Posted by on Jun 24, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

What Do I Do with This Anger?

When you believe the terms of your divorce are unfair, the anger at the injustice of it all can eat you alive. Even if it seems like a response you cannot suppress, you need to find a way. Otherwise, it will absorb focus you could otherwise direct toward more productive ends. Anger is toxic.

When emotions are raw and anger is acute, it’s a tough to keep those feelings in check. Rage has muscles. I don’t think I’ve ever been more furious than when my divorce negotiations were active. I stewed. I obsessed. I cried. I couldn’t imagine not hating my ex. I suppose given my circumstances, it was a rite of passage I needed to endure. But thankfully, I got tired of the sensation and discovered ways to diffuse the angry feelings so I could be happy again. Here’s what could be helpful:

  • Get a black belt! Really, I did. I got my first degree black belt the year my ex left. I’d been training in martial arts for a few years prior. The target practice, physical exertion, meditation and discipline enabled me to put the anger to good use in a productive manner.
  • Allow yourself periods of time when you can stomp your feet, scream, swear, wish ill will and cry. Set a timer. Gradually, decrease the time you allot to explode. In short, get it out of your system; don’t let it become part of your system.
  • Join a gym, sweat a little (or a lot), train for a marathon, lift weights. Strengthen your body and clear your mind.
  • See a coach or counselor to help you learn to mourn your losses and look toward brighter horizons.
  • See a minister or pastor for spiritual guidance.
  • Journal to give yourself a place to dump negativity.
  • See your doctor. Anxiety and anger can cause a long list of complications that will erode your quality of life and the lives of those around you.
  • If forgiveness seems too lofty a goal, then shoot for apathy.
  • Love yourself. GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE. Visit old friends. Make new ones. Stewing in your own juices is a waste of time.

All this may sound impossible. Trust me…it’s not. The story of my divorce would make you wince. I felt totally justified to be angry. But I fought very hard to make better use of my mind to make more space in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I will not be having dinner with my ex any time soon. Apathy is a beautiful thing.