Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Anger Struggle

 Lord, listen to my voice when I cry out - have mercy on me and answer me!

Over the past week, I have been feeling a lot of anger. When the anger first began to make itself known, I was wanting to throw fits for tiny little things, like, when we ran out of blueberries for my morning cereal and because I couldn't find my other shoe.
 I knew that I was angry at cancer...but it has taken me this past week to analyze what about the cancer I am really angry about right now.
A friend of mine told me that anger is the second stage of grieving. The counselor that I am seeing said not to stuff it. So my goal is to vent it to those who love me without directing it AT anyone.

 Here are some of the things I have been angry about (yes, I know some of them are kinda dumb):
~That I can't do as many things in a day as I did before.
~Everyone around me has to suffer because of this thing.
~I'm going to have a bald head.
~I have to experience nausea (which is my least favorite thing EVER) on a regular basis.
~I have a bunch of hats and scarves to wear when my hair is gone and I have always thought hats and scarves looked stupid on me.
~I came up with this really great homeschooling plan and now I can't implement it the way I wanted to.
~I'm supposed to avoid avocados and some other choice foods because they might not be good for breast cancer (here is an avoid list.)
~ Food doesn't taste great most of the time anymore.
~Half my shirts show my port so now I want new shirts.
~I had to go take a new photo for my drivers license renewal and it was stupid timing (this actually turned out ok, but at the time I was angry abut it.)
~The length of time that I have to do this is already seeming way too long and we've only just begun.
~I never know what I need when people ask me what I need. My brain is in a fog and I have no sense of planning.
~I had to wean Estelle abruptly and she is still upset sometimes that I won't nurse her.

And I am sure there are more things, but that list looks long enough to me... I have to say though, that giving myself permission to be angry at those things and defining some of them have helped me move past it.
 I don't believe that anger is a sin. God built us to experience emotion. Our emotions may not lead us to truth, they may sometimes cause us to act in sin, but we all have them and have to learn to live through them without letting them control us. Now, as the "week of anger" wanes, I am finding myself looking back on it and seeing the blessings that happened too.

Be angry without sinning. Don't let the sun set on your anger. Ephesians 4:26

So many beautiful things happened this week. Such as: The kid's homeschooling is still going so well! I thought it would have to look different, and it does, but they are still learning! Yay!

We are focusing, for Elijah, on classic literature to read and Bible and math. Sometimes we are able to add in history or science, but I'm not stressing it. They are learning even when I am not teaching.

For Emet I am just easing him into reading because he struggles with his desire to do so, which can be totally normal at 6 years old. We are just focusing on phonics, Bible and math for him and when I have time we like to read great books together as a family. Emet processes everything creatively, as you can see with his "bubble letter" handwriting. He just makes my day!

Halloween was not a total wash either. I'm not huge on Halloween, but the kids really get excited about being able to wear costumes around the neighborhood. This year, however, I had no energy to make them a costume or even to go buy the costumes (save for the one I bought Estelle at Kroger several weeks ago.)
So, the little boys, never complaining once, came up with an idea, drew designs for it and executed the creation of their costumes from start to finish - by their own selves! I was sooo impressed with my boys that day.

Here is Estelle in her sweet ladybug costume. My first time to buy a girly costume. I was so giddy about it.

And my sweet, talented Elijah spent probably six hours constructing his "Steve" from Minecraft costume out of discarded pizza boxes, paint and straps with velcro to hold it all in place on his shoulders. 

Emet designed and cut several prototypes of his cape before doing the real thing.

And here is Kaleb. Dressed up like a teen-ager... 

So, it's not all bad. There are silver linings to every cloud. And I am saying this, not as a Pollyanna type person, because when it comes down to what I am wired for, I tend to lean more toward pessimism than optimism. I am completely convinced the my ability to see the good during this time is coming straight from the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in me. These miracles are seen by a miracle. Praise Jesus for that. Amen.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.


Becoming Jane said...

I have always thought you were such a lovely story teller Amanda. I am particularly fond of the Steve costume! Hats off to your creative bunch!!

Amanda Conley said...

Thank you Jane. I always appreciate your sweet, loving comments. You are an encouragement to me.

Courtney said...

It sounds like you are being good about allowing yourself to feel angry and I'm glad. You legitimately have a lot to be angry about. Sometimes, life just stinks. Everywhere I look right now I'm seeing sickness, divorce, and sadness, and I am just sick about it. But then I see goodness, too, like your children's creative brains (they were bound to be creative with their two parents), their resiliency, and even the goodness of their sweet faces. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I cling to the fact that we have a good, loving God who lets us live in a broken, sick world NOW, but one day we will get to walk on streets of gold, with no sickness and no tears.
And for the here-and-now, you are strengthening my faith and no doubt the faith of others, and that is no small thing.

Makeminemidcentury said...


I drop in here occassionally. Not often enough it seems as I've only just read your awful news. I'm very sorry. I have two blog friends who have had to deal with cancer and have blogged bits and pieces of their thoughts. You may want to drop by if you don't already know their blogs. We're all Australian so may have a different way of viewing things.

Both ladies have taught me a lot about breast cancer and how horrendous its diagnosis and how they have dealt with their illness and dealt with 'getting on with things'. I hope this is all over for you very soon.xo

Amanda Conley said...

Thank you, Courtney for your encouraging words.
And thank you makeminemidcentury, for the links. I will check in on them.