Sunday, May 10, 2015

Turning Words of Anger Into Words of Comfort

I'm struggling again lately with a bout of depression.  For whatever reason, I'm very short to anger, and my level of frustration with countless mundane issues is insanely high.  Why does this happen to me?  I'm constantly praying for forgiveness and peace of mind, and still it happens.

My frustrations over the recent kitchen appliances purchase keeps coming back to haunt me and taking me to the edge.  I finally got around to calling the store to schedule delivery on Friday and I found out that they were coming Saturday, the next day.  I didn't schedule it for Saturday.  In fact, I hadn't scheduled it at all.  That's why I called them.  I wasn't going to be home on Saturday, so delivery was impossible.  I told the operator this, and it took an hour and three phone calls to get delivery rescheduled, with the main issue being that three of the four appliances would be delivered separately by a contractor, and they were already "in transit."  Anyway, I finally got that straightened out, but it was a chore, and I wasn't entirely nice to the several individuals I talked to.  I still don't know what the store scheduled a delivery without asking me first, but I also regret how I acted.  I allowed my frustrations to overpower my reasoning.

While I was finishing up my phone call regarding the delivery, I watched out the front window as two of the landscapers who cut the grass in the common areas of our development were blowing the grass and debris off the sidewalks with leaf-blowers.  When they got to my car, parked directly in front of my house, they began to blow the debris right at my car.  Unfortunately for me, I had left the top down (since we were planning to go out right after I finished the phone calls), and it appeared that the two landscapers were intentionally blowing the debris into my open car.  I immediately ran out of the house and began yelling at them to stop.  One did, but he just looked at me as if I was delirious and then kept on doing it.  Again I yelled, and the two guys just kept on down the sidewalk, ignoring me. My car was covered with grass and leaves, inside and outside the car. After the phone calls, I was in the wrong frame of mind for a confrontation, but anger blinded me.  I ran inside, grabbed a pen and paper, and chased the two guys down the sidewalk.  I reached their truck, which had the landscaper's name and phone number on it, and I wrote them down.  Another landscaper came over to me and asked, in broken English, what was wrong.  I told him, and he followed me back to my house and I showed him my car.  To his credit, he stayed very calm while I continued to yell.  He could only say that I should call the landscaping company and they would arrange to have my car cleaned.  I immediately went back inside and called the company, but only got an answering machine saying they were closed until Monday.  This wasn't what I wanted to hear, and I continued to seethe.

Melody and her angry dad
The two issues left me practically bursting with anger and frustration.  I felt like my head was going to pop.  I have high blood pressure, and my dander was up.  Poor Melody, my daughter, was worried about me.  She kept trying to hold my hand, to calm me down.  Just then, I heard my next door neighbor, the one who complains about everything, telling another neighbor that he was mad at me for stopping the landscaping company from completely clearing off the lawn debris from the sidewalk in front of his house, and that I should've known better than to have the top down on my car while they were working.  If I had gone outside to confront him, I probably would've regretted it, so I'm thankful that I didn't.

I'm complaining about work, traffic, robo-calls, pollen, my messy house, my health, my forgetfulness, my sports teams, the weather, the dog, dust, stupid TV shows, politicians, Facebook, money, sore feet, hangnails, bad pizza, my thinning, graying hair, and the fact that I can't get a good haircut.  My wonderful daughter, who hates seeing me so stressed, is doing everything she can to keep me sane.  I notice it.

I talked to my parents on Saturday and my father told me he was worried about me.  He said that it was apparent that something was bothering me.  In fact, he had told my mother earlier in the week that he didn't like talking to me anymore since it seemed like I was angry all the time.  It pained me to hear that.  I didn't realize what an impact this was having on me and my loved ones.  It's out of character.  This isn't me.

The month of April is always difficult for me.  It's the month of Teresa's death.  Teresa and I had such a wonderful, almost storybook-like marriage, and her death has impacted me like nothing else.  I have ridden the emotional roller coaster for much of the past 11 years since that night she went to be with the Lord, which has taken me from the depths of despair to desperation and depression.  I just can't get past it.  I do have good moments, and might be fine for months at a time.  But I always end up feeling the weight of her loss at various times throughout the year, and it brings me down again.  April is usually the trigger.  May is always better.  But this year, after the sadness of April, May has only brought anger.  It's not constant, but it's there.

I think my biggest problem is that I don't have anyone to talk to about this.  I've mentioned before on this blog how I really don't have any close friends anymore.  I've apparently driven them all away.  Who wants to be around someone who is down all the time?  But that's what keeps me there:  not having someone to talk to.  Dad is always there, but he's my dad, and even he is tired of it.  And that just makes me feel even worse.

I was thinking back on this past Friday, trying to figure out why it turned so badly.  Friday morning, at work, I received a call from a colleague I spent the day with on Thursday, providing advice to him about a situation he was dealing with.  He called to tell me that my advice had helped him so much, that he practically skipped out of the office after work, with what felt like a great weight lifted off his shoulders.  His call made my morning.  I felt good for him, and I knew I had done something good.  What caused me to change so completely that I was on the edge of madness by the evening?

Saturday was better.  My family all got together to celebrate my mother's birthday, as well as Mother's Day, and even though I had that conversation with my parents about my anger issues, the day wasn't bad at all.  The church service on Saturday evening was great, and Pastor Mark's message had me thinking about my family.  Not just my immediate family, but my church family, too.

Melody and her grandmothers
Today, Mother's Day, was great, too.  My daughter and I went to my in-laws church, where my mother-in-law "preached" the sermon today, for Mother's Day.  Her message spoke to me, with the themes focusing on compassion, love, and forgiveness.

Melody and I stopped by the cemetery where Teresa's body is buried.  Her death has hurt me so much.  I don't blame her, and there's really no one else to blame.  It's not like the doctors misdiagnosed something, or there was an accident or anything like it.  She just died.  Her heart gave out.  It was her time.  God took her home.

I can't get angry at God, either.  How can I?  How can I possibly understand God's ways?  Pastor Mark, at almost every funeral I've been to where he has officiated, always says the same thing.  That only when we ourselves are present with God in Heaven will we finally understand the mystery of death and life everlasting.

I'm riding on this.  John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave is one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 14: 2-3 - "In my Father's house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also."

Lord, thank you for my life.  Thank you for my wonderful wife, Teresa.  I wish she had experienced at least one Mother's Day, but I believe you when you say that you are preparing a place for us, and that you will come again and take us to you.  And that Teresa is already there, with you.  Thank you for my little girl.  I ask for your comfort during my times of stress, frustration, and anger, and that I will look to you when I need you most.  Thank you, Lord, for my life.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. They say laughter is the best medicine. Perhaps watching more comedy shows that you like will help lighten your mood. It might help to take your mind off the things that are bothering you. I know that sounds a bit glib, but I mean it in a considerate way. A good laugh will do you the world of good. Pax Vobiscum.