For the past few days
I’ve been really shitty, and despite my best efforts to shake it, I keep
reverting to a state best described as the angry love child of Grumpy Smurf and
Oscar the Grouch. I’ve found myself replaying old arguments in my head and
scripting shouty comebacks. I sent off a series of terse emails. And yesterday
on the train, the sound of someone constantly rustling a plastic bag annoyed me
so much I had to get up and change seats. (I was also tempted to shout at her
for using plastic bags, which is surely the greater crime, no?)
All this irritation
had no obvious cause, but it went on for days and I suspected something else
was going on internally.
My body was giving me signals that it was experiencing
irritation at a deep level. My jaw became tight and painful (this is one part
of the body where we hold on to anger), my digestion went out of whack
(something which is usually, but not always, associated with emotional stress)
and I developed hay fever (which is all about irritation)*.
Anger and irritation
are perfectly valid emotions, and me experiencing them is not a problem in and
of itself. The issue for me was that they weren’t prompted by a specific event
or experience, and they were lingering like out-of-town relatives after Boxing
Day. I knew that this was something that needed to be investigated.
When I thought about
what is really frustrating me at the moment, I instantly felt that sensation in
my gut that I get when I know I’ve identified something significant. There’s the
fact I have to move out of my house, which is going to be an exhausting process
that will cost me money I don’t have right now (and am worried that I won’t
find, despite the angels’ reassurances to the contrary). There’s also the fact
that my business is taking a long time to get off the ground. The experience of
sitting in an empty room with an empty diary and waiting for the phone to ring
is somewhat soul-destroying.
It wasn’t hard to see
the common thread: fear. Namely, fear of failure and fear of not having enough
(money, resources, time). So many metaphysical books say that everything comes
back to fear. In fact, anger is often referred to as a secondary emotion
because it is usually masking another emotion. And often, that emotion is
anchored in fear.
Recognising my fears
and calling them out for playing saboteur on my physical health hasn’t made me
any less annoyed, but at least I’m aware of what’s really going on – and that’s
helping me to put my focus back on what will help me move forward: patience.
Accepting that my life is unfolding exactly as it should, and being patient
with that process, makes me feel more calm. I hope that that will translate to
patience across the board, making me less inclined to react to surface-level
irritations. That’s the theory, anyway.
I can’t, however,
make any guarantees regarding the safety of plastic bag rustlers.
* For the record, this
doesn’t mean that if you sneeze you’re afraid of something – it probably just
means you should stay away from pollen (lol). Also, sometimes a bad mood is
just a bad mood. What I’ve documented here was just my experience of a lot of
physical symptoms and emotional triggers adding up to the same thing.