acceptance, accident, attitude, back pain, Buddhism, car accident, chronic pain, disability, doctors, happiness, illness, inflammation, injury, invisible disability, invisible illness, lifestyle, meditation
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Mindful Anger Management, Buddhism, and the Neck TENS Unit

More and more often, I am trying to figure out what this blog is to me. Is it just the tagline, “Using word therapy to work through chronic pain”? Is it an effort to reach out to people like myself and form a network? Is it a chronicle of my wayward pill-reducing efforts, or is it an examination of my transformation from a bitter young thing into a self-aware individual who can control her own anger?

Cats in general embody hatred and bitterness. I love them so.

Cats in general embody hatred and bitterness. I love them so.

I can’t control anything. That’s the first bit of wisdom I would like to impart upon you, my dear reader(s). I’m sitting here at my desk with a neck TENS unit on (it’s pretty rad, and with it looking like a choker, I’m feeling very early ’90s). I can work the buttons on the device, but it only temporarily blocks the pain. It does not fix it.

We manage. That’s why pain clinics are called “pain management.” They do not cure your pain; it is only managed. As I said in a previous entry, this current state might be the best it gets for me. I know that my physical condition is fluid, even if it moves at the pace of molasses going up a hill in January. This pain right now is not forever.

So if I am trapped within those strictures for the time being, what else can I do?

Mindful anger management.

Rock on, kid.

Rock on, kid.

This is taken from a PDF that has no author so I don’t know how to credit it, but you can find the download here:

How do you become aware of anger before it becomes that intense?
Meditation, meditation, meditation
which leads to
Awareness, awareness, awareness.


How Does Anger Work?
Learn how anger works so you can work with it and not be worked by it. … [P]sychotherapist Richard Pfeiffer, Ph.D. … describes anger as a chain reaction starting with a situation that causes you physical or emotional pain. He explains that pain triggers thoughts that cause you to blame someone or something for that pain, while your brain is sending signals to other parts of your brain to prepare you for fight or flight.

Anger hurts. When you hold onto the rage, the bitterness, it percolates inside of you until it’s boiling and it’s like oily, black ectoplasm shoving its way up your esophagus until it wrenches apart your teeth and explodes outward.

And one more block quote, mainly because this article is fantastic:

1) Learn and practice mindfulness meditation; 2) Reduce reactivity; 3) Give yourself permission to feel and access your anger; 4) Learn how to express anger and to release anger’s energy in a non-destructive way; 5) Stay as present as possible in every waking moment, especially when you feel your temperature rising; 6) Shift your attention to your breath to calm yourself until you are past the point of no return; 7) Once you’ve reached boiling point, mindfully remove yourself from conflict and only return to the discussion once the anger has been released and you feel calm; 8) Find a therapist for extra support and guidance in learning how to work with your anger.

1) Mindfulness meditation: I am using the Buddhify app and reading up on Buddhism. It actually makes sense to me in a way no religion or practice does.

2) Reduce reactivity: I can snap into anger as quickly as it takes to sneeze.

3) Give yourself permission to feel: I do that. I don’t squish my feelings into a little box like the rest of the Irish can. It’s impossible.

4) Express in a non-destructive way: I like to think that I am very civil and mature when I express my anger. I don’t break things. I don’t yell. I just dwell on things… forever.

5) Stay present when anger is rising: I’m usually caught on the wave of feeling and am far from the present shore when I’m angry. I have to work on this.

6) Focus on breathing: Um… I have to work on this one, too.

7) Remove yourself from conflict: …………………

8) Find a therapist: I am seeing one tomorrow. I shall report back with my findings.


  1. Josh Wrenn says

    Best of luck in your therapy, may your pain somehow ease or cease to exist (one can always dream), and good for you for trying to get through as best as you can.


  2. These are all things that have been on my mind of late – lots of self discovery and new ideas. Thanks for sharing this article – I appreciate your perspective!


  3. Pingback: Piss Off, Pain Management Clinics | Wear, Tear, & Care

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