No, it’s not by screaming or breaking plates or even keying cars (anymore, kidding!). When I’m angry, I write.
I find that when I feel strong emotions like anger, stress or frustration, I need to find comfort in something to help me work through them.
When I get stressed, I eat. When I get frustrated, I work out (or cry) and when I’m angry, I write.
For me, writing is so much better than gorging on a pan of brownies or can of frosting. Side note, I have successfully kicked my frosting habit!
When I get angry, I can express myself better on paper than in person because I stutter or can’t enunciate how I feel. Then, my inability to communicate builds into frustration and tears and then I’m a pile of mess.
But when I write, I am clear, direct and gathered in my thoughts. I can state how I feel and why I feel that way and be bold enough to say things my tongue might not let me voice aloud. As a kid, I found comfort in volumes of journals that, while chaste and boring, let me say things I normally wouldn’t. And then, after writing how I felt, I could let some of that anger go.
Two years ago, Lauren allowed me to tell my story about a college love who broke my heart. Writing about it was painful but I found that saying what I needed to let me work through the residual hurt I felt and I finally let him go.
And recently, I did it again, but not for public reading. I’m sad and angry and I don’t know how to work through it because I feel lost and alone.
And finally, as I laid restless in bed (again), I got up and sat down to type out how I felt and wrote things I needed to say but couldn’t. And with tears down my face, I put it out there, hit “save draft” and then slept fairly peacefully.
I don’t know if my words will ever leave the draft, but being able to put it down and keep it private is enough to help me feel like I’ve let some of that anger go, for now.
What about you? How do you work through feelings of stress, frustration and anger? How do you handle it?