Saturday, December 12, 2009

anger management

one of the most interesting things for me about cancer is how psychosomatic it is.

(i do believe it's an epidemic now because of the crap that's in our air and water - thus in our food as well - but also because of the tension and anxiety-filled lives we lead)

one fact in the literature they handed me at MSK (memorial sloan kettering) is that people who are angry, frustrated or striving for perfection are more likely to develop cancers.

in my case, i'd had a series of earthshakingly upsetting events from last spring to this fall. i was overwhelmed by a sense of injustice and being treated unkindly by people i'd believed i'd been extremely understanding to over the years.

and quite often, as all my feelings of anger and rage welled up inside me, i realized that a lot of my anger was towards people i'd be ashamed to even admit i was angry with. people who meant the best, or people i resented because my own reactions to them made me feel used or ill-treated. my mum, my dad, my kids. even the DOG for a little while.

in fact, i wasn't even that angry at the people who i really SHOULD have been angry with.

though i did keep engaging in all their whirlwinds and dramas. i kept responding to all their accusations. i kept getting hurt when they tried to hurt me.

in my case, in the midst of realizing i was sick, i had to keep letting the anger explode and then face it. i worked with tapping (EFT), energy healers and daria dibennardo, sufi chanting and meditation.

i prayed, i asked everyone of every religion i knew to pray.

and when an incredibly angry ex continued to spin and gyrate his narrative of hurt pride and bruised ego down to absurd levels of details, i was able to just disconnect.

(interestingly, he'd had cancer as well)

so the latest part of my cancer treatment is to stop getting angry.

just writing that is so ridiculous it makes me laugh as i type it.

but i am working on stepping out of the maelstrom, of separating myself from other people's stories and frustations.

i am learning to make a few decisions selfishly. this is what i need - and i will not try and balance out what everyone else needs before i do it - and if it makes other people angry, i will try and move away from them.

i was talking to my mum once when she was angry at someone. i reminded her of the chinese proverb (or quote - can't remember, but that's chemo in my brain) -

getting angry your enemy is like taking poison and hoping that your enemy will die.

you just make YOURSELF sick.


  1. this is so enlightening and made me look at myself. i have often thought that cancer is a response to unexpressed emotion. if one holds their emotion it eventually builds and grows...into cancer? but if we get it out of our system, express it, purge it, move it OUT - isn't that healthier?