If You’re Angry and You Know It

When I was a foster carer I used to keep this book in the kids’ bedroom. Sometimes children asked me about it. Sometimes it got picked up and put back without a word. One little boy asked for a drum.

“If you’re angry and you know it stomp your feet, bang a drum, walk away, take deep breaths, tell a friend.”

And what do you know? Now, I’m a menopausal woman learning to manage my own anger all over again. Without oestrogen and progesterone my brain and body don’t handle my emotions as well as they used to. I don’t sleep as well. I don’t manage stress as well.

There’s usually a clear trigger for my anger. There’s plenty to be angry about these days. But it’s often disproportionate, and sometimes I really feel as if I don’t know what to do with it.

So, I play the piano, loudly. I swear a lot. If the rain stops (and I get cross at the rain too) I dig the garden. I clog dance. I do yoga. I meditate.

I acknowledge the thing that’s made me angry. I try to find a way to deal with it. To express it calmly and clearly, to try and solve the problem, or reluctantly accept that curing a virus and overthrowing all the world’s corrupt governments is a little too much to expect of myself, at least before breakfast.

And I tell my friends. Loudly, swearily. And thank Godess for friends that listen. And don’t judge. And don’t mind me swearing.

And I breathe. Anger’s just an emotion. It goes. And eventually it’s ok again.