COPING WITH ANGER
As I have talked about in the past, I’m taking DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) to help me with managing my emotions, coping during stressful times and creating healthy interpersonal relationships. During the session yesterday, we did a script of what we could say to someone to get them to change the Behaviour that is bothering us. For example, I struggle to get my 16 year old to help with household chores. She doesn’t have a lot to do – I ask her to pick up after herself and clean the main bathroom once a week.
Well you would think that coming up with a dialogue and then using it on her wouldn’t be that difficult. WRONG! As I was working on it, I felt intense feelings of frustration and anger. I have been feeling overwhelmed the last week and I realized that my family don’t really help out that much at home. I think their attitude is that if I’m home all day, I should do everything.
Yes I am home most of the time but for medical reasons. I cannot work right now due to my mental illness, yet my family seems to treat me like I’m on vacation. I don’t mind nurturing my family because it gives me a sense of purpose so I enjoy cooking and yes even keeping a clean home for them. What I don’t enjoy is laundry dropped wherever, dirty dishes left all over the place and nobody volunteering to ever scoop the cat boxes. I feel like a maid!!
Recovery is exhausting. It’s a drain on a person physically and mentally. When I felt the anger brewing inside of me, it led to me feeling anxious about the anger. The very core of me struggles with the emotion of anger and I rarely express it assertively. Instead I use passive aggressive ways to try and get my point across and I’m understanding that its not working for me. I have to learn to express my anger to the person who is making me feel angry and try to resolve the situation and maintain the relationship.
Learning to rewire the brain is challenging but possible. It takes a lot of commitment to wanting to find new and healthy ways of coping with my emotions. I’m always going to feel emotions intensely and be sensitive, but with DBT I am learning to cope with and work with the emotions.
Anger is healthy. Expressing it appropriately is healthy. Holding it in and exploding is unhealthy. Sounds simple.