Getting Stuck In Anger

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I've posted about this here in the past, but I think we have enough new members that it bears repeating. Many do not know that we go through the grieving process from our losses due to our illnesses just as we would if we were to lose someone to death. I have found grief counseling therapy to be most helpful in navigating this.

    I was in denial for literally years, wondering what was wrong, knowing something was wrong, but refusing to believe that I was seriously ill. I got so good at denial that I cut my leg badly on the car door and didn't even know it til my Mom saw blood all over the place. I then realized that I had carried my denial too far. It was effective for controlling pain to a point, but it wasn't a productive way to manage my health.

    I got some help for my body, and I have remained spiritually strong, but mentally, I needed help. I am not conscious of going through the bargaining stage, but I can identify with the anger stage. We all need to recognize our anger for how our lives must change to accommodate our illnesses, but we need to ensure that we do not get stuck in this destructive stage.

    BTW, our friends and family also go through the grief stages, but it is much easier for them to get stuck in denial and/or anger. I think family therapy is a good thing. Sometimes, sadly, relationships do not survive this process.

    This brings me to the subject of options. Anger stems from feeling as though we have no options, as though we are being "done to." Life isn't fair. Sometimes we are angry at having to make decisions which are very difficult to make. We may have to change our standard of living, we may have to quit our jobs, we may have to go on disability and struggle with all that that entails, and we may have to leave toxic relationships behind.

    We need to take control of our treatments and our situations and empower ourselves in whatever ways we can, including therapy. The goal of therapy is for the patient to eventually do his or her own therapy when possible. Going through the grieving process isn't linear. We progress and we regress. We leave anger behind only to revisit it when things aren't going well. The trick is learn to recognize these stages and how to navigate the waters.

    I do not know whether any of y'all have played sports or games like racquetball, tennis, or billiards. I always loved playing these because it teaches one to learn to roll with the punches and that there are usually many options available, even when the playing field changes rapidly.

    I think billiards is an excellent example of this. When the opponent makes a shot and misses, we usually only focus on one or two shots. Sometimes it looks hopeless for us, but there is always some kind of shot we have available to us, even if it is to play a safety. If we take the time to walk around the table for a different perspective, sometimes we see a shot we would have otherwise missed. Sometimes taking that shot is a greater risk but has greater potential. I have taken those shots and missed but felt I did the right thing by taking a risk rather than playing it safe. Every once in a while the shot worked out and there is nothing like the feeling of making a great shot. That's how we grow in skill.

    Life, for all of us, not just those of us who are chronically ill, is an ever-changing billiards table. This is our challenge. The more we look forward to meeting that challenge, the more skilled we become and the more empowered we feel.

    This is my long-winded way of saying that in order to heal, we must take care of mind, body, and spirit. If we get stuck in any stage of the process, we cannot heal. The goal is to stay more or less in acceptance. This isn't the same as giving up or giving in. It just means that instead of using our precious energy for being in denial or anger, we are free to walk the table, looking for new perspectives for healing.

    Love, Mikie
  2. nefran5

    nefran5 New Member

    Good thoughts...thank you!
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have to shut down early and want to be sure the evening people get to see this.

    Love, Mikie
  4. ozgran

    ozgran New Member

    That little sermon was very good. I very much appreiated it. I am trying to accept and navigate this DD and one of the prime motivations is that I do not have the cancer which took the life of my friend and neighbour last year. I practically nursed her at her home until admittance to care for the last few months of her life. I believe this demand added to my own ill health, but there was no one else and I would do it all again. Now I have time to concentrate on me and trying to get better or at least improve my current state of health and that is what I am doing. We do have options and we need to take those that we can. Thanks again. (((((Hugs)))))) Ozgran.
  5. ohmyaching

    ohmyaching New Member

    It's better to try to establish a working relationship with your doctor. Instead of getting angry when the doctor says they don't believe CFS is a real disease, try to get your doctor to approach your illness from the symptoms if you can. Try to see if they are willing to help you deal with each of them. Maybe they can't find a cause, but maybe they can help you with the pain or the inability to sleep, etc.. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    We are all heroes and heroines. Most everybody has to deal with loss and adversity in life. We have to do it while dealing with horrific illness(es).

