Gratitude and Creativity: Calming My Anger

Yesterday I was angry. I was so angry I had to cry to release some of the emotional pain the anger made me feel. I was angry because I spoke with my sister for the first time in just shy of five years. Her reason for ending contact was trivial and petty. I learned that she decided to cut me off based on a false assumption. Within ten minutes of talking about our different perspectives of what happened five years ago, it was clear that we could have resolved the issue without losing so much time out of each other’s lives.

I called her yesterday morning because I feel like I need to get myself organized. Because I don’t know when I will have surgery or what might happen when I do, I feel the need to contact people who I haven’t communicated with for a long time. Not acquaintances, but people I believe hold a significant place in my life. I am contacting them to let them know – if they don’t already – that I am (still) ill and I am adding their names to a list of people I want contacted after my surgery with news about the outcome, especially if it’s poor. I want to call these people because I believe in preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. The worst of what I’m preparing for is that something could go wrong during or after surgery, and I don’t want a phone call from a stranger to be the first time they learn that I’ve been sick for so long or worse. I feel like it’s a thoughtful thing to do. I know it’s self-inflicted stress, but the fact that I keep thinking about how these people might feel tells me it’s something I need to do. For obvious reasons, my sister is on the list.

Nonetheless, let’s get back to my anger. My sister made me angry because she chose to stay angry with me for a petty reason for five years. In fact, she said she felt she had the right to be angry about what happened. She held on to her anger even after my many attempts to make peace. After almost a year of reaching out and having her respond with coldness, I gave up. I figured she would contact me when she was ready to talk. That never happened. Then to add insult to injury, she said she didn’t feel angry while we were speaking.

Her rationalization and justification about her behaviour made me boil. Then she said, “Well that happened.” As if there was no more reason to discuss the matter further. I felt my blood pressure rise at her cavalier attitude about five years we could never get back. I reached dangerous temperatures when she swiftly changed gears and started to ask me detailed questions about my condition as if we just spoke a few days ago and I was now calling for a heart-to-heart chat.

Sadly, the more upset I became the more I cried and the more my pain increased. I had to cut our conversation short. After I hung up the call, I needed to find something to calm myself. Surprisingly, I reached for my art/gratitude journal. I got to work on a page I started the night before. I lost myself in colouring the shapes traced on the white page. I worked on it for hours until it felt complete. While I worked on it, I was able to calm my anger and empty myself of all thoughts and feelings about everything except the page in front of me.

Filled Found Shape

Filled Found Shape

I put myself into that page. I had no plan for where I would place the colours. I didn’t know I would draw patterns to fill the coloured spaces. But, when I finished, I was calm and my anger was in the distance.


EMF – You’re Unbelievable


5 thoughts on “Gratitude and Creativity: Calming My Anger

  1. I didn’t cut anyone off I just grew apart. I had open heart surgery and learned no one in my life cared. 2005 was my last contact until I found my younger brother on Facebook. I lost contact with him in the mid 90s. I keep up with every thing through him. Your drawing is awesome


    • Thank you 🙂
      I have a complicated family. I’ve made the effort to keep connected to some members and my sister was one of them. We share similar views on our family so this was particulary painful. However, for the most part I live independently and have strong bonds with a small group of friends. I don’t believe you have to share blood to be family

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Mommy Dearest Strikes Again | My Small Surrenders

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