Feeling Angry

I’ve been feeling really angry lately. I wake up with it, and it’s like a default state that I fall back to when I’m not engaged in anything. I’m not consciously aware of being angry about anything in particular; of course I’m pissed off about the usual suspects like:

  • not feeling well for so long
  • not getting great emotional support from my family
  • my business not going gangbusters
  • not being able to go out at night and have fun

But it’s not like I wake up thinking any of those things; I just wake up feeling tense in the head and cranky. At least it’s better than feeling anxious though. Anger has a more empowering feel to it than anxiety, and I’ve been doing a lot of work over the last few years to learn to express my anger so perhaps the fruits of my labour are finally paying off.

Anger and anxiety are both generated in the same part of the brain; the amygdala. It’s the area that Gupta’s program attempts to “retrain” in the hope of curing CFS. I suspect there’s more to it than that, and that the trauma goes deeper into the nervous system than just the amygdala. But it makes sense that if you suppress anger, it’s going to come out as anxiety since the same brain structure generates both.

As I mentioned in another post, I’ve been practicing Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing for over a year, and I still get shivers running through my nervous system which I hope are related to the shuddering he talks about when nervous energy is released. I suspect this is the same reason that Osho’s Dynamic Meditation works: by triggering the release of pent-up nervous energy.

I first learned Dynamic Meditation when I did Path Of Love a few years ago. It’s a form of meditation where you move your body in order to release nervous stress, so that the mind can settle more easily when you finally stop. As with any spiritual practice, the important point is to practice it. But I rarely do. Instead, I’d been relying on other people to create a space where I’d be motivated to do it, like doing Path Of Love again and going to burn meditations. It certainly is easier to do the practice in a group, but if I’m going to take responsibility for my own healing it doesn’t make sense to rely on other people all the time.

Reading Osho’s autobiography lately has inspired me; now I get what the guy was on about. There’s a greater goal now than just recovery from CFS: Freedom. Enlightenment.

So I’ve started doing “Dynamic” each morning. I notice during the cathartic phase that I end up dry retching. Vomiting up nervous energy or anger. I had a similar experience when I first started my morning bike rides; part way along the ride I’d have to stop to throw up, even though I didn’t feel nauseous. It was reminiscent of the migraines I used to get, which were overwhelmingly painful to the point where I would throw up; which felt absolutely ghastly, but always relieved the pain.

I’m hoping that doing the dynamic every morning will shift the anger that I’m feeling, and my sense of humour will return. There isn’t too much to laugh at when I’m pissed off all the time, and I’m not all that interested in contributing to the world when I’m angry.

Author: Graham

I'm a guy in his late 40's, recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since May 2009. I now offer coaching and support to other people with CFS/ME.

6 thoughts on “Feeling Angry”

    1. Hey Michellina. Thanks for your comment. I don’t actually mind feeling angry, as it’s something I’ve suppressed much of my life and lately I’ve been finding it quite empowering. That said, it is starting to lose its novelty value and I’m wondering how long this phase will last. I have some reservations about your approach; I think both mind and body need attention, but I’m biased towards heal the mind and the body will follow. That seems to be working for me. Cheers, Graham

      1. It would be fair to hypothesise that if one were to heal the body then the mind will follow, too. Maybe it works both ways. I’ve just read you post from a different perspective (an angry one) and think that this anger may be something that is needed to make shit happen. If it were a choice, which I don’t think it is, consciously anyway, anger is preferable to anxiety! For me, anyway.

        Being ill for a lengthy time is going to bring emotional and psychological baggage. I suppose it’s what we do with it that counts. And, I guess anger is a good thing if expressed appropriately, and more importantly, actually expressed rather than holding it in.

        Taking Tryptophan can help with moods.

        I hope you are feeling better by now?

        1. Hey Michellina. Yes; given that the mind/brain is part of the body, it makes sense that it works both ways. I had a history of suppressing my anger, and I can see that this trains the amygdala to express any threat as anxiety since the protective force of anger is no longer available. Likewise, I’d rather be angry (i.e. motivated) than anxious (i.e. inhibited) when under threat, and the more opportunities I get to express anger the easier this is becoming for me.

  1. Sorry you have been feeling so bad. I’ve been there, it sucks! I hate how moody I can get, and how my moods can be so – not me. I try so hard to keep it together but sometimes I just can’t. Sending positive vibes your way x Hayley-Eszti

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