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 Post subject: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:28 am 
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Hello guys,

Lately I have been trying to use the tools more in my daily life. I also practice mantras for forgiving others and for self-validation. Sometimes I feel like I truly am able to be a better person and not being controlled by BPD in my life.

However...when I am triggered, oh boy. Despite being self-aware, I find my whole being rebelling to the use of tools, or even to reason at all with myself during an episode. Sometimes I am able to halt and do The Five Steps, but when it comes to something 'sensitive' to me, I usually lose all sense of control, and I either just lash out, rage, or cry uncontrollably.

Just asking you guys, are there any tips you find practical and work for you? I sometimes feel like a really bad person for not exerting more control on myself. But it's just so hard :(


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:36 pm 
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:( I find that when I really lose it, it's like I never encountered any sort of techniques or tools at all. I get so out of control that it's like none of it matters anymore.

I think the only thing that can really help is just to keep practicing the mantras and mindfulness... and hopefully get to the point where you just don't allow your emotions to get so bottled up or exaggerated that you lose control in the first place.

Is that your experience too?


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:54 am 
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Mask wrote:
it's like I never encountered any sort of techniques or tools at all. I get so out of control that it's like none of it matters anymore.


exactly. that about perfectly sums up what I experience. it breaks me down even more after thinking I've been better with a certain tool, only to find out I am still the same f-ed up person.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:36 am 
nadnewrule wrote:
Hello guys,

Lately I have been trying to use the tools more in my daily life. I also practice mantras for forgiving others and for self-validation. Sometimes I feel like I truly am able to be a better person and not being controlled by BPD in my life.

However...when I am triggered, oh boy. Despite being self-aware, I find my whole being rebelling to the use of tools, or even to reason at all with myself during an episode. Sometimes I am able to halt and do The Five Steps, but when it comes to something 'sensitive' to me, I usually lose all sense of control, and I either just lash out, rage, or cry uncontrollably.

Just asking you guys, are there any tips you find practical and work for you? I sometimes feel like a really bad person for not exerting more control on myself. But it's just so hard :(


Something I've observed about myself over the years - When something upsets me, I get this undeniable urge to settle it RIGHT THEN AND THERE - With little regard or respect to space, breathers, etc. Like the world is going to end if I don't have a shit fit.

I talk to myself. So much that if someone heard it, they'd definitely think I was a whacko. Pay attention to the physical responses - When I am angry, all the blood rushes to my head and my hands and feet feel cold, my stomach feels icy, I am definitely NOT breathing properly, and I am just seconds away from yelling about nonsensical shit.

Those few seconds are pretty significant. If you continue to observe how the anger, sadness, etc., manifests itself physically, you can sort of set up a 'signal' between mind and body. You'll have a few seconds of a different awareness when you switch your focus from primal reaction/emotion to almost a more objective POV - Which pretty amazingly, can "dull" the feelings to something more manageable so you feel more capable of making a decision that's not purely driven by unadulterated emotion. It takes a chunk of you "out" of the moment so you can at the very least, make the decision to not react...for the time being.

I always tell myself "You do not have to react right now. It's ok to step away from this. In fact, not only is it ok, but it's good for you, too."

Then I do something nice for myself. An activity I enjoy, a bath, whatever floats your boat. I don't try to get any further ahead than I reasonably feel I can at the time. The 5 steps and such, that comes later after I've relaxed myself with a soothing activity. I do not try to force myself into rationality and wise mind when I simply acknowledge my limitation - I don't have the focus right then. I wait until I feel more prepared.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:59 am 
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nadnewrule wrote:
Mask wrote:
it's like I never encountered any sort of techniques or tools at all. I get so out of control that it's like none of it matters anymore.


exactly. that about perfectly sums up what I experience. it breaks me down even more after thinking I've been better with a certain tool, only to find out I am still the same f-ed up person.


It's not that you're some f-ed up person. We just all have these routines... these addictions. These ways of managing pain and other feelings that we are uncomfortable with. It could be the tendency to lash out, or get drunk, eat too much, go shopping until we're nearly broke... Some of us have some worse habits than others, and some of us experience more pain than others, but that's okay.

Truthfully, most of those addictions only make the feelings we are trying to resolve even worse. It's like learning to have enough self-restraint not to scratch at a bug bite. Scratching will feel better at first, but it will also make it swell and grow at least double the size, and then you'll want to scratch even more. It's okay if you couldn't stand it anymore, or just absentmindedly scratched the itch. It happens. You have to forgive yourself, and work up the resolve to leave it alone until it heals, even if you made it worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:23 am 
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Raeni wrote:
Something I've observed about myself over the years - When something upsets me, I get this undeniable urge to settle it RIGHT THEN AND THERE - With little regard or respect to space, breathers, etc. Like the world is going to end if I don't have a shit fit.

I talk to myself. So much that if someone heard it, they'd definitely think I was a whacko. Pay attention to the physical responses - When I am angry, all the blood rushes to my head and my hands and feet feel cold, my stomach feels icy, I am definitely NOT breathing properly, and I am just seconds away from yelling about nonsensical shit.

