Dealing With Anger For Those With or Without a Mental Illness

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Well, anger is something that I am sure a lot of people deal with.  I would suppose even people who seem happy and nice all the time must have the problem and somehow suppress it.  One thing I know is that I do, and I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, how I have come to deal with it.

Anger comes into my life in many ways.  One of the worst ways it comes on is when I find myself dwelling on the past, replaying old memories in my head and thinking about how I was somehow wronged.  This is a very unhealthy practice, and should be avoided at all costs.  But how can a person stop what their mind is doing?  I have found that the only way to control what thoughts I think is to cultivate a strong mind, by meditating in the way I learned from a Tibetan Monk here in Edmonton.  It is kind of a simple process.  You set up your body in a way that you don’t have to continue to think about what it is doing, you could be walking or swimming (I love to snorkel in this instance) or you could sit cross-legged or even just lay on your back, and then you simply try to keep your head clear of thoughts.  Clear of chatter, clear of judging, clear of everything.  At first it is nearly impossible, but if you practice each day it becomes easier, and your mind grows stronger.  You will soon find that you can chart the course of your sleeping dreams and control what you think about.  It is amazing what you can do when you cultivate the ability to control your mind chatter.  I want to add a link below to something I found on YouTube simply by typing in the words, ‘guided meditation’.  Check out the video if you are interested.

I found this to be a particularly calming and relaxing one, but there are many.  What I liked about it was the sound of waves and the emphasis that the waves had something of a healing sound.  Last year I spent some time in Hawaii and went snorkeling on a couple of beaches and I can’t even begin to describe what this experience was like.  The water was clear, clean and healing.  The waved felt like they were cleansing my very soul.  There were tropical fish around that I took pictures of, it was simply paradise on earth.

There is more to anger though, there is the kind of anger that a person can often develop when they have been through a lot (I think) or possibly have a chemical imbalance in their brain.  I can recall being younger and experiencing depression and having extreme anger towards people in traffic, at the laces on my shoes when I was unable to tie them, at anything that seemed to upset what I thought was my right.  People ticked me off at every corner.  I want to share another video by an incredible young man who offers a great way to put yourself in other people’s shoes and conquer your anger.  It is below:

This young man, Noah Elkrief, really seems to understand what makes people, for want of a better term, pissed off at the world.  I think he has a number of videos that are geared towards mental health that I strongly recommend.

Then of course there comes a type of anger that you can’t really control by talking, or you can’t manage at first by talking.  One example is of a person I know who was once on steroids.  He apparently beat up someone just because he didn’t like the way they looked.  There are many types of this, one of them happens in some people when they abuse alcohol.  My Dad seemed to have this problem and we used to fight a great deal, though I have to say my own rebellious spirit and my own anger didn’t help the situation at all.  Many times in life we have to sacrifice being the one who is deemed right or deemed the bigger man to avoid situations that can harm ourselves or others, or even just spark off an argument.  I kind of wish I had been able to do this at a younger age.

This type of anger, especially when it involves alcohol or other drugs, needs to be addressed first by detoxification, then by treatment to deal with a person’s addiction or abuse and then it may be necessary for the person to be put on medications.  I know in my case a good deal of my anger was taken away by the use of an anti-depressant, but I also needed to be put on an anti-psychotic medication (once again, I want to stress that psychotic is a state where a person perceives a false reality and isn’t a violent or hateful person while psychopathic is something that is more along the lines of people who don’t care who they hurt or damage in their pursuit of their own goals).  This anti-psychotic medication helped a great deal, but if there are people out there who suffer, I want to note that quite often these medications need to be increased over time, and even need to be changed.  Thanks to modern medicine, new and more effective medications come out, and there is also the factor that your body can become more tolerant of the medication and need more of it to do the same job.

Well, that seems like a lot of doom and gloom.  I hope anyone who has read this will take the time to watch the videos, they are simply incredible I feel.  On a lighter note I have been quite happy because I have been hired to teach a creative writing workshop for the month of June, which may work out to be a permanent job.  Some of the people in the group will be community members who suffer from mental health issues but I am very happy that somehow I will be able to help people better express themselves and possibly create something they can be proud of.  I think I will pass on writing a poem for today but expect one soon, thanks for reading, feel free to contact me as always at: viking3082000@yahoo.com

*** I changed my mind and wrote a poem tonight, look for it below this photo***

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A Poem For Those Who Matter Most

 

It seems despite some troubles that my life has become

Perfect in many ways, easy to live and also fun

As a boy hard work never seemed to end

And for a while it had driven me around the bend

 

I wanted so badly then to find that special other

A partner to give my life meaning, help me to recover

From all the crap that life had thrown at me

I thought a relationship would set me free

 

I had to learn the hard way that for love to blossom and grow

You need two people and you need both of them to be whole

But how I longed to find that one to complete my soul

It seemed important enough that I sidelined all my goals

 

And then all at once it seemed that there was one who cared

The first time I talked to her it was so hard not to stare

I dreamed of her and the passion that I thought would never be

Such love never seemed to come real for me

 

At the time I had depression and I was also very shy

It was as though I didn’t like myself and didn’t know why

I seemed to sabotage any relationship that might have been

And when that was over loneliness and pain would set in

 

During a time when I was still trying to make sense of life

I met a sweet beautiful lover who could have been my wife

She taught me that with love and faith there is always a chance

And no matter what your age or problems there can be romance

 

Now that I am whole and I am older I see that life is what you make of it

Despite that fact that losing love and getting older can still ache a bit

I have been through a lot but I’m still ready to reach out

Happiness is out there somewhere I have no doubt

 

When you tally up your totals and all is said and done

The winners are judged only by what they have overcome

I may not have gone so far or earned as much as others have

But for a while I was loved and happy and for that I am glad

 

And it will not matter at the gates of heaven or hell

If my investments and savings had done well

It will only matter that I loved and cared for those I knew

And you my family and friends I truly care for all of you

 

Leif Gregersen

May 29, 2015

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