I have had a very difficult few days and a lot of the difficulties I have been facing have to do with anger. Underneath anger is truly just pain, emotional of course but when you have chronic pain anger causes pain levels to increase with a vengeance. Especially, if you are someone like myself. When someone I care for hurts me I may lose my temper and even sometimes yell but what I most often do is cry. Not little tears rolling down my face cry. Cry hard like the world is literally coming to an end and I have no control over it. I have had people in my past say: “You cry like a little baby.” That very well may be true but unfortunately I am still working on how I react to anger and emotional pain. I am a crier in general. I watch the Biggest Loser each week and forget it, an episode has yet to go by that my eyes are not filled with tears. However, those are definitely not tears of anger.
The positive self coping skills I use with chronic pain, I also use when it comes to anger: exercise, breathing exercises, meditation, and distractions. However, in the moment when I am hurt every coping mechanism goes out the window and I literally feel as if I lose days of my life. Some people say I am overly sensitive while other people say I have thick skin. It is all relative. If I love someone and they hurt me my “anger” is off the charts. If I do not really have strong feelings for a person they are most likely not going to get to me. I am only angered or hurt by the people I truly love.
The biggest problem with anger is when you are angry with yourself. Was I hurt by someone I care for this week: yes. Was that person me: no. However, in the heat of the moment and possibly the next hour or two I am only focusing on how much the person I love has hurt me. It is only later in the day or night that I begin to become angry with myself. I look back and think: I cannot believe I let this person get to me the way he or she did. I cannot believe I allowed someone to have the power of me where I lose complete control over my emotions and end up crying for a long time. I even said aloud: I hate myself. Those are three powerful words and the body hears everything the mind says. So now, I am not only “angry” with another person but worse am “angry” with myself. The cycle needs to stop.
Anger causes me to lose a lot of sleep, causes copious amounts of tears, and I lose myself in the moment and that moment becomes days. Holding onto anger whether it is someone else you are angry with or if you are angry with yourself is just awful. Underneath any mean words or negative emotions is always hurt. I will not change how much I love because that is who I am. When I love someone whether that be a family member or friend I love hard and would move mountains for that person. It also gives people I love the power to hurt me but I do not want to become a person who does not love in the fear of being hurt. However, I know I need to work a lot harder on how I react to being hurt. Managing chronic pain without medication is beyond difficult at times. I feel defeated today. It is like working up towards running a marathon and giving up five minutes from the finish line. I have been doing so damn well managing my pain naturally and I allowed anger to push me back miles.
However, acknowledging something you need to work on with or without chronic pain is a big step. Will I be hurt again, absolutely. Will I cry again, without doubt. Will I continue to be angry and hurt, possibly. It took me years to learn how to manage chronic pain naturally and be a happy person despite chronic pain. If I can get through brain surgery and live with chronic pain on a daily basis I can get a grasp on how I react to anger and pain. I hate being angry. I’m tired of looking back to each instance someone has hurt me and doing the same exact thing. Now it not only affects myself and my family but it also hurts my management of chronic pain. I cannot go to the medicine cabinet and grab a Percocet or any other pain pill. Just another lesson chronic pain has taught me. Life is way too fragile and short to allow anyone else to inflict enough “anger” on you to cause you to hate yourself. I have come too far.