Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Irrational Fury

Perhaps, like me, you have connected your smoking to the emotion of anger.

Maybe you've heard that there is medical and scientific evidence connecting back pain to unresolved anger.

I would not be surprised if they connected smoking and other addictions to unresolved anger as well.

It feels like for the last 20 years I've been smoking a symbolic stick of anger that it's time for me to resolve.

I find I experience anger immediately following frustration if the frustration isn't immediately resolved.

Irrationally, I admit, I am in a fury when dealing with simple, everyday frustrations.

Looking in a box of cords for the specific cord that connects my MP3 player to the computer is likely to make me livid in seconds. I avoid all frustrating activities that involve technology.

Completely irrationally I direct this anger at my husband.

In my mind, he is responsible for organizing all technology.

Looking further into my anger it's really at the freaking idiots who invent technology and make different cords. Anyone in their right might would have made a freaking universal cord to attach ALL electronic devices to the same outlet in the computer. DUH!

See all that anger? See how worked up I can get over something seemingly mundane and completely out of my control?

Perhaps I connect this to smoking because right after giving up looking for the cord and calling my husband to make him responsible for looking for it, I would have previously smoked to calm myself down.

Now, I take some deep breaths and drink a tall glass of water or maybe heat myself some tea.

Don't get me started on the plethora of passwords we're expected to memorize and the asinine and arbitrary rules that vary between websites making some of them impossible to remember.

Or the rankling I feel when Yahoo changes the way I have to organize my bookmarks without warning or consent.


Brandie said...

The first time I had to deal with true, red-hot anger after quitting, I didn't know what to do with myself! Suddenly I had to relearn how to handle my emotions. I felt like a toddler. I watch my for year old clench her fists together and go "URRRGGGGGGHHHH" ... because she knows no other way to handle her emotions, and that's how I felt that day. Surprisingly, I didn't WANT a smoke when that happened, but I just didn't know how to deal with the anger. I did circumvent it with a walk and talking to a co-worker, and felt 1000 times better afterwards.

Do you find that NOT smoking to deal with anger helps you handle it better?

Tracee said...

Exactly like a Toddler Brandie. That's an apt discription.

And what a lesson to teach a toddler - when you get angry smoke.

I do agree - when I adopt an emotional strategy - shutting myself in my room to calm down, going for a walk, prayer, deep breaths - then absolutely I find dealing with the anger easier because I'm DEALING with it rather than stiffling it with smoking.

But, it has taken longer to learn the strategies than I had expected and while I don't think of smoking anymore - sometimes I get very frustrated with not knowing what to do with it.

Brandie said...

I think when it comes down to it, I didn't use smoking to deal with my anger ... I smoked to remove myself from the situation long enough so that I wouldn't fly off the handle. Now that I'm not smoking and removing myself from the situation, I have to honestly learn how to DEAL with the situation. How to resolve that anger. I don't think that part was ever solved as a smoker, I think I was just deluded about it. I can tell, because when I found other ways to handle the anger, I truely felt better -- so much better that it was a high in itself.

Tracee said...

True that. It wasn't resolving anything- it was a deluded perception. It was avoidance and repression and that's never goood.

It's such a freedom to just deal with it now! I totally agree.