Those few seconds are pretty significant. If you continue to observe how the anger, sadness, etc., manifests itself physically, you can sort of set up a 'signal' between mind and body. You'll have a few seconds of a different awareness when you switch your focus from primal reaction/emotion to almost a more objective POV - Which pretty amazingly, can "dull" the feelings to something more manageable so you feel more capable of making a decision that's not purely driven by unadulterated emotion. It takes a chunk of you "out" of the moment so you can at the very least, make the decision to not react...for the time being.

I always tell myself "You do not have to react right now. It's ok to step away from this. In fact, not only is it ok, but it's good for you, too."

Then I do something nice for myself. An activity I enjoy, a bath, whatever floats your boat. I don't try to get any further ahead than I reasonably feel I can at the time. The 5 steps and such, that comes later after I've relaxed myself with a soothing activity. I do not try to force myself into rationality and wise mind when I simply acknowledge my limitation - I don't have the focus right then. I wait until I feel more prepared.


Your post helps a lot. I am exactly the same, I have told my SO just recently, "If we don't settle this right now, I feel like I'm gonna die!". I fixate too much until the issue becomes bigger and bigger in my head and it explodes. I will try to follow your advice for my next trigger. I just need to ask though. There are things that are just very sensitive to me, that hurt me to my very core, that take literally seconds to make me go to that crazy level, way before I can try to observe my physical reactions or physically remove myself from the situation to dull my negative feelings. Do you have this, too? If yes, how do you deal with those? Sorry if I'm being too difficult lol, but I'm just curious.

Mask wrote:
It's not that you're some f-ed up person.


Hey Mask. I guess f-ed up is too harsh. I really appreciate your kind words and I agree that when we mess up, we need to move on past blaming ourselves, pick ourselves up again, and start again.

I just would like to add from a different point of view though: We really need to own up to our bad behaviour. We didn't choose to have BPD and it's miserable, but we can't say we're not selfish when we're exhibiting selfishness, or we say we're not mean when we're yelling. Being deeply hurt does not entitle us to act badly. This is something I often tell myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:14 am 
Well, stuff I just generally get annoyed/upset with, not the core stuff, I can step away from that easily. It is the quick reaction stuff where I take special care to note how I feel physically. It took me awhile, though, to note and understand my reactions. Maybe that could be a "homework" for you. When those things happen, do you think you could grab hold of a journal and write down how you are feeling? Write through your tears. I found an old journal of mine that was so trashed, lol. I would use the pen so hard it'd go through 7 pieces of paper.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:43 am 
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Yes, I definitely can write it down. I do write some already and it's therapeutic to say the least. I'll make this my 'homework'! We'll see how that goes..


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:36 pm 
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nadnewrule wrote:
I just would like to add from a different point of view though: We really need to own up to our bad behaviour. We didn't choose to have BPD and it's miserable, but we can't say we're not selfish when we're exhibiting selfishness, or we say we're not mean when we're yelling. Being deeply hurt does not entitle us to act badly. This is something I often tell myself.


I definitely agree with you! It's a strange coincidence, but I was just talking to my bipolar mother a few hours ago.

I knew this girl in college with bipolar, and if she was triggered by something, she would not only be rude and lash out, but rather than apologizing for it, she would act entitled to behave badly because of her diagnosis. She would often say something like "Well you triggered me."

The truth was, half the people she treated that way were mentally ill individuals who at least felt responsible enough to apologize when they behaved inappropriately. :/ I think it's important to own your actions, and not only apologize, but strive to do better next time.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Raeni wrote:
Maybe that could be a "homework" for you. When those things happen, do you think you could grab hold of a journal and write down how you are feeling? Write through your tears.


I really like this advice. I used to journal too, but I stopped... I think I'll start this homework with you. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:42 am 
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Ok that's great, Mask!

I just want to tell you guys that I was triggered for almost 2 hours today, and wrote in my journal. I wrote some terrible things, and let myself write through my anger and sadness and feelings of rejection. My boyfriend did something that I perceived as cheating on me and I'm still unable to forgive him for it. I frequently dissect and rethink about every single thing he did, even the smallest act while he did it, and it feels me with so much negativity.

I know I should've done better than this, but at least, I did not lash out on him. And right now I think that matters the most. I need to stop fixating on the past. How, I do not know :(.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:31 am 
I'm sorry you were feeling so bad and your frustrations with the past.

What you did is a very positive thing and accomplishment. You were triggered, felt terrible, and instead of raging at your boyfriend, you took a step - by yourself! - to acknowledge your feelings and not simply "react" at people. It's great! That's a great step, nadnewrule. I know it's tough to see it that way because there are so many negative feelings surrounding that scenario with your boyfriend, but it is. One thing at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ways to manage anger
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:20 am 
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Thank you! It is very motivating to come here and see a supportive message. I'll keep doing this from today onwards. It's super hard while I'm doing it, and I don't exactly forget about the trigger, but I am able to be more rational about it. Thanks for your suggestion.


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