Just so you know… as you read these letters… I don’t have it all worked out as yet. I still fuck up plenty. I lose my temper and I get loud. I swear. I yell and then I feel like shit afterwards because the people around me don’t deserve it. It’s not as often. But it’s there. And it impacts my relationships.
I am still struggling with this. It’s definitely not as frequent. I lose it every couple of months now instead of every couple of days. The hardest part is the aftermath. Even if the people around me forgive me, I have a hard time forgiving myself. I feel a deep guilt… which is better than the shame I used to feel. Although I also still feel the strings of doubt clinging to me about whether I am worthy of love. The good thing is that I can identify this and talk myself through it. Worse case, I make an appointment with my therapist and she helps me navigate it. The energy is best spent on establishing tools to manage my anger and diffuse it before it explodes… not on questioning my value (which can rob me of the confidence to succeed this).
I’m reading an exceptional book called The Last Best Cure by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. It’s about a science journalist who struggles with an autoimmune disease and embarks on a 1 year journey to engage her brain in a way to heal her body and address her symptoms. She uses therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction meditation, yoga, and acupuncture. I’ve tried the MBSR breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation around observing my feelings… and they have actually been very helpful.
I’m putting quite a bit of attention and effort into identifying my feelings as they come up… observing them… and breathing through them. I start and end each day with a short meditation. And I practice the breathing almost hourly throughout the day. Combining these with getting to the gym to lift weights every day and my latest passion for swimming… I am a good step along the path.
And I am certain I will mess up again. Because this is not a state of perfection. This is a very long path towards peace. I will stumble. And I will get back up again and keep going. This is the balance of being human. I am fragile. And I am resilient.
When you are in this place, Kiddo, and you think that nothing can preempt your temper because it flashes so quickly and explodes beyond your control… know that there will come a time when you can slow down this process… when you can feel it begin to rise… and you will be able to be gentle with that scared part of yourself that is lashing out because you are terrified of being hurt.
Fragile. And resilient.