Genetically Wired Pacifist?

Yes, I know. We don't see it as a 'disability' or a 'handicap' or any other negative connotation. But let's not kid ourselves here - there have been situations in life when I have envied able bodied people. And one situation has always tripped me up: I'm not able to be as physically relentless as my peers. I see that when my brothers get angry they go for a run, or when my friends get frustrated they go punch a bag, the wall, the door... some object that when I play it out in my head, I know would result in a painful fracture. One that would be even more frustrating, aggravating, and upsetting to deal with than whatever original situation had gotten me so upset. That moment is always humbling for me. It puts everything into perspective, that whatever is bothering me - there is always a better/safer way to let out the frustration and hurt.

Are O.I.'ers genetically wired pacifist? Are we all fated to be non-violent? Would we put Gandhi to shame with our peaceful ways? I don't think so. In my opinion the damage I have caused to (non)innocent toes and feet with my wheelchair is violent enough. 
But let me get to the point. How have I 'coped' with situations that I have had no control over? Why am I not a bitter pill-popping narcissist like Dr. House (from the t.v. show)? And that's exactly it! The fragility of my life and the inability to change anything in it, whether I consciously am aware or not, is a perspective that is always with us. Throughout my academic career and with what few jobs I have held, you could almost argue that I try to make up for the lack of control I have over my body. Always giving my all, trying my hardest, determined to achieve, to learn, to better myself - the irony of a frail life is not lost on me here. Isn't that the way everyone should be living? 

But at the same time I can't lie that I'm not curious to know: when the anger is boiling inside of you, creeping through every vein in your body, and your muscles are all tense with explosion - how does it feel to be able to go hit the pavement and run it off for miles on end? I can't answer that question but I can share with you what I have done instead when that over-the-edge moment hits.

Suggestions to Un-Break the Anger:
  • write it out, even if it makes you feel a little nuts and your writing doesn't make any sense - the physical act of limitlessly "yelling" at a blank piece of paper with no one to judge you is cathartic
  • stress balls
  • if you use a manual wheelchair you can go for a long roll outside to get some air
  • remind yourself of who you are and what you have. It's not an excuse for you to NOT get angry, it's a fact to keep in mind life's perspectives. 
  • go for a swim
  • vent at friends - the real and imaginary. When I was a kid I would share my frustrations with my stuffed animals quite often
  • breathing exercises
  • think about what it is you're frustrated about and consider these questions: 1. is it worth my time and energy? 2. have I overcome more challenging problems in life? 3. will fuming over a situation help solve the problem? 

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One Response to Genetically Wired Pacifist?

  1. Sadly even with type III I have one heck of a temper! When I was young I threw major temper tantrums and when I got older, I got a little more destructive. I remember one time in high school I got really mad for whatever reason. I took it out on my bedroom throwing everything I could get my hands on. As I got older I saw how destructive I could become and I got tired of cleaning up my messes and throwing away broken items :-) Yes, I even punched a few walls or would purposely ram my wheelchair into furniture, walls or whatever. Sometimes I would pay the price and have a sore hand for a week or so. I still don't have the perfect solution for releasing anger but I am working it. Taking long walks, exercise, controlling my breathing, throwing ice cubes and watching them break instead, going for a long drive by myself, music, and enthralling myself into activity that I enjoy all are ways I find to release the inner anger.


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