Taming anger – Calming that Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devil

She could be the funniest, sweetest and most happy-go-lucky girl around town. She was constantly smiling, on the move, dancing in a field of flowers. She loved people, and most loved her, until the inevitable moment struck. There was a change in the moon, a single word misspoken, a plan suggested off her route, and BOOM!  Goodbye angel girl, hello to the Tasmanian Devil!

The change in her aura was quite mistakable. All you had to do was look at her. The usual sparkle in her eyes turned to piercing red laser lights. Her chin stuck out and her mouth puckered up. There was one second of quiet, like the peaceful silence of a hurricane eye, and then the lightning struck violently, with several loud CLAPS, smoke rising, winds blowing over 100 mph. Other times it was more like the gradual high crescendo of the screeches and screams of wild cats fighting.

Her ferocity was mostly always expressed verbally, with only the occasional smack of the wall with her fists, or fast ball throw of her keys. The verbal storm that came out was still violent to the ears of all those who heard her. Her family fought back with equal vigor, but others in her life were not so used to this wrath.

Her dear husband was a calm and imperturbable type. Not that he accepted her angry behavior, but found a way to calmly ignore it, and sometimes if lucky, deescalate it, too. But this couple would sometimes be out in public, when the woman had her fits. Strangers would comment, but the woman was oblivious. She lived in her angry head. Her pissed off world. Very little input found its way in. Or even if it did, she felt justified by her temper, and either ignored them, or responded back waving her sharpened sword.

Yes, this woman still showed many periods of charming gentility at times. It got her through many doors, but later the doors pushed her out once her moods became untoward. One time it was so bad that the reality struck her back hard, and she didn’t know what to do. Her husband sent her to the doctor in hopes of flushing the Tasmanian Devil permanently down the loo.

Full meals of anger management classes, strong medications, years of therapy, and plenty of humiliation began to sink in. All of these can work to calm many of the fiercest types into quiet lambs. It extinguishes any hidden fires into cool tranquil pools of calm sedation.

Many people on the prescriptions above may eventually complain of feeling “flat”. They say they’ve lost their verve, their courage, and their strong constitutions. Some that knew them before their transformation remain paranoid that the wild beast will return. Those closest to them don’t miss the chaos, but find them changed in ways they strangely pine for.

A new person was born, sometimes a shaky creature. When stress became high, tears flowed freely when before it was ire. She wondered if overall this was an improvement. She actually began to miss her strong passionate ways, her inner blazing fire.

Time passed. She began to feel more grounded. The happy elation she used to feel came back in momentary blips. On occasion, something would happen that was clearly angering. Out of the blue came a silent “Grrrr” deep inside her. With this growl came a brief rush of mood heightening adrenaline. But instead of an explosion, she smiled a wily smile and uttered a well-worded sarcastic declaration. The recipient may have been perplexed, or perhaps missed the words completely that came from her lips.  But this newly invigorated woman left the place swiftly, and to top it all off, gave a middle finger to the vacant lot. She began to skip again and realize she found some of her strength, but no longer suffered the mild fury’s major consequence.



15 thoughts on “Taming anger – Calming that Tasmanian Devil

    • updownflight October 10, 2017 / 4:42 pm

      Thanks, lexiejungling! I guess it is since it has a good ending. Obviously one need not have bipolar disorder to have a fierce tendency towards irritability. In my case, the treatments really can make a difference. A lot of people with bipolar complain of feeling flat from medications, but many people are proof that feelings (appropriate ones well moderated) are possible even on medications, with time and the best med choices/dosages.

      I hope people reading this comment who don’t have a diagnosable disorder will still consider therapy and/or anger management to calm excess anger. There are a lot of good websites out there that have tips for anger management.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lexiejungling October 10, 2017 / 4:46 pm

        Yes, I need to go back to counseling and start that again to kind of figure out myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. NaPropasti October 10, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    Beautifully described, with your typical perspicacity and charisma. This piece should be included in the Clinical Psychology Literary Series textbook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 10, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you, NaPropasti! I’ll have to contact them about a possible submission – LOL!


  2. marandarussell October 10, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    Reminds me of a poem I once wrote about bipolar (at the time I wrote it about my sister, not even realizing I had it too!). I’ll have to share it sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 10, 2017 / 7:33 pm

      Anger, tirades, outbursts, and general fury are indeed aspects of bipolar disorder that the general public is not completely familiar with. True?

      Thanks for reading. I hope you will share your poem someday.


  3. Melissa A. October 11, 2017 / 6:22 am

    I was wondering if this story was about yourself? I don’t have bipolar disorder but my medications for panic, anxiety, and depression do indeed give me a “flat” demeanor. I really don’t feel much of anything most of the time. But I prefer it this way. The few times that I wasn’t on medication, my emotions were too strong. I don’t like feeling sadness, anger, anxiety, or any other mood. However, I do miss the feeling of happiness.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 11, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Hi Melissa. Unfortunately, this story was about my bipolar outbursts.

      I hope you can sometime find a medication or dosage that stops the flatness. Little tweaks sometimes make a difference. They did for me, and/or time healed me a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melissa A. October 12, 2017 / 10:28 am

        I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say I’ve tried all different kind of medications over the years. The medication cocktail I’m on now works well for me. I don’t like changing meds and having to go through withdrawals from the old meds and then deal with the side effects of the new ones!

        Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 12, 2017 / 5:12 pm

      She’s definitely tamed that Tasmanian Devil into more of a pussy cat.


    • updownflight October 19, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      It’s amazing how wild we can get! Luckily on my current medication mix, I’m a lot milder and even tempered

      Liked by 1 person

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