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Processing feelings – I’m angry all the time

I bet you can relate better than anyone what it feels like to be out of control and disempowered. Maybe you can relate to the outward expression of those feelings, like mood swings, anger, frustration, fear, terror, tears and meltdowns.

Pain and loneliness with Crohn’s disease

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was a 15-year-old homeless girl. I was always in pain and alone. But I had so much noise in my head. So many teenage hormones and trauma spinning around, like an out of control rollercoaster, in my brain that I just couldn’t get off.

All of those lonely nights I’d lay awake thinking and analyzing how I was feeling. I’d crash into my own brain and feel like I was drowning inside my own head and body.

Why? Why? Why?

Why was it always like this? What did I do to deserve this? Why is that person allowed to be healthy but not me?

Learning to process feelings

Many many nights gave me an opportunity that not everyone else necessarily gets, learning to process our feelings and the significance of them, but I did. I did not enjoy it at the time though.

A few friends have been exploding lately and that’s not who they are as a person. They explode and when they’ve calmed down they retreat into a world of feeling angry and guilty for their explosions.

Then there is this constant vicious cycle of explosion and guilt which just keeps on perpetuating each other. They just can’t catch a break.

All because they don’t even know what the trigger was. Whatever they were feeling the moment before the explosion or what was leading up to it, they didn’t know how to process.

So they explode.

I was talking to someone about feeling alone and isolated, explaining it in a way they might relate. They called that feeling, helpless.

A feeling of helplessness

My friend was new to expressing and understanding their feelings and knowing their life story. I realized why they’d felt it as helpless.

Their whole life, anytime anything happened, their mum would swoop in and protect them. She was always there to clean up the mess and take on the burden of emotion.

So now, all grown up, they’re having to learn to name an emotion and their response to that emotion. Isn’t that incredible?!!

Of course, I’m not the one helping them with that. A professional is, but it’s something I’m seeing a lot of lately.

It’s completely understandable though and it’s so hard to push beyond yourself. We all feel like it’s easier to just live in this than to potentially feel worse.

When I’m angry or overwhelmed, I have to acknowledge it and ensure that others around me are aware. The only person I can change is me. When I’m losing my mind and feeling out of control, I try to take myself away to calm down. Or I simply communicate very firmly that I am getting overwhelmed and feel like I’m going to explode.

Guilt or social acceptableness has always been the major factor of me not taking those opportunities to remove myself.

It’s a trick though and we don’t need to follow it because if we do, then we are only making it worse for ourselves.

Let go of the guilty feelings

My trick is to shake off the feeling of guilt and those words that bounce around my head, questioning if I should say or do anything. At the end of the day, the person who suffers is me.

So take the time to learn about your emotions and feelings. Processing those is something we all deserve. The fact is, we’ve all had some pretty traumatic experiences and we should all feel safe, even if it’s just feeling safe in our own heads.

Go and find a counselor to help you find the tools to process those feelings also. It’s ok if the first one doesn’t fit, find another one.

You don’t need to settle, remember you deserve better.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Sahara Fleetwood-Beresford
    1 month ago

    I agree with every single thing you’ve said! I have done CBT in the past and that helped me learn positive coping strategies for stress, as I believe stress is one of my biggest triggers. I have had to go back and learn some of them again, as sometime I forget! But, I am at least able to recognise that I am not coping well with stress so that I can do something about it, so I count that as a positive :).
    – Sahara (team member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 month ago

    Therapy is so important! I went for a session and it wasn’t until I left, that I realized how much I needed it.

    Thanks for sharing this, hopefully readers will feel inclined to give it a try.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    2 months ago

    This is such an important topic to discuss that is often overlooked. Working with a therapist truly changed my life, and made dealing with this disease so much more bearable. I became a shell of myself over the years, and it took working with someone and seeing things through a different lense to get my life back. Thank you for sharing!

    –Julie (Team Member)

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