In "There's Power in Anger" earlier this week, I wrote about how angry I am with regard to my frustrating journey through the mental health care system where I live. I was hesitant about posting it, because anger makes me nervous. I instinctively equate anger with violence, which is unfortunate, because it means that I avoid feeling it to the detriment of my physical and mental health, personal relationships, and a multitude of choices I've made throughout my life. This is partially due to being a naturally passionate person who was given the full feminization training in childhood that teaches girls to stay quiet, and it is also partially due to the fact that my anger has always been tightly bound to feelings of sadness. I don't want it; I don't want to put it on someone else. Want is just that, though: it's want. Want is quite a different thing from action. Appealing to my want is usually a matter of my taking the easier, and usually lesser, deal.
I screwed up my courage and did post about my anger, but I waited for fallout. I worried that someone would drop into the comments section and blame me for my situation, tell me that I was at fault. I felt like the medical system had been doing that, so why not others? If you never test your theories, though, they cannot be disproved, so I left the entry up, and hoped for the best. I'm glad that I did, because I ended up experiencing three positive revelations.
Anger does not equal violence. Anger does not always hurt other people or myself. Expressing anger can bring about positive change.
When I wrote that piece, I didn't know what else I could do. Every medical professional I saw offered no alternatives aside from going to the emergency room when I hit rock bottom, but that never struck as me the best way to handle my situation for either myself or the medical system, and I was lost. Now, because I wrote that entry, I feel hopeful again, because the therapist I saw until three months ago, the one I that always describe as wonderful, has been coming back to read my weblog despite the fact that I dropped communication with her without explanation. She read that entry and wrote me an e-mail that said, and I quote, "I do believe every word of your experience."
I cried when I read that sentence, because for the first time I did not feel like I had to prove that I needed help. I was listened to and believed. She gave me steps that I could take to see a good therapist in about a month, which is pretty speedy in this city, and I am so grateful that she took the time to help me as a therapist before and as an advocate for my well-being now.
Anger can be a constructive force, especially when a fabulous therapist falls into the mix. Thank you, Dr. B.