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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer, changes and Anger

So, this summer has not been very conducive to making regular posts or finding the time to reflect and report.  It has been a busy and stressful summer.  Coming up next week is the beginning of school for the kids, and a major change in my schedule for an unknown period of time.  I plan to use that unknown period of time, which afford me about 4 hours in the middle of the day while both kids are at school, and I am no where near my house (i will write more about that in my  family focused blog later this week).  So I plan to use that time to continue to write, as that will be necessary for income, AND to really focus on exercise.

I have realized more recently that all of the current stresses, responsibilities, and challenges in my life overwhelm my focus to get physically healthy.  This in turn creates many new challenges and does not allow me to clear my mind and my spirit to better handle all of the day to day challenges my life is currently filled with.  So it is a horrible cycle.  But I have finally created a problem for myself that no excuse I give myself will work for, I want THIS particular problem to be gone--as completely as I can get it out.  And that problem is ANGER.  I have been a short tempered, grumpy, ferocious person over the past couple of weeks.  AND I HATE IT.  I have always loved that I was a kind, gentle, forgiving, patient, and uber caring person.  And ANGER is bowling me over lately.    it confuses me, it affects the way I see the people in my life, it affects the way I react to challenges AND to joys, it makes me into a person that I can barely recognized.  I do not like feeling like an angry person.  I have often treated anger with food--between the endorphin rush, the serotonin release, and the psychological response to food, normally I could eat myself out of anger (rather than actually deal with such an unpleasant emotion).

That no longer works, and yes I have tried--I have been a bit of an eating machine the past few weeks.  other than gaining back about 8 pounds that I had lost earlier, it has done little to eradicate the grumpiness.  Though I am fairly good at hiding it, my children have noticed that I am more grumpy than usual, and they have found me less tolerant of crap than I normally am--especially int eh number of toys that have been shelved in the back room. If they treat their belongings in the wrong way (like BITING the gameboy, stuffed animal, or lego blocks or slamming controllers or stuffed animals into the floor (Gonzo's big issues--biting or slamming toys he is mad at)--both of which damage the electronics or tear stuffed animals, and are inappropriate responses to disappointment), the toy is taken and put away for a certain amount of time--from a few hours to a couple of weeks depending on various things.  They also have been spending more time than usual cooling off in their rooms when they throw a tantrum over frustration or disappointment, neither of which warrant a fit.  Normally I am good at redirecting, using the teaching moment, and helping to bring about an appropriate reaction to the issue at hand--which is a much better solution as it helps the kids learn the appropriate path to dealing with frustration and disappointment--with brain damage, it takes many, many MANY rounds (into the hundreds or repetition) to create new neurological pathways--so it is very important to work on the redirecting and reprocessing gently to nurture the formation of new pathways in how to deal with strong emotions.  So, lately I am failing at that, and resorting to separating the kids from what is bothering them and having them just have time to cool off and self sooth (which are good skills to gain too), which is fine, it gives them safe space to return to baseline using the tools that work for them currently--like listening to their music, having some time alone, snuggling with their favorite stuffies, reading/looking at a book, etc....  It just does not help them to build new pathways that help with their long term, executive functioning reactions to strong emotions.

The anger that I have been feeling has colored my reactions to myself, to my friendships, to my basic reactions to the challenges in my life.  I have drastically reduced how much I write to friends, as I am not sure how mu writing is coming across, as even when I am not cognizant of my anger, it appears to work its way into some of the way i word things, even if I am not angry or upset at a person, that general sens of grumpiness appears to come through in emails about totally benign topics that I do not feel strongly about.

So, one of my goals during those few hours i will have each day, is to really focus on moving my body--as that is the on thing that I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that releases angry, grumpy feelings in a productive and useful way, and leaves me feeling better.  I do not like feeling angry and grumpy all the time.  that dislike of anger is more motivational and powerful for me than my weight, my size, general feelings of malaise and depression, frustration about a variety of issues, or anything else.  I do not want my children growing up with an angry parent, or even on that is just perpetually grumpy.  I do not like the lack of compassion for foolish people that tend to accompany my generalized grumpiness, nor the lack of forgiveness that goes along with lessened compassion.  I find that my tolerance for other people and for myself is greatly reduced as my anger increases, and i am more judgemental towards myself and others when there is that grumpiness rolling beneath the surface.  It makes me cynical and irritated.  Right now I am getting irritated by my own repetition in this post.  So I will end there and just say that this angry feeling is becoming a driving force in wanting to get more healthy--particularly eating better and exercising!!

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