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Anger & Pain

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:10am
I'm completely off the anti-depressant that I began taking shortly after I learned I had cancer. I tapered off the drug a few weeks ago while in Fiji. A great place to do it. Since then its been a daily struggle controlling anger that was hidden beneath a Lexapro blanket.

I am just really mad about having to deal with cancer and the body it's left in its wake. There's no getting around it, I really hate cancer these days. Gone, from my current perspective, is the notion that being stricken with cancer is worth it in order to revel in each ordinary day. I'm so angry that it took a crisis to make me value and care for the body that remains.

Upon waking I am not angry. It builds gradually beginning with my first steps out of bed. Each time I am forced to slow down and wait until pain in my ankles, knees and hips subsides I grow more frustrated. I must start slowly. Each time I rise from a chair. Or bend my knees to reach for something below. Or begin a run. Or stretch my legs.

I go to yoga now three times a week at a wonderful studio. One teacher pushes me pretty hard. I haven't told her why I can't straighten my arms when a pose calls for reaching overhead. But she helps me so much by forcing my arms to straighten because that is not something I can do by myself because of scar tissue from the mastectomies. The classes are in the late afternoon or evening and by that time I am usually pretty tense and hypersensitive. There hasn't been a class that I didn't want to quit. Run out. To cry. I get so frustrated with my limitations. And the pain. The class moves on though and distracts me enough to move me through the crazy emotions, ending with several minutes of peaceful meditation.

I am also hypersensitive to noise. Especially in the evening. If the t.v is blaring and someone is trying to speak over the noise my pulse quickens and chest tightens. I put up with it as long as I can and look forward to the peace and quiet of the night.

Last weekend at the Grizzly football game I was at the end of my rope frustration-wise by part way through the 2nd quarter. Luckily my sister was working the entrance at the other side of the stadium so I had a reason to leave the crowd for 20 minutes and enjoy talking with Anne. It is a bit too crowded where we sit. And its difficult at times to concentrate on the game because of constant chatter among the people in front and next to us. I avoided eye contact. Sensory overload and heat from the sun added to the anger and frustration inside of me. I took a long walk outside of the stadium at halftime to relax. Late in the third quarter my mom and I explored the new stadium expansion and cooled down in the shade provided underneath. I was very happy to leave the game early and escape the overwhelming atmosphere.

So that's where I'm at. Looking for healthy ways to express anger that has been pent up for close to a year now. I know that this too will pass.
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