30 May 2017
When I was angry...
I found myself staring angrily at the screen last night. Scorn and rage were coming out of my fingertips and as a person I thought was my friend continued to speak ill of me behind my back and online I was ready for a full on war. Words are my weapons and I was ready to unleash the hell of verbal assault on this individual. While I was coming from a place of hurt, especially after all I had thought our friendship was, it was a dark hole and the spiral was very real. My positive outlook often can help me through these times, but last night I couldn't hear that voice, only the pain and anger built up inside me. I could feel the tears and the fear that comes from the natural reaction to being put in a position of defense and knew I could take this to a higher and more dangerous level with very little effort. It surprised me that my anger had so much energy, it took little to set me off and my foot went right to the floor for maximum acceleration. The world is full of knee jerk reactions spilling over into a terrible tailspin and that is where I was headed.
My default position used to be that kind of angry response to any kind of slight, real or imagined. I could rail for days or even weeks on my high horse and it was (and is) draining. Emotional and physical manifestations of anger take a lot out of a person, emptying you and leaving you seeking even higher levels of that emotion to sustain it. I would spiral into dangerous places in my head and that could lead to crippling anxiety and my old friend depression as I felt trapped by my own feelings and needing to strike out in any way I could. Not physically mind you, I have always been more of a talker, but I would do what I could to make sure my voice was raised and my anger known.
The last few years have taught me some sense of my own faults and I have worked very hard to address the demons I let take control for far too long. Be it my dependence on drinking to forget or hiding out in my own black space, I strived to be better and make my voice a bright one in the world. While my exploration of craft beer has led me to find new friends and experiences, there always remains a darkness in the back of my mind. Some small and unintended remark still gets my head up and looking for revenge, fight or flight engaged and my fingers poised to attack. The blindness of anger and rage give me a hyper focus that blocks out all the good I have come to know and sends the spiral into a deep and fast descent.
Such was last night...until a friend reached out and touched me in my heart. A simple message and I could feel the anger dissipating, ebbing away like a bad headache under a cool cloth. They reminded me of the innate goodness that surrounds me just by giving me back my own humanity and helping me realise what I was doing. Petty bullshit and drama is not who I am anymore and I was leaning hard into the wind with both of those. Perhaps I should just be better than that, maybe I should let go of the hate that boils up when I am pushed to my limit and beyond. Words do matter and I was using mine in all the wrong ways for worse reasons. It was almost as if by stopping me with her message, she gave me permission to let this go. I am not sure why but I just felt that way almost immediately. The wonderful thing about our social media lives, much like our real ones, is that we can just cut out the person who tries to make us come down to their level. Block, delete and walk away from the black hole that is trying to suck you in. Being prone to the darkness means I can take that turn on a dime, good friends mean I don't have to.
Thank you to the person who sent me a lifeline when I was drowning in my own vile anger and goodbye to the person whom I thought was my friend. Valuable lessons from both and while I mourn the loss of one, I am indebted to the other for letting me see myself again. Life is too short to be angry all the time and I will endeavour to remember that better next time someone tries to get me to react that way. Try to be good to each other, it really is such a beautiful way to live.