Depression is defined in the dictionary as: low spirits; gloominess; dejection; sadness…Psychology: an emotional condition, either neurotic or psychotic, characterized by feelings of hopelessness, inadequacy, etc.”
Anxiety‘s dictionary definition states: “a state of being uneasy in mind, apprehensive, or worried about what may happen; concern about a possible future event…Psychiatry: an intense state of this kind, characterized by varying degrees of emotional disturbance and psychic tension.”
Anger is defined as: “a feeling of displeasure resulting from injury, mistreatment, opposition, etc., and usually showing itself in a desire to fight back at the supposed cause of this feeling…Synonyms: anger is broadly applicable to feelings of resentful or revengeful displeasure; indignation implies righteous anger aroused by what seems unjust, mean, or insulting; rage suggests a violent outburst of anger in which self-control is lost; fury implies a frenzied rage that borders on madness; ire, chiefly a literary word, suggests a show of great anger in acts, words, looks, etc.; wrath implies deep indignation expressing itself in a desire to punish or get revenge.”
If you ask yourself a sincere question: Can I relate to these definitions? Have I ever experienced them? The answer would have to be a resounding, “YES!” Because, whether you acknowledge these ugly feelings or not, the human condition dictates that they are all part of our emotional makeup.
Then the question arises: Are you currently experiencing them in any form? Are you stuck in a loop where all you can do is think about what happened? This could include incidents that occurred many long years ago, last week, or right now.
Are you aware that depression is actually unexpressed anger, which then turns inward, wreaking havoc with every part of you? There are many avenues which you can follow in order to find an answer to your particular brand of it: Books, Classes, Meditation, Breathing, Learn to Forgive, etc. One suggestion I have seen is to write everything down and then mail it to that person, or just express it and shred it. Another is to exercise it away as you think about whatever it is. Another is to pound a pillow, expressing it as you think about it.
Depression also includes sadness and malaise. It can be due to the loss or illness of a loved one or an irresolvable situation, where the Pushmi-Pullyu from the Dr. Dolittle story, enters in. Just recognizing your emotions and the situation can help in enduring whatever is going on. Sometimes that is the best we can do.
Anger is not pretty. It can be extremely destructive in all of its forms. Women, more than men, tend to hold it in until it bursts forth like a raging torrent, usually over something trivial. All you have to do is look at the event and see if the words are commensurate with the situation. Usually, it isn’t. Then you have to look for unresolved issues that occurred prior to the outburst and see what the real driver is. Men tend to be more reactive to situations, responding immediately to it. Their fuses tend to be a lot shorter. This can be a good thing, but also not-so-good, depending on the outcome.
Let’s talk about the idea of FOXHOLES. Soldiers of old dug holes in the ground to protect themselves from the enemy. These holes were dubbed foxholes. In this analogy, think of yourself as being in a hole in the ground, protecting yourself from all incoming issues. As these incidents occur, you grab them instead of letting them pass you by. In lieu of handling the ones you grab at the time, you stuff them into your foxhole, literally filling it up again. You can see how easily your foxhole becomes full, and you are vulnerable because there is more incoming, with nowhere to stuff it. So when the next one comes in, you overreact because your foxhole is full. The other thing about stuffing foxholes is that, the longer that particular thing is in the foxhole, the harder it is to resolve. The idea here is to take care of all incoming problems and not stuff it in the first place. (Of course, if you had just let them pass by without dwelling on them, it would be a non-problem.) The only way to get the foxhole empty is to look at each thing you have stuffed in there and find a way to resolve it. Easier said than done, you say. I agree, but it is absolutely necessary.
Have you ever seen a mother or father with a difficult child, who just keeps pushing and doing inappropriate behaviors? They usually forebear action, especially in today’s world, until something happens which pushes them over the edge. Then they overreact with angry words, actions, etc., that are not in line with what just happened and a punishment that is not commensurate with the child’s behavior mistakes. This causes confusion for all.
In the Bible, Ephesians 4:26 states: “Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
My husband and I agreed from the very beginning of our relationship that whatever issues arrive during each day, we would take care of them before we went to bed that night. We would then resolve whatever it was, no matter how difficult or traumatic, to an acceptable level, kiss each other, bless each other, and go off into the Land of Nod peacefully. In all these years, we have never had any “Foxhole” troubles. Life is so much simpler this way. The resolution is accomplished more easily and appropriately.
Have you ever heard a couple arguing about incidents that happened long ago, dredged up in a moment of anger to be thrown in the other’s face? This is a full foxhole, folks. It appears as if by magic, but trust me, it’s not.
