Monday, 11 April 2011

I'm Sorry If I Got Angry


I would describe myself as passionate - others would say 'volatile' or 'hot headed' if they are being kind.  I've always known I had a short fuse and could easily blow up and despite years of trying I've never managed to keep my temper totally under control. Yesterday I suddenly realised that getting angry is just another part of my depression.  You see depression isn't just being down in the dumps, it's when your emotions control you instead of you controlling them. I live on a rollercoaster which can make me happy or sad for no apparent reason and having a short fuse is just another part of that.

What I’m not doing is trying to excuse my behaviour nor am I saying that to be angry is wrong.  Starting with the second one anger is not sin; God gets angry so it must be OK; what does matter is what we get angry about.  God doesn’t get angry about just anything but about injustice and sin so it’s OK for us to get angry when other people are treated badly. However we shouldn’t get angry about anything that annoys us as it could well be us who are in the wrong.  I get angry about things for both the right and wrong reason but the real problem for me is that I ‘explode’ rather easily.  Unfortunately this is just part of the illness called depression and so while it can be controlled to an extent I will always be rather volatile.  All I can do is to apologise afterwards when I’ve calmed down and hope that most people will realise that it isn’t me going ‘off on one’ but my illness.

If I’ve ‘blown up’ at you for no apparent reason I’m sorry.  I don’t like being like this but I have to put up with it and I hope you will give me a bit of leeway and accept me for what I am.  You see the other side of the coin is that the very volatility that make me ‘go bang’ also enables me to be aware and sensitive to other people feelings and I don’t want to lose that as it’s a gift from God.

3 comments:

Tiggy said...

I think we should also get angry when we are ill-treated ourselves. Why only do it on behalf of others? We should get angry at injustice and abuse whoever it's against. In fact I think a lot of depression comes from NOT getting angry about how we're treated when we should. We hold it all inside and get depressed until it explodes because that becomes intolerable.

sattler said...

I've blogged about anger a lot over the years (http://radref.blogspot.com/search/label/anger%20with%20the%20church). Such a lot of what you say resonates with me. Like you I've wrestled with depression. Perhaps it's because nonviolence matters to me that I sometimes get frustrated with myself for my own angular personality and anger. Anger isn't necessarily wrong but it is difficult to control. Right now I'm getting pretty angry with Westminster City Council and thinking in expletives even typing this. Whether that's right or not is pretty borderline. Many blessings to you and thanks for being honest. Shalom, phil

Still Breathing said...

Tiggy, Your not wrong about getting angry when we are ill-treated but the danger is that it soon becomes a selfish anger. I also agree that surpressing anger can be dangerous and cause us more harm in the long term - those bottled up emotions have to appear sometime.
Phil, I read a book (although I've forgotten what it's called) that explained about anger being a response to a threat; either a threat to oneself or to something you value. This has helped me to stop and work out why I'm angry and to either stop being angry, if I'm wrong or, if I'm right, to be angry, to use the energy that the anger generates in a constructive way.