My Pet Dragon

picsA swallow that’s just a smidge too loud. A laugh of someone in the room next door. Pages turning sound like hurricanes. The air is too hot. Your clothes are too heavy. Someone sniffs. How dare they?

Sometimes every little thing, every corner of the earth, has a single goal: to piss you off.

It’s easy to say, “I’m just irritated”. To brush it off like it were a fly landing on your cupcake.

But somehow, that fly has turned into a fuming dragon settling on top of your life, breathing in your air and out fire that burns your hair.

How does no one else see the dragon perched on your shoulders?

How does no one else hear the millions of noises infecting your ears?

Why are you so angry?

Mark Twain once said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

That sounds pretty enough, it even rhymes. You can post it as an artful caption on Instagram to rake in the ‘likes’ or re-pin in on Pinterest to show your intelligence. If you’re really extra, you could even memorize it, holding it in your pocket for the day you can use it against an un-expectant, angry individual.

Touch the tip of your pointer finger against the tip on your thumb on both hands. Cross your legs together and close your eyes. Hum before saying, “Don’t be angry, brother, be peaceful, it’s rest for your mind.”

But how annoying would that be?

When someone is walking around with a Dragon in constant attack mode behind them, you can’t just tell them to shoo away the dragons.

Dragons aren’t flies. They don’t ‘shoo’.

Recently, I’ve been very frustrated with myself because I can’t seem to stop being angry.

Really, I’m irritated that I’m so irritated.

I didn’t know why everything and everybody was setting me off, and I wanted it to stop so I took a few measures.

I slept more consistantly. I got a different job and opened up to my counselor. I balanced my diet and started exercising. I told people I was angry.

Maybe if people knew about the dragon, they would be able to see it, thus no longer provoking it?

I didn’t know. I still don’t. So, I looked it up.

Reasons why you may be angry all the time:

  • You’re just stressed and sleep deprived. Due to very little rest, you’re constantly on the edge of tipping over and everything seems annoying. Just go to sleep, dude.
  • You’re afraid. Maybe you fear you’ve lost control on life and you’re pushed into ‘fight or flight’ (hey, I wrote a book with that title) mode. And anger is your fight against what scares you.
  • Traumatic experiences. Pain from your past is causing you to guard yourself with anger. Grief is overwhelming and almost impossible to hold onto, but anger is easier.
  • Anger is also linked to substance abuse and bad habits. Maybe you feel guilty and it’s easier to blame others than yourself.
  • You’re jealous or you need approval.
  • You’re hurt.
  • Maybe it’s your health. Such as a deficiency in Magnesium. Much like depression and anxiety, anger can be due to a hormone imbalance. Your brain can get sick too, people. Don’t rule it out.

Now I’m sure there are more reasons, but a pattern I’m seeing is this: Anger is often a defense against other feelings. You don’t want to feel sad or scared or jealous or hurt, so instead you feel angry. It’s easier. You think you don’t have to deal with it, it’s not your issue. The world is just so LOUD.

But defenses don’t hold up forever. Eventually the shield starts to crack and someone is tearing down the wall.

You’ll have to feel and deal with those other emotions, it’s inevitable.

I found after a couple weeks of those changes I made, suddenly I was feeling less and less angry. I still feel irritated at times but at a more normal level.

My dragon is still there but no longer is it attacking me as I have tamed it.

So now I have a pet dragon and I’m that much more dangerous.

I believe my anger was largely due to bullet point 1. I was just so exhausted and nervous about the future that my emotions didn’t know what to do so they just became angry. Work was a huge stress in my life but I was fortunate to be able to leave it one day and instantly have a different job the next, offering a tremendous relief.

I’ve done everything I can think of to shoo away the dragon but he’s still here. Quieter, tamer, and smaller, but still here. Still guarding.

But I’m no longer afraid to show him off.

Yeah, recently I’ve been easily irritated but I’m dealing with it.

You want proof? Look at my fierce dragon.

After all, anger is just a bodyguard and dragons are just defenders.


1 thought on “My Pet Dragon

  1. I like your use of a dragon as a metaphor.
    I hadn’t thought of anger as a shield before…at least, not consciously. Now that I do…I see it differently.

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