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Clenched Fists

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I think anyone that knew me would be shocked to know how angry I am. All the time. I can feel it inside me.

I don’t even know what to do with it. I feel like it is compressed into this tight ball of pure, raw emotion. It’s boiling inside me.

I don’t act angry. I don’t seem angry. I am kind. I try to be thoughtful and considerate.

I like to think I keep it tightly wrapped up. It is usually under control. It is just another part of my personality that I hide. But lately it is feeling dangerous. Like I am walking around with an unstable nuclear reactor in me. I don’t want to lose control of it.

I am afraid I am going to hurt someone. I am afraid of my angry desires sometimes. My punching bag used to help. And yoga. And meditation. But hitting things has lost it’s appeal.

The thing about anger and nuclear reactors is that they are hard to control. And being out of control is the scariest thing ever to me.

So, ideally I need to stop being angry. I WANT to stop being angry. It’s exhausting. But I also don’t know how to let it go.

My fist has been clenched so tightly for so long. My whole life really. Holding on to that anger feels like I am holding on to my entire life. I literally do not know how to let it go. I can’t figure out how to unclench my fist.

I have been talking to my therapist about it. She says the key to working through it is finding out where it stems from. Finding out what emotions are behind it. Generally fear and sadness. And I so get that.

I know why I am mad, sad, and afraid. The injustice of my life has made me feel that way. And I know that.

But I am also weirdly afraid to go down that road. I am afraid to really examine the injustices of my life. So the real issue is, am I afraid of the examination process (which is unusual for me)? Or am I afraid of losing my anger?

In one way, I don’t know why I would be. I hate it! I am actually angry about how angry I am.

But in another way, I get it. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t angry. Sometimes, I am afraid of who I will be at the end of all this.

I know these changes are good and healthy. But trying to figure out who I am is so scary sometimes. Knowing who I am, even the bad things I don’t like, is at least a known entity.

What if my anger is what fuels my passion? My strength? My fierceness? What if without it I become some wishy-washy pushover? What if I stop liking who I become? That’s a scary, intolerable thought.

What if I do all this hard painful work and the anger is still there? What if I try and fail? What if my anger is such a facet of myself at my very core that I wind up not letting it go? What if I suffer and work for nothing?

Those things are all possibilities. And that’s a lot of fear to be carrying around in one clenched fist. But, in the other hand, I hold hope. Hope of having a life without a nuclear reactor core of anger inside me. Hope of not having to keep tolerating this intolerable anger.

And just writing about this thing that I have been so afraid to talk about has made me feel a little better.

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4 responses »

  1. Everything you say here, about fearing the process, the result, a release, or no release – these are ok feelings, these are feelings many of us also have. They are borne out of frustration and pent-up emotions and I think you have already identified that in yourself. You are on the right track. Be kind to yourself. Yes it is a battle you are going through. But trust yourself for a better future. Trust yourself that whatever the outcome, you will have grown as a person, you will still be creative, you will still be passionate, because you have felt all these driving emotions already and they are a part of you if you want them to be.
    From my own experience, the fear of losing creative impulse through changes in my emotional makeup, is unfounded. Creativity comes and goes at any time. And while you may not have the same motivations for your creativity as before, other motivations or creative avenues are revealed in time.
    Rather than living in fear and holding in the fear/anger, live in hope. Live in a belief that you can change for the better, that you can be who you want to be. Write down your future focus. Write down what you want to have, what you want to be, and leave behind what hurts and hinders you. Then move towards the goal. Give yourself space and time to get there and you may just arrive quicker than you expected.

    Reply
  2. I don’t believe that if you release your anger you will lose any of your drive / strength. Rather, you’ll be able to do even more positive things with that energy.

    Your writing is very strong. Not just the content, but also the delivery.

    I’ve been reading zenhabits.net by email every day. It’s been very helpful with anger & fear. Check it out 🙂

    Reply

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