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Holding onto anger
ddnos posted:
I just want to share a quote that I heard a few weeks ago that when I heard it, my ears "perked up" and I immediately wrote it down so that I wouldn't forget.

THe word "anger" is used in this quote, but it could also easily be applied to those times we choose not to forgive someone, or hate someone. This is in effect what we think is or want to happen.

"Holding onto anger is like poisoning yourself but expecting someone else to get sick."

In other words, we only hurt ourselves when we hold onto those things even though deep down inside, we think that it's hurting the person our anger or hatred is directed. Holding onto those things such as anger, hatred, unforgiveness, etc, doesn't hurt the person those feelings are directed - the poison makes us sick, not them.

It's just not worth it.

I was just recently SO angry with my tdoc about something - I mean, I think I was more angry with her than I had ever been! (just last week). We were able to talk about it via email, which she usually doesn't do; but because I was allowed the opportunity to express to her just how angry I was with her and having her respond, with each time we exchanged emails, the power of my anger began to melt. I only have one more session with her before she retires, and I do NOT want to still be holding onto that anger that day. It was perfectly ok for me to be angry about what happened, and healthy for me to talk with her about it, but to continue to hold onto it would be like the quote says, i.e. poisoning myself, but expecting my tdoc to get sick. My anger was only poisoning me.

I can happily and honestly say that with even as angry with her that I was, I'm not angry anymore, and I forgive her for what she did; and it feels good! I won't be dreading my last session with her any longer other than it will be a bitter/sweet occasion; but it won't be a session of me sitting there still fuming in my anger! Yeah!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this experience and the profound quote I heard - well, I think it's profound.

Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
slik_kitty responded:
glad you let it go.
ddnos replied to slik_kitty's response:
Thanks Kitty, me too!
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
1jeci responded:
Is there a healthy way to express anger? I know it's not good for a person to hold it in, because then it just festers, an SQ abcess which may eventually go septic. (Pardon if I use jargon; I work in veterinary medicine & that's the imagery I get). I also know that blowing up isn't usually the best thing, either.

I never learned how to express anger, frustration, being offended, personal opinions, etc. I was raised by a seriously bipolar--or maybe borderline personality--parent and keeping it all in was the only safe thing to do. Yes, I was scared half to death of them, growing up.

So now I stand, a grown adult, beginning my own family and trying to deal with/fix maladaptive coping skills and invalid/illogical world views. Oh, and Bipolar 1 and/or rapid cycling and/or mixed-episode and/or cyclothemia. (kind of a bugger to sort out, no?) I do not transmit the abuse I took (thank God!), but I still feel like a doormat.

Anyone have useful ideas? I want to let go of some things. I want to draw a line on how I will allow myself to be treated. I want to express my opinions and ideas when they differ from the "norm". I want myself and others to know how I feel and then also my desire to change negatives into positives--after all, despite my cynicism, I would like to believe that most people are more than willing to just get along and move on with Real Life.
Uglowgirl replied to 1jeci's response:
I have found that working out helps getting the frustration out. Even a brisk walk or run. But, what I have found recently, is writing down the persons name, what they did, what you could, or could not have done differently in the situation, and then pray to your higher power that "this person is sick, or has faulted me, but I forgive this person, and ask for strength the learn to just let it go. Saying it out loud helps too. I think that mentally we are giving that anger away, and somehow it works. Most likely, if it is something you are dealing with on a day to day basis, you will have to write it down again, and then say aloud the same things. Sometimes I have to do this daily. Hope this helps.
mercygive replied to 1jeci's response:
Hello 1jeci

I agree with uglowgirl that exercise and meditation can help to relieve a lot stress and when you feel physically, mentally and spiritually well your outlook on life and self-esteem will improve. You can have a loving and healthy relationship with your family because you have broken the chain of abuse. It is amazing that you are able to that because you make a daily decision to respect your family and ask the same from them. If you make a conscience effort to forgive the people who hurt you, the better you will be able to move on with your life.

I also grew up in an abusive home. I developed unhealthy coping skills. I can be withdrawn and hold my anger inward. Group therapy can be a place of trust and self-expression without judgment and help you to be more accepting of yourself and others. It takes time and practice. Aside from therapy, when I can step outside my comfort zone to be with others who share a common interest it is easier to express myself and my opinions. It goes without saying that my medications relieve my anxiety and depression which in turn helps me to deal with my anger.

I found this article that discusses the difference between anger, aggression and violence in correlation to the competitive world we live in. It helped me to define what anger is and to identify the boundaries between the three.
A little yoga goes a long way

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