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On Anger

In 2002, when I started having anxiety attacks and fits of rage, I began seeing a naturopathic therapist (yeah, it as full of shit as it sounds) who diagnosed me with panic disorder and a side of anger problem.  At the time I blamed it on residual issues from my IBD, mostly the social barriers.  I had a lot of crazy friends in college that liked to have adventures, and a lot of those adventures involved road trips and traveling to places without flushing toilets and thus I got left out of a few things and developed quite the chip on my shoulder from it.  Don't get me wrong, I had myself a good ol' time in college and in retrospect I'm sure having IBD saved my stupid ass on more occasions than not- but sometimes when I'm in pity party mode I feel regret towards my disease-imposed sense of caution and the wild, uninhibited life style it's kept me from.  At any rate, it was my sophomore year in college when I started confronting some of this stuff, but in retrospect I've always had a temper.  I can blame the IBD all I want, but let's be honest- it's the Irish blood in me (thankfully my exterior qualities come from the French and Italian lineage hahaha).  But seriously, agoraphobia and other symptoms of social anxiety are not uncommon in people who run a higher-than-average risk of shitting their pants, but when I look at my family I realize my maternal grandfather's bloodline boasts quite a collection of shut-ins, recluses, drunks, and misanthropes.  So is it my IBD or my heritage?  Both, I'm sure.  The point is, anger and anxiety impact IBD and that can cause some real problems when you have limited control over either. 

In recent weeks I've been having some roid rage, which I like to think is distinct from my normal sense of fury and disgust towards those around me.  I already wrote an entry about the pharmacy bs that got me riled up, and I'm sure you picked up from the "waiting room picnic" post how pissed off I was about that.  I'm trying more and more to use this blog and some other creative outlets to redirect my hissy fits, but sometimes getting confrontational just feels best.  I think it comes from feeling invisible so often- I was raised with manners and I tend to take my conduct seriously and when I don't get the response I think I deserve I get Mad.  I insist on staying to the right on stairs and while walking down the side walk. I never block the subway doors.  I always make room for other people walking down the street.  I hold doors.  I don't know why.  No one ever pays me the same courtesies and that flames my fire because I am made of solid matter- you can't walk through me, rest your bags on my lap, elbow me while you read the paper, and think I'm not going to say something about it.  I might invite an unwelcome reaction one of these days, but people need to realize other humans do still exist and sometimes I can't help but be the one to remind them.

Oddly enough being on a high dose of Prednisone left me feeling kind of calm and serene at first, but as I taper off my fuse seems to be getting shorter and shorter.  For a few unfortunate days I was PMSing on 'roids and called more people "pushy asshole" to their face in that time than I have in six years of city life.  Every single one of them deserved it, but still, some things are better left said in your head because you just don't know who's packing heat.  But fuck strangers, the real victim lately has been my poor J!  Not that he's always innocent- we've honestly both got short tempers, and that's one of the things that bonds us.  We can both be irritable and pissy but it allows us to bitch freely and honestly about everything with each other.  For all the things we both like, there are just as many things that we both hate and it strengthens us in a way that, while probably a tad unhealthy, makes me smile.  But sometimes I just flip out at him because he's always around to be flipped out on and that's not fair.  It's really, really hard to find room in our apartment for the two of us and my disease.  I'm constantly keeping my eyes on Craigslist to see where bigger places (ideally with 1.5 bathrooms or more) are affordable and close to potential jobs.  More than anything I wish I could work remotely and just move anywhere without having to think about finding a new gig.  I guess on the flip-side being forced together in a small space leaves us no choice but to deal with any issues and conflicts as quickly and effectively as possible because there isn't anywhere to run, so that's a good thing.  

Well, this post was supposed to involve more embarrassing stories about past rages and blow-ups, but I think I'll save some of those gems for another time.  I'm back to feeling kind of peaceful right now, and I'm just going to take that and run with it while I can.

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