I’ve been uneasy–angry really–for days.
I knew I should be writing my next post, but I kept getting bogged down in my emotions.
At first I wasn’t sure why. I mean, the world is a mess, but it has been a mess now for years. There was the blight on American history that was Donald Trump, and then the pandemic with its lockdown(s).
We’ve had the horrible murders (because that’s what those were!) that drove Black Lives Matter, and then the January 6th Insurrection (because that’s what it was!).
Who can forget the continuing destruction of our Fair Earth? (What’s it gonna take, people?)
Now we have impending World War III.
On the other hand, it seems now most of the world realizes that Putin is a psychopath (except the poor Russians who are only seeing Putin propaganda and don’t see the lies).
All of this is so much to handle for any of us living through it. (It goes without saying — harder still for the people on the front lines.)
But, you know, one adapts. As each new reality unveils itself, you adjust and keep moving forward. There’s still school to take the child to and dinner to put on the table. (This really isn’t a self-care story…)
I saw this story on the news, about a B-list celebrity, Shanna Moakler, who had to be taken to the hospital after her boyfriend beat her up and then peed on her. She filed a restraining order shortly thereafter, but there he was, hacking into her social media, and posting a crazy rant about how she was the one at fault. And I got really angry. (He got arrested.)
That dude needs to catch a clue. Because if you are beating up and peeing on someone, its your own damn fault. Nobody makes you do something like that; you’re just an abusive dickhead.
And then I realized. That guy is (likely) a psychopath.
So I looked it up. There are nine traits listed in Psychology Today. Other sources have more or less, depending on how the definition is structured, but essentially the traits include:
- Uncaring nature — lack of empathy
- Lack of emotions, including shame, remorse, guilt or fear
- Irresponsibility — for example, blaming others for actions that are their fault
- Lying that ranges from superficial charm to pathological lying to conning people out of money
- Bloated sense of self-worth
- Lack of response modulation
- Inability to plan for the future
But I’m not writing about this to give airtime to psychopaths.
I’m writing because, even though I’ve done the work to heal from my own experiences with domestic violence, and more, I still get into these stages where I’m very, very angry. It is standard operating procedure for those who have suffered through trauma of any kind.
And I have to think about ways to calm myself down, because I can’t keep ranting and raving all the time. It just isn’t healthy, for myself or my family.
So I keep a (very short) list of actions I can take to chill-the-eff-out. Here are a few:
- Take a walk with my dogs. Simply getting outside and breathing fresh air helps.
- Do some sort of high-energy exercise. Skiing, hiking, or even Orangetheory work.
- Engage my senses. Listening to music and eating a piece of dark chocolate can often do the trick.
And of course for me, as an author, getting on my laptop and writing is what it is all about. There’s nothing better than pounding out a few pages to refocus my mind. This is how I pull away from anger and move towards gratitude.
And… Guess what?
Now, I’m calm.
How do you deal with feelings of frustration and anger? Join the discussion through the comments here.