“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” Aristotle
This week I have been angry. I think it all started with my overwhelming day on Monday when I had my eggs retrieved and then had a very long oncologist appointment where I set up my chemo date. Then I was talking to my landlord who was asking how I was. I very casually and happily (a defense mechanism) let him know that I was healing well and would be starting treatment soon. He then proceeded to tell me that chemo was no good and that it was just poison and not necessary. I tried to tell him that I think my doctors knew best but he was insistent, to the point of overstepping his bounds. I got angry, told him I couldn’t talk anymore, got into the car with Ken and drove away. I was livid!!!!!!!!!
It all went downhill from there. All week I have been snapping at Ken and my family who don’t deserve to be snapped at. For example, this morning I yelled at Ken because I though he wasn’t helping me find my notebook which I had misplaced. I mean, really. Stupid shit like that. Ken and my family been wonderful and supportive but the smallest things have set me off. What I perceive to be the wrong tone or a disagreement has sent me either into a rage or completely closed me off.
Anger can be a good thing for me. I often turn it into productivity. It lights a fire under me and I get inspired, creative and focused. I do some of my best work after something or someone has pissed me off. But then there’s the flip side. When I’m angry I can be hurtful to the ones I love the most. My fuse is short and my explosion is thunderous.
So what do I do? I have every right to be angry right now. I have cancer and I shouldn’t. It sucks completely and totally. It is controlling my life; my time, my space, my body, my work, my creativity, my focus, my sense of control, my sense of humor, my sex life, my private time (what private time?), my personal space, my dignity, my emotions, my sanity… But the anger has affected not only myself and my mood but also the people I love. How do I deal with anger when angry is exactly how I should be feeling? How am I going to get through a year of total suck when oftentimes I will be really fucking angry without damaging relationships?