This weekend has been a long one. Yes, it technically is a long weekend, but I’ve had a really hard time keeping my anger in check.
Every day this weekend, all I’ve done is snap at people, get defensive, and let any little thing trigger me. I ragged on my friends and had a quick temper at others – that’s not something I’m about and it’s not part of what I do on this blog. I’m letting my anger phase of my breakup overtake my emotions and it needs to stop. In order to confront your mistakes, someone usually has to call you out on your behavior. I’m thankful to have people like that in my life where – no matter what – they will tell me the reality and not sugar coat my anxiety. I was wrong and that’s okay.
It takes a lot of strength to own up to your mistakes but that’s part of how we grow past them. Was I really defensive at first? You bet I was. It’s all part of anxiety – she’ll hold on as long as she can, whatever she has to do to stay #1 priority in my mind. But, once I paused, meditated with my Simple Habit app, and had myself a good cry, I realized that I made a mistake. Guess what? I’m still good enough. Making mistakes is all part of life and it’s part of living with mental illness. We don’t always get it right the first time around – come to think of it, I usually never get it right the first time – but that’s how we learn to adapt and practice new coping skills in the future. Sometimes you have to experience a setback in order to be better.
Now, I know this is incredibly hard to do, believe me. I didn’t always used to be this person that could have an argument or be called out on my attitude and be open to it. But since therapy, I’ve changed. Even my therapist has told me that one of the things she loves about me is that I’m able to look at a comment I’ve been told about myself and be open to changing it. I’ll admit, you’re right, I do need to work on that. There are plenty of people who cannot utter those words, but there are also many that can. We are capable of seeing our weaknesses and learning from them – we are strong enough.
I have a lot of anger inside of me from my breakup and while anger is an emotion I’m not used to, it’s not an excuse for the behavior I’ve had all weekend. If I use my own anxiety as a crutch for my attitude, how will I grow? I won’t, that’s what. This journey with anxiety is going to be paved with several obstacles and setbacks, it’s all in how I pick myself up and learn from them.
Reflect, don’t react.
That’s a new mantra I’ve come up with for handling this anger that’s arrived in my life. Instead of completely reacting – whether it’s through defensiveness or anger – I need to learn to stop and ask myself why I’m so upset. Is my anger directed at the right situation or person? If it’s not, that means it’s time to do a deeper dive into this emotion and why I’m feeling it to begin with.
When we do what is right, it’s never easy. This path is not easy. It’s confusing, sad, happy, overwhelming, scary, content, and all other range of feelings. I’m a person and I’m hurting, but that doesn’t mean I have a free pass to vomit my attitude and anger all over everyone else. I see this setback and I raise it with reflection, resilience, and a response of: I will do better.
Have you made a setback or mistake in your mental health? Share your story in the comments below!