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Hot Coals. Sunday April 17, 2016

Anger has always been behind my lows but I've been consciously determined to remain aware, alert, mindful and maintain my steadiness, allowing for small fluctuations.

Here are some of my more recent thoughts about anger.

Its natural to have feelings and to feel angry. I acknowledge it, but dont dwell on it.
When things went wrong for me in the past, I did dwell on it, always directed towards someone and eventually acted on it, usually when hormonal and stressed. A flash point where I expressed it, bluntly, damaging relationships in one way or another.

Anger is natural.

Responding angrily has never led to anything good for me. Using the energy to take positive action has, but often it hasn't been the deep personal anger that I can do that with.

Expressing anger in a safe and healthy way brings relief. If you are creative, musical or write, a trusted person who wont judge you, expressing it helps. I remain cautious though, about dwelling. Writing works for me. I blogged my rage in a Volcano metaphor on Moodscope as I thought there must be others who struggle with anger too. It was cathartic. It took me a while to get the courage to publish it. It was too raw at first. It was when I realised that it didn't define me, that I got some distance from it and let it go (to be published that is... maybe that was the point that I did "let it go") something that I'd been determined to hold on to as my only rock since childhood.

One of the recent thought for the day quotes "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Buddha couldn't be more true! It was not a rock, the "rock" was a burning hot coal. So the volcano blog helped me to drop that hot coal. It's as if my brain knew it was burning me, I felt the pain, but somehow the message "Drop it it's hot!" Couldn't be told to me, it had to be experienced and processed somehow before it registered.

I only very recently discovered that feelings come from thoughts. I am more mindful when thoughts arise and its not that I sweep them under the carpet, I just recognise them as being negative and unhelpful and choose not to repeat an old pattern. As Bear (x :)) once said when we are well these things are easier and a backup plan must be there for incase we're not.

By acknowleging the negative, repeated, 'hot' thoughts, which are there for a good reason and not my fault, I can PREVENT the thought from leading to the emotion.

Makes sense to me.

Is there a repeated hot thought pattern that you could drop "hot potato" style?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Zareen Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 6:29am

Thanks Lillypet, I found your blog on hot-coals extremely helpful. Hidden anger mulled over can and has become a raging cyclone tearing down many bridges to be rebuilt.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:09pm

A raging cyclone is a good way to describe how it feels Zareen. Maybe there's a way for us to begin to take the power/ heat out of it? LP xx

Lou Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 7:30am

Good morning Lillypet!

I have a different relationship to anger; I am learning that it is ok to feel it - it is allowed - and that there are 'safe' places where it can be expressed rather than turning it inwards against myself.

I read your comment "Couldn't be told to me, it had to be experienced and processed somehow before it registered." and it totally resonated - this is so true. Just never learn - until I have experienced it. Kind of nice to know I am not alone!

Thanks for getting me thinking this Sunday morning ;)


LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:10pm

Good for me to know that too Lou! LP xx

Angela Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 9:36am

Thank you for your blog Lillypet, I struggle with anger, mainly because I stayed with the father of my daughters for their sake. He used to threaten to go with other women if I didn't give what he wanted; he used to torment me about going to the local psychiatric unit calling it the funny farm; he would stand over me and shout, and stand over me saying " your're unstable,you're uunstable, you're unstable."
I'm sorry to offload the toxicity of my ex husband but something touched a nerve. x x Hugs for all moodscopers x

Adam Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 11:07am

Angela, that's appalling behaviour, I am so sorry. Your anger is justified but don't let it cause you harm or you suffer twice. I wish you good things for your future.

Richard Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 11:40am

Angela. Your blog is one of the bravest things I've ever seen written. It resonated with me significantly. I applaud Adam's kind words. Peace & Love, Richard.

Angela Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 1:26pm

Thank you Adam and Richard for your kind words x

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:14pm

I echo what has been said about your courage Angela. Absolutely no need to be sorry to express it on here! LP xx

Adam Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 11:04am

Great post Lillypet. My hot coal is a toxic work environment that I have stuck with for more than 10 years - yes, I know, my own stupid fault. However, I have now resolved to hand in my notice and try to recover some headspace to focus on getting well and finding a more suitable lifestyle.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:20pm

Hi Adam, I can totally relate to that. Don't give yourself a hard time for sticking it out. It's very hard to contemplate walking away from a job for our own well being. I wish you much success and fulfilment in whatever you decide to do. LP xx

Richard Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 11:28am

Thankyou Lillypet. Your hot coal metaphor is quite brilliant. I wish you a fine day.
Peace & Love,

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:22pm

Thank you Richard! It comes from a quote which I find really helpful. Peace and love to you too. LPxx

The Gardener Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 12:45pm

Hello Lillypet. Where is Bear? (you quoted). My hot potato is not anger, but mistakenly re-watching Driving Miss Daisy. Mr G has been dreadful, 12 hour non-stop harrassing and petulance. I am feeling really ill, sleeping when possible, but scared stiff for the future.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:26pm

It's not surprising that you're geeling unwell and afraid TG. Thinking about the future can be very overwhelming. Big hugs. LP xx

