Anger and depression
I've spent a lot of time being angry. Angry at politics, angry at inequality, angry at bullying, angry at losing something small, angry at people close to me and angry at strangers. Just angry, angry, angry. Something as simple as losing my keys would send me into a fit of rage, throwing things around the room, screaming slamming doors, crying and telling myself I was a loser and a failure in life.
I'm examining everything closely now and looking back I now realise this extreme irritability was possibly associated with depression. In reality, I never had depressive episodes where everything felt pointless, dark and that I no longer belonged here, it was more subtle than that, the irritability being one of the main symptoms. I would laugh it off, putting it down to being fiery and Scottish. It would be part of my 'charm' that I had a short fuse and that I was scary when I was angry. The trouble was, it wasn't funny or charming. It was stupid and dangerous. Having this as a personality trait took on a life of itself, whenever rage brewed beneath the surface something else would happen. I would start telling myself it's because I'm a horrible person, I was a failure, that bad luck followed me everywhere and no matter what I did it I would always, always be a loser - the last to finish the race. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy, the slightest thing would set me off and everything would fall apart. The angrier I got, the worse I felt about myself and the worse I felt, the angrier I would become.
And then, the tears.
All of a sudden all the anger and the negative self talk would just be too much and any little thing would set me off. Mostly, an untidy house. Anything that was a mess suddenly became a massive deal. You remember in the Labyrinth when Sarah ends up in her room with The Junk Lady? At the end of the scene she starts tearing things apart, that was me. And it pretty much would happen like clockwork every few weeks. Tears, anger, hopelessness, catastrophising and telling myself I deserve horrible things to happen to me because I was a dirty, messy tramp.
Yeah! Extreme right? Look, as I always go back to, I don't have the answers. But, if anger is starting to be something that hangs around way longer than it should - it could be a telling symptom things aren't right in the upstairs department. It a revolving cycle that's hard to break, much like my OCD health anxiety. It also adds one more thing to your box of pleasantries - guilt. Feeling guilty because you've lashed out will only perpetuate the overall bleakness of the situation. Depression just makes handling emotions, whatever they may be, harder and harder and harder.
One thing I did to reduce my anger was ditching alcohol. I'm not going to apologise for this being something I advocate. I do and I'll mention it a lot. It causes chemical changes in the brain which while we feel relaxed during a 'sesh', it has switched off our ability to interpret situations properly. It strips us of vital vitamins and minerals, leaves us exhausted after a big night out, and compounds residual anxiety and depressive feelings for however long the next day and maybe even the day after. So I just gave it up.
I also use mediation/CBT techniques as calming techniques. I also try to be kind, wherever possible. It's a much better personality trait to have and it feels more like me. I don't want to be the angry 'Scottish lass' anymore. I want to be the girl that genuinely cares, someone who takes an interest in others, helps them where she can and someone who people speak fondly of.
It won't always be like this, it will be a constant work in progress. Being angry everyday is exhausting. I choose to be different and, I'll do everything I can to keep it that way. Just like sadness, anger has a time and place. Just not everywhere, all the time.