I suppose it's time to admit it, I have a problem with anger.
Where to begin? It doesn't happen very often. The last time was a few days ago, but the last time before that was in the summer.
When I get really angry, I tend to get out of control. I will scream and throw things. Last time, I bit my lip deeply enough that it's only just now healed 8 days later. Once I get near that point, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to calm down, taking a deep breath or counting to ten doesn't do anything, and trying to have a reasonable conversation just reminds me of all the reasons I should be furious.
Traveling seems to be a major trigger. I'm beginning to think I should just avoid travel completely! I have a probably unreasonable attitude toward vacation travel, which is that everything should be well planned out, departures should be as early and as efficient as possible, and companions should arrive on time or be left behind. Getting stuck in traffic is evidence of the lack of a basic life skill, getting lost is a major moral failure. And, no, laid-back companions don't relax me. Having a crowd of people who don't recognize the importance of proper planning just means I have to worry all the more, lest we never get there.
Skipping meals also seems to make it easier for this sort of thing to happen. I'll be hungry, then ravenous, then (especially I've eaten sugary snack food because nothing else was available) I'll stop feeling hungry and feel vaguely sick instead. At that point, it's pretty easy for me to become dangerously angry.
I want to stop. I don't want to be this way, but I don't know how to stop.
You have worked out a couple of your triggers, so that is a step in the right direction. Some people have moods that are really sensitive to dietary conditions, so that is something that is easier to deal with. Treat your moods like any health condition, and avoid the foods and situations that affect them. Travelling...I am more like you - I get very uneasy if there is a possibility of a problem. Unfortunately, I am married to a man who has great faith in planes waiting, his ability to run for a train..Many times I have looked up from my timetable to tell him "OK we are boarding now" and find he has disappeared into the bookshop or something...My daughter has found that by arriving late at the airport, she will be fast tracked into the check-in line. She is the only person I know who constantly gets paged to get the heck on the plane NOW, LOL. I am a nervous wreck. What you can do for yourself is to make a list of the disasters that can happen, and ask yourself "What is the WORST outcome here?" It is usually just being late, or taking longer in the car than you want to and fairly trivial stuff like that. Even missing a plane flight is not always a true disaster, just a total pain in the neck and the wallet. But...how often does this happen?? Holidays should be FUN..it is the one time when, maybe a disaster can happen and it is not the end of the world. The temper tantrums will spoil many more holidays than the mishaps that can (but usually don't) happen. Anyway, all that is beside the real point, which is when you say you lose control. I don't believe this to be true. You use your anger to try to control a situation that bothers or frightens you. Ask yourself whether getting angry and losing it changes anything about the issue, except to loudly intimidate everyone else into doing it your way. Clearly travel takes you out of your comfort zone, and this is scary for you. Anger is your way of dealing. Find another way. It is possible. As with anything said on these boards, or anywhere else, just try it on for size, think about it. Sera.
Making a list in advance of what can go wrong, and why it's not really a problem. I like that. I think I'll try it next time.
Still, once we are actually stuck in the traffic jam, all I can see is the time we are wasting when we could have been doing something else (anything else!), if only I'd planned better.
Interestingly, my husband and I are trying to save money, and our budget review showed that travel was our biggest discretionary expense. Maybe I should just travel less.
I do try to have food available at all times, but when traveling it's particularly difficult. Due to my stomach problems, there are a lot of things I can't eat. When I'm home it doesn't matter, but elsewhere it can be hard to find anything. I can't eat tomatoes or anything greasy, for example, and granola bars or other sugary garbage (read the label on a granola bar sometime) just make me feel even worse if I try to eat them in place of a meal.
When I go on a long trip, and I have enough time to prepare, I pack food like I'm going on an expedition into the wilderness! I'll bring pounds of food, 4 hardboiled eggs, a few ounces of cheese, peanut butter sandwiches, canned sardines, carrot sticks, hummus, etc. I don't care if the planes are delayed, I'll just eat all day long.
Hmmm, time to bake my quiche so I have something to bring to work for lunch this week. Do I want a crusted quiche this time, or no-crust?
My two triggers were hunger and stress or being out of control / out of my comfort zone.
When I'd get hungry, I'd be mildly hypoglycemic and be a bit nauseous and sick-in-my-head feeling, a bit shaky too...I'd get very irrational about things, and mostly I'd be able to use my sense of humour to bypass any explosion, but when I couldn't, usually if I was stressed or tense as well, uh oh. Major tantrum time.
Something I noticed in your original post...you say once you get to a certain point, you can't seem to control yourself? This actually isn't true. Not in any way to belittle your post or your feelings, but you CAN control yourself, believe me.
I've thrown chairs, I've thrown glasses into a sink, I've punched walls, kicked things, screamed at the top of my lungs, slammed doors so hard they actually broke, threw myself on the ground screaming and crying, swore every second word I said (usually I hardly ever swear), shouted incredibly hurtful and insulting things to my partner, and I've also done all this right in the middle of crowded places, fully aware people were staring at me in shock and horror, but I "couldn't stop" myself.
Afterwards I'd be so mentally and physically exhausted I'd shake and feel quite sick in the stomach.
Anyway, I stopped this around 2 years ago and now when I feel the tension beginning, I laugh at it. It's not a big deal. Move on, I say. It's ok. It's a hell of a lot better to just get over the stress you feel rather than let it blow up and then feel terrible afterwards because of how you've behaved. It's idiotic, and you CAN control it. Of COURSE you can. We're not robots, programmed by someone. We have our own minds.
You simply get stressed out (understandably so, but that's irrelevant here) and that especially when combined with your hunger causes you to want to release that pent up tension and discomfort you feel, and so you LET yourself explode. You INDULGE your feelings in a destructive way. Do not do this. Believe me, you will feel SO much better and each time will be a bit easier. You will feel empowered and more in control of yourself.
If you get hungry, EAT something. Anything at all. It will help so much.
If you're stressing out, RELAX or see the funny side. 99% of the time there is one to be found.
Well, alright…I hear you, but I don’t think you understand that you can stop at any time. Don’t sell yourself short and remain feeling out of control and helpless beyond a certain point. You are always in control of your actions. It’s like an equation…at any time, does it feel better to keep going the way you are, getting more and more angry, reacting badly and behaving horribly, or would it feel better to just STOP. Usually you choose to keep going because by that point you’re so stressed you “need” to get it out via angry behaviour. But really, at the end, it will feel better if you do stop. It’s just hard to see that at the time when you’re “out of control”.
I can appreciate if travelling really stresses you out, and part of me agrees with limiting any travel so you can avoid getting so stressed and angry, but the other part of me feels we shouldn’t restrict ourselves but rather should overcome such obstacles so our lives can be as full as possible.
i have been angry many times and have regretted things i did in anger.what i realised is that one cant totally stop being angry but u can minimise it. Give yourself a strong ,convincing reason to not get angry. like i tell myself that anger only makes me lose things and i dont want to lose anything so i dont want to get angry. another thing is that when i tell myself that anger is just an emotion and it will pass away and i turn on some music, it really helps
companions should arrive on time or be left behind. Getting stuck in traffic is evidence of the lack of a basic life skill, getting lost is a major moral failure. And, no, laid-back companions don't relax me. Having a crowd of people who don't recognize the importance of proper planning just means I have to worry all the more, lest we never get there.
You sound like you feel and act superior to everyone else. If travel isn't fun for you, think of your travel companions. Your anger just seems to be a byproduct of your uptight, irrational and stressed-out self. You should learn how to relax, be kind and love life.