Posts Tagged With: dealing with anger

Day 3151: What can you appreciate in this moment?

What can you appreciate in this moment?

Can you appreciate my images for today?

I can appreciate the Daily Bitch in this moment, among other things.

In this moment, I appreciate this video I found on YouTube:

In this moment, I appreciate YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 813: What to do with anger

Yesterday, somebody came into therapy feeling angry.  This person was also

  1. judging the anger,
  2. questioning its validity,
  3. trying to squelch it, and
  4. redirecting it various places,  including towards self.

Hmmmmm.  Maybe I should have titled this post

What NOT to do with anger.

But who knows what to do with anger, one of the basic human emotions?

Do you?

Who are our “anger role models” for effectively acknowledging and expressing this all-too-human feeling?

Can you think of any?

Uh-oh. I think the pressure’s on me, now, to come up with some ideas about What to Do With Anger.

Does that pressure make me angry?

I don’t think so. However, I did wake up angry today.

I wasn’t sure why and what to do with that feeling.

However, I did not

  • judge the anger,
  • question its validity,
  • or redirect it.

Therefore, I can take now take a little time, before I leave for work, to understand that anger better.

I tell people in therapy, sometimes, that anger is the human reaction to not getting your needs met.

Am I getting my needs met, in my life?

Well, not ALL of them, for heaven’s sake. Who does?

I also tell people in therapy, sometimes, that anger is the human reaction to perceived unfairness and injustice.

Are there any unfairnesses or injustices I can see, if I look around?

Hmmmm. Now I’m wondering why I don’t wake up EVERY morning feeling anger.

Is writing this post helping me with my anger?

Actually, it is.

What else might I do with my anger, right now?

  • Respect it.
  • Assume it makes sense.
  • Allow it to flow through me, like any other feeling (joy, for example).
  • Express it as authentically and as respectfully as I can.

Is there anything else I want to express about my anger, this morning?

I suspect this anger is related to my having neither knowledge nor control, at this point, about some medical uncertainties in my life.

Are there any songs about anger out there?

If your needs aren’t being met by James Taylor singing “Angry Blues” and a Chubby Checker number, that’s on YouTube, here.

Do I have any angry images to show you?

Here’s all I’ve got, from yesterday’s photos:



I hope you know that all your feelings, thoughts, and reactions are welcomed here.

Not-so-angry thanks to James Taylor, Chubby Checker, and to everybody else who made this post possible (including boyfriend Michael, for dinner last night). Also,  special thanks to you, for witnessing my feelings and thoughts, today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , | 36 Comments

Day 549: Things that make me go “grrrrr”

Hundreds of posts ago, I wrote Day 75:  Things that make me go _____.” That post included things that make me go


(image found here)

and things that make me go



(image found here)

Absent from that emotionally oriented post were things that make me go “grrrrr.”

Let’s remedy that now, shall we?


Things That Make Me Go “Grrrrrr”

1.  Unexpected, seemingly arbitrary changes.

I like to think of myself as somebody who can welcome and embrace change. However, if a change is

  • unexpected,
  • forced upon me and
  • worsens my experience,

my response is


(Image found here)

Recent examples of this?  New, unexpected versions of Spotify (my choice for playing music on my iPhone) and WordPress (my choice for blogging), which have disoriented me and worsened my experience.  As a result, I’ve needed to take extra time and care, constructing work-arounds to get my musical and blogging needs met.



2. Broken promises (especially unsolicited ones).

Promises made + promises unfulfilled = disappointment

Personally, I especially go


(image found here)

…. if the promise was something I did not ask for. My growls get fiercer and louder if somebody elicits a need in me, then leaves me hanging.

I’ll give you an example.  Last year, somebody at work volunteered to make me a CD of Kurt Elling tunes,  because we both like that singer.  This person, who was just an acquaintance,  insisted they wanted to do it.  And they never did.  And that made me go


to a rather puzzling degree.

I don’t know why I had that reaction. I could have framed the situation in a more helpful way, like

  1. appreciating the person’s wish to connect,
  2. recognizing that other things got in the way, and
  3. letting it go.

