As I watch/deal with my brother’s anger I have to think about my own anger. I don’t get angry very often. Let me rephrase that. I used to not get angry very often. I was happy go lucky. That is until menopause kicked in. I am a little bit angrier now. I am a lot less patient and most of the time that leads to me getting angry.
At the campground this summer I couldn’t get the anti gravity chair open and almost threw it. My anger caught me off guard. My husband or brother calmly helped me open the chair. They have seen my quick temper, but my brother and sister in law have not. I was embarrassed and knew I had to get my anger under control.
At work we have a program called EAP (Employee Assistance Program) where you can get five free counseling sessions a year. I knew I needed help dealing with my anger so I called and made an appointment. My counseling session went really well. She talked to me about how to figure out what my trigger points are, what to do when I hit one of my trigger points and the steps I need to take to control my anger. I had no idea I had trigger points, but the more we talked the more I realized what a couple of them were. Stupid people. People who don’t want to work. Slow cashiers. I learned a lot about myself and my anger in that hour. I even received handouts to take home. It’s nice to be able to refer to something when I’m having anger issues. I’m a big believer in counseling. Knowledge is power. Sometimes it’s very helpful to talk to someone who doesn’t know you or your situation. I have gone to counseling to deal with things happening in my life, big and small, many times over the last twenty years. The sessions are free so I use them when I need to.
The counseling session helped. Last week I was putting away parts at work and I could feel myself getting angry because I couldn’t find the drawer they went in. I knew I had a couple of choices. I could ask for help. I could walk away and come back when I calmed down. Or I could get pissed off. I walked away for five minutes and then asked for help. I realized in my time out that getting pissed off over something so simple as not being able to find the parts I needed was really stupid. I’m glad I went to the counseling session because it really helped put things into perspective. I knew I was getting pissed off and I knew what to do about it. It ended calmly.
I often think about what my brother’s anger is doing to his health, but is my anger doing to my health? No. I think if it is it is very minimal, but I have noticed a couple of things. At the dentist office last week my blood pressure was high. They were concerned. I wasn’t. I was late because I had to stop for a train and there wasn’t any place to turn around so I had to sit and wait. Instead of using that time wisely and saying positive affirmations or doing something positive the longer I sat there the more I got pissed. The good thing is that I realized what I was doing. Not right away, but a half hour later. It’s an improvement.
I grind my teeth when I’m angry. I don’t know if this is really a health issue, but I can see on the bottom of my two front teeth where I have grinded them. I have grinded my teeth since high school and I wear a night guard at night, but in the last couple of years I can see/feel that I grind my teeth during the day — usually at work. I have a little check mark on my desk at work that reminds me to check my jaw position during the day. If I am clenching, I take a couple of deep breathes and figure out what is making me mad. Sometimes it something at work and sometimes it’s not.
I know it’s not possible to never get angry. I know that people/situations are going to piss me off. I know that when I do get angry I need to keep it under control, but sometimes that is easier said than done.
I want to get back to being happy go lucky.