Anger, Fear, and Sadness – As Experienced by A Teen
As I sit here in my bedroom, the lights turned low with some relaxing music playing from my laptop, I find myself completely and utterly stuck. I shift my music, adjust my seating, and grab a drink of water. But these small attempts to get myself in the mood to write are to no avail. There is something going on that is much larger than just poor song choice.
As I sit here in my bedroom, the lights turned low with some relaxing music playing from my laptop, I find myself completely and utterly stuck.
What is it that could be holding me back? When I ask myself this question, something shifts within me. I feel that small twinge that can turn into an overwhelming wave of emotion when pushed to its limit. What I’m feeling right now is fear. For me, this is a fear of not being enough, not writing well enough, not getting my point across in an effective way. This fear has driven me to avoid writing this article for some number of weeks.
But when I look even closer at this fear, I realize its comprised of more than just a basic fear of not being able to write well enough. I remember back to a time when I wrote my first book, the negative responses people had to it. Their words play in my head as I stare at the helpful little blinking line in my word processor. I see the comments made on the first poem I ever uploaded online. I can read their words printed on the inside of my eyeballs like a tattoo that I can’t ever seem to get away from.
My fear, and likewise fear in general, goes much deeper than just an irrational emotional response. And to further that, fear is not comprised mainly of emotional responses, but of memories and experiences. A fear of quitting your job can be spawned by a story your friend might have told you about how they quit their job and nearly lost everything. Despite the fact that you hate your boss and your co-workers are less than quality human beings, you still might have a fear over quitting. Take for example something very common, a fear of the dark. No one is born into the world believing in the bogyman or monsters. This particular fear comes out of the telling of scary stories and fables by family members of the child. Say, a parent tells their child that, at night, a monster comes out and patrols the house, and if this monster finds the child out of their bedroom, it will eat them. The child then realizes that the darkness holds some very sinister things in it.
Let’s see this example splayed out a bit more. There are a few major reactions that the child may have. They may experience fear of the dark, anger at the parent for either telling them the story or not protecting their house better, or sadness (or anxiety) over the fact that they cannot leave their room after the lights go down outside their door.
Anger and sadness come right along with fear in most any fear-based situation, and can do a lot of damage to someone. After all, as humans, we learn by mistakes. So when we are told there is a monster outside, the emotional reactions we have are going to stick with us much longer than the feeling of relief which comes with the rising sun.
When dealing with fear (and subsequently with anger and sadness), it is best to give yourself time to feel the emotion. However long that needs to be, you will know. But it is even more important to look at the situation which is causing you fear from a 3rd person standpoint. If the situation is that you are afraid of the monster in the dark outside your bedroom, you might assess it in a few ways. For one, your parents told you about the monster probably to protect you from it. This means they are coming from a place of love and care. This resolves the anger you may feel. And accordingly, you are forced to stay in your room because it is the safest thing. This eliminates the sadness or anxiety. By stepping back from the situation, you’re able to see things for what they really are. Rather than making the monster your focus, you are focusing on the best and safest possibly route for yourself. This will work in any situation.
As I sit down one last time to write this article, I step back from it. I think of how I am really only afraid of writing something that people will not connect with. I might be angry that I have not written an article in such a long time. I might be sad and anxious over the fact that I need it done fairly soon. But as I step back from it, I realize that I’ve written far more well-praised works than I have ill-received ones. I realize and forgive myself for the fact that this a specialized kind of writing and that the process leading up to it needed a longer time. I release my anxiety and sadness over it being on a deadline because it will either get done or it won’t.
To put it more concisely, you need to feel and assess your emotions, step back from the situation, identify your fear, anger and sadness, and come to logical and impartial conclusions.
And with a sense of freedom, as I am released from the fear of writing this article, I notice that I’m already up to 900 or so words – I guess that fear was nothing more than a blip on my page.