But, for a long time, I didn’t. Instead, I kept growling (instead of growing).

Recently, I had the same experience — unsolicited disappointment — on a grander scale. And this morning, I’m still growling.

I’m not sure why I get so upset when the unfulfilled promise is something initiated by somebody else.

It might be related to my having trouble asking for what I need. I mean, it’s bad enough asking for something and then not getting it. The last thing I want, apparently, is somebody creating a need I didn’t even know I had, and then dashing THAT, too.

3.  Carelessness.

Yesterday, I had a jam-packed, pinpoint-timing day, where I

  • did a full morning of work (individual and group therapy),
  • went to a hospital to get an IV of antibiotics,
  • got a filling fixed and a teeth cleaning at the dentist, and
  • drove my son to a play rehearsal

and all before 5 PM!

I got all these things done, in reasonable time, despite

  • pre-July 4th preparations in Boston, affecting traffic and
  • no parking spaces, due to the filming of a movie starring


(image found here).

Instead of focusing on all the successes of that day, I kept thinking about one thing: While I was eating the food they gave me at the IV infusion center


… I spilled some salad dressing on my skirt.




I realize this, now. Instead of being angry at my own carelessness, and picturing that stain for the rest of the day, I could have focused on a more helpful image, from around the same time:


That’s Angela, who was my IV nurse yesterday.  When I admired her very cool snake earrings, she told me that snakes

  • have been her totem animal, since she was 10 years old,
  • connect her with all the mother goddesses of the world (since they all carry snakes),
  • indicate change,
  • suddenly showed up, in a group of 7, when her husband was very ill, and
  •  have nested in every house she’s lived in.

Angela, if you’re reading this, thanks for the snakes (and for the IV, too).    They all helped, yesterday.

Okay!  One more thing that makes me go “grrrrrrr” (and hiss) ….

4.  Not getting enough sleep or food.

Last night, I woke up at 3:30 AM. My thoughts and feelings went many places, including here:


As a result, I had trouble falling back asleep.

Lack of sleep and food can definitely increase anger, don’t you think? I can’t do anything about the sleep, right now, but I can help myself to some leftovers from Tuesday’s dinner (courtesy of bf Michael):


Somehow, I’m feeling much better than I did when I started this post.

Before I end, I’d like to continue the feel-good trend, by asking you two fun questions: Which photo in this post is your favorite?  Which one do you think is mine?

Thanks to Felix the cat, Johnny Depp the actor, Angela the IV nurse,  and Michael the boyfriend; to tigers, snakes, and other fierce creatures; to those who cry, laugh, and have all their feelings; and to you — of course! — for whatever sounds you’re making today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 437: Look down and look back (in anger)

Warning:  Because of the topic of this post, some language is for “adult” audiences.

The title of yesterday’s post was “Looking Up.”  Doesn’t it figure that today’s post would involve the opposite, and more?

I, personally, prefer looking up to looking down or looking back.  But it’s important to look everywhere, don’t you agree?  Otherwise, you might miss something.

Here are some things I’ve seen lately, looking down:


It’s more clocks, in the 10:10 position! See yesterday’s post for more about that particularly pleasing point in time.

Now, let’s look down at another theme of mine: confusion.  Today’s ball of confusion* is …. What does the word “macaroon” mean?

Are macaroons these kind of cookies?


Or these kinds of cookies?



I am familiar with the first kind of macaroon, which my mother used to give me when I was a kid. However, those new-fangled, fancy-schmancy cookies in the subsequent photos have been showing up, everywhere.

I can imagine that those perfectly formed, pricier, newer (to me) cookies probably look down on those messier, cheaper, old-fashioned cookies.

And, actually, when I encountered those two types of macaroons last night, at Whole Foods, those uppity, prettier cookies WERE higher up, location-wise, than the other ones.

I ranted to my bf Michael, last night in Whole Foods, about my cookie confusion:

What is the deal with macaroons these days, Michael?   What ARE the differences between these different types?  Do the new ones EVEN HAVE COCONUT in them?  Why are they so expensive? Why are they showing up, on all the cooking shows? Should I even try them?  Are they really that much BETTER than those old, familiar macaroons?

