Erasing Bitterness

Mountains

Mountains in the distance

If I could erase one emotion completely from my life, I would eliminate bitterness.

Anger frightens me. When someone annoys me, I bite my tongue and inwardly scream until I have no voice. If a person hurts me, I fake a smile and brush off a few tears as a cauldron of fury bubbles inside.

But I struggle to confront or actually deal with the anger. Complain to others? Perhaps. Face my own anger? Never.

That is when the bitterness begins to grow.

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Dissolving the Bitterness

It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail. - Lech Walesa

It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail. – Lech Walesa

Over the past semester, bitterness towards me school has built up inside of me. The firing of dear faculty, condemning of my views, and belittling of me with others’ superiority has bothered me. At times, I did not know if I even wanted to walk with my graduating class this May.

However, the last few days have amazingly melted away some of my bitterness. A wonderful chapel speech from a great leader who complimented my performance and knew my name, kind words from the class president who also remembered my name (how?), and a surprisingly uplifting theology class all contributed to this change. Plus, numerous relationships are healing beautifully and making me sorrowful about leaving Minnesota.

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What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Getting Rid of the Anger

Fear of Anger

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. – Maya Angelou

Anger – this is such a frightening emotion. It breaks apart families, murder friendships, and explode violence into countries. More than most feelings, anger appears to have a power that cause people to act in a way contrary to harmony, love, and care for others.

Yet, this emotion can also bring about positive results. Anger motivated civil rights leaders to stand up for those being downtrodden, fathers to protect their families from invaders, and children to call out a bully. When channeled correctly, anger is a powerful tool for change and justice.

Many of us, however, stifle our anger out of fear of what will happen. Over the years, the emotion builds up inside without a release. What happens when there is so much anger and frustration inside that you feel ready to explode?

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Starting Off My Last Semester with Evil, Playwriting, and Sentence Structure

Sitting on the plane

I am certainly not in a plane like the nice ones that I rode to Oxford.

This semester is starting off like an airplane that is catapulted into the sky instead of starting from the ground slowly. I feel both invigorated and exhausted. Part of me worries about the future if I continue on in this fashion. However, the thrill of being busy and learning so much is almost addictive. Because of that, I wanted to share what my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule will be. Although it is only the first day of school, the feeling that these classes will be impacting my blog keeps tickling my brain.

First, my day starts at 9:10 when I have Systematic Theology which covers why we believe what we do as well as forcing us to do theology. The idea of actually figuring out and studying what I hold as true is frightening and also exciting.

After this, my university has mandatory chapel. This might involve singing, a speaker, and/or community prayer. In one sense, it is relaxing. Yet, part of me becomes antsy as I long to do something and worry about my daily tasks and homework.

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Coping Skills: #73. Apologize

Two girls talking

More people should apologize,
and more people should accept
apologies when sincerely made. – Greg LeMond

Many times, people around us are frustrating. They refuse to help out at work, say that joke that you hate, or act like you are stupid. These instances are annoying and hurtful.

Lashing out in anger can seem to be the only way that people will respond. If you yell loud enough or whine endlessly, someone is sure to take notice. But how will that impact your relationship? What kind of person does that build you up to be?

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Recovery in the Media: #65. Pictures of Hollis Woods

Pictures of Hollis Woods

This novel depicts a young girl who slowly realizes the need to open herself up instead of staying locked in pain.

65. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Growing up can be a challenging time for any youth. However those in the foster system face many difficulties that those with loving families do not. Few books touch on this element as honestly yet tactfully as Pictures of Hollis Woods. Although written for children, the themes and emotions in it apply to all ages.

Synopsis: No one wants to care for orphaned Hollis Woods. Not only is she already 12-years-old instead of an adorable toddler, her isolated and stubborn temperate make her a less than ideal child. Hollis’ life changes, however, after she is brought to the home of a retired art teacher named Josie. Healing begins to enter the preteen’s life as she discovers her creative skills with Josie’s guidance. However, the elderly woman’s forgetfulness and the girl’s deep pain begin to threaten the new life for which Hollis deeply longs.

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

Through my recovery, I have uncovered great anger and hurt at people throughout my life, even those that I love and trust. Addressing this has been important as has standing up for myself. Finally acknowledging the pain starts the healing process.

However, a new problem has set in as I have struggled to forgive. In my heart, I know that it would be the right choice and long to do it. The pain and anger continues to throb inside, however, as I still hold onto a seed of bitterness.

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Coping Skill: #59. Admitting Anger

Fear of Anger

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean. – Maya Angelou

Anger is one of the hardest emotions for me to handle. When it plagues me, I feel like an awful person. Being sweet and faking that nothing hurts me is easier. However, after awhile, I can no longer hide my frustration.

The honest truth is that anger is a normal emotion. Yes, it can motivate people to do terrible things. However, channeled correctly, anger can lead to good actions such as standing up to a bully, fighting a corruption, not allowing others to take advantage of you, or helping people to realize the pain they cause others.

You can choose how you react to your emotions even though you cannot often choose your feelings. When you hide from a feeling like anger, it often only grows stronger and more self-destructive. That is why admitting to my anger has been such an important coping skill in my recovery.

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My Mom is Not a Therapist

Family upon couch
Family upon couch

My family

My mother is an amazing person. She cares for and loves me to the best of her abilities. However she is not perfect. In fact, she is not even my therapist.

Often times, I interact with my family as if they were my medical caregivers. When I self-harm, their confused and angry response terrifies me. Times when I need consoling, they might be warn out and unable to listen. The way my Aspergian brain works still bewilders and annoys them. Thus, I am left longing for therapy from people who (despite their love) do not have the training or energy to give me that.

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