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Anger and hope. Many of us have experienced loss, or the news of family, friends, or pets being sick at times in our lives. This can be devastating news, and what can be worse is that even when we know, we can still be surprised when things happen exactly the way we have heard they’ll go.
I remember once after a loved one passed away, I found a pamphlet from the hospital titled “Hope.” I cannot tell you how angry that made me to read about the hope for recovery from something that did exactly what I had expected. Looking back, this can sound like an overreaction; but that does not mean I was not allowed to be angry, and the same goes for you.
Many of us are angry with what is happening; we either want to blame someone or are confused because there is no person to blame. And that is okay. We are certainly entitled to our feelings. Feeling angry is a natural reaction when life is disrupted this way. It is how we handle our anger that can be dangerous.
Ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” I don’t mean, “What is making me angry?” Instead, try asking yourself, “What other feelings are happening right now?” Anger is what we consider a secondary emotion, meaning that there are other feelings required for anger to be present. Anything from confusion or frustration to anxiety can be the root of anger. Once we are able to identify those other feelings, we can get a better handle on the impulses that come with the anger.
Of course, you can always check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov with questions and helpful information during this time. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or text CONNECT to 741741, or online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.