Hiding behind Anger

Angry womanI stayed home sick today and watched Oprah, something I rarely do even though I like the show. The topic today was creating a spiritual relationship and started by having the audience write down 5 words to describe their marriage or whatever relationship they were focusing on. They were then challenged to go home and ask their spouse or partner to do the same thing, writing down 5 words, and then comparing their list and talking about what they wrote.

From there guest Gary Zukav began talking with couples about what they learned and how they would move forward from this point. I got distracted by one thing he said to the first couple — that lashing out in anger at each other was acting out of pain and that the pain came from fear. Basically where there is anger, underneath it all is fear. It’s a cue to pay attention to the things in yourself that need to be fixed, not about fixing your partner.

I found myself thinking about how this applied to me as an AngryFatGirl. After all, “angry” is part of the name and it represents so much. I find myself lashing out in anger far too often and I knew that it was coming out of pain but I don’t think I’ve allowed myself to focus much on the fear that is underneath it all. Fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, fear of dying early, fear of being the butt of jokes, fear of being ugly, fear of failure, fear of success and not being able to handle living as a thinner person after all the work to get there. That’s a lot of fear to hide.

It’s a lot easier to just bury it and not try and address those really deep, elemental emotions. Acknowledging them, facing them, trying to FIX them, leaves me very vulnerable and drained. But not doing that means they are still there and they don’t go away by themselves. I haven’t dug deep into my emotional stuff lately because I haven’t had time for the introspection that requires, but it does need to be done.

One thing I’m afraid of is not being able to get back in the groove of comfortably following my WW foodplan and exercising regularly. I did it for a long time so I know that it’s possible, but I’ve had trouble getting back to it. But it’s important not only for my body but for my spirit. I think this is the first fear I will address because it’s manageable. I can deal with the other fears in turn but with some success in facing this one, I’ll be able to do so feeling more confident which is a better place to be in dealing with powerful emotions.

I didn’t get fat or angry or fearful overnight; they are intertwined and grew with time. So it will take time to face them. But by recognizing the reality of what’s going on inside and how it’s all connected, and not giving myself a deadline, I can do this. The first thing was just to understand and recognize what was hiding behind the anger.