“You Can’t Be Happy if You Are Mad”
As simple and obvious as that statement is, there are some who would argue. I’ve had people tell me: “I’m ONLY happy WHEN I’m mad!” – and then go about trying to prove it.
Most come some time later, maybe a month, perhaps a few years, a bit more modest, a bit more humble, and in some cases ashamed. I tell them they should not be. Everyone is human, and every human feels like that sometimes. It feels downright GOOD to stomp the feet, shout rage; shake fists at invisible gods in the heavens, or someone in front of your face.
But why is that? What “good” could possibly come from being mad? How is it they feel that way – SAY: “I am ONLY happy when I’m mad.”?
It comes from the endocrine response. That old fear, or “flight or fight” response – that rush of adrenaline and endorphins. That “height of excitement” is what you feel – and woe are you for confusing it with “happiness” if you do! The two are not the same. The difference is as important and significant as the difference between a ride on a roller coaster – you feel all knocked out and out of breath at the end – and a lifetime spent in contentment, quiet joys, sitting on the porch, loving your life, the world. If not ‘happiness’ perhaps at least a deep contentment that sinks into your bones like Southern Comfort, and no trouble, nor hunger, nor occurrence can disturb it.
Yes, that can happen to you, too, once you learn to let go of your angers; turn your viewpoint, find the reasons for what happened to you to make you feel the way you do – and then change them. For when you can your views, towards something positive you WILL change how you feel about those things as well, for one is inextricably linked to the other.
For some, if not most of us, it’s a lot harder than that. I should know, having taken the long road : the one through valleys of depression and mountains of self-hatred, across soulless glaciers of the brain; raw hatred, mostly self-hatred, condemnation, and I expressed it by . . .
Getting mad. Outrageously so. Famously so sometimes. They still talk about it. And I still allow myself a shadow of that old anger sometimes; BUT – ‘most’ of me is just laughing. Life is too short to give way to anger, much less make that a life goal as some therapists seem to do – encouraging clients to scream and beat up pillows, sling plates and glasses under controlled circumstance . . .
and then when they are done they are left like a druggie after a bad run & the drugs have ran out.
And they collapse into depression again.
That’s not the way out.
You’ve got to change yourself; reach in, change views, ways of thinking, FILL your life with something beyond self-doubt, self-anger, anger towards others – that madness that seems to fill your life, but without it . . .
Without it you don’t feel ALIVE at all.
So there’s just anger, brewing and simmering under the covers, in the shadows in the back of your mind, and you feed it through every snipe, sarcasm, every view that places someone or something else as “inferior”; every time you cut someone off in traffic, or they cut you . . . viewing every slight, real or imagined (and mostly the latter, by the way!) as a major breech or offense – always looking for something to fly apart at, anger towards, and over, and around, grinding issues, many minor, gnashing teeth to foam and then spewing that rage over everyone and everything in your path like vomit . . .
and then declaring “That felt good!” – because it did. They truly enjoyed it. It made them feel “good” for a time. THAT’S that old and PURELY physical endocrine response kicking you ‘up’ towards that “flight or fight” argument which is mostly invalid in today’s environment – really! – if you come to it, sit down and think about it . . .
Meet those people an hour or so later after the anger has worn off. They are worn, drawn, DRAINED and down in the gumps (which is what I call the grumpy dumps by the way. 😉 )
For some people – YOU and I know ones like this – rage is a way of life! They go around being pissed by anything and everything from the color and temperature of their latte to political solutions to whether rain falls from the sky . . .
What is WRONG with these folks?
Well . . .
IF you get to know them; talk to them, dig in – if THEY were to dig in to their own minds, souls, and THOUGHTS – they would see how empty their life is. THAT is all they have: rage and anger. Without it? They feel DEAD inside. I know – they’ve told me. They feel “empty, down, depressed, a mess all over the place”. They’ve literally said those words: “Without my anger I feel dead inside.” They may not SHOW this face to you, but it’s there in their quiet moments, when they are alone, or think no one is watching.
They feel dead without this anger, this “madness”, which is why they invoke that rage all the time.
Without it they feel nothing; see themselves as having nothing (except depression), feel lost. There is no direction in their life. There’s TV, home, perhaps an S/O & some kids – who knows? But for some reason their reason for having that got distracted, they forgot why they began “all this” which has become a frustration and a drag, something to complain about, and now they have only reasons not to go on, and their addiction to this ‘rage’ (or endocrine response ) keeps them from helping someone else except from their selfish desire, or a sense of superiority so they can announce (often angry & somewhat proudly) to the world and themselves “how superior I am! for saving this person from some small thing.” But listen to them talk about that “class” of person behind that person’s back. Nine times out of ten one hears embedded in their language secret rage, a false smugness born of anger, not a desire to help others – but just to feed their feelings of superiority, and not others, though that may seem that way. Some do do help while they are cursing. And then curse their hands.
It must be rage keeping them alive.
So remember the next time you feel tempted to anger.
It isn’t a life, and it should not be your lifestyle. You’re friends can tell if it is. It’s you, how YOU look at things, whether it is giving a false importance to it and perhaps it’s effect on your life. That anger will hurt you short term, and in the future. Most of the time you will not even remember getting mad, much less what you got mad about a week, a month, or even year or two later. All it does is make for life miserable for YOU as well as anyone in your immediate vicinity.
Because, to put it QUITE simply and succinctly:
You Can NOT Be Happy When You’re Mad.