DAY 73: Seeking ANGER MANAGEMENT

12 Nov

MY rage is as perilously close to the surface as a fart in a bath; liable to pop and ruin the mood at any second.

I don’t often take it out on other people, although on the occasions I have I count myself very lucky they haven’t clobbered me back – with the exception of one high-spirited street brawl, where they did. But any inanimate objects around me get what for, and have done since I was a child – which was awkward, as I was an animatist and afterwards I’d have to go around patting and apologising to skirting boards and brutally biro-stabbed maths books.

My seething disappointment almost got me arrested at 18 when I vandalised a phone box in a lather because I couldn’t get it to work. Instead, the police asked my mother to come and get me. What does a girl have to do to get taken seriously? I’m pretty sure if I was a bloke I would have been banged up by now, and I’m pretty sure I’d crumble like a fondant fancy after just one day in jail.

My temperament’s way better in my thirties, but still, my shaking-fist-at-sky moments are bugging me, so I decide to seek out help online through a number of anger management forums.

They’re highly strung places, unsurprisingly. Logging onto the first, one guy is indulging in a thinly disguised brag about giving someone a beating the night before – lingering lovingly on every blow.

“You are retarded and an alcoholic,” comes a terse reply. “A R-E-T-A-R-D. Glad I could help.”

Jeez, I hope that respondent doesn’t step up to help me.

“The symptoms you describe sound as though they’re at the high-functioning end of autism,” says ‘Candid’ on one board after I describe my ish-ewes. Isn’t calling someone autistic the new ADD though? Gets bandied around an awful lot.

Jeff, on another board, advises me to come up with a code word that non-inanimate objects can hiss at me when I get riled up. This, he reckons, is better than the ever-inflammatory “calm down”… but I have a sneaking suspicion someone using a codeword on me might have the exact same effect. Maybe I’ll mutter a quiet prayer for the person, as 12-step help groups recommend.

For the inanimate objects problem… well, first off I’m going to try and not take things so personally – if the printer gets jammed, for example, realistically it’s not doing it just to wind me up – and secondly I’m going to stick money in a swear box for every ladypart I list at the top of my lungs. The money has to go to charity, otherwise I’d just be lining my own pockets.

Some forum posters suggest an all-natural hypoglycemic diet – basically no sugar or caffeine, and eating as close to real, untreated food as possible – which I have noticed works, but really sucks. I’ve also sent off for a rock salt crystal lamp, which floods a room with negative ions when all the positive ions from electrical appliances and looming storms (looming storms send me particularly nutso) are getting you all wound up.

There’s free anger management counselling available at Psych Resources. It’s all about listening to what your anger has to say (other than “That’d be about right, you absolute %$#ing %#$@!” and other quaint Basil Fawltyisms). There are a series of questions to help you find your “unique emotional truth”, and you can then post this truth at the end, which I do.

Keeper? Yes.

Hey – I asked people what calming code word(s) they’d come up with, and they said: “bunnies”, “puppies”, “boobies”, “take the day off work”, “easy, tiger”, “rotary engine”, “aaaagaadoodoodoo”, “you are right I am wrong”, “serenity now”… What would you suggest? Comment below. (Please.)

2 Responses to “DAY 73: Seeking ANGER MANAGEMENT”

  1. loupardi November 15, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    codeword: “gosh,you’resexywhenyou’reangryaren’tyou?”

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