As I was taking the cookie shots, above, somebody who works at Whole Foods kept coming up and asking me if I needed help.

My initial thought was “I’m in trouble, for taking photos.”  I was able to identify THAT thought as a cognitive distortion immediately, though, and let it go.

But I still felt a little twinge of guilt, whenever the Whole Foods Lady asked me if I needed help. That guilt twinge could have been related to my expectation, in the moment, that I was unlikely to buy anything.

Finally, though, I unloaded my confusion and my questions about those cookies, in response to “Can I help you with anything?”

What was that nice woman’s reply?  She told me:

  1. She couldn’t really explain the difference between the cookies to me.
  2. She could assure me that the prettier cookies were worth the additional price.
  3. She suggested I bring home one of those new cookies, and see for myself.
  4. She recommended I try the one new-fangled cookie that shared something important with the old, familiar ones: coconut.

Here’s that cookie:


Last night, I looked down at it, I ate it, and it was good.

Afterwards, Michael asked me, “What it worth $49?” (Because that was one of the numbers I was throwing around last night, in my rant.) I replied, “No.  But it was DEFINITELY worth $1.89.”

As usual, there were many more things I wanted to show and tell about, today. Do I have time?  We shall see.

Here are some more photos I’ve taken recently, looking down:


That’s an image that was seen but not shown, during my walk this weekend (see here for more about that).

Here’s another image you haven’t seen yet, when I was looking down at a different location:


Why did I take THAT shot? Well, I thought that was kind of ridiculous, to have a stuffed animal that smelled like chocolate. Wouldn’t somebody try to eat THAT?

Here’s another shot I took, within moments of that last photo, when I was looking down:


Why did I take THAT photo?  What do YOU think, dear reader?




Okay, I’ll tell you. I noticed the absurdity of a sign that said “Something Special” AND “Save 00 cents.”

So what’s left to do, before I complete and publish this post?

I suppose I could try to clear up any possible ball of confusion*, here. But I doubt I have time for that.

I suppose I should explain, a little more, about the post title “Look down and look back (in anger).” For example, what the heck is anger doing there? I mean, the anger is contained, in parentheses, but is this post REALLY about anger, too?


I’ll tell you this: When I was composing that title, last night, I had remembered this play, from the 1950s:


And while sitting in an electric chair doesn’t sound exactly comfortable or conducive to paying attention, “Look Back in Anger” has been considered, for many years by many critics, to be an important piece of work.

But why is that in the title of my post?  I haven’t even seen “Look Back in Anger” — as a play or as a movie.

I’ll confess this, now: I have been working on anger — my own and others — in many different places, these days. That’s why it showed up in the title.

For example, in a group I was in last week — as a member, not a leader** — I yelled “FUCK YOU!” Which, I must say, is very uncharacteristic of me.

And while it felt good to let that anger out, I — almost immediately — felt guilty about it. When I expressed my fear and guilt about what I had done, the group leader said, “Your anger is very welcome, here.”

Wow.  That’s really something worth looking back at.

Okay!  Time to end this post.

Thanks to cookies of all kinds, Temptations,  Whole Foods and Shaw’s Markets, people who are working on anger in any way, those who look every which way, and to you — of course!! — for being here, today.

* You know, if you don’t look at my links, you really might miss something special.

** I would never say such a thing as a facilitator or leader. I feel the need to repeat that — up there and down here — to be absolutely clear.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 366: S-words

Note: Some of the links in this post use adult-oriented language.

“S-words.”  Yes, that’s the title for this momentous post — my first post of the New Year and the first one that has a number higher than 365.

How did I arrive at that title?

Who cares, really?  That’s in the past.  Let’s just deal with the present for now, shall we?

Of course, now that I’ve committed to being in the present, I want to go back into the past, just for a moment (because that’s how our minds work, people). In posts past, I have blogged about words that start with a special letter: a P-Word (Procrastination), an A-word (Anger),  and a D-word (Death).

