratory fire. Even white folk can do it.
Until next time,
Have you ever used anger to your advantage? Have you ever celebrated with fire? Did you realize anger was a healthy response to grieving? What should we do for the blogoversary party?
Disclaimer: If your anger lasts more than a few hours or continues from one day into the next or leads to thoughts of suicide or harming others, see a mental health care professional immediately.
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
Killing Us Softly: Becoming the Surviving Spouse of Cancer
(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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