And then there was the angry phase.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm’s all about.”

Haruki Murakami

I am currently recovering from my second flu bug this month – yes I am no longer on speaking terms with my immune system! However, the down time has allowed me to focus gratitude on not only my health, which we so often take for granted but also gratitude for all of the many emotional phases I have passed through – remember that roller coaster I mentioned? These emotional phases are all necessary. Not all pleasant. But all necessary.

The most unpleasant phase I went through was the angry phase. I have never been an angry person. Anger makes me uncomfortable. Whether it is coming from another source or from within me. I don’t like it. I haven’t had a lot of experience with anger from within. I don’t get angry very often. I let things bounce off me. Mostly because I just don’t believe in wasting energy on anger. It is exhausting. Life sucking. A waste.

So the anger phase was a tough one for me. I feared I was becoming something I never wanted to be. I have seen so many people carry bitterness and anger around with them from hurt. From rejection or from mistreatment. Whatever the reason.  I didn’t want to be that person.  I am a happy person.  I am a happy person because it is my favorite emotion.  I choose to be happy.  I am not good at anger and resentment.  Yet I found myself harboring that emotion far too often.  Wanting to lash out for small insignificant reasons.  Just to show people that I no longer trusted them.  Any of them. 

I lost my faith that people were honest.  That people didn’t play games.  I doubted almost everyone outside of family.  I was still a happy person but I was no longer a trusting person.  I believed people because they said they were being honest and would never lie.  I believed it and I shouldn’t have.  I believed it because I wanted to.  Because it left room for hope. 

What broke me at that time is that people just couldn’t be honest.  It saddened me, it angered me, and it broke me a little more every time.  I just didn’t want any more games.  Any. More. Bull. Shit.  I was so very very sick of it.  I just wished, still wish, that people could understand lies don’t hurt less.  They hurt more.  They are selfish. This is what made me bitter and angry.  And it scared me.  I didn’t like those emotions.  They simmered and they festered.  And they surfaced unexpectedly.  I was afraid of them and who they might make me become.  I fought them and I still fight them. But sometimes it was easy to let them win as at least the bitterness and anger protected me.  It had a purpose.  A purpose that I thought I may need to survive. So I let the phase run it’s course.

What I learned through this phase was that none of this made me feel bad about myself.  That anger can be okay. Hurt is okay. I didn’t let it win as I have come too far for that. I am no longer the person that lets other people make her feel less than.  I am a great person and I am amazing.  And I don’t care if you tell me that or if you don’t. If you think that or if you don’t. What matters most is that I believe it.

And so I made it through the anger phase. I got back to my happy place. Where I choose to be. And choice is amazing. Control is amazing. When you don’t rely on others to be in a happy place. I believe only then can you truly share your happiness with someone. Only you can make you happy. Only you can make it through each phase. It is your journey. Lead.

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