Anonymous Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 1:37pm

Hello Lillypet. I think, like most of us, you seem quite ambivalent about anger and expressing it. We are told that its unhealthy to repress anger and that our depression could have started at a time when we felt angry about a personal injustice but were not allowed to express it. On the other hand, I find that anger unleashed by someone else can be frightening and if it's used as a weapon or tool to get what you want, then it's not healthy at all. I hate hearing anger and prefer a quiet resolution to problems. However I probably have alot of repressed anger inside me about things that have happened to me in the past. I would never have wanted to actually express that anger in an angry way and don't want to now. I may buy myself a punch bag which I think must be a good way of channelling my anger. I feel myself getting very angry with my OH and have realised that it's better to be calm after the initial outburst. My sister tells me her tinnitus gets worse the more angry she is with her husband and I can feel myself getting breathless! So I am not sure if expressed and unleashed anger is all it's made out to be by the professionals. Thank you for a thought provoking blog Lillypet. Julxx

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:35pm

I've found the same Jul. I guess it has to be a very skilled professional who can help deal with it in the right way. In the past I've either not managed to express it to them or just got myself totally worked up and in a state by focussing on and expressing it. There has not been the long term support available that I think I need to come through it without spending a fortune, but I dont feel it'd be good to give up on it. The support and work we engage in on here has been enormously helpful though. Thanks LP xx

The Gardener Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 5:24pm

Over the past weeks dealing with OTHER peoples inefficienty I find anger carefully expressed gets results

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:37pm

That's true for me too TG, yes very carefully! LP xx

The Gardener Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 5:28pm

Lost it. Suffering impotent rage - every time I come into the kitchen Mr G has a new complaint or asksfe horrendous headaches. Walking's out, can't get away - must try deap-breathing, yoga type exercises with calming music - feel that the lid is not being kept on (title of my first blog)

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:42pm

Yes breathing from the diaphragm is said to be the fastest way to combat the stress hormones that are released when in fight or flight mode. LP xx

The Gardener Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 5:30pm

Trying to write on this lap-top, new, which loathe, perched on a dining room trolley until I can move the office is not helping.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:39pm

Technolgy can be so frustrating TG glad that it's a temporary inconvenience. LPxx

The Gardener Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 5:48pm

Angela, feel for you. My OH regards any 'mind' doctor as a quack. He has needed help for years, but takes it out on me. The huge team who are helping me (ergo us) are spoken of in a derogatory fashion as 'your gurus'. He still blames my 'moods' on depression cured 30 years ago - really good cop out.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 7:45pm

TG, it must be so difficult not to take on board what is being said even though you know it doesnt make sense. LP xx

Nicco Sun, Apr 17th 2016 @ 10:02pm

Hi - I don't often contribute to the blog as I don't feel confident enough but just wanted to say that I really resonated with your hot coals piece. I read and re-read your last paragraph where you said you can prevent the hot thought from leading to the emotion. I think I would find this very difficult as sometimes I experience the emotion before I even have the thought. Am hoping to start a course of CBT soon so maybe I can explore that more. I have periodic bouts of depression and a few long-term conditions which make me very snappy at times, and I also think my upbringing in a very violent household where I was completely powerless has something to do with my anger because, for me, there seems no happy medium - either I'm angry as hell or I'm not (I never get just a bit miffed!) And once I got to an age where I discovered I was free to let my anger out, well, god help anyone who got caught in the cross fire! I do think it's good to find healthy ways of 'letting off steam' as it were but I can't do physical stuff like use a punch bag or play squash, go for a run, etc, as I'm disabled, so it's hard for me not to mull, chew and stew! But I'm learning, and I thank god I'm learning because I want to be different to how my abusers were. I'm learning, even this late in the day, that there are socially acceptable ways of of behaving in certain situations, and for me to even know that, let alone explore them, is an amazing thing for me. Thanks for helping me a little further on with my journey. I guess it will be a life-long one!

Leah Mon, Apr 18th 2016 @ 12:25am

Nicco, What a wonderful honest piece of writing. You have revealed experiences people will be able to relate to, You have also found a few solutions for some of your problems. I look forward to more of your comments.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 8:00pm

Hi Nicco, I agree with Leah and am so glad you have commented. Yes learning is a valuable part of life. I totally get what you're saying about how quick our emotional responses can kick in. It my not seem possible to intercept them, but maybe just being determined to continue to be aware and stop them from spiralling as soon as you can will be very good practice and help us get there in the long run. All we can do is our best as soon as we can and I find that very comforting. I hope I've maked sense. So glad to hear about the advances that you are making having had such difficult circumstances to deal with. I admire the enormous strength that takes and look forward to hearing more from you Nicco. LP xx

Leah Mon, Apr 18th 2016 @ 12:26am

Thanks for such an interesting blog. People used to say I was angry when I was trying to be assertive. A person can identify an emotion in themselves but others may see it differently.
You have given me lots to think about.

LillyPet Tue, Apr 19th 2016 @ 8:02pm

Hi Leah, yes I've had that too. Or when I've tried to be assertive, it's been perceived as defensive. LP xx

LillyPet Mon, Apr 18th 2016 @ 2:32pm

Thank you for all your comments. I've been away and am looking forward to replying propery when I've caught up ! LPxx

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