I think I can relate to Dr Jekyll and Bruce Banner.
Sometimes I get angry and I don’t even know the real reason why. It’s not an explosive or violent rage, but a slow burning, seething fury. It’s in these moments that I loose all of my creativity and am left only with a need to analyze everything around me. For some reason, angry me has some pretty high standards for not just myself, but for everyone and everything around me. When everything fails to meet my expectations I just get more frustrated and angry. I don’t know how to stop it. It just slowly grows more and more potent, until eventually, I can’t really concentrate on anything but the most recent annoyance. Eventually, the damn bursts, and all of that anger pours out like water draining out of a bath tub.
The worst part about it, is the anger is as addictive as it is destructive. When you are that angry, there isn’t any room for doubt. I can almost understand why televangelists and hate-mongers do what they do. It’s easy to be filled with anger. It’s a righteous and pure feeling that pushes away any worry about if you are right or not. It raises the heartbeat and shoots sparks through the brain. I feel like I find solutions faster when I’m angry, as long as the problem in front of me is one of the things that keeps me raging. There isn’t room for anything else to float through my mind. Single minded focus is a welcome change for someone with the attention span of a goldfish.
It’s a lie, though. The confidence and focus that comes with the anger is fake. There is no control over what you can focus on, the mind just hones in on whatever is in front of it at the time. It’s like being a mental berserker. I can tackle any problem that comes along, but I can’t control how I do it, or even what problem my mind works on at the time. It just starts going through things as it hones in on them.
There has to be a way for me to harness that and make it a positive thing in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year trying to control it, purge it, and separate it from who I am at the core. The more I fought to eliminate all of that anger from myself, the more meaningless it seemed to become.
When I was a kid, I played a lot of video games. I don’t like to admit it, but I sucked at them more often than not. I would struggle through, frustrated and desperate to win, and failure after failure would drive me insane. My mother used to say, “If you’re going to get mad, turn it off.” That just fueled the anger each time she said it. Then, the combination of adrenaline and focus would smash through some barrier, and I would do what I had been so frustrated about failing at time and time again.
The lesson that I need to learn, is to cause that same thing to happen again. I need to harness all of that excess energy and turn it into something positive.