The Other Side of Anger
Last updated: June 2020
How many times have you been told not to be angry? These words have been said to me often. Hearing the directive agitates me. Many would have you believe that anger is a sign of weakness or poor self-control. My truth is that I experience anger. As I process the reality of multiple sclerosis, chronic illness, and distress there are periods when I feel anger. I believe that embracing anger is necessary work.
Angry at how life has changed due to MS
Life predisposed me to valley and mountaintop experiences, as well as a myriad of emotions. Illness subjected me to overwhelming obstacles and extreme joy as I defied odds. There were seasons where much was acquired and others filled with great loss. Anger is intertwined in the tapestry of my existence. There are moments when I am angry at life and illness. Periods where I despise multiple sclerosis and the unpleasant changes that can accompany it. Recurring thoughts about life before injury and chronic pain taunt my memory while seizing my mind. Refusing to reside on "fantasy island" compels me to address the origin of my ire.
My anger gives me strength
Earnestly anger has its place. Anger emboldens me to “fight the good fight.” It summons my fortitude during my weakest moments. When despondent, I remember giving up is not my option. I whisper, “you are not going to win” to whatever is ailing my spirit. Anger has heartened my advocacy efforts and social justice endeavors.
Standing up for underrepresented communities
My rage is channeled to affect change and confront destructive, societal ills. The lack of diverse and inclusive practices compels me to stand with and for underrepresented communities. I am enraged by the atrocities occurring in the world and committed to being the change I wish to see. Anger at the lack of sensitivity and empathy for mankind urges me to be a better human being.
Anger is natural
It is essential for me to adhere to the vexation that surfaces and to process it accordingly. I acknowledge that anger is a natural human response. Anger prompts me to challenge hardship and confront injustice. Equally important is accepting responsibility for my actions and reactions. I have reached the level of self-awareness to retreat and/or summon help if needed. Therefore, please reserve judgment. Telling me to not be angry is a hypocrisy. I am angry and can unashamedly say so. Eventually, I will find my way through. Sending positive thoughts and light to those who are struggling.
Thanks for listening.
What does advocacy mean to you as someone living with multiple sclerosis? Please select all that apply: