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Several years ago I went through a particularly bad patch and sought some help from a therapist to work through some issues. I was raised mainly in the South in an era where women were ladies and behaved to a fairly strict code of conduct. It came as somewhat of an epiphany to me, then, when my therapist informed me that I had a right to be angry about some of the issues with which I was dealing. Anger was not something that ladies expressed (at least not publicly). However, I had been wronged, I knew I had been wronged, and being angry about it was a perfectly natural reaction. It was okay to give myself permission to be angry.

How you react to being angry, however, is a whole different topic. There is a world of difference between acknowledging your anger and dealing with it in a responsible, adult manner versus taking a sledge hammer to the offending party’s brand new Mercedes.

I am angry today.

Monday I had an unexpected visit to my retina specialist. I had tears in both my retinas a few years ago, and with the onslaught of new symptoms, I went in to be checked. After three hours and sonograms of both eyes, there are no tears. But the doctor indicated that conditions are right for another occurrence, so he wants to see me again in 30 days for more sonograms — unless symptoms worsen between now and then. So he’s expecting more damage and I’m expecting more laser surgery. (Could the tears be related to my Sjrogrens? The tears are caused by decreased vitreous fluid in the eye.)

Tuesday I went in to see my dentist. The result is a root canal for a molar that already has a crown. I’m scheduled for next Monday. (I don’t have time this week.) The dentist discussed the amount of inflammation at the roots of the tooth and chatted about my overzealous immune system. (Could the tooth problem be related to or aggravated by my RA?)

Last night I locked my keys in my office (after everyone else had already left) and today it’s cold and rainy making my joints hurt all over.

So I’m angry that all of these things have not only happened, but have done so in such short order.

I just can’t decide with whom or at what I’m angry. So that means I can’t really decide how to react to all this built up frustration. Other than my own negligence leaving my keys in the office, none of this is anyone’s fault. But you know what? I’d like it to be somebody’s fault because that would mean that someone could be held responsible for fixing everything — my eyes, my tooth, my RA. (I’ll compromise on the weather.)

One of the coping mechanisms I learned during therapy was that when certain emotions or thoughts threatened to take over my daily life, instead of dealing with it then, schedule a later time to deal with it. When those overwhelming thoughts would creep into my day, I’d push them aside and think, I’ll deal with this tonight, after work, over a glass of wine. More often than not, by the end of the day, the issue was no longer so overwhelming.

So I’m not dealing with any of this stuff today. I’ve scheduled it for Monday. I’m taking off the entire afternoon on Monday for the dental work, and after I get done with the root canal, I’m going home, take it easy and deal with this frustration then. Who knows, maybe I’ll deal with it by getting a massage or pedicure — that’ll teach ’em!

So give yourself permission to feel all those emotions — even the negative ones — that you’ve earned. Deal with them appropriately and please have a better day than I’ve been having lately.

Thanks for checking in.