I am not an angry person.
On the contrary, I am quite social, outgoing, and engaging. Anger, though, has been a consistent theme throughout my life.
A build-up of hurt and frustration eventually becomes too much to contain and results in a catastrophic, explosive outburst. I know I am not the only one to experience this. Anger and associated social incidents are an epidemic that many individuals struggle with.
Over the years, I have attended various forms of therapy and anger management with the theme usually revolving around coping skills. It has been my journey, however, to seek the source, to get to the root of the problem. I don’t begrudge having and developing emotional management skills, but sometimes that isn’t enough.
Recently, I have been sitting on that familiar precipice of wild fire and hoping that this time it can and will be different.
“Why…Why do you bring yourself to this spot?” I ask myself. I know the result, and I would do anything to stop it.
This time, though, it has been different. I have engaged in lifestyle choices that have freed up emotional energy. I have given myself love and care and attention and I have people around me that have mirrored this affection.
So, it has been in this nest that I have uncovered my truth. I need to be a better advocate for me.
Healthy esteem and caring for yourself is a treasure, but it is more than having a positive self-impression of your identity. Being able to safeguard this treasure is a vital part of healthy esteem management.
This, unfortunately, is an area of my life that I have neglected. Today, I can honestly say that a huge source of anger for me has been an inability to properly advocate and communicate for my own well-being. While this could probably be traced to a lack of communication and expression skills, I am sure that having a secure healthy identity is crucial.
Three and a half years ago I took a huge step in advocating for my own well-being by leaving an unhealthy,14-year marriage. The overall and eventual reason, however, was not to safeguard my own person, but a consideration of the well-being of my son who has grown up in a dysfunctional environment.
One of the biggest decisions of my life was not dependent on my own health and wellness, but on the health and wellness of someone else. That is a huge revelation.
Over the last three years, I have continued to maintain a habit of offering and giving of myself, and taking liberties with my own needs and considerations. In life, I have allowed some to treat me with disrespect and cruelty, and I have enabled their treatment through acceptance. I have failed to actively express my needs in relationships that eventually provoked catastrophic resolutions through wild fire.
Being able to advocate for yourself and your needs should not be seen as an inconvenience to others. Being assertive and protecting the treasure that you are is a vital life skill—I can assure you that no one else will do it for you.
If you are not working to protect and encourage yourself, who do you think will?
Author: James Anderson
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Callie Rushton