That D-word is usually a conversation stopper (and it’s really buried in that linked post, too), but let’s move on, shall we?

Today, I would like to expound/ramble/write about some S-words.  How many, exactly?

Let’s find out!

1.  Start.

Today feels like a new start, because it’s New Year’s day. It’s also a new start for me, here at this blog.

As with any new start, I’m keeping some old things — to help me feel safe, secure, and competent enough– and introducing some things that are new. I won’t name what the new things are; I’ll let you notice those on your own, if you are so inclined.

There was another, specific change I wanted to make in my blog today, but I haven’t figured out how to do it, yet. The change?  I want to stop using asterisks for footnotes (because those asterisks can sure pile up, people) and start using another S-word:  Superscripts, those little numbers that hover above the line.

I think superscripts might help provide a more convenient and pleasurable experience here — for you AND me.

2.  Support.

Support is something I sometimes have trouble asking for. I often try to solve problems on my own, because of past experiences. But I guess I might need some support, specifically with that change to superscripts.

We shall see.

3.  Steam.

Yes, steam. One of the post titles I was considering, this morning, was “Letting off steam.”  Why? Because:

  1. Our heating system (which I wrote about here) has been continuing to act hookey, flooky, or however else you want to describe a friggin’ system that isn’t working correctly. For one thing, the radiator in the bathroom started sounding (and feeling) like a seriously insane steam bath, the thermostat kept pooping out, AND the boiler in the basement was needing new infusions of water constantly. Because I don’t like to bother people, and it wasn’t an emergency, I sent an email yesterday morning to the Heating Guy on My Team, Tom Prendergast, that explained the situation but which also said, “No rush,” because I assumed this was a busy holiday time for him. Nevertheless, Tom called me back yesterday (just as my son and I were about to go out for lunch*) and he sent over two guys who changed the vent on the radiator, which is definitely helping the situation.
  2. Because situation #1 included two of my “triggers” —  machines (or other systems) not working properly AND hunger — I felt the A-word (anger), yesterday afternoon. At everybody. At the world. My son, who is so smart that when he hears a certain tone in my voice, sometimes says, “You’re hungry,” was even smarter, yesterday. When he heard “that tone” he asked, calmly, “Are we going to have our New Year’s Eve fight?”  which helped, for many reasons. What else helped? I let off some steam with my bf, Michael, about some things that had been bothering me. And, I ate some friggin’ thing.

4. Shame.

There it is. One of the big S-words, for sure.

I wrote about shame several times last year (including here). I assume I’ll write about it again, in 2014.

Here are some things I have felt shame about (which I’m working on letting go of):

  1. Anger, which is just another human feeling.
  2. Imperfections in my body and mind (also human).


Okay!  There were some other S-words I could have written about today — including  sleep, singular, and snoring, plus the S-word George Carlin said you couldn’t say on TV** — but it’s time for me to start ending this post.

So what am I missing, at this point?

An image! I can’t think of a suitable s-word for that, so let’s go with a p-word: a photograph!

Checking photos I have stored on my iPhone ….

Hmmmm. Here’s something, but it’s an image I’ve already used, twice before (here and here). It definitely is an important S-word, though:


Hmmmm. “Stop” can be a very useful word, but I’m still not satisfied. Let’s see what’s on Google Images, today, for “S-word.”

As usual, I am surprised at the selection (in order of appearance):



29934426_640 (1)*****


After that excellent S-word,”Serendipity”, Google Images then presented LOTS of pictures of …. swords.  Sorry, but those don’t meet my needs, today.

But suddenly, one more “S-word” showed up:

images (27)******


Thanks to my son, Michael, George Carlin, Tom Prendergast, anybody else who contributed to the creation of this post today, and — of course! —  to my special, surprising, and super readers, everywhere.


* We were actually going out for sushi, another S-word, but doesn’t that sound  (fill in your own judgmental word, if any, here)?

** Here‘s a link to that classic Carlin routine — “The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV”.  These days, it depends on the station.

*** That image lives here.

**** That image lives here.

***** That image lives here.

****** That image lives here.

******* That image, supposedly, lives here.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

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