    I didn't intend to preach here. It's just that I have been through the Dark Night of The Soul and come out the other side. I only hope that my experience can smooth the way for others, even if only a little. This doesn't mean that life is a piece of cake for me; it just means that I have learned to avoid some of the traps.

    I agree wholeheartedly that we need to be in touch with our anger and denial and be able to identify when we set foot in anger and denial territory. This is part of the goal of therapy. We can't help what we can't recognize.

    I also agree that it does no good to get angry with medical professionals; it only confirms their belief that we are hysterical. Asking for help with our symptoms is an ideal way to get them into treating us. Most everyone can identify with pain and the need for relief.

    There is a tremendous amount of wisdom here and I always appreciate it when y'all offer your experiences because that is how we all learn and grow together. I cannot imagine trying to go through this alone.

    Love, Mikie

  7. kalina

    kalina New Member

    Thank you, Mikie. I can really appreciate what you have to say on this subject. Very well-written!

  8. little

    little Member

    Hi Mikie. Thank-you for posting this. It gives people hope that they can survive this DD. It gives them hope of getting through each day. Since I have been coming here my days are alot better. I know what I have now and can deal with it. 40years of not knowing was hell. I kept a journal of all the symptoms and then finally one day I could put down what it was. It was the greatest thing to have a name for the illness. Now I can deal with it. I know that I am not going to die. It is a life changing illness. But it can be done. With people like you and all those on this board it makes life a lot easier to deal with. Thank-you. Gail
  9. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ..when I first got these mysterious fibro symptoms, was to recognize I needed help with the whole scary process. I found a therapist who specialized in helping people who were dealing with chronic illness----and it was the best thing I could've done for myself! She was literally a lifesaver for me, helping me to even recognize, then navigate through, the murky waters of the whole grieving process, how to deal with the acceptance process, how not to panic when anxiety tries to get the best of me. I saw her for about a year, until I felt I had the tools to handle it on my own. Over the years, the fibro symptoms may have progressed, but my ability to deal with them, & the anxiety around them (my greatest foe) has gotten easier....

    Not everyone needs therapy to do this, but we all need to first recognize, then find some method of dealing with the whole grieving process, as Mikie says......we're better off for it, better able to take care of ourselves, better able to interface with family & friends, better able to heal.

    Healing Hugs,
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your kind words and it is so nice to see how many of us are able to get help with the grieving process.

    Fay, your post is heartbreaking. I am glad you have found a therapist. Is it possible your family would go too? It sounds as though it would be helpful to everyone in the family as is usually the case. People can divorce and kids can leave home, but family is family, and what affects one member, affects everyone else. I am praying that it works out OK for y'all.

    Love, Mikie
  11. Reg1

    Reg1 New Member

    Hi Mikie, always enjoy reading your posts. Going to let hubby read as we do need family therapy, and otheer stuff. Anyway thanks for such an inspirational post which can help us all heal in many areas of our lives. ((((((((Gentle Hugs)))))))))Reg
  12. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Anger is my biggest problem since getting Fibro, and you said it SO well. It will kill me one day if I can't get control of it. I found therapists (tried several) to be a total waste of time for me, maybe because I was in that field before I got Fibro, and I see all their flaws, so I don't have the necessary trust. Supplements have helped my anger more than anything else, esp. GABA. Also, getting rid of toxic people has helped immensely.
  13. Echos

    Echos New Member

    Hello Mikie. Your post is quite informative. I myself, seem to be stuck in the grieving process. It's left me in a very darkened place and no light at the end of the tunnel. I try to push my way forward and seem to end up two steps back. I am going through a very difficult time for what seems to be 3 years as of yesterday. I know that the things from past are adding to my pain and holding me in an area I don't want to be in any longer. As soon as I pick myself up, dust myself off, something comes along and knocks my feet right out from under me again. This has left me in a whirlwind of depression and anxiety. I continue clawing my way towards the top to find some evidence that there might be a ray of light to give me direction. First I have to find hope in my heart, that what I am going through has a meaning, a reason, and maybe then I'll find my way.