Rage is a state of being that takes over your entire body. You can’t control your words, you can’t control your thoughts, your physical movements or your emotions. Or can you?
I had a huge attack today. And it was a bipolar rage. It was horrible. I was running around, as usual, trying to get things done (and of course I am NOT a good multi-tasker) when I came to a blockade in the road. For some reason, my Lab/Shepherd mix enjoys stretching her 65-pound body in the middle of the hallway, doorways, or the middle of the room. Basically, wherever I need to walk.
To move or not to move is the question. When Sam (short for Samantha) needs to decide to get out of my way, she usually chooses to stay put. Her decision actually means that I have to hurdle myself over her body. Becoming an Olympic hurdler doesn’t bother me. I usually stop, reach down and pet her long black fur. I also throw in a few kisses.
Not today! The bipolar rage showed up. This is where the bipolar person explodes. The volume of the explosion will make your ears bleed. Insults pour out of the mouth like a swollen river after a flood. Colorful words burst like fireworks at Thunder over Louisville. Sometimes the extremities get involved with the human tornado. Arms flail. Angry fists beat the wall. Legs want to kick and stomp.
When I begin to rage, I try to keep it in my head. No vile words blast out of my mouth. No violent hits or kicks. This is how I deal with it. I bottle it up inside of me. Do you do that too? Is that the most appropriate way to handle it? I should probably stop and take a walk.
I had this incredible compulsion to kick her. And I mean hard. Now, I love both of my dogs. I would do nothing to hurt Jake or Sam. I would rip whoever’s limbs off one-by-one if anyone tried to hurt my “babies” in any way. I’m the “Mamma Bear” taking care of her cubs.
With great mental strength, I kept the boiling anger inside before I made a fool out of myself and before anybody got hurt. I reached down and petted her, stroked her fur, rubbed her belly and kissed her nose. All of that even with a smile on my face!
Before the first signs of WWIII, the person will come in contact with something or someone that is agitating as hell like a boutonniere short the morning of the wedding. The trigger will bring on the rage as if she is being dowsed with a 10-gallon bucket. The connection between the two ignites a spark which produces a trigger.
Triggers are tricky. They can come out of the blue, from around the corner, smack dab in the face, as well as trip you up. There are some people who can see a trigger a mile away.
My Bipolar Rage Triggers
I have several triggers that set my rage off. Let’s see, there is the…
- slow drivers,
- drivers going too fast,
- expensive medicine to the tune of $1,600/month,
- poor service,
- anybody who is rude,
- the feeling that I have to do everything,
- and wet socks.
The Risks of Rage
Now that is just the beginning of the list. I try with prayer and will power to hold the rage in and not let it burst out. I guess in a way, that is poor advice since pent-up rage for years and years can make you sick. Held in rage can trigger medical problems such as:
- heart issues,
- stomach reflux,
- abdominal pain,
- high blood pressure,
- skin problems,
- heart attack,
- and stroke.
Long-term Strategies for Rage
In order to get a grasp on rage, one must develop long-term strategies in order to stay calm, breathe, and mitigate the effects of rage.
- identify what triggers your anger,
- work on the why, how, what, who is this trigger,
- regular exercise,
- learning relaxation techniques,
- step away from the situation and learn to breathe,
- and talk to a trusted friend.
You have precisely one body for one lifetime. If you let rage take control of your life, then rage will take you to places you do not want to go. Make it a point to learn your triggers and be prepared to face them.
Call to Action
Do you experience rage? What are your triggers? How do you handle your rage? Do you have any long-term strategies for facing rage? I would love to hear your comments in the section below. You may also email me at email@example.com.
If you are contemplating hurting yourself, click on this.
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