Thursday, December 30, 2004

Frozen Rage

I was able to figure out that I have a bit of anger stored up - feelings I have been stuffing down in hopes of them disappearing instead of facing them head on. A friend once described depression as frozen rage and that has often been an apt term for my moods. Somehow just identifying the source of my foul mood made it liveable. I could handle living in my own skin again.

Repressing anger has been my way of coping for longer than I can remember. I can't say that the church has done me any favours in learning to deal with it. The pressure to let go, forgive, buck up, 'be nice', pray a prayer and everything is fixed etc. has at times been huge. In all fairness some of the pressure is of my own making. Mixed up ideas of what a 'good Christian' is clouded my vision. I refuse to play those games anymore but I sure pine for the stamp of approval some days. Most likely on the days when I can't give it to myself or accept it as truth from Christ. Slowly I am learning that Christ has given me his stamp of approval simply because I exist. I show up on a daily basis and he does his thing in me and somehow I get changed in the process. No, I am not a bystander in the process yet I am. It's been very humbling to take a good hard look at me and stand in wonder at how did I get here from there? (And conversely how come I am still here instead of where I thought I was?) I don't mean to imply that the process is easy. It's just that in the process I am unaware of what is being wrought in the inward parts of me....what the refining process is producing. It is pure grace. I can't take any credit for it.

For today the anger is either gone or repressed further down. Most likely I have traded emotional integrity for the image of 'being nice' to someone, rescuing them from themselves or simply rescuing myself from the intensity of my feelings. It won't last forever because I won't let it. The price of my continuing sobriety has been to stop living in the land of denial and face things no matter what. Eventually I do. Otherwise the frozen rage would be permanent.

1 comment:

Stella said...

I like the description of depression being masked as frozen rage. I think there is a lot of truth to that. Years ago I read something in a novel (of all places!) that basically stated that unexpressed or unresolved anger or even "just" intense emotions is at the root of a lot of depression. I tend to agree. I have found often the "simple" act of acknowledging my anger or other extreme, pent-up, buried/denied emotion releases and frees me.