My anger is like an underground cave lined with surgical lamps that all wire through a single switch. When that switch is off, everything is pitch black. I’m calm, cool, and ready to forgive whatever slights are thrown at me, as long as that little switch stays in the “off” position.
But when that switch flips on, it’s blinding in that enormous cave. The only thing in the world is burning anger.
It’s not always apparent what will flip the switch, and there is no setting between cold, mellow darkness and raging solar flare.
That switch rarely flips on, but when it does, it hurts. The energy it takes to be that angry depletes me quickly and doesn’t stop bleeding out of me when I’m running on empty. I’d easily rate that kind of episode as one of the most painful experiences I go through. Sadness is awful, but given a choice, I’d almost always take despair over rage.
But I’m glad I’m angry tonight.
I’ve never been able to decide if a collected, even apathy is preferable or not to the roller coaster of mood swings that usually dominates my existence. I’d rather not have to choose between the two ends of the emotional spectrum – feeling everything or feeling nothing – but a middle path never seems to present itself as an option. So I usually just alternate back and forth between numbness and sensitivity, more by necessity than choice. When one state becomes unbearable, I go careening headfirst into the other.
My mood switches between nothingness and everythingness every few hours or so, but generally, I stay in the territory of one or the other experience for a few months at a time. My days are chaotic, but my weeks are summarily either numb or hypersensitive.
I’ve been despondent for several weeks now. Feeling nothing is strange; it hurts, but pain is a feeling, and when I’m truly apathetic, I can’t feel anything. So how could apathy possibly hurt? Yet it finds a way.
That’s why I’m glad I’m angry tonight. It means the spark of a potential mood finally found a store of emotional gunpowder. Color is starting to creep back to me in little bursts.
I can only hope this means the apathy in my chest is clearing up for now. Numbness tells me there’s nothing in me – just an empty socket where my heart should be. However, I’m taking the gamble that it’s lying. I’m choosing to believe that the apathy isn’t a true emptiness; it’s just an obscuring cloud. I bet my heart’s still there.
I’m glad I’m angry tonight.