From the Couch

imgresRachel Kelly highlights anger this week and how to deal with it: a key to becoming the kind of calm, Zen person we all aspire to be. Kelly is the author of ‘Black Rainbow’ (pic),  her memoir of how poetry helped overcome depression, just published by Hodder & Stoughton last week. Failing to deal with anger can lead to depression: one explanation for the Black Dog is that it is ‘anger turned in’. So you’re doing well: you’re not hungry, tired, or lonely (see last week); yes, you’ve been hopping mad but you’ve paused till your fury has subsidised. In a calm voice you’ve talked to the object of your rage and constructively expressed a sensible request which will assuage your wrath and …. nothing. Nada. Niente. The other person is not budging. Then what? This week it’s the turn of acceptance. Hard, yes, and of course in some cases you may need to radically adjust your life circumstances, but psychiatrists say it’s a well known pattern of improved health once patients accept difficult angry feelings and stop trying to fight them. Accept your rages. In time, they too will pass. George Herbert’s expresses it beautifully in his poem ‘The Flower’. He suggests we try to see ourselves as ‘Flowers that glide’ and that there is a garden ‘where to bide’ in which we will all be accepted. ‘Who would be more/ Swelling through store,/ Forfeit their Paradise by their pride’. Good luck in the garden.

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