The most insidious factor of the Awesome Trio of Depression, Anxiety, and Anger is that they come to you in a complex mix of worry, fear, and trepidation. They are usually part of your foxhole before you realize what is occurring. How can you solve that? It is simple: When you finally recognize it, do something about it. Find a resolution that works for you. Do not let it just stay where it is, causing trouble, ulcers, and affecting your health, because it will not just go away. You will have to find a way to dissolve it. Action speaks louder than words.
Another aspect of this Awesome Trio is that we can assimilate it from the world outside of us: All you have to do is pick up a newspaper, read news on inline, or turn on the TV to the news. The horrific is common fodder for broadcasting. We react to some of it in a personal manner. Yet we can do nothing to change whatever happened, is occurring, or may come down the road. There are just simply horrid instances of every form of malice and ill will out there. Somehow, it ends up in our personal think tank as we find it abhorrent to us in so many ways. We ponder on it. Some of us respond and take some sort of action to assist whoever it is that needs help. Sometimes there is nothing we can do, ever. Yet it stays in our foxhole unless we take some action to either bless them on their way or otherwise resolve it so we can get on with our lives.
Living can be messy. It is not happenstance. We must participate in our lives to the best of our ability.
Are you willing to entertain the AWESOME TRIO of DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, and ANGER ENDLESSLY? Or do you want to find a way to process the causation in order to resolve whatever it is in a timely manner? It is, after all, your journey, health, emotions, ulcers, and life. No one can do it for you. You alone must make the choices that will make the difference.
God’s blessings upon your journey!
A short definition of Unhappiness is something which you would wish to un-happen. In other words, you are not happy with the results/consequences of something.
Is this possible? Can history be changed? Are there regrets? Do you ever wish you had done something differently?
If it happened a second ago or years ago, history cannot be altered.
You can do things differently from now on, starting this minute. But you cannot undo what has been done. You can apologize perhaps. But you need to forgive yourself and others and move on.
The dictionary says the definition of Unhappiness is sad, wretched, sorrowful, ill-chosen.
I think we can all agree on that.
So what then? You must deal with the consequences, of course. But ruminating on the past can only get you the dictionary’s definitions of emotions that are not only unproductive, they are counterproductive. The more you think about something that has happened, the less you are in the present and unable to look forward to your future.
You need to ask yourself if you are Happy or Unhappy. If it is the former, congratulations! Keep up the good work! However, if it is the latter, regardless of the reason (no matter how justified you feel about it), you know you are STUCK.
It’s like Brer Rabbit and the tar baby. The more you fight with it, the more stuckered up you get!
Do you want to stay all stuckered up? It is your choice, after all.
It is like the vines that kept Harry Potter and his two friends all tied up — the more they struggled, the tighter they got. When Hermione realized what the vines were, she relaxed and fell through the tangle to the floor below, as did Harry. Hermione had to use light to get Ron freed.
We also need the light of understanding to free us from whatever we are stuck in. Seeking the light is the first step in the process. It will always come to anyone who is truly seeking it.
Bless you on your journey!
“Forgive Me When I Whine” by John Palmer
“Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;
I envied her—so beautiful, and how, I wished I were so fair;
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
but as she passed, she wore a smile
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two feet –the world is mine
And when I stopped to buy some sweets,
the lad who served me had such charm;
he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm;
I said, “it’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.”
And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two eyes, the world is mine.
Then when walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue;
He stood and watched the others play,
it seemed he knew not what to do;
I stopped a moment, then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?
He looked ahead without a word,
I realized –he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have two ears, the world is mine
With feet to take me where I’d go,
with eyes to see the sunsets glow,
with ears to hear what I would know,
I am blessed indeed.
The world is mine.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine.”
This article always strikes a chord deep within my being.
The definition of whine is: “To complain or beg in a childishly undignified way; a complaint uttered in a whining tone; to utter a peevish, high-pitched, somewhat nasal sound, as in complaint, distress, fear, etc.”
How about you? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? Is your coffee cold and your toast burned? Did you have a flat tire or the car would not start? Daily life is filled to the brim with instances like this.
Remember, it is not what happens to you that really counts…it is your REACTION to it that does the damage or begins to make a repair.
Which will you choose?
The Serenity Prayer is always just a thought away:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
(by American theologian Reinhold Nieburh 1892-1971)
So, if you look carefully at whatever is distressing you, you may well find something to be grateful for. It will change your attitude immediately.
Are you willing to give it a try?