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Strange Urges

Clear The Air by Off With Their Heads (Live from the Rock Room, acoustic)


I have very high peak anger levels. I originally wrote “I had anger issues”, but that sentence has way too many connotations with it. It probably peaked in high school, and I’ve gotten far better at controlling it now that I’m older. Half is self-medication, and half is self-control. I don’t think anger is a bad thing, it’s just an emotion everyone has. Small doses of it are good - everyone should stand up for themselves! My issue is that I have this limit where I can only restrain it for so long. After a certain threshold, I snap and things just increase exponentially. It’s so bizarre, I can literally feel it. My shoulders instantly tense up, my eyebrows furrow, and I can just… laser focus. It’s always the last breath. I can literally feel my lungs expanding and my chest growing before I start yelling. I usually black out for the next 30 seconds (which extends to the last minute or so prior to this moment).

I had anger issues in high school. I think it’s pretty hard to decouple cause and effect there. Did I get into punk music, percussion, drum corps – all which encouraged loud, impulsive moments due to being angry? Or did those only serve to buffer what was already there? We’ll never know. Once I had put some distance between my body and my hometown, I realized that there were less sources and I could better control it. I still got angry sometimes, but I could almost always keep myself below the point where I could lose it. Not 100%, not at all, but way better.

These past two weeks have been bad. Really bad.

I’ve been working way too much. So much that I’ve actively started burning away my friends. My family has been rough. Rough enough that I want to do nothing besides work so that I have a way to avoid them. It is a disgusting, self-amplifying feedback loop. Once you’re on it, there’s no way off until it’s over. I pass out at 1 AM and wake up around 5:30 AM. I don’t do anything besides sit in bed, desperately trying to fall asleep for the last few hours I have left until the day begins again. And then it starts.

Another day of being told that no matter how hard I try, it’s not enough. Not fast enough, not caring enough. Not responsive enough, not available enough. Too many errors and too many excuses. It’s rising, can you feel it? Are you inhaling yet?

I have to blink and look away. I just want to scream out “don’t you know about your faults?". I have to consciously ensure one finger is always on Backspace and never, ever on Send. Now that I’m not trapped in a cage of dependencies, I can leave whenever I want. That’s a huge advantage I never had in high school. I’ve taken advantage of it a few times more than I’m comfortable admitting. But what do you do when there are problems everywhere? What do you do when your escape from one problem is diving into another one? There isn’t an answer, but I can tell you what I did. I used to explode.

The worst part about exploding is that everyone regrets it. I only mean 10-20% of the things I say, but if I could control it, then it wouldn’t be an explosion. It is a rapid, violent movement. It is not controllable. There are a lot of things that I wanted to say to a lot of people today. I wrote them down and I hope that I never read them again. I hope no one does.