The Hemp Connection + [tips]

Anger

I want to talk about something that isn't easy to talk about--anger.

My assistant with this blog post is one of my very best friends…Bobby, a cat I have befriended while volunteering at the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

Bobby is one of the funniest, sweetest, most playful, interactive cats I've ever known. He loves to chase anything you throw across the slippery tile floor. He's taught himself to drink out of the cattery water cooler. If anyone opens the drawer where the catnip is, whatever Bobby is doing, he comes running full speed, jumps in the drawer, and starts looking for a"hit". Tina, our vet tech, says that her favorite part of the day is when she comes in the morning, as soon as he hears the door open, he comes running with this look like you're the most important person in the world, and he's sooooooooooooooooo happy to see you.

Bobby hasn't always been that way. He was rescued from the euthanasia list at our county animal care and control. His owner moved, decided he didn't want Bobby anymore, and left him, like many animal owners do, to the whims of people who have way too many decisions to make about which animals to save and which ones they can't. Fortunately, our team at AAWL saved Bobby from a potentially horrible fate and brought him to be with us.

For months, he was grumpy, sullen, he'd swat at anyone who tried to come near. It was clear, Bobby was miserable and going through a grief process without many outlets to express his confusion, loss, anger, and loneliness.

I asked for permission to spend one on one time with him whenever I could. The first few weeks, he was so traumatized when I simply picked him up to take him into our private room, I had to leave him alone for 20 minutes to chill out before I could even be in the room with him. When I finally went in, I'd let him sit in his corner while I focused on entering medical records. Suddenly, one day, I looked, and he was by my feet, belly in the air, just looking at me. But when I went to touch him, I got a firm swat.

Every time I went in after that, I saw more belly, and got fewer swats. We've got such a bond now that Lisa, the cattery manager, lets my day at the shelter be the one of Bobby's free roaming lobby days.

Bobby has taught me so much about the women I work with who read this blog, attend my classes, and ask for individual help.

Anger, even when it's intense, and even when it hurts to be on the receiving end of it, almost always is about fear or hurt, or loss. It's what animals and people let out when they feel scared, vulnerable, and/or uncertain, and they feel the need to protect themselves.

You have a right to feel angry if you've been given weight loss advice that didn't work. You have a right to feel betrayed if someone took your money and gave you promises in a bottle of supplements and it did nothing for you. You have a right to feel intensely sad if you've lost a pregnancy. You have a right to question who we are on this blog, and to wonder what it is that we want from you. You have a right to be skeptical about this information.

And, most importantly, no matter what you're feeling right now, be it anger, frustration, fear, loneliness, no matter how intense, or how sideways it might come out in this moment, you have a right to feel it without anyone telling you it's wrong.

I like to see repeat visits in my webstats. They're kind of like Bobby's belly. It tells me we're gaining your trust. And it gives me hope that some day, you'll decide you have a right to trust some of the ideas we share.

And over time, as trust develops, I also like to hope that even some of the smallest things we talk about are things you decide to try.

It's little steps that add up to big changes.

I'm glad Stacy Korfist is here with us, because she's a therapist who is specially trained to help people understand their feelings and behaviors. I know she'll have some great advice and insights for all of us when it comes to anger, frustration…you name it.

I'm glad you're here. However it is that you're feeling today. Whatever it is that you think of our material.

And I hope you come